International Education in Athens
Greece has known the importance of education for thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks considered schooling so important that they ‘democratized’ it all the way back in the 5th century BC. Nowadays the country, and its capital Athens in particular, is still home to many world-class international schools.
Greece has just emerged from a rough decade of economic hardship during which many of its expats left for pastures new. Things have turned a corner however, and expats are slowly but surely returning. So where do things stand with international schools?
Demand for international schools in Athens is steady, but still remains lower than it was some years ago. While the capital city has plenty of choice, it’s more of a challenge to find an international school elsewhere in Greece. Outside of Thessaloniki, Larissa or Heraklion, it’s almost impossible.
Greeks consider private or international education superior to the country’s public school system. In fact, Greece has one of the highest private school attendance figures in Europe. So you’ll find plenty of local children in Athens’ international schools.
A few international schools in the city were established over a century ago, while some are newer. The older schools tend to be more traditional and are sometimes perceived as more ‘prestigious’, while the newer ones take a modern, global approach to learning. A handful of international schools are run by Christian religious foundations.
Most international schools in Athens are located in the north east of the city in areas such as Gerakas, Agia Paraskevi, Nea Erythrea or Chalandri. A small number of schools can be found closer to the sea along the city’s southern outskirts.
Most schools cater for children from kindergarten age right up until age 18. The IB and British curricula dominate in Athens’ international schools, but that doesn’t mean others can’t be found. The choice is actually quite diverse, although it does tend to be Europe-centric.
Greek is taught as an additional language in most international schools in Athens, with English being the primary language of instruction. Schools that follow a less popular curriculum such as German or French will teach through those languages respectively. A number of schools also offer the Greek national curriculum to cater for the large number of local students.
You can expect much of the same facilities and features in Athens’ international schools as the rest of Europe. These may include school bus services, extra curricular activities, and small class sizes. Native English-speaking teachers, while not ubiquitous, are still a relatively common feature of international schools here.
The school calendar and a typical school day in an international school in Athens will also be similar to the rest of the world. Lessons start around 9am and finish up by 3.30 or 4.00pm. After lessons, extra curricular activities take place. The school day is usually shorter for younger students.
Below, we have compiled our top 5 international schools in Athens. However, there are another 14 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in Athens based on your requirements.