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Education in Greece

The education system in Greece is divided into three levels: primary, secondary and higher. Each of them consists of two sublevels. A child of any nationality living in the territory of Greece is obliged to receive primary education and complete the first level of secondary education. In state institutions, training at these levels is free.

Elementary education
Most children begin to go to kindergarten two years before entering school – from 4 to 6 years. In order for a child to get a place in the garden, you need to collect a package of documents: an application for admission to the garden, a birth certificate, a medical card with information on the vaccines delivered, a certificate from the dentist and a document confirming the address of residence or registration. All documents must be translated into Greek.

The next stage is an elementary school, which will last for six years. In order for a child to be enrolled in a school, parents need to collect the same set of documents as in the previous step, adding a certificate of kindergarten attendance.

For foreign children, special classes for 9–17 people often open up — most of the time is spent learning Greek. In parallel, children attend other classes, where knowledge of Greek is not mandatory. The main goal is to integrate the child into the learning process. If such students are recruited insufficiently to form a group, the school organizes an “extension” – up to 10 hours of additional classes in Greek language per week.

Secondary education
Secondary education is also divided into two stages: basic secondary education (gymnasium) and secondary education (lyceum or vocational school). Training at each of the steps lasts 3 years, on the evening form of education in school – 4 years.

Usually, the child is automatically enrolled in secondary school, but if the family has changed the place of residence, then parents need to submit a certificate of primary education and a document confirming the address of residence or registration to the new school.

There are different types of secondary schools: religious, sports, music, special schools for children with disabilities, even schools for adults who could not get a secondary education as a teenager.

The grading system in a high school twenty-point, to go to the next course, you must score 10 points. At the end of the gymnasium, the student receives a certificate, which allows him to continue his studies at the lyceum or vocational school, where, in addition to general education, students receive vocational training. At the end of each year, exams are taken: transferable in the first two years and graduation at the end of the course. After successfully passing the exams, graduates receive a certificate of completed secondary education, with which they can enroll in a higher education institution: a university or a technical educational institution.

Athens’ largest international schools

ACS Athens (American Community Schools)
ISA (International School Athens)
Byron College (The British International School)
St. Catherine’s British School
Higher education
The system of higher education in Greece is divided into two sectors: university and technical. At the moment, there are 24 universities and 16 technical educational institutions (TEI) in Greece, whose training is of a more applied nature.

To become a student of a Greek university, you do not need to pass the entrance exams: the competition is held on the average score in the certificate. One of the requirements for admission is knowledge of the Greek language, confirmed by a certificate from the University of Athens, the University of Thessaloniki or the Greek Language Center. If the applicant does not have such a document, then he will devote the next eight months to studying Greek, and then he enters the university. All this time he has a student place. The average cost of a Greek course is 500 euros.

Admission to a Greek university allows you to get a student visa, which covers the entire period of study and allows you to freely travel around Europe. For foreign students, first level education is free. All undergraduate programs are taught in Greek, master’s and doctoral programs in Greek and English. Students at any level can apply for scholarships and work part-time.

Foreign students are entitled to free medical care and may apply for a place in a hostel (but their number is limited). It is important to remember that benefits are available only to students, and during training in language courses they are not.

Many universities in Greece issue diplomas with a special application Diploma Supplement, which describes the knowledge gained by the graduate in a single format approved by the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO. Such an application increases the graduate’s chances of finding a job in other European countries.

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