Erasmus Orientation 8.2.2021 - Rector's welcoming address

With great pleasure I welcome today a hundred and twenty four (124) students from sixty seven (67) Universities and forty eight (48) countries worldwide! The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens is the oldest higher education institution in Greece and the first University of the Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean area and its foundation dates back to eighteen thirty seven (1837).

The University of Athens has been recently included in the top 200 Universities of the world by Webometrics. 

We are happy and honored that you have selected to study at our University and be among seven thousand six hundred (7,600) currently registered graduate or postgraduate international students. For this semester, despite the pandemic which has inevitably restricted student exchange, incoming students originate, not only from seventeen European countries, but also from United States, Russian Federation, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Myanmar, Georgia, Bolivia, and in the framework of our international bilateral cooperation agreements and the Erasmus Mundus program.

Our University shares a long-term strategy on education, research and innovation with its partner Universities under the CIVIS pilot project; we anticipate to increase student mobility by 10% in two years and by 50% in five years, strengthen the strategic partnerships of European universities, and increase the international competitiveness of European higher education. For this semester, we welcome seventeen students from our CIVIS partners.

This year you will be privileged to study in Greece, because we celebrate with a series of events in our University, the 200 years since the outbreak of the Greek Revolution of eighteen twenty one (1821) and the War of Independence. You and your friend are invited to participate.

Internationalization has been a cornerstone goal of the strategic plan of our University. Today, internationalization is perhaps more important than ever. The challenges we face cannot be solved by one person or one nation alone, but we need to stand together. Especially these past few months, the coronavirus epidemic has been a powerful reminder of just how connected we are to one another—and how our choices today determine our options tomorrow.

I take this opportunity to announce that from this academic year we offer the new “BA Program in the Archaeology, History, and Literature of Ancient Greece”, which is the first undergraduate program at a Greek University, with all of its courses taught in English, and is addressed to international students exclusively. It is a four-year program that combines the disciplines of archaeology, ancient history and ancient Greek literature. We are also about to announce a new English program in Medicine, especially for international students.

Dear All,

Your joining our University comes with a lot of expectations on your part, your parents, colleagues and lecturers.  All of us want to see you succeed in your studies.  I encourage you to enrich yours and other students' experience. Be on the lookout for new knowledge and everything that a foreign, historical University and a cultural city have to offer. It may be demanding to live in a foreign country, study there, and get to know a new culture. But when you actively participate to our academic community, you will meet new people, learn something that no book or professor can teach you and also improve your language skills.

These are personal experiences you will keep for the rest of your life. But it is not only youthat will benefit from them:  when you go back to your University, after your studies in Athens, you will bring a whole new set of experiences and perspectives to your fellow students, your teachers and your friends. I also encourage you all, at the end of your studies, to give us your opinion as to what inspired you, what works well, and what could have been better.

Thank you for selecting our University for your studies and welcome to our country!