University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: human medicine
Study type: Other courses
It all started with a pent-up feeling of frustration- frustration that I still can’t get started with my medical studies. And great uncertainty as to “when”… you ask around, get advice from everyone you can think of (everybody knows better, but nobody really) and scour the internet. I found what I was looking for and an alternative opened up: Riga! Check liuxers.com to see vocational training in Cyprus.
It’s actually unbelievable that there might still be a door open for someone who wholeheartedly wants to become a doctor. But Riga is actually much too far away and unknown. Nevertheless – one wants
leave nothing unattempted. Compared to the requirements of other foreign universities with, for example, additional courses for examinations, the application is definitely feasible. And with even the smallest difficulty, MicroEdu is there to help. So I’m waiting for the result in the summer of 2011 and don’t know whether I should be happy or not when I hold the confirmation in my hands. Everything still seems far too unreal and yet I know that Riga offers the only chance to start studying medicine next semester. I accept. And
say goodbye to my homeland with mixed feelings.
The first week in Riga is exciting and you are overwhelmed by all the people you get to know, the foreign city that you have not yet been able to explore, it seems so full of contrasts, the language, or rather the languages… because not only Latvian is spoken there, or German.
But of course also Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Russian, Dutch and, for everyone, English. It’s a good thing that there are nicely organized campaigns and excursions from the university that still support the community and getting to know each other. And then the university starts.
Lectures, seminars – no different than in Germany. However, in contrast to Germany, there are small groups in which the courses are completed. With nine, ten or eleven people, you can take part in the course in a completely different way, have a more personal relationship with the professors and always have the support of the group. That is a big help. Whether it’s about learning, organizational or human. A feeling of “we can do this together” is much more likely to arise in a small association that is familiar than it would be if this privilege of the small group did not exist. A sense of competition is rather rare here. After all, we’re all in the same boat, we’ve all found ourselves in a situation that brought us to Riga.
Into the self-chosen and really quite acceptable NC exile. At the beginning, subjects such as anatomy, chemistry, physics and molecular biology are at the top of the plan for the first semester. However, subjects such as Latin, ethics and Latvian are also on the program and even if the balance in the distribution of hours may sometimes seem strange – Latvian is important. It is true that many young Latvians can speak English quite well and often also German (it should not be forgotten that we are often understood while we feel abroad), but if you are interested in the country and its people and the circle of the fringe group “Internationale Medical students” wants to break through, knowledge of the language is of course almost a requirement. However, teachers understand.
Regarding the subjects: what is still relatively relaxed in the first semester is probably intended as an introduction. From the second semester things really get going – nothing to do with lazy student life. This is a medical school. Weekly tests, colloquia, exams – the university pushes you to study regularly. A great advantage for many who are too relaxed, since the nasty surprise can not only come after two years. In my opinion, the poor distribution in Germany is divided up over the semesters in a “bite” manner. Despite the difference, there have not been any problems with the recognition of the physics degree in Germany. However, it remains the task of the students to keep an eye on this and to compare the courses on offer. There are currently two subjects for which additional courses must be booked, which the university is willing to provide. Of course, these courses have to be paid for additionally.
So after the first exciting phase is behind you after two to three weeks, the question of finding an apartment is very big for most people. There are beautiful apartments in Riga. One is amazed at the pretty 4 walls in which many a fellow student has found their new home. Stucco on the ceiling, large rooms with high ceilings, a fireplace… this is not uncommon. However, this also has its price, even if that would probably be unthinkable for a student in Germany. And it’s all too easy to forget that the Latvian winter is a sly old dog. The heating time is long and the oil is expensive. So one should be realistic and foresighted. And also be a little more careful than usual so that you don’t pay too much in the first place, because of course the international students are already well known to the landlords and brokers. However, after a short or somewhat longer search, everyone has found a comfortable home. A new home. Riga, the opportunity to study medicine and get closer to your dream career.
In addition, a city that is so full of contrasts and exciting, with its proximity to the Baltic Sea with its white beaches, a beautiful old town and a cult center where more and more beautiful coffee’s can be found. A city that is developing and attracting so many different people. This is a perfectly acceptable alternative to the university situation in Germany. And you are welcome.