There has been a significant increase in the number of American university students visiting Greece for study abroad programs, according to the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, a State Department-funded portal that tracks the movements of U.S. students and scholars abroad.
The Open Doors report said that 4,351 Americans studied in Greece during the 2016/17 academic year, a 21.1 per cent increase from the previous academic year when 3,592 American students visited Greece.
Overall, numbers grew by 2.3 percent to 332,727 Americans studying abroad for academic credit at their home institutions in 2016/17.
Approximately one in 10 U.S. students study abroad during their undergraduate career, according to the report.
Playing an important role in Greece becoming a top destination for students are the quality study abroad programs available to American students. U.S.-accredited institutions of higher learning exist both in Athens, as well as Thessaloniki in northern Greece.
The Hellenic American University in central Athens hosts about 200 American students throughout its academic year from a diverse range of colleges and universities throughout the United States.
“American students add to the diverse fabric of our institution and are a critical part of the overall experience on our campus,” said Leonidas Koskos, President of HAU, who has made increasing the applications of U.S. students a priority at his institution.
Other schools like The American College of Greece, also in Athens and the American College of Thessaloniki also have vibrant study abroad programs.
From the United States side, study abroad is also becoming popular with many Greek American organizations.
The Greek America Foundation was a pioneer in offering “Semester in Athens” scholarships to American and Canadian university students, covering the cost of 15 credits of study and integrating North American students into Greek university life.
The organization gave its first full-semester grants in 2007 and has since sent dozens of students to Greece. The scholarships continue today in collaboration with the Hellenic American University, where students can take up to 15 credits of classes and transfer the credits back to their home institution.
Other organizations like AHEPA have been running a successful “Journey to Greece” summer program since the 1970s that includes some academic credit for students who participate in an extensive study travel experience.
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