Hi...my husband is Greek and we are considering moving over to Athens. Our children are not yet at school. At present we live in the UK and I get loads of support from Grandparents which I'm really going to miss.I would love to make contact with otherr english speaking mums who can give me a bit of much needed advice. How is life there? What about social life, things for the kiddies to do? Should we send the children to Greek state or private school (they are bilingual)? Toddler groups? Good areas to live in? Hoping someone will answer me! Thanks, Tan
Tan, I worked outside of Athens some years ago, and all the support team were Brits / Canadians married to Greeks - all spoke both languages, all had children and a great life. Although I am not in touch with them now, I know there is a great mixed expat life there. I will speak to my contacts here - they are multi-cultural Greeks with children in private English school here (no Greek school) as they are researching the pros and cons of schooling if they return. Plus I have friends who worked in one of the many International schools there. But you could find your minds made up for you i.e. proximity to school / jobs etc. I will post you some more info as I find it, also check out the British / American Ladies groups as they usually run mums and tots groups.
I'm American, married to a Greek, and have been living in Athens for nearly 10 years. We also have two small children. I would say that your lifestyle will depend on the work your husband and/or you find over here. The only thing that is inexpensive compared to the USA is property. EVERYTHING else is very expensive, and if you are on a Greek salary, the property is also very expensive. My wages are 1/4 of what I was making in California over 10 years ago. So, as anywhere, the more money you have, the better your standard of living. The nicer areas in Athens are the northern (Kifissia, Nea Erythrea, Politia, Ekali, etc.) and eastern (Glyfada, Vouliagmenis, Voula, etc.) suburbs. This is also where you will find the largest foreign population, as well as the better schools. There are quite a few very good private schools (English, American and Greek) but they are expensive and depending on where you live, your children will have to ride the bus a long distance. If you live in a good area, however, the public schools can be excellent. We live in Nea Erythrea (northern suburb of Athens) and my 3 year old son attends a public daycare. We pay 60 Euros a month, and the facilities far surpass any private daycare that I looked into (which ranged between 280 and 500 Euros a month). And all of the public schools in our district have excellent reputations. As far as activities for kids, there is no comparison here with the US, but there are things to do if you search them out. I sound negative, but the one MAJOR POSITIVE that can outweigh the numerous negatives is the issue of safety. The crime rate is low, the kids don't have gang and drug problems on the level that they have in the States and the Greek family unit is so tightly knit that the children are brought up surrounded by a sort of familial buffer. That's worth it all to me.
If you want to know anything else, just ask. I'd be happy to help and provide any more specific information you need.
Hi. Thankyou so much for taking the time to answer my plea for help! It was interesting to hear about the public schools.If you don't mind me asking, what do you intend to do when your little boy reaches school age? Will he go to a private or a public school? I am sure that the private schools are very good, but I have several concerns about them, the main one being that a lot of the children will only stay for a year or two before they move on (this seems to be the nature of international schools) . Another is the cost. I'm wondering if it would be better to send the children to a Greek school as we intend to move to Greece permanently.It would be easier for them to integrate into Greek society and maybe they would be happier in the long run..? I'm a Primary teacher myself and so was hoping to give my children help with their schoolwork etc. This would not be possible if I sent them to Greek school. I'm actually not a fan of the Greek schooling system, but children seem to end up being well educated with no lack of qualifications. It's really all the extra frontistiria lessons that Greek children appear to need and the rote learning that worries me. The salaries in Greece are a worry, as they don't seem to match up to the cost of living in the Athens area.We're working on that! When you say there are things to do if you search them out, could you give me some examples?? Thanks again for your time, and hope to hear from you again soon. Tan [email protected]
We are considering the move from NYcity to be near family and a safer environment for our 3 year old. How is it going so far anyone???? I'm scared as I speak little Greek and my son also. Hubby is from Salonika.
I'm also an American married to a Greek (born in Greece) - we don't have any children. We live in the US (he's been here since 1991) and all my husband's family lives in Greece about 40 miles south of Athens. We are considering moving to Greece but are concerned about what we need to do on this end before the move and what types of permits, etc. are needed to live in Greece. My husband would need to work theire but I probably wouldn't (retiring). I don't speak Greek - do you know of any Groups for Americans living in Greece? What do you do about health insurance? That's a big issue. Thanks for any help you could give.
I am considering moving the Athens with my little boy. Looking for advice on schools etc. should I send her to a Greek school or English speaking. What are the best areas to move to. I am a single mother and looking to also speak to single mothers in the same situation as me. Thank you