Athens, Greece is one of the most dominant capital cities in the world, in the sense that 40% of all Greeks live there. By comparison, London, with roughly the same population as Athens (about 10 million people), is home to a mere 15% of Brits. A major portion of Greek Universities are located in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece's second major economic, industrial, commercial and political centre, and a major transportation hub for the rest of southeastern Europe. Thessaloniki is renowned for its festivals, events and vibrant cultural life in general and is considered to be Greece's cultural capital.
Once you have decided to study abroad and have chosen the institution where you wish to apply for admission, you should write directly to the institution’s admissions office and ask for detailed application information and forms. This office will give you informatio about the documentation, translation, and visa requirements as applicable. The process can take considerable time, so it is a good idea to contact them far in advance.
Greece is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This meant that U.S. Citizens may enter Greece for up to 90 days for study, tourism or business purposes without a visa.
For other entry requirements, travelers should contact the Embassy of Greece at 2221 Massachusetts Avenue NW,Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 939-1300, or the Greek Consulate in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Tampa, New York, or San Francisco.
The list of countries whose nationals can stay in Greece for up to three months without a visa includes:
Foreigners from non-EU countries (with certain exceptions) who wish to study in Greece will need
to acquire a
student visa (type D) from a Greek consulate. There is a possibility of obtaining a student visa free of charge
on request to a Greek consulate in the student’s country. Besides the standard documents (passport, photographs,
etc.), foreign students may be required to submit an affidavit of sponsorship, proof of funds, medical and
police clearance certificates, academic transcripts, language certificates and documents from the host
institution in Greece. Applicants can expect to have an interview with consular staff.
Even if you don't have your European Health Insurance Card with you, you are entitled to health care, although conditions of payment and reimbursement may be more complicated.
The Schengen Convention: Greece is a signatory to the Schengen Convention. If you have a visa issued by one of the Schengen countries, it is automatically valid for all other Schengen countries.
The Schengen Visa is for non-EU students or travelers in Greece for less than 90 days. The Schengen Visa actually allows travel to 25 countries - you can learn more about it on our dedicated Schengen Visa Insurance page. To apply for a Schengen Visa, you need to show proof of private health insurance, valid in Greece, that has coverage of at least euro 30,000 and that will be valid throughout your stay in any Schengen country. The insurance company must have a representative office in the country. We recommend the Atlas Travel and Euro Travel plans for Schengen travelers.
A popular option for many students holding European Union documentation is the Erasmus Program. The
program is the most successful student exchange program in the world allowing students to travel, experience,
and learn in one of more than 4 000 higher education institutions in 33 participating countries. These students
can expect to receive financial aid from their home institutions and countries.
If you wish to stay in Greece for longer than three months, apply at a consulate abroad or at least 20 days in advance to the Aliens Bureau (210 770 5711; Leoforos Alexandras 173; 8am-1pm Mon-Fri) in the Athens Central Police Station. Take your passport and four passport photographs along. You may be asked for proof that you can support yourself financially, so keep all your bank exchange slips (or the equivalent from a post office). These slips are not always automatically given – you may have to ask for them. Elsewhere in Greece, apply to the local police authority. You will be given a permit that will authorize you to stay in the country for a period of up to six months.