Griechenlands beste Abiturientin, Alexia Papaioannou, geht nach Deutschland - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Brain drain: Greece's best high school graduate goes to Germany
Reports from Athens Georgios Christidis
She's the best of their country, the pride of Greece: Alexia Papaioannou could study at any university in their home country. But the 17-year-old says: I am studying in Germany. It is so many Greeks as a traitor.
Students wishing to study in Greece, can not relax during the summer weeks. The applications for the universities are on and with them the prospect of disappointment and frustration, the lowest number of places to get hold of their choice, and certainly not at the prestigious law and medical faculties. And despite the fact that young people are fighting like lions.
Alexia, 17, from Athens has this worry not - the best university, the most coveted trade, they could choose anything. At the university entrance tests they took the most points throughout the country, an exceptionally excellent result. But Alexia has other plans: they want to study in Germany in Heidelberg and Munich.
In Greece Alexia's decision makes an outcry. Newspapers report about the young woman, commentators discuss their future plans. In the economic plight of the best and brightest minds leave the country and go to the almighty Germans calculated - it seems the public.
"The Last Banana Republic Europe"
"The best of the best students migrated from" headlines "Kathimerini", the largest conservative newspaper. And in the article it says, "Alexia's decision is painful." The online edition of the largest Sunday newspaper in the country "Proto Thema" also wrote "Greece's best candidate in the university entrance test will emigrate to Germany." The readers are equally applied, "What's next, a job at the IMF ? (International Monetary Fund), "said someone. Others show understanding: "You made the right decision there is no reason to stay in the last banana republic in Europe.."
The stress and the results of the university entrance tests every single time a major event in Greece . The Alexia knew. Also, that the best is always made a big hype. But that their decision to make a splash so much, her picture emblazoned on the papers, they would be requested for TV shows, so they had not expected. "To be honest, I was totally surprised by all the media attention," she told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "My friends are quite funny and overwhelm me with phone calls, text messages and e-mails." But you can laugh at all the fuss. "I have a lot of people spend a lot of drinks," she says.
Alexia in Germany now wants to study law, a DAAD scholarship it has already in the bag. As a lawyer, it would not work but later: "I do not see myself as a lawyer," she says. "I want to be a journalist." Their decision to study in Germany is not only the bleak prospects for young people in their homeland due, the unemployment rate is 60 percent.
Many Greeks emigrate - the boys flee almost
"I love Germany, I have many friends there," she says. "I already speak German, I visited a private German school, and I'm looking forward to living and studying abroad." Still, she admits, have contributed to the economic crisis in their homeland and to their decision. "Until last year, I have tended to stay in Greece., But during the final year, I have changed my decision. Like most people my age I'm worried because of the crisis and what it means for our future."
Alexia is an only child. Her father works in the banking sector, her mother is a teacher. Her parents encouraged her to listen to her feelings and her heart desires, she says. "I'll miss my parents and Greece. And of course they will miss me., But I want to dramatize not. I'll be able to come here often, and Skype, there is always anyway."
Alexia will therefore soon join the group of thousands of young Greek students who have left their country.50,000 Greeks study according to OECD abroad - in relation to population size, they make up the largest group of international students in the OECD. 7,000 of them, according to one estimate, are enrolled at German universities. And German courses are booming in Greece - no wonder: 34,000 Greeks emigrated to Germany in 2012 according to the OECD, which are 70 per cent more than last year.
Previously only went who had not made it home
Before the crisis, young people usually went abroad to study only if they had not made it to a Greek university. Now, many see no more options at home, a study abroad is to the ticket to a better life. Many parents encourage their children even to leave the country altogether. But Alexia wants to come back. "I'm not sure when, but I want to return to my home country and do what I can," she says.
Now it runs only once with a group of friends on vacation. Island hopping they want to do. In Greece.