University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: human medicine
Study type: Other courses
My name is Laura Iven, I’m 21 years old and I’ve been studying at Riga Stradins University since September 2008. Check liuxers.com to see France higher education.
The idea of applying to RSU came to me more by accident. I searched the internet for a way to study medicine abroad and that’s how I came across the university’s homepage. The university’s website made a really good impression on me and I decided to just apply at random.
Unfortunately, it was a bit difficult to find reviews or similar on the internet or even to organize an apartment or similar, so I flew to Riga with a queasy feeling in my stomach.
But I worried unnecessarily, the apartment was found quickly and the university is there to help and offer a little help here and there.
At first I lived in a rented apartment with some fellow students, but now I live in the Hotel Riga, which has an entire floor set up just for students. Living there is not exactly cheap, but the location, in the center of Riga, makes up for it.
My very first impression was a bit cautious about the university, about the country of Latvia and about the population, since everything was a bit strange and I didn’t understand anything or anyone around me, but that also faded after a while.
It’s still a pity that you often meet people who speak little or no English.
Riga as a city has two faces in my opinion; in winter it is really cold, it has snowed a lot and one would prefer not to leave the house at all. The few hours of sunshine can really get to you. Summer, on the other hand, is really nice. The city looks very different, bustling with tourists and offering plenty of places to go with outdoor cafes and bars. In general, Riga offers many opportunities in terms of nightlife.
The cost of living is generally comparable to Germany, some things are the same price but also more expensive. A not-so-nice aspect of the city are the begging and drunken people who are often to be found, and from them you can see that poverty is an issue in Latvia.
When I saw the university for the first time, I was less enthusiastic. The university seemed small to me, not exactly modern and rather a bit dark, but basically you don’t really notice it later and you settle in over time.
Basically, the university is well equipped with everything that is important for studying, such as microscopes, computers and anatomical models.
In the rather small library, students have access to the internet and reading material.
Books for the individual subjects are also provided, although it is sometimes very useful to buy additional books yourself. If you have had physics, chemistry or Latin before, but maybe have a gap, you don’t have to worry, you’ll get along well.
There is good contact among the students, it is interesting to study alongside students from other countries and in the end everyone is in the same boat and working their way through their medical studies. We are mainly students from Sweden, Norway and Germany. But Finnish, Indian and British students also study here.
I like the university itself. I find the small learning groups in which you have lessons particularly advantageous, as this means that the support of the professors is much more individual and the contact and communication between students and professors is also closer.
Another advantage are the weekly tests that are written in subjects such as anatomy and biology, the tests require continuous learning, which is then an advantage for the final exams. Subjects such as philosophy, critical thinking or the like seem superfluous at first and require a lot of extra work, but they are actually quite interesting and are something different than the usual scientific subjects. The subjects taught also include Latvian. There are Latvian lessons in all semesters. The language is not easy, but little by little it helps to get by in everyday life.
All in all I liked Riga Stradins University, it’s something very different to study in a rather unknown country.