University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: human medicine
Study type: Other courses
I have been studying human medicine at the Rigas Stradina Universitate in Riga/Latvia since the 2011/12 winter semester.
On August 29, 2011 I arrived at Lidosta Riga with AirBaltic. I was greeted with fantastic weather and welcomed by the university staff directly at the airport and taken to my hotel in a taxi. On my way to the hotel, the first thing I noticed were the modern Trolli buses, which drive electrically and, together with the somewhat old-fashioned trams and normal buses, shape the cityscape. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see what is the average GMAT test score in Mexico.
The silent taxi driver (his English was probably just as bad as my Latvian : ) ) lets me out in front of a magnificent hotel and I can’t believe my eyes. This is supposed to be the Green Apple?! Wow, I’m just thinking, that’s a good start. With a flight of steps and plenty of gold. But at the reception comes the disillusionment. The Green Apple, I am asked with a frown, has the entrance around the corner. So whistling, I drag my 30kg suitcase around the corner and into the small, somewhat narrow stairwell of the Green Apple. Ok, reception on the third floor, 30kg suitcase, no elevator?! Great! But no one despairs that easily. So I drag my suitcase up to the 2nd floor, then free the rest with my bag, hoping my room could be on the 2nd floor : )
At the reception, I first pay my monthly rent of 195€, then I get my room key, and of course the jackpot: 4th floor! But that would be laughable, I met a friendly gentleman and he actually carried my suitcase to my door. Great, this course is off to a great start! So to the Green Apple. The rooms are okay, a bit sporadic and I wouldn’t want to stay here any longer than necessary. You have to clean yourself and we always had to steal toilet paper from the cleaning trolleys at the end of our stay, because the reception supposedly ordered us to take money for each roll, my roommate and I didn’t see that!
But now to the more exciting part. The University! During the so-called Orientation Week we were lured out of the reserve with many fun games as ice-breakers, got to know our buddies and got nice things like our vital E-Talon cards. Then the first week of university. Latvian, anatomy, chemistry and more. We are divided into small groups and, in my case, nine of us wander through the university buildings, desperately looking for the right rooms. But the teachers are very patient and lenient with latecomers. After the first few days, however, the routine at the university quickly sets in and the rooms are found more quickly. There’s one thing you can’t miss at RSU, and that’s a ride in the classic elevator.
After everyone has found the right room, the lesson begins. Please don’t expect British English here! The English is, to put it mildly, a bit poor… So switch off your understanding of grammar, because “he do not…” and the like come up here so often like white coats. In most subjects this is not so important, you understand what the teacher wants to tell you : )
Working in small groups is very pleasant because you can create a concentrated learning atmosphere. If you don’t have Latvian at 5 p.m. and have been at the university since 8 a.m.;) Anatomy wear very good at the beginning, unfortunately the lesson lost a bit of tension after we got to the muscles, tendons and ligaments and ours still a lot young teacher no longer had the opportunity to teach us the named body parts. She then just left it at that, rattling off the Latin words at top speed and forced us to do group work. that’s not particularly instructive… Also the dissection was literally a bit dry. Our body must have been in chlorophyll a little too long. Not only was she quite old in years, but she had been in ”
In addition to the university, there are of course many other exciting things on the daily scale. Looking for an apartment, exploring the country, partying. Let’s start looking for an apartment. There are many super nice apartments. If you are patient, you will only start looking after 1-2 months, because then the first rush is over and you can look for a great apartment in peace and quiet.
I wasn’t that patient because, as I said, I didn’t want to stay in the Green Apple any longer than necessary. Finally, I found a chic attic apartment with a fellow student, his brother and the “old” roommate. In the style of a designer apartment, so priceless in Germany! In October we all moved into the 180 km2. Unfortunately we didn’t think about one thing, it’s not always summer in Latvia… In November we quickly found out that our roof isn’t insulated as well as our landlord wanted us to know. So remember one thing: good insulation! We then lived in November, December, January and let’s see how long we lived in the apartment at about 8 years old. But what doesn’t kill hardens and so far no one has gotten sick.
I explored the country a lot in the first few weeks because it was still nice and warm and because the national parks are really inspiring. I think Latvia is a beautiful country. It has a rough, wild nature with few people and encourages long solitary walks and forays. For me, the landscape is still one of the most beautiful in the whole country. In addition to my exploration tours, I started kite surfing. Through my buddy I found a very good kite surfing instructor and bravely climbed into the cold waters of the Baltic Sea. The last time I went kiting was at the end of October and it was a great way to let the kite pull you through the waves at dusk under the rising moon. I’m really looking forward to the summer when it continues!
You’ve probably heard of partying. Riga is gradually becoming known for such big events as New Year’s Eve. In my opinion you can have a really good party with good friends anywhere, Riga only has the special feature that you are surrounded by half-naked bottoms, backs and long, thin legs. The alcohol is sometimes cheaper than in Germany, but you can’t say that in general. In some clubs it feels like 25 songs are put on a loop and you hear the same song every half hour. When it comes to good songs, it’s quite funny at first, but after a while it gets a bit ridiculous. But apart from that, as Vienna says, with the right people, there’s a party everywhere.
In the meantime I have passed my first semester well, passed all the exciting exams such as anatomy
and am now in the semester break. In summary, I can say that the country of Latvia definitely has beautiful sides. As far as the university is concerned, there are some aspects that take some getting used to, but it is also fun to embark on the adventure of studying abroad. In any case, studying is a challenge that you should accept!