Greece

Why Study In Greece?

Life In The Country:

Greece is known to be a fascinating and exciting ex-pat destination. From its ancient ruins and rich cultural heritage to its scenic beauty and hospitable people, located at the intersection of Europe and Asia, it is a country full of contrasting sights. Modern, bustling cities in parts of Athens and Thessaloniki and quaint, quiet islands, and seaside towns make one feel like they might have stepped back in time.

Despite the recent economic challenges, the country is slowly starting to regain its momentum, and aspirants or travelers moving to Greece are sure to enjoy a good quality of life, which includes a relaxing lifestyle, authentic and delicious food as well as affordable cost of living. The country’s strategic location on the Mediterranean also means that people can also look forward to pleasant weather conditions throughout most of the year and a wide variety of opportunities for traveling and adventure.

One of the most attractive features about spending time in Greece is the way it is designed for the affordability of accommodation, particularly outside the main tourist regions. Even in the bustling Athens, average rental rates are around 85% cheaper than what the customer would be paying in New York City.

The sights and sounds of Greece have a tendency of drawing people in from the moment they arrive: with dazzling, whitewashed buildings along tree-lined promenades, the iconic Parthenon standing proud above the bustle of the capital, grizzled old fishermen tending nets along the waterfront, the bright colors of produce in the farmers’ markets, and the bleating of goats on the outskirts of an age-old village.

Attitude and etiquette of the local people:

People of Greece are known for their hospitality and laid-back attitude, two elements that are vital in understanding their etiquette and customs. When meeting someone for the first time, it is customary to either allow someone to introduce you or state your name. Like most cultures, shaking hands firmly is the most appropriate way of greeting somebody during a first meeting. Good friends and people who have known each other for a very long time may also embrace and kiss each other on both cheeks as a sign of affection. Shaking someone’s hands while also tapping their shoulder is also quite common amongst male friends.

In general, Greeks are very friendly and this sometimes is projected as a way of intruding on your personal space or asking questions that might be considered too personal in other cultures. Such actions are not meant to be disrespectful. On the contrary, they are simply ways to approach people, make them feel at home, and create new relationships without a sense of formality. Most Greeks like to make jokes and ask foreigners about their countries and their experiences in Greece.

If a local invites you to their home, then you can keep in mind that punctuality is not a big deal or concern. This is backed up by the fact that they will almost never set a strict time schedule and instead urge you to “come around 12”, loosely. The dress code depends entirely on the occasion at hand. An invitation for a coffee requires more casual attire. An invitation to a big dinner, on the other hand, means that you should dress well but not too formally either. It is a good idea to bring something for the host, some sweets from the local bakery or just a bottle of wine as a small gift. Upon arrival, thanking the host for the invitation and complimenting their home will be much appreciated.

Major cities with varied course options:

Greece is a small country and there are just over 20 universities in Greece, spread across the country and all within the public sector. While subjects are mainly taught in Greek, specialized study programs are also available in other languages (most commonly English), at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These universities are affiliated to or joined by 15 Technological Educational Institutes (TEIs), which do offer higher education programs with a focus on practical and professional skills, in subjects such as applied technology, healthcare, agriculture, management, and art and design. Overall Greece’s higher education system reputation is well respected around the world, ranking at 41st in the world in the first edition of the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings.

Language:

Greek, is the official and primary language of Greece and is spoken by the majority of the country's population. English is the dominant foreign language spoken in the business world of Greece and also taught in schools as a second language option. Greek is also the de facto provincial language in Albanian. Today, it exists as Modern Greek with many dialects in the different regions of the country. Greek is known to be one of the oldest Indo-European languages in the world and has survived more than 34 centuries, and it is the official language alongside Turkish in Cyprus. Today, more than 15-25 million people speak Greek, and in Greece 99.5% of the population converse in the language.

Driving laws:

Unless you're a member of the European Union, you'll need to apply for an International Driver's License (IDL) before you rent a car in Greece. If you plan to drive your own car, you will require a valid registration and proof of internationally valid insurance in addition to IDL.

Checklist for Driving in Greece

  • An International Driver's License (required)
  • Proof of insurance (required)
  • Rules of the Road
  • Using the horn: Technically, using your car horn is illegal in towns and urban areas except in the case of emergencies. However, on high mountain roads, make a short beep before going around a blind curve to alert any oncoming traffic of your presence.
  • Parking: When in urban areas, parking is forbidden within 9 feet of a fire hydrant, 15 feet of an intersection, or 45 feet from a bus stop (though this may not be marked). In some areas, street parking requires ​the purchase of a ticket from a booth. These areas will usually be marked with signs posted in both English and Greek.
  • Seat belts: Front-seat passengers must use seat belts. However, since Greece has a high accident rate, backseat riders may also want to buckle their seat belts.
  • Children: Passengers under the age of 10 years old cannot sit in the front seat. Additionally, children under 3 years old are required to use a car seat.
  • Speed limits: Typically, urban areas have speed limits of 50 kilometers per hour (30 miles per hour) while non-urban roads have a speed limit of 110 kilometers per hour (68 miles per hour), and freeways and expressways have speed limits of up to 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour).
  • Toll Roads:  The two special roads (like freeways) called Ethniki Odos, the National Road, do require tolls, which vary depending on the type of the vehicle and can be paid in cash or debit/credit card. There is also a Fast Pass system. Toll booths are also found on the main road running between Athens International Airport and the city center.
  • Cell phones: It is illegal to use your cell phone while driving in Greece. Violators can be stopped and issued a fine. Periodic crackdowns are driving this point home.
  • Roadside assistance: The Automobile and Touring Club of Greece (ELPA) offer coverage to members of AAA (Triple-A), CAA, and other similar assistance services, but any driver can contact them. For quick access to ELPA while in Greece, dial 104 or 154 on your phone (while not driving).
  • Tickets: Moving violation and parking tickets are rather expensive, often costing hundreds of euros each.
  • Driving side: Drive on the righthand side of the road as you would in the United States.
  • In case of an emergency: For visitors to Greece, dial 112 for multi-language help. Dial 100 for Police, 166 for Fires, and 199 for ambulance service. For roadside service, dial 104 or 154 for ELPA.