Greece has been an increasingly popular destination for international students for several decades. Applicants from all over the world travel here to embrace the remains of an ancient culture, dive into the history of the region, as well as enjoy the benefits of the current higher education system that not only provides fantastic undergraduate and graduate degree programs, but also multiple opportunities for tuition-free studies.
Study in Greece for Free
1. Provide an outstanding application
The application you provide a university with will be the primary source of information about you that the academic staff will see. To be able to study in Greece for free, it is important to craft an application that stands out makes you look like a desirable freshman for the institution. Depending on the undergraduate or graduate program, make sure that your school grades and test scores match the university’s requirements. Your goal as an applicant is to ensure that the information you present reflects your abilities as well as possible.
Also, if you are planning to study in English, present an IELTS or TOEFL examination certificate to prove your language proficiency. If you hold any awards for competing in local contests or international Olympiads, have them present upon application.
2. Start working on your application early
Make sure you will have crafted a splendid application before applying to one of Greece’s universities. It is a good idea to research the requirements in advance, so you could work on your grades and test scores during the last year of high school. Use the available time wisely to monitor your progress and improve the outcome of the crucial examinations.
Each university in Greece may present its list of requirements. For that reason, if you are considering applying to a specific institution, do the research early and craft an application the facility will not be able to reject.
3. Apply for Studies in Universities
After you have prepared your application, do not hesitate to apply to multiple universities to increase your chances. Submit your application and make yourself exposed to the administration staff. After you will have applied for the universities chosen, stay in touch with the representatives of the institutions. Having a splendid application is only one part of the process, as it is just as important to showcase your willingness and desire to study in the selected university.
4. Apply for Scholarships in Greek Universities
Most local universities in Greece offer scholarships to domestic and international students, and getting these scholarships is a great way to study for free in Greece. Three noticeable universities that provide financial aid for their students are the International Hellenic University of Greece, University of Crete, and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. You should pay attention to the general requirements, as most of the institutions grant the scholarships on a competitive basis, as well as require the applicant to submit an additional form. Some scholarships will only be available to postgraduate programs’ students, and some can be acquired through a series of additional internal examinations.
5. Try to find affordable universities in Greece
Greece has a great selection of affordable universities. The expenses depend on the region, the particular university’s popularity, and the type of a program you are applying for. Most of the undergraduate programs cost less than $1,000 per academic year, and the tuition fee for graduate degree programs ranges between $2,000-5,000 per year. If you are interested, I highly recommend that you take a look at the cheapest universities in Greece for international students.
It is important to note that public educational institutions often provide a lower cost of tuition. An additional way to study in Greece for free is by applying and attending these affordable universities in Greece.
6. Apply for external scholarships
If you struggle to find support from the desired university or your local administration, another route to take would be to seek out external funding. Nowadays, there are many organizations, such as the Rotary Foundation or Wells Mountain Foundation, that offer financial support to international students.
Typically, each organization focuses on a specific range of students (e.g. residents of selected developing countries, qualified applicants who want to acquire a master’s or doctoral degree, etc.). Still, it is worth it to check if you are eligible for the scholarships provided.
7. Try to receive a scholarship from your government
There is an increasing number of countries that offer scholarships to their citizens wishing to study abroad. The list of such countries includes but is not limited to Germany, the UK, Japan, Canada, and many more. Even if your country does not currently have a domestic scholarship, it might change soon, so stay in touch with the news and keep reading the government’s portals, including your local Ministry of Education website. Get in touch with your country’s administration or an embassy abroad to check for the options available.
8. Decrease Your Living Expenses
An efficient method to help you study for free in Greece is decreasing your expenses. When considering your living expenses, make sure to pay attention to all the aspects of your day-to-day routine: the food and transportation costs, rent, etc. If you have to travel to the university by the means of public transportation, it may be a good idea to acquire a monthly pass, which costs $40 in cities like Athens and Thessaloniki. Also, think about additional expenses, such as Internet connection and phone charges. Some cities provide a decent public Wi-Fi network, meaning that you can avoid spending additional money on Internet service.
Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in these cities is around $300 (utility bills not included). If you cannot afford a flat, most universities provide dormitories or hotel accommodation for their students, which often come at a significantly lower price, although, you will have to share the living quarters with other students.
9. Get a Job for the Duration of Your Studies
There are two options to find a job as an international student who wishes to study in Greece. According to Article 35 of the Legislation on the Entry of Third-Party Nationals on Greek Territory (the full document can be found here), students who enter Greece from a Non-EU country and obtain student visa are allowed to work within the country only as part-time employees. The members of the European Union states, however, are welcomed to engage in any type of work. One has to understand, however, that it is students’ primary responsibility to dedicate a substantial amount of time towards his or her studies.
I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.