FAQ

Upon arrival

Living in Athens

The Athens Centre

How do I contact the Athens Centre?
By e-mail: info@athenscentre,gr
By phone: +30 210 701-2268, fax +30 210 701-8603
Mailing address: Archimidous 48, 11636 Athens Greece
For cab in Greek: Archimidous saranda okto, Pangrati


Are there any visa requirements for Greece?
There are no visa requirements for the EU residents.
U.S, Canadian and other nationals from countries with visa-free agreements with Greece, they do not need a visa if they stay for less than 90 days. To extend a 90-day stay in Greece or any Schengen country, a student visa from the Greek Embassy or Consulate in your home country must be obtained prior to leaving. A list of the major Greek Embassies and Consulates can be found at http://www.minpress.gr/minpress/en/index/ministry/min_abroad.htm. For more information about the Schengen visa application, you can visit the following page at http://www.eurovisa.info/.
The visa process may take some time depending on the country of origin, so please allow yourself some time before you arrive in Greece.

Please find below a list of the proper documents that you have to gather in your native country:
– Copy of your passport
– Six passport size photographs
– Health certificate from a state hospital
– International Health insurance
– Criminal Record
(For U.S.A. students, an FBI background check is required. Directions for obtaining a Federal Bureau of Investigation Identification Record can be found on the following website: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/background-checks/background_checks)
– Bank Transaction of the tuition payment
– The acceptance letter from the Athens Centre
– 200 euros fee required by the Greek Authroties

The visa application requirements are different for each country, therefore you should always contact the Greek Embassy in your country to get the most accurate and updated information. The Athens Centre will be happy to assist you with the visa procedure, so please contact Olympia Kapatou at okappatou@athenscentre.gr

NOTE: This information is designed to guide students applying for their student visa – The Athens Centre is not responsible for any changes in documents required, and procedure changes. For that purpose in any case, you should contact your local or nearest Greek Diplomatic Mission to verify the above information.


Do you provide housing in Athens?  How far is it from the Athens Centre?

The Athens Centre advises participants where and how to find housing. In the neighborhood there are small self-contained, simply furnished studio apartments with kitchenettes and bathroon available for short lets; sheets and cooking facilities provided. Bigger apartments are also available. They are all located five minutes walk from the Centre. Most apartments are air-conditioned. No land line phones or wifi connection, but cell phones and USB connections are available to purchase

Moderately priced hotels are located about 20 minutes walk from the school.

Information can be sent upon request, so please contact us at athenscentre@ath.forthnet.gr or via our website at http://athenscentre.gr/?page_id=5


What about health and medical care? What about prescriptions?
You should feel perfectly safe to eat and drink everything and the tap water is safe.
The Athens Centre recommends that all visitors have medical and travel insurance. There is good public and private medical care in Athens and you will be able to find an English-speaking docotr easily.
Medical facilities on the Greek island is frequently inadequate. Avoid renting motorbikes.

If you need a particular medication, it is best to bring a sufficient supply with you. Though most medications are available at affordable prices in Greece, they may not always be in the same dosage or under the same name. It is advisable to bring a copy of any prescription you may need, in case of emergency.


Can I call out of Greece with my mobile phone?
There is no problem calling out of Greece with a cell phone.


Is English spoken in Greece?
Many Greek people speak good English, and most speak at least some English.
Lecturers and administrative staff at the Athens Centre are multilingual.  All of them speak English, and most speak French as well, with some people also speaking German, Italian or Spanish. Announcements, social activities, events, internal publications etc. are all communicated and realized in English


What is the weather like?
April through November is warm but generally pleasant, with a some heat waves possible in July and August. The climate is generally very dry, not humid, so higher temperatures do not feel as uncomfortable as in more humid places. The summer prevailing north winds help to keep the temperatures comfortable.

June/July can be very hot, especially in the mid-day sun, so Athens Centre classrooms are air-conditioned.
November to March can be cold with some rain and clouds, but many days are sunny and warm enough to be comfortable with a light winter coat.


Is it safe in Greece?
Greece is a very safe country for visitors and travelers. There is little violent crime, and participants in the Athens Centre programs have always felt very safe here.


Which credit cards are used in Greece?
Most major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shops, travel agencies and restaurants. Stickers in the front window will advice you as to which cards are acceptable.


Can I cash personal checks or travelers checks?
Personal checks take some time to cash. Getting cash through widely available ATM machines is preferable. Some banks will change travelers checks, but they are not commonly used any more.


Where can I receive mail? Phone/Fax / e-mail messages?
Letters can be addressed to:
The Athens Centre
48 Archimidous Street
Athens 116 36
Greece

Phone: (+30) 210 701 2268 and (+30) 210 7015242
Fax: (+30) 210 7018603
Mobile Emergency: (24hr) (+30) 6932 269 010
email: info@athenscentre.gr


Do I need public transport?
Apartments are located five minute walk from the Athens Centre.
Downtown Athens, Plaka, Syntagma, are also within walking distance.
Taxis are always available. A new Metro system links Omonia, Syntagma Square, the Megaron Concert Hall and Pireaus. There are also tram and bus lines linking the Athens Centre area of Mets/Pangrati with all other areas of Athens.


What electricity current is there in Greece? Do I need a transformer/plugs?
Greek electric current is 220 Volts, as is generally the case in all of Europe.  US appliances, which work on 110 volt current, need a transformer and an adapter plug.
European appliances need only an adapter plug, which are widely available in Greece.


Where can I get information on travel in Greece?
The Athens Centre staff will be pleased to advise you about travel plans.


Where can I find useful information?


Can I change course levels or times after I register?
Yes, if a class or level is unsuitable for any reason, a change to another course or level is not a problem, provided such course or level is available.


Can I get a refund ?
Greek language programs: Full refunds are given if cancellation occurs before a course starts. A credit for uncompleted hours of a course is given if cancellation occurs after the course begins.
Housing: A deposit of 250 Euros is not refunded, but can be transferred to other dates.
University Programs: Check with each university for their refund policy.

What happens if a class is cancelled?
If a class in cancelled for lack of registrations, private lessons can be arranged for students who wish so. These arrangements are made by the student with the instructor. Private lessons for a full course consist of 30 hours of class time. Tuition fees remain the same.


How can I pay Athens Centre fees? 
Cash, bank transfers and Paypal are the usual forms of payment.


Are there computers and internet available at the Athens Centre?
The Centre has a computer centre open to all program participants. The Centre also has free WI-FI access, which covers classrooms and the courtyard, so students  are encouraged to bring their own laptops to use Skype, email, etc.


Are the University Programs accredited?
Each university/college accredits its own program.


Are they any hidden expenses?
Expenses as per program listing. Books for Greek language must be purchased separately, at a cost of about 35 Euros.


Who are the other students?
Greek language program participants are of all nationalities, with age ranges from 18-70. Any particular class might have participants from many countries, and might include university students, professional people, spouses of people assigned to Greece from embassies or businesses, EU translators, people with some family ties to Greece, and those who simply love the country and want to learn the language. Non-Traditional students and life-long learners are also welcome in the Athens Centre programs.