A popular destination for tourists from all over the world, Greece is making considerable efforts to attract foreign students. Studying in Greece makes a recap of the many actions implemented and presents the testimony of Amandine, student of the Master’s 1 FLE (French as a Foreign Language) at the University of Patras.
Two ambitious programs to promote international educational exchanges
In order to become a preferred destination for foreign students, the Greek university system is constantly developing its international partnerships, mainly with the United States and Great Britain.
Focus on partnership between Greek and American universities
The International Academic Partnership Program (IAPP) is a partnership designed to foster collaboration between Greek and American universities. This ambitious program aims to promote…
- the creation of joint training courses and double degrees;
- the participation of international students in summer programs in foreign languages;
- the international mobility of American and Greek students, but also of professors and researchers.
This program aims to develop at high speed the internationalization, which has already begun, of the Greek academic system. In addition, 29 prestigious American universities are involved in the success of this strategic partnership.
A recent partnership between the Greek and British academic systems
On 21 March 2021, a conference held jointly by the UK and Greece witnessed the efforts of the Greek university system to encourage the international influence of Hellenic universities.
Thanks to this partnership promoted by the British Embassy in Athens and the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Greek and British universities are led to jointly create university courses. Result: Greek and British students will be able to obtain a degree whose value will be recognized in both countries.
This partnership constitutes a “win-win” agreement from the point of view of the mobility of foreign students. On the one hand, Greek students going to Great Britain will be able to benefit from the quality of the British university system. On the other hand, British students will be able to pursue all or part of their studies in Greece, benefiting from an exceptional study environment and a lower cost of living.
More than a formal agreement, the partnership is already taking a promising turn, as 61 British universities have expressed interest in collaborating with Greek universities.
On the Greek side, the Secretary General for Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, Apostolos Dimitropoulos, said that many Greek universities intend to expand their training offer by creating courses taught entirely in English. This mobilization aims to increase the number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees taught in English from 140 to 200 by 2024.
Studying in Greece: a driving force in the internationalization of Greek universities
Studying abroad brings its share of doubts. To answer this, Greece has created a unique information portal that centralizes all the relevant information that every student needs: Study in Greece (SiG). All aspects of student life in Greece are covered: presentation of training courses, scholarships, accommodation, transport, cultural activities, etc.
A true vehicle for the internationalization of Greece, the SiG highlights the great wealth of programs taught in English. More than an informative portal, it is an organization that multiplies initiatives to create links between the Greek and international academic communities, in all areas of study. Specifically, here are some examples of actions carried out by the Study in Greece organization:
- Participation in international forums on education.
- Organization of educational conferences and workshops for foreign students, teachers and researchers.
In addition to the classic training courses, the Study in Greece organization has shown great ingenuity in creating short programs for foreign students.
For the latter, these innovation-focused courses are an excellent opportunity to expand their knowledge in different areas of study while benefiting from an atypical immersion education experience. For example, an intensive three-week seminar offers international students the opportunity to follow an experienced archaeologist to learn about the Roma community and its cultural heritage. A great opportunity to discover reality on the ground!
A partnership between the universities of Boston and Athens allows all students to follow an intensive one-month summer program. Participants have the chance to take language courses (in Greek) at cultural sites that make the country charming, such as the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, the historic city of Nafplio or the mythical site of Delphi.
With the support of Study in Greece, three Greek universities (Macedonia, Harokopio and Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences) collaborate with Goldsmiths University of London to organize a week-long summer program. Participants, housed in a hostel near the Acropolis, will attend lectures and seminars given by experts in European and international issues, namely:
- The refugee crisis approached from a humanitarian point of view.
- Human rights and national security.
- The impact of populism on European democratic values (Brexit, Grexit…).
“Dare and go for it”: the testimony of Amandine, student in Greece
Amandine, a first-year master’s student in FLE (French as a Foreign Language) at the University of Patras, capital of Peloponnese, tells us about her experience of Greek student life.
Having been out for a year, she lists some highlights of her experience: “The positive aspects are discovering a new country, a new culture, a new language… and I would even say several cultures, because with Erasmus+ you meet people from all over Europe and even beyond. The landscapes of Greece are magnificent and the country has a rich culture waiting to be discovered. »
With regard to the cost of living, the University of Patras is an example, as “the university canteen is free, lunch and dinner, for everyone”, says the young woman.
Based on her experience, Amandine gives some recommendations for students looking to get started: “Don’t hesitate any longer, dare and go for it! Greece is full of treasures (landscapes, archeology, food…). Of course, at the beginning, there is a certain period of adaptation. The advice I can give you regarding local education is to ensure that the university you are going to study at offers courses in English, not just Greek. » Relevant feedback to study under the best conditions!
With an immense cultural heritage and an exceptional living environment, Greece is multiplying its actions to become an important academic destination. This proactive policy has already borne fruit: in 2019, the universities of Athens and Thessaloniki appeared in the ranking of the best universities in the world. And this is just the beginning…