When thinking about the stunning Mediterranean, it can be quite surreal to imagine studying in such a scenic country. This is exactly one of the many reasons why Greece is an iconic and exceptional country to study in, particularly if you are hoping to study for an exchange program. Greece is considered to be the birthplace of academia in a historical context, particularly in Western culture. Society itself owes a lot to the numerous concepts that the Ancient Greek civilizations bestowed on the world, be it the concept of democracy and government to philosophy and individualism. Students are guaranteed to be placed at the heart of history and authentic culture which constitutes the most interesting features of this country. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Greece for international students.

An added perk to studying in Greece is the tuition-free status that the majority of universities share, predominantly for prospective undergraduate students. Furthermore, the cost of living is considerably cheaper in comparison to other countries in Europe so this would be the perfect option for students who wish to be wary of their budget.

In this article, we introduce a few of the most prominent universities and institutions of higher education in Greece that are best suited for international students. If you are a student who wishes to immerse in a rich historical and cultural setting with characteristic sunny weather, authentic cuisine, and a lively atmosphere, studying at one of these Greek universities will be a very tempting option!

Top Universities in Greece for International Students

1. National Technical University of Athens

The National Technical University of Athens, also known as the Athens Polytechnic, is a public institution of higher education that is located in Athens, Greece. Established in 1837, it is among the oldest universities in the country and is nationally acclaimed for its prestigious programs in engineering. Originally founded as a vocational institute, it developed into the country’s only institution that provided engineering degrees. The university is academically comprised of nine academic faculties, each of which caters to different fields of engineering or mathematics, as well as over 30 departments. Through these, it offers several academic courses for undergraduate and postgraduate study; although most of these courses are taught in Greek, international students who are enrolled in the university through the Erasmus exchange program are taught in English.

Because of that, the National Technical University of Athens is considered by many to be one of the best universities in Greece for international students. Students also tend to study short programs that can lead up to a diploma or an official degree. Today, this elite institution provides education to a student community of around 20,000 who have access to the rich and thriving Greek culture in addition to a proficient academic experience.

2. University of Crete

Located on the iconic and historical island of Crete, the University of Crete was founded in 1973 as a multidisciplinary research university. It is among the most reputed universities in Greece even though it is off the coastal mainland areas. The university is also ranked among the world’s top 100 universities that were established recently.

Since its novel inception, the university has expanded into an academic and research hub that provides studies for a student community of over 18,000 students. This best university in Greece consists of two campuses; one in the Crete capital of Heraklion and the other in Rethymnon. Around 20 undergraduate courses and 30 postgraduate courses are offered by the university for its students. These are operated by 5 schools of study and 16 departments, namely the Schools of Philosophy, Education, Medicine, Science/Engineering, and Social/Economic/Political Sciences.

In addition to this, the University of Crete has established its name as a national as well as an international leader in research. The Times higher education rankings have placed it in the top 400 universities in the world for its influence on research. The campuses strive to foster a strong international culture and operate several programs to acclimatize their international students.

3. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Established in 1925, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (usually known as the University of Thessaloniki or the A.U.Th) is a public university that is based in the country’s second-largest city of Thessaloniki. It is considered to be one of the best universities in Greece for international students and further holds the rank of the largest university by student enrolment. Eleven schools and 36 departments constitute the university’s academics, all of which combine to provide a multidisciplinary educational experience for the students.

While Greece is the primary mode of instruction, the university also provides courses in English as well as one of the only universities in the country to teach in other foreign languages such as French and German.

Research is a strong factor of the university as it strives to perform heavy research across a range of fields. With over 250 specialized and cutting-edge laboratories, the university’s research community has successfully accomplished and made several contributions. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that it has been consistently ranked among the top 500 universities in the world for research. With an international student community of over 3000 students, the university is committed to providing a well-rounded experience with rich and authentic Greek culture.

4. National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (more commonly referred to as the University of Athens) is a public institution of higher education in Greece. Established in 1837, it is the oldest university in the country and is based in the suburb of Zografou in Athens. Since its inception, it has evolved into a diverse, multicultural, and prominent university that has a student enrolment that exceeds 100,000.

It holds ranks as one of the leading universities in Greece for international students; furthermore, the Times rankings place the university in the global top 600. While its main campus is located in Zografou, the university runs and operates minor campuses in other parts of Athens such as Dafni, Goudi, and Ano Ilisia, each of which is home to individual schools. These academic schools encompass agriculture, theology, sciences, healthcare sciences, law, economics, and philosophy.

To this end, the university is nationally considered to be a hub for Greece’s academic prowess coupled with the authentic culture and rich traditions that have long since been carried through the country’s history.

5. Athena University of Economics and Business

We end our list of best universities in Greece for international students with Athena University of Economics and Business. Located in the capital city of Athens, the Athena University of Economics and Business is a public university that is proficient in the education of commerce subjects. Named after the Greek Goddess of Wisdom and Warfare, Athena, the university was founded in 1920 as a business school. It has since grown into a global institution that is academically comprised of 3 academic schools; the schools of business, economics, and informatics.

In addition to the standard undergraduate degrees which are taught in Greek, the university offers numerous English-based courses for the international student community, particularly foreign exchange students of the Erasmus program. Similarly, several master’s degrees are offered (in English) such as Heritage Management, Business Mathematics, Accounting & Finance as well as the MBA program, etc.

The AUEB ensures that it considers all its strengths and qualities to provide an optimal learning experience for international students. With its location in Athens, international students are at the heart of Greek culture. The university is also ranked among the top 600-800 universities in the world (Times Higher Education rankings) and among the top 150 business schools (QS rankings).


We hope that this article on the best universities in Greece for international students was helpful. Make sure to check out the Available Programs in Europe for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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