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Banking & Budgeting

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Participants will not be able to open a bank account while in Greece. We recommend that participants use their ATM/debit cards to withdraw money. There are plenty of ATMs throughout Thessaloniki that accept US ATM cards and charge a minimal fee, though this does not include the fee that the student's bank might charge.

Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards in Greece. Participants should notify their bank and creditors that they will be studying in Thessaloniki prior to their arrival to ensure that the bank does not enact fraud procedures and deactivate or lock the student's bank cards. Credit cards should be used wisely though, as foreign transaction fees can add up quickly. 

Please keep in mind that Greece is primarily a cash economy. This means that credit and debit cards are not as widely accepted as they are in the United States. People will typically pay for purchases with cash and many vendors may not accept any other forms of payment. We recommend that participants conduct research prior to departure to better understand how their bank cards will work abroad.

Budgeting While Abroad

Participants should expect to spend approximately $250-380 on textbooks, which can be purchased from ACT’s campus bookstore upon arrival in Greece. The majority of previous Greece participants report that they stuck to a budget of $75-$150 per week. In our most recent survey (2014 participants), 81% spent less than $300 USD on groceries per week, 47% spent between $10-29 USD on public transportation/taxis per month, and 44% spent less than $300 USD on social activities per month (percentages reported represent the majority of respondents). Breakfast and dinner, seven days per week, are included in the program costs. Below are a few examples of everyday items and activities and their approximate cost in US dollars, as well as a budget comparison:

Loaf of Bread $1.00 - $2.00
1 Liter of Milk $1.00 - $2.00
Large Pizza $14.00 - $16.00
Take-out Meal $6.00 - $8.00
Movie Ticket $9.00 - $11.00
Average Monthly Budget Abroad $500 - $700
Average Monthly Budget Boston $200 - $300

For current conversion rates please click here.

Tips for Spending & Budgeting:

  • Plan a budget ahead of time and stick to it!
  • Take advantage of low-cost or free activities. staff plans activities every week!
  • Monitor your bank accounts closely to ensure that they reflect your records
  • Make copies of your credit and debit cards and give them to your parents to keep in a safe place
  • Do not carry any more cash than what is necessary for that day
  • Shop for groceries at local farmers markets 

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