University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: medicine
Study type: Other courses
Studying medicine – a long-awaited dream that I can now realize in Riga!!!
After I graduated from high school last year, I applied not only to German universities, but also to Riga Stradins University because I didn’t get an A. To my great joy, I was accepted and at the end of August I set off on the great adventure far away from home. Check liuxers.com to see how to open a bank account in Ireland.
At first I stayed at the Green Apple, a hostel right in the old town. The hostel has one, two, three and four-bed rooms. I shared a triple room with two other girls and was pleasantly surprised by the furnishing and presentation of the room. Of course you can’t expect great luxury when you talk about a hostel, but the rooms are clean and you can really feel comfortable in them for a while. Incidentally, my roommates also started studying at RSU. So you could make contacts very quickly. In the Green Apple alone, I met countless people from my semester. We cooked together in the hostel’s communal kitchen, went out to eat, celebrated or studied together. From the beginning there was a great sense of community. Understandable, because after all we were all in the same situation; a foreign country, a different language, different customs, a demanding course of study and many unanswered questions that still needed to be clarified. After a few weeks, the first potential shared flats crystallized and so I started looking for an apartment with two girls I had met.
Regarding the real estate market in Riga, it can be said that finding a suitable apartment is not difficult. The offer is large and the prices are really good compared to Germany. You can look for apartments on various websites, but you also get addresses and links with good offers from the university.
It was exactly this care of the university that I found very positive right from the start. If you had any questions during the application process or if anything was unclear, you could contact the secretariat at any time by phone or email and you would get a quick reply.
Even in the first few weeks, when everything is new and you are not yet familiar with the processes and new tasks, there is always a contact person.
As for the university itself, it can be said that it makes a rather gloomy impression from the outside. However, when you enter the entrance hall, which has been completely renovated, you can’t help but notice that you want to move away from this image. In many corners is being built and renovated, thus contributing to a more beautiful picture. The canteen has already been completely redesigned and now offers plenty of space for eating together or just sitting together in a nice atmosphere.
In addition to the university building, which is on the other side of the river, where the lectures are held and you have subjects such as Latin, Latvian, chemistry, physics and molecular biology, there is also the Anatomikum. The subjects anatomy, cell biology and, in the second semester, histology are taught here.
A clear advantage is the teaching in small groups, which enables intensive and effective learning. In addition, the community within the group is strengthened and there is a more personal relationship with the professors than is probably the case in Germany. The course is relatively schooled, but this fact makes it easier to get started. For example, you get your timetable and don’t have to enroll in the courses, as is the case in Germany, and then worry that they are already full.
Now something about the learning effort: Of course – you can hardly avoid learning and if you don’t really stand behind your decision to take this course, it will probably be difficult not to lose interest, because learning is simply part of it. However, it has to be said that the system makes it easier to deal with the material. For example, in anatomy, you write weekly tests. In this way, you are more or less forced to stick with it from the beginning and at the end, when everything is queried, you are not faced with a mountain of work, but actually only have to repeat everything again. In addition to the tests, colloquia are then written. These are about 2-3 per semester per subject. If you fail a colloquium, you are allowed to repeat it again. If you fail a second time, you only have to repeat the semester for this subject. But here too, if you prepare properly, it’s doable.
I am often asked whether it is not very difficult to study in English, especially when it comes to technical terminology. I can say that there is no need to worry about this. I was neither in the English advanced course nor above average and yet the language really does not pose any problems at all. Even some professors only speak broken English.
In conclusion, I can say that I can only recommend studying medicine in Riga and I am really happy that I decided to take this opportunity. Even if it involves a lot of work and learning, the capital of Latvia has a lot to offer as a distraction. Be it various clubs and bars that you can visit with friends, many restaurants, shopping malls or the nearby Baltic Sea. Boredom is definitely not an issue!!!