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Studying an LLM (Master of Laws) Program in Greece

LLM in GreeceGreece, glorious Greece, with its whitewashed houses set against vivid blue skies, sandy bays with turquoise seas, wealthy ship owners, olives, ouzo and the famous Greek salad. Not to mention the fact that it is the birthplace of the Olympics. These are some of the things that spring to mind, but Greece has a lot more to offer and could be the right place for you to study for your Master of Laws.

Greece is a beautiful, mountainous country in southern Europe, sharing borders with Bulgaria, Turkey, Albania and Macedonia. It is a tourist hotspot that draws millions of visitors to its numerous islands, including sun seekers who want to enjoy the Mediterranean climate, scholars and history buffs who want to explore the ruins and learn more about Greek mythology. It also appeals to foodies in search of hearty, rustic cuisine. Modern Greece sits side-by-side with its ancient history, and you’re never too far away from ruins of temples, statues and monuments.

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Being a student in Greece

The people of Greece are warm, friendly, and are used to welcoming the rest of the world to their country. Greek is the official language but many people speak English and postgraduate courses are available in English. You will find that there are a lot of foreigners in the larger cities; comprising of tourists, students, visiting academics and archaeologists, so if you come to Greece as an overseas student you should be able to settle in quite quickly. Studying in Greece allows you to combine the buzz of living in a fast-paced cosmopolitan city, with the benefit of spending quieter weekends on one of the many charming islands. On top of all this, the warm weather is a fantastic bonus. 

Where to do your LLM in Greece

So where can you study your LLM program? Greece has several notable institutions of higher learning, including the University of Athens, University of Crete and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The country is synonymous with the shipping industry and so is probably one of the best places in the world to do study an LLM in Maritime Law, which is offered on a full-time and part-time basis by the Business College Athens. The University of the Aegean has a masters degree course in European Societies and European Integration, which you might find useful if you are keen on EU law. 

Admission requirements

To study a postgraduate law course at a university in Greece a first degree with a minimum grade of C is required; this is equivalent to a Lower Second Class honours degree in the UK (2:2). Applicants have to submit original copies of their transcripts, along with a personal statement, CV and in some instances a letter of recommendation from former tutors. We have some handy advice on the application process, with tips on writing a personal statement and choosing the right people to write your references.

You will also have to demonstrate that you are fluent enough in English to do an LLM. IELTS and TOEFL tend to be the preferred tests but do find out from your university what other English language test scores they would accept, and what the minimum scores are. In some instances you may also need to have work experience that is relevant to your chosen course.

Tuition fees & living costs in Greece

EU, EEA and Swiss students don’t have to pay tuition fees at public universities in Greece, but do pay if they attend private institutions. All other students are classified as international students and have to pay tuition fees regardless of whether they attend a public or private university. Tuition fees for a postgrad degree at private university could cost up to €10,000 euros, excluding books and other associated expenses, while fees for public universities are significantly lower. The fees may vary so do check with the institution you choose.

Determining whether the cost of living in Greece is high or low depends on which country you currently live in; to some international students Greece might be ridiculously cheap, while to others it is not. Accommodation is generally considered to be expensive for the average Greek, particularly in Athens, but if you are studying in a smaller town you should pay less to put a roof over your head. If you’re hit with a hefty rent bill there are ways you could cut your other costs for example by shopping for food at the local markets that sell fresh food, instead of at supermarkets. Generally you should get by in Greece on much less than it would cost you in many other parts of Europe such as the UK or Germany.

Bear in mind that non EU students are not permitted to work in Greece although, considering the present effects of the recession, it is doubtful whether even EU students would be able to find work. Based on this it’s probably best to plan to bring all the money you will need from home.

Visas & immigration

If you’re a non-EU student you will need a student visa to study in Greece. To get a student visa you’d have to provide evidence that you have been granted an unconditional offer of a place at a university, have secured accommodation, have valid international health insurance and can maintain yourself financially for as long as you are in Greece. These are just the basic requirements so it’s best to check with the Greek embassy in your country to find out whether there are additional requirements you have to meet. EU students do not need a student visa.

Things to do when you aren't studying

Greece has so many things to see that you might forget you’re there to study! On days when you emerge from the library you can visit world famous ruins such as the Acropolis in Athens, where there are over 20 ruins to explore, or lesser known attractions such as the Meteora, a collection of monasteries perched at the top of rock pillars. You could go hiking in the Samaria gorge, or hop over to the numerous islands where you can wander around the picturesque villages, have long leisurely lunches, enjoy water sports and go clubbing. Santorini, Mykonos, Crete and Corfu are very popular with tourists and can be crowded in the peak season but there are several other islands that are more secluded if it’s peace and quiet you’re after and have just a much to offer in terms of beauty and interest.

Other European LLM study destinations

Are you interested in studying your Master of Laws program in another European destination? If so we have a great selection of LLM destination study guides, including:

 

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