Expat Essentials

Dispatches’ list of English-language international schools of Athens (and a couple in Thessaloniki)

You are almost spoilt for choice when looking for an English-language international school for your children in Athens. The same cannot be said for other areas of the country, but there are a couple of options here and there.

The costs of these private schools range from about 7,000 – to – 13,000 euros per student per year. Tuition at most private international schools in Greece can be prohibitive for families living on an average local salary. However, the fees are much more reasonable for those who have incomes from abroad, those who work for international or other well-paid firms here or whose children’s educational fees are covered by foreign governments, as is sometimes the case with diplomats on assignment in Greece, for example.

In Athens and the greater Athens area:

American Community Schools of Athens (ACS Athens)

This is a kindergarten through 12th grade school which aims to promote civic engagement and social responsibility among its students. At ACS, educators support a well-rounded mindset with which students will be able to lead a life of real connection and impact.

Outstanding facilities, exceptional teachers and a friendly environment make this well-established educational institution a top choice from generation to generation since it was founded nearly eight
decades ago.

ACSers can receive a U.S. high school diploma, the International Baccalaureate Diploma, certificates for Advanced Placement (AP) courses and a diploma for the unique interdisciplinary ACS Athens Scholar’s Program.

St. Catherine’s British School

From Nursery to Year 13, St. Catherine’s offers a multicultural environment with an emphasis on intellectual growth, problem-solving, creativity and character development. Students have many options for extra-curricular activities, service opportunities and college and career guidance.

Relevant specialists have extensive experience in both U.K. and U.S. admissions.

The school has based its academic program on the National Curriculum of England and Wales for the 5-to–16 year olds and in Years 12 and 13, students work towards the International Baccalaureate diploma.

St. Catherine’s does not take for granted that living in Greece provides many chances for students to study the rich cultural and historical heritage of the country and, to this end, organizes numerous educational excursions.

Byron College

In the early years programs, educators use their observational skills to engage students with various child-led teaching strategies which have been found to be very successful in terms of helping youngsters develop their literacy and numeracy skills as well as their social and emotional maturity.

At the Primary Level (ages 5-11) students are busy with rigorous essential skills programs and a variety of cross-curricular projects. The students’ day to day is supplemented with a variety of extra subjects including Greek, Music, and PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education).

In Years 7-9 students are, in terms of academics, primarily focused on English, Mathematics and Science, while of course also being regularly exposed to various other subjects (such as Geography and Design) which help to cultivate both mind and spirit.

The next two grades (Years 10 and 11) are largely dedicated to studying and sitting for the GCSEs and the IGCSEs and in Years 12 and 13, the emphasis is on ‘depth over breadth’ and learners work towards mastery of their carefully-chosen A-level subjects while still being encouraged to actively participate in school life.

St. Lawrence College

A diverse student body and faculty as well as a focus on British educational principles all define this school. St. Lawrence emphasizes the renowned British system of pastoral care in which the child is seen in a holistic manner, with attention being paid to their emotional and social growth as well as their academic accomplishments.

The students of St. Lawrence receive instruction based on the English National Curriculum and do their IGCSEs at the end of Year 11 and their AS and A-levels in the last two years of senior school (Years 12
and 13).

Campion International School

Campion is known for its exceptionally-skilled and affable teaching staff and the importance they place on pastoral care. Campion has long been appreciated for incorporating the best of the U.K. educational systems with an international twist.

Offering a program of studies and activities based on the UK National Curriculum, GCSEs and IGCSEs, as well as IB courses and exams, Campion has a distinguished academic reputation among its private-school peers.

Campion students go on to excel at colleges and universities all over North America, the E.U. and the U.K. and students carry with them many fond memories of class trips, quirky traditions, mad musicals and an environment in which they felt safe but also challenged to grow.


The school’s uniform and dress code policies are a source of contention for some students and parents, while others thoroughly appreciate this approach.

In Thessaloniki:

Pinewood American International School

This unique educational institution has been around since 1950 and offers its students a U.S. college-preparatory curriculum in an international setting which emphasizes responsibility, integrity, service to others and academic excellence.

Pinewood students receive outstanding college counseling services and are accepted to excellent colleges and universities around the globe, sometimes on full or partial scholarships.

From incredible art projects and drama club performances to environmental actions and initiatives to help stray animals, it is clear that Pinewood students are encouraged to become well-rounded citizens of the world.

Tertiary Education (College/University)

In Athens:


Deree – The American College of Greece (ACG) is located in Agia Paraskevi, a leafy, lovely and lively suburb of Athens which is about 15 minutes from the city center. ACG offers both undergraduate and graduate studies and is partnered with dozens of universities in the U.S., Europe and Asia, which translates into countless opportunities for students to study abroad.

With a student population of just under 5,000, many students say that it is big enough to be interesting but small enough to remain friendly. Deree offers financial aid, is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and is a member of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities.

In Thessaloniki

American College of Thessaloniki (ACT)

ACT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education as well as by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and offers eight Bachelor’s Degree programs (six Bachelor of Science degrees and two Bachelor of Arts degrees), three Master’s Degree programs and several certificate and combined degree programs.

Located in Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece, ACT is a hop, skip and a jump away from both gorgeous seas as well as stunning snow-capped mountains. The city itself has a large student population and real character and charisma.

What with its long and interesting history as well as its architectural and gastronomic gems, this city is a great place for young people.


See more posts about internationals schools here in Dispatches’ archives.

See more from Christine here.

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A Pittsburgher by birth, Christina T. Hudson is also half Greek and has – so far – spent most of her life in Athens, the chaotic but captivating capital city of Greece.

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