With average monthly salaries for EFL teachers in Greece around €800-1000 (US$1,032-1,291), you’ll be glad to know that the cost of living in Greece is relatively low, depending on your lifestyle. The average Greek spends just €60-80 (US$77-103) per month on groceries. If you can adjust to a Greek diet – which includes a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood and lamb – do your shopping in the local supermarkets, and cook your own meals, you will save a lot of money.
Locally grown fruit and vegetables are especially cheap, when in season, but imported and processed foods, on the other hand, can be quite expensive. Food prices also depend on where you live. The cost of living is higher in Athens and tourist resorts such as Mykonos and Rhodes, than in other mainland towns and cities.
Many schools in Greece offer free accommodation to their employees. These apartments, though small, will generally include some basic furnishings, a cooker, a fridge and a bed. You will be expected to pay for utilities and provide such things as a telephone and bedding. This is a huge bonus and will have a major impact on your disposable income, and should therefore be a prime consideration when comparing job offers. If you have to find you own accommodation, it’s possible that you might be able to negotiate a slightly higher salary. However, a small, poorly furnished single room apartment is likely to cost €500 (US$646) per month, excluding utilities.
You will not be liable for income tax, but you are required to make National Insurance contributions of 15.89% on your gross salary. Your employer contributes a further 27.97% on your behalf. This includes a fully paid-up pension and is transferrable to any other EU state.
Most contracts include two weeks holiday at Christmas and Easter. For these periods, it usual to expect holiday pay equivalent to one-third of your monthly salary.
Public transportation is very cheap. Both regular buses and the electric trolley buses can be ridden for up to 90 minutes on a single ticket costing just €1 (US$1.30). In this way, you can connect to other buses (and even the tram and metro system in Athens) for price of one ticket, as long as all journeys are completed within that 90 minute period. In Athens, you can also buy a one-month pass for the bus and trolley system, costing €15 (US$19), or a similar pass for the entire transportation network costing costing €35 (US$45).
A cup of coffee would cost €1.50 (US$1.90) in a local cafe, or €3.50 (US$4.50) in cities or resorts. A beer would be €1.50-4.00 (US$1.90-5.10), depending on the location. A movie theater ticket costs €7 (US$9), and a meal, including wine, will be €10-12 (US$13-15.50) at a local taverna. Utilities are likely to cost €50-80 (US$65-103) per month, depending on whether, and how much you use an air conditioner. Telephone line rental will amount to €10.50 (US$13.60) + 19% VAT per month; local calls are €0.026 (US$0.034) per minute.
A general overview of what to expect teaching English in Greece
Information on visa requirements to teach English in Greece
TESOL Greece An independent, non-profit association of EFL teachers in Greece.
TESOL MACEDONIA-THRACE An independent, non-profit association of EFL teachers working in northern Greece.
Greek National Tourism Association (Travel guide)