Why should I be living in Greece? How much can I earn in Greece? Is it possible to live in Greece without speaking the language? What are the pros and cons of living in this country? All these questions and more will be answered below.
Moving to Greece: the experience of a Mexican
- Basic information: My name is Rafa and I’m 31 years old
- Where are you from? I’m from Mexico
- Where do you live and what’s your occupation? I live in beautiful Athens. At the moment I work for an air cargo company and I recently opened a platform to help travelers and tourists who want to travel or live in Greece, itsallaboutgreece.com
- Why did you choose Greece to live? It’s a good anecdote (by the way, “anecdote” is a Greek word). I was offered a four-month employment contract in Athens (I had already been there on holiday), so I decided to give it a chance (arriving here in summer to enjoy the beach and the many islands was the best idea ever and that let me appreciate this country more). So, without realizing it, I’ve been living here for over four years. I call it the “Greek dream”.
Procedures for living and working in Greece
Renting a flat and finding a job is the easiest thing. However, since I’m Mexican and I don’t have European residence, I had to apply for a work visa. The visa process to live in the country was very fast (it took a week) as I already had a contract of employment (without a contract is somewhat more tedious).
Jobs in Greece for expats
The jobs with the greatest offer for expats are usually customer service jobs in call centers. They usually look for natives of several languages with a good knowledge of English.
In high season, you can find many offers regarding the world of tourism (both in Athens and on the islands) such as in hospitality or working as a guide in your native language.
Here are the most used pages to look for a job in Greece:
Wages and cost of living in Greece
- What differences can you tell us about working in Greece compared to Mexico? Greece is a riddle. The minimum wage is 758.3 euros per month (according to Countryeconomy) but as a foreigner (speaking English and another language ) you can find well-paid jobs for more than 1000 euros per month.
- PROS of living in Greece: on one hand, it is still easy to find cheap rentals (compared to other European capitals) and transportation is really cheap (taxi travel too). On the other hand, there is a lot of protection towards the employee: in general, overtime, religious holidays and non-working days are respected.
- CONS: In Greece VAT is 24% and that makes supermarket food expensive. Health services aren’t so great, so, if you get sick and go to the hospital, you’ll probably lose a lot of time before being attended.
Is it possible to live in Greece without speaking Greek?
More than 58% of the population speaks English (21st country in the world according to ef.com‘s English proficiency index) and very well by the way, so it’s easy to live in the country without knowing Greek. Also Greeks speak other languages and I have met many of them who also spoke Spanish. Later I started studying Greek, so I know the basics and the minimum to go on vacation, greet the neighbors and talk at work.
Recommendations and tips before moving to Greece
- Would you recommend this country to live in? Without a doubt. In my opinion Greece must be in your TOP 5 countries to live in. I frequently see freelancers, digital nomads and other types of workers coming to Greece in search of work and opportunities (even only for summer).
- Do you plan to live there for a long period? Yes I do. There are plenty of reasons: I only know 15 of the 300+ islands that Greece has, there are beaches, mountains, rivers, waterfalls and a thousand other things worth discovering.
- And for anyone who’d like to move to Greece, any particular advice or tip? Come with an open mind, without prejudice. You don’t have to come up with the idea of finding “museum cities” like Paris, Madrid or Barcelona, but that’s the charm. Get used to dirty streets, but also gentle people willing to help and enjoy life. The best advice I can give to live a full Greek experience could be summed up by the phrase: “You cannot judge Greece and its people if you have never gone to a party with a local and if you have never drunk Raki and Greek wine until dawn.”
Project for Greece’s enthusiasts
Finally, could you tell us what your next projects and/or destinations will be? I want to focus on helping other travelers and improving the travel platform I mentioned to you above. The idea of the platform is easy, I want to show travelers that traveling to Greece (both as a tourist for a day and to stay a long season to live) can be spectacular. Or at least that’s what happened to me.
If you’d like to move to a cheap country but Greece hasn’t convinced you, take a look at this post.
Interview conducted in December 2020 with @navarreterafa