How to Study in Greece for International Students (4 Steps)

Greece, the cradle of civilisation and democracy attracts a huge number of tourists all over the year. Besides that, Greek universities also provide a unique opportunity for international students for extending their knowledge in various fields. Traditionally, Greek institutions have a reputation for programmes in Politics, Philosophy, Architecture and Medicine, but recently other fields of study have gained popularity, too.

In this article, we will be looking at how international students can study in Greece.

Helpful Posts

Related Scholarships

How to Study in Greece as an International Student

  1. First and most importantly, international students need to be able to finance their studies. You will need to plan this in advance. The easiest way is to finance your studies out of your own pocket, but if this is not possible, there are some options for you. The best way is through receiving scholarships, and some other options are working part-time during the semester and full-time during breaks.
  2. After that, you will need to prepare your application for Greek universities. We will go over some general application requirements later in this article.
  3. Then, you will need to apply using the application requirements that you’ve prepared in the previous step.
  4. After you get accepted, you will need to apply for a student visa.


1. Cost of Studying in Greece

Students arriving from the EU are at an advantage at Greek universities. That is, they are not obliged to pay tuition fees for undergraduate programs. Students who attend graduate programs, as well as non-EU nationals, are normally charged from 1000 to 9000€ yearly. This sum, however, includes the price of educational materials, such as textbooks, too.

In terms of daily expenses, Greece is regarded as an inexpensive county in the European context. It is obviously determined by accommodation, dietary needs, transportation choices and entertainment habits, but 450-800€ cover an average student’s monthly spending.

2. General application Requirements in Greece

Admission criteria can vary from university to university, but some general rules can be identified. The following paragraphs might be useful for those who want to get a glimpse into the conditions.

General language requirements for undergraduate students

First of all, as stated in the General Instructions for Higher Education Admission issued by the Greek Ministry of Education, international students willing to begin their university training in Greece must hold proof confirming their level of the Greek language (at least level B2 has to be attained). More importantly, only certificates provided by the University of Athens, the University of Thessaloniki, or the Greek Language Centre are accepted. This is the case if you are studying in the Greek program.

Candidates, who fail to complete the Greek language examination and, therefore, cannot obtain a certificate, have to postpone the start of their studies, and, eventually, can be disqualified from training. This regulation applies to all international admissions; individual universities, for instance, the University of Crete, also refer to the Ministry instructions on their homepage.

Looking at the criteria for the level of English, conditions are less challenging. Surprising it may seem, but the majority of universities do not have specific expectations concerning the level of English for those applying to BA and BSC courses. However, there are a few institutions that put emphasis on this detail and they mostly require exams such as TOEFL, Cambridge, and IELTS.

For instance, the BA in European Governance program of European Law and Governance School takes applicants with at least a score of 80 in TOEFL iBT or level C in Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency. Other international exams with similar results might be accepted as well.

Another example is the Mediterranean College, where candidates must be in possession of an IELTS exam (at least band 6) or the Pearson Test of Academic English (at least 51 points). Additionally, level B2 on the Cambridge English Scale or another equivalent exam is also accepted.

Overall, it seems that tertiary institutions either do not require any certificate from undergraduate candidates or accept them with at least an intermediate/ B2 level of English. Nevertheless, it is important to note that conditions may change according to department and application period, so it is always recommended to check the homepage of the selected faculty and program.

General language requirements for graduate students

As stated before, MA and MSC applicants should be aware of the fact that the General Instructions for Higher Education Admission of the Greek Ministry of Education apply to them as well. Similar to the case of undergraduates, level B2 has to be attained on examinations organized by the University of Athens, the University of Thessaloniki or the Greek Language Centre, in order to begin university studies. Institutions, such as the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Crete point this out in their guidelines or refer to the document mentioned above.

In the case of programs in English, candidates have to provide a certificate of their English proficiency as well. As it is highlighted on the website of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, for MA in Digital Media, Communication and Journalism they expect non-native candidates to prove C1 level of English proficiency. They accept a variety of certificates, such as at least band 7 in IELTS, 100 in the TOEFL iBT test, 600 in the TOEFL PBT test, a score of at least 76 in the PTE Academic test, or Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) exam.

In order to be admitted to the LLM in EU Law course advertised by the European Law and Governance School, students need to reach a minimum of 90 points in TOEFL iBT or Grade B or above in Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency. Other international exams with similar results might be accepted as well.

The International Hellenic University also accepts different exam types; regarding IELTS band 6.5, in TOEFL iBT score 90, in TOEIC score 850 is the minimum requirement.

Apparently, for Masters’ courses, a wide range of exam types are accepted, but generally, level C1 is expected (90-100 points of TOEFL/ band 6,5-7 on IELTS or other exams). Obviously, conditions vary depending on the institution and the program.

Application Requirements for Undergraduate Students

Application regulations concerning all undergraduate university admissions are defined by the Ministry of Education, Research, and Religious Affairs in Greece. The document that can be found at this link describes conditions for EU nationals as well as students from outside the EU. These general instructions apply to all tertiary institutions, although some universities might have additional requirements.

To study in Greece as an international student, you need the following:

  • Certificates
  • Secondary school certificate
  • A certificate of correspondence of the secondary school certificate
  • Proof that the applicant has attended the last 2 classes of secondary high school
  • Documentation of total marks average
  • Proof that the candidate is entitled to continue studies at a university
  • A confirmation of the curriculum of the candidate’s secondary high school
  • Verification of the candidate’s and the parents’ origin (showing that either one of the parents is not of Greek origin or neither of them is)
  • Two photographs of the candidate (small-sized)
  • Photocopy of the candidate’s passport or other ID documents
  • The applicant’s official statement about
  • not possessing a graduation certificate of a Greek secondary school not possessing a degree of Greek Higher Education Faculty or Department and
  • not having been admitted to any Greek Higher Education Faculty or Department in 2017 or earlier

For more information on issuing authorities, translation/ validation details, and specific cases, it is essential to read the whole document about these regulations. (English version starts at page 12.)

Application requirements for graduate students

Regarding Masters’ programs, there is a lot more variation, as institutions have more freedom to control the process. As explained on the website of the International Hellenic University, applicants for MA and MSC programs need to be able to present the following documents:

  • A completed application form, together with a 500-word personal statement
  • BA or BSC university degree in a relevant subject
  • A good-quality copy of the degree certificate and transcripts (with grades attained and a detailed list of courses)
  • Two academic references
  • An English language certificate
  • Two passport-sized photos of the candidate
  • Curriculum Vitae

Application requirements for all programs are updated each year by the Ministry of Education and universities as well. As a result, thorough research is needed before filing an application in order to provide all the necessary documents.

3. Application procedure

In Greece, the application period for undergraduate students falls between the end of July and the beginning of August (for courses starting in September, the same year). Regarding graduate programs, institutions have more freedom to set deadlines. What is more, several universities established a rolling application system, that is, candidates are admitted all year round. Athens University of Economics and Business, for example, opened the application process for MSC in Human Resource Management on 1st April ad closed it on 2nd June this year.

Application steps for undergraduate students

According to the policy of European Law and Governance School, candidates applying to a BA/ BSC training must go through the following steps:

  1. Select the program and collect the necessary documents.
  2. Transfer the application fee (50 €).
  3. Send the application online, attaching the necessary documentation.
  4. E-mail reference letters separately.
  5. Suitable candidates are invited to an interview.
  6. Wait for the outcome of the process.

Application steps for graduate students

The homepage of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki illustrates the admission process for the MA in Digital Media, Communication, and Journalism as follows:

  1. The program needs to be selected and requirements checked.
  2. The application platform is open between 1st and September 6.
  3. Applications should be submitted online.
  4. The earlier the submission is done, the greater the chance of success.
  5. An e-mail of confirmation arrives after their application is processed.
  6. If additional documents are requested in the e-mail, the applicant needs to send them as soon as possible.
  7. The Selection committee might conduct online or offline interviews or requests samples of academic work.
  8. The final decision is sent in a month (approximately).
  9. Applicants might get an unconditional offer (offered a place) or a conditional offer (there are further conditions to satisfy to get admitted).
  10. Some applicants might be put on the waiting list (they receive the final decision later) or the reserve list (they might receive a late offer if anyone cancels)

You will need to apply to study in Greece as an international student. Once you apply, you will need to wait to get your admission decision.

4. Visa information

Concerning visa regulations, the distinction between EU and non-EU citizens prevails. EU nationals do not need a visa, while students from outside the EU need to obtain one.

These third-country nationals need to turn to the Greek Consular Authority in person for a visa valid for up to 365 days. Later, they will be issued a residence permit until they complete their studies in the country.

For a successful application, students must meet certain requirements. For instance, they need their letter of acceptance from the university, proof of adequate income in order to finance their studies, and confirm that they have paid university fees. Passports and clear criminal records also need to be presented.

A detailed description of the process as well as special cases and requirements can be found in the guidelines provided by the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After admission, tertiary institutions are also ready to help international students in practicalities like obtaining a visa.

This is the easiest step for international students to study in Greece because it is almost guaranteed to get the student visa if you prepare the required documents.

The process of application, entrance exam, and submission of documents might have been exhausting, but it was certainly worth it. There is nothing else left for you but to enjoy your trip to this Mediterranean paradise and write a list of the iconic landmarks that you are planning to visit after your first lectures.

I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.