The public university experience in Greece is inclusive and mostly for everyone. It’s free, and efforts are made so that every student can afford to be in the city where their university is located, no matter what their economical status is. There are free meals for virtually everyone and free housing for low-income students. Also, public university degrees are of higher value, exceeding that of private collages. studying at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
These are my favorite things about Greek universities: they’re inclusive.
Unfortunately, some may argue that their accessibility reduces their quality. Some examples may include: old buildings, overworked personnel, low quality education. Personally, I don’t agree. I think Greek universities are good examples of how free higher education works and should be commonplace all over the world.
As a student, I think that the courses in the Journalism and Media Communications department cover almost the whole spectrum of journalism and communications.
For Communications majors such as myself, the classes available include media management, marketing, economics, advertisement, public relations, data analysis, and more. It’s true that these classes don’t really offer you deep knowledge in these fields. They makes you understand the variety of applications media communications have. The curriculum has made me understand how much I can branch out and how many jobs I can possibly qualify for. For journalism majors, I think things are a bit different, because the classes offer deeper knowledge on the subject.
Relationships with professors are pretty basic.
This makes sense, given that our classes sometimes include as many as 100 people. However, I don’t have any bad experiences with professors, or know anyone who does. Our professors are good at what they do, they’re not unreasonably strict, and they’re (mostly) easy to communicate with (with some exceptions, of course).
Relationships with other students
To be completely honest, even though during the third semester it felt like we started working more with other students and cooperating for projects etc. The Covid situation has really affected that. Online classes for almost two years completely changed any relationship we might have had. I haven’t seen most of my classmates in two years. Many of them have already graduated, some are graduating soon. Long story short: I will never see these people again. We didn’t have many chances to work together either.
Structure of academic year and exams
The first year in our department is more of an introduction to university life-year and 90% of the classes have an exam-based assessment. Professors give lectures throughout the semester and a few weeks before the exams we are given the exam preparation material. It’s a tradition for Greek university students not to study at all during the semester but only for two days before the exam, and professors know too.
Our second year we have to choose a major (journalism or communications). Things get a little more specific there. We have more assignments and papers that are going to define our grade.
Starting from the third year and onwards, most classes are assessed with assignments and papers. Personally, I prefer this way of “examining” because it keeps us busy mostly during the semester and not so much in the end. Also, actively working on projects clearly gives us better and deeper knowledge in whatever we are doing, compared to the studying we do for exams. studying at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
The examination period is in January and February for the winter semester. And mostly in June for the summer one. There’s also the September exam period where you can retake exams for failed classes.
Exams depend entirely on professors. We’ve done multiple choice exams, short answers, long answers, exercises, problem solving. My exams are in two months, and I’m not looking forward to it.
Job possibilities after graduating
I would argue that positions such as media marketer, media manager, social media manager, public relations staff are going to be in high demand. I have never applied for a job in my field. But I often look them up, just so I can have an idea of what is happening. It seems to me that more and more companies and employers are starting to see the value in media work. So more jobs are coming into existence. I would still insist that in order to truly advance in this field you will need to work abroad. When it comes to journalism, it seems to me that it’s a little harder to find a job, especially one you will like. Talent isn’t necessarily rewarded in journalism in Greece (and the rest of the world unfortunately). Personally, I find it very scary to apply to become a journalist in modern day Greece where people are fighting for our right to free press. It seems like we’re going backwards.
Tolerating the differences
To be completely honest, when I hear about Romanians in Greece my mind always goes to tourists. It’s a well known fact that we have so many Romanian tourists every summer, and that they boost our economy. I have worked in tourism and my experience with Romanian tourists is really good.
About accomodation and prices
I think studying in Greece is easy and accessible for Greek people, not foreign students. I would say that the cost of living in Greece is average compared to the rest of Europe. Obviously much cheaper than countries like Germany or Czechia or Spain, but not more than Poland, Romania, Bulgaria. For full time studies, foreign students have to pay so much compared to what Greek students pay.
Why should you choose Thessaloniki
I think Greece offers an alternative university experience, depending on where you’re going, of course. Thessaloniki and Athens offer the big city experience. So, if you want to visit museums and galleries as well as go out and party, they’re the perfect options. Every university has its own charm. I would recommend studies in Greece to people who want to combine their studies with exploring Greek history, discovering its natural beauty (not only beaches but also mountains), sipping on some good wine and tasting some good food.
– Stavroula Mazni, student at Journalism and Media Communications departament, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
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