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International schools & education in Greece: A guide for families immigrating to Greece via the Golden visa Programme.

Mart 19, 2019

graduation of university students celebrating and throwing their caps off
The education of the next generation is undoubtedly important for a family. In an increasingly globalized world, more parents hope that their children can receive an international education as early on as possible, so that children can take the lead in future competition. In this article we will introduce the international education in Greece, hoping to give investors who are parents or soon to be parents some inspiration. The following guide is mainly relevant for Chinese families, but most of the information is useful to any family wishing to move to Greece. Sending children to international schools in China is often the choice of many parents, but the intense competition to attend the school, high tuition fees, and inequality levels in quality of teaching are the main reasons of worrying and hesitating. ruins from ancient greek civilisation in central athens
As an ancient civilization, Greece is the birthplace of Western civilization. It is one of the earliest countries in the world to establish an education system. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, so many ancient Greek educators and thinkers are still well-known worldwide. Modern Greece not only has beautiful natural scenery, but also a complete education system to provide a sound education for its citizens and in our case, residents. Greek schools are divided into two categories, public and private (often international) schools. You can enjoy 12 years of free education in public schools, but public schools teach all courses in Greek. If parents want their children to have whole English education, private (international) schools is a more appropriate choice. Let’s find out what advantages Greek international school has over Chinese international school.
 

Educational resources and facilities in International Greek private schools:

large library with fluorescent lights
Greece's international education resources are mainly concentrated in the capital city---Athens, and 13 international schools are mainly distributed in the North of Athens and some in the South. After the economic crisis, the living conditions and economic level of Greek people have been affected. There are fewer local families willing and able to afford international schools and there is fewer population overall. For Chinese family who want their children to attend international school, International schools in Greece are easier to apply, and the average teaching standard is relatively high.

It’s very common for international schools to have exceptional facilities and faculty and the students are both from local families and foreign families. Therefore, when your children attend International schools in Greece, they don't only receive high-quality education, but also live in a diverse environment and have broader horizons. As a member of the European Union, most Greek international schools are connected to foreign educational institutions and share learning and education resources. So the graduates of Greek international schools are more likely to be accepted in elite universities in the United States and Europe.
 

Comparing private education of International Schools in China and Greece:

signs with choice written on and pointing to opposite directions
The best education resources in China are concentrated in the few most developed cities, like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, but the competition is those cities is fierce. For example, Shenzhen has the most international schools per person among those four cities and the acceptance rates of the best international school (Shenzhen International Exchange College) is less than 9%. The international sector of top 4 public schools in Shenzhen is also prestigious, but the total acceptance rates of those four schools is only 4%.
Table of data comparing the sharing of international schools between population in major cities in China and Greece
Parents who send their children to international schools usually hope their children can not only have a good teaching environment, but also have a good foreign language environment. The foreign teachers in China’s international schools will definitely help children's language progress. However, the off-class life is no different from the public school, since children will only speak their mother tongue. Therefore, compared with China’s international schools, more diverse Greek international schools have an absolute advantage in the foreign language environment.

Facilities and education conditions in Greek International schools

Amphiteatre in a school full of students observing a lecture

There are many international schools in Greece, among which British and American schools are especially popular. The level of education and the school's facilities are exceptional, and many of them provide education in all stages, from kindergarten to high school.

Take St. Lawrence College as an example, this British school was established in 1980 in the Koropi area of southern Athens so it is perfect if you would like to live by the sea and send your children to school nearby. Covering an area of nearly 70,000 square meters, it is located in a place surrounded by mountains. With a beautiful natural environment and far away from noisy downtown, St. Lawrence provides a perfect study environment for its students. The school has excellent facilities, modern technology labs, private libraries, computer rooms, amphitheatre, tennis courts, standard swimming pools and multi-functional sports halls for students to use.

According to official school record, the school has students from 52 countries. More than 800 students range in age from 3 to 19 years old, more than 50% of whom are British, Greek and American citizens. A considerable number of students’ parents are the staff of the foreign embassy in Greece, or have industries and businesses in Greece. As a British school, all the courses are taught in English, and the school also offers courses like modern Greek, French, Russian, Arabic and Chinese. The school also offers English intensive courses for students of all ages with limited English proficiency, enabling them to learn English quickly and adopt the regular curriculum as soon as possible.

Instead of providing an IB program, the school uses the UK's GCE A-Level exam. The A-level is widely recognized by universities in UK It is equivalent to the UK college entrance examination and is an examination necessary for entry to a prestigious UK school. The A-level courses provided by St. Lawrence College has outstanding teaching results. From the records of 2003–2018 graduates of St. Lawrence College, 70% graduates went to UK universities for undergraduate education. Some outstanding graduates have been admitted to world top universities such as Yale University, University of Toronto, Imperial College, King's College London and the University of Edinburgh.

Not only St. Lawrence College, several other international schools in Athens also have excellent teaching quality and facilities. Teachers in international school all require EU teacher’s qualification. International schools provide diverse courses which will fully develop children's interests and potential. A-Level, IB and AP courses will be provided in higher stage, whether you want your child to study A-Level to attend universities in UK or take SAT test to attend universities in US, there is always an option for your family.
student in a classroom leaning on a school desk

In higher education stage, many famous universities from UK and US have campuses in Greece, such as the University of Sheffield and the State University of New York. The curriculum, teacher selection, and test standards are strictly supervised and managed by the school. The diplomas obtained by the students are exactly the same as those of the school, which means that if you study in those university’s Greek campus, you only need to spend two-thirds of the English and American tuition fees and extremely low living expenses, you can get the same university diploma and save a lot on cost! What’s more, those universities’ allow exceptional students transfer to their original campus in the last year of the study.
 

List of International Schools of Greece, for foreign students and families moving to Greece:


You can find a continuously updated list and interactive map of the International schools of Greece below, curated by our team. Some of the top International schools in Greece, suitable for families with a Golden visa are Campion, Pierce College, American College of Greece and St. Catherine's British Embassy school and Anatolia College in Thessaloniki.

Which are the International Schools in Greece?

International Schools in North Athens, Greece:

English speaking:

  • American College of Greece, also known as Pierce College (US)
  • Campion School (UK)
  • St. Catherine's British School (UK)
  • American Community Schools, ACS (US)
  • Byron College:The British International School (UK)
  • International School of Athens, ISA
  • Costeas Geitonas School CGS
  • Doukas School
  • I.M Panagiotopoulos School

French Speaking:

  • Lycée Franco-Hellénique Eugène Delacroix

German Speaking:

  • Deutsche Schule Athen

International Schools in South Athens, Greece:

  • St. Lawrence College (UK)
  • International School of Piraeus (UK)

International Schools in North Greece:

Thessaloniki:
English Speaking:

  • Anatolia College (US)
  • Pinewood American College of Thessaloniki (US)

French Speaking:

  • French School of Thessaloniki - Ecole française de Thessalonique

German Speaking:

  • German School of Thessaloniki - Deutsche Schule Thessaloniki

Larissa:

  • International Community School of Larissa.

Attending school in Greece: A Cost-effective choice for the present and future.

In recent years, as more and more international investors have invested and immigrated to Greece, the tuition fees of international schools in Greece have increased, but even so, the tuition fee is still very affordable compared to the international schools in China, take St. Lawrence College and Campion School as examples:
Tuition fees information for St.Lawrence, International School in Athens, Greece
Tuition fees information for Campion, International School in Athens, Greece
Even in the most expensive high school stage of tuition, the annual tuition fee is still less than 100,000 CNY. Compared with the average tuition fee for good international school in China  200,000 CNY, or more expensive choice studying in UK or US, Greek International Schools are very affordable.

Studying abroad after graduating from an International school in Greece:

Because Greece's high school education is internationally recognized, graduates can apply for higher education around the world with Greek high school diploma. If you choose to study in other EU countries, you can enjoy the benefit of EU students (tuition fee reduction) in many schools with a Greek residence permit.

Greek high-level education is not as competitive as UK or US, so after Chinese students finish high school in Greece, there are three choices to attend a prestigious university:

1. Participate in an examination for overseas Chinese students, so that students can enter the Chinese universities with a low threshold. To be considered as overseas Chinese students need two conditions: the student needs to have a overseas status, like residency, PR, or citizenship. In the past four years, they have lived overseas for at least two years, no less than nine months a year. Therefore, after obtaining the Greek residency, you can choose to study in Greece for two years, and then return to the China to participate in the overseas Chinese entrance exam.
two students in a classroom studying together
2. Apply to universities in other EU member states. Greece is a member of both the European Union and Schengen countries. After obtaining the residency in Greece, you can travel around 26 Schengen countries freely. You can also spend half a year to live, work and study in other countries without restrictions. Many schools in Germany and France tuition is only half of international students (None EU student).
Graduation ceremony, a large group of students in graduation attire
3. Participate in A-Level or SAT to apply for colleges and universities in UK and US. UK and US have the most world's top educational resources, and made them the most popular destination for study. Moreover, for EU students enrolled in UK universities up to 30% tuition fee could be deducted.A student holding up a banner with "Senior" written on it
In summary, sending children to international school in Greece not only allows children to face smaller competition and enjoy superior international education, but also saves a large budget for families who want their children to attend international schools in China.
As professional investment consultants, Energopiisi can design an investment plan for your family to invest in Greece and help you with your child's education in Greece. If you are interested in international schools in Greece, please contact us for more information! Please follow our WeChat public account "Energopiisi" and leave message or send email to: info@goldenvisa-greece.com, we look forward to hearing from you!

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