University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: human medicine
Study type: Other courses
Hello dear prospective students,
I’m Elena (22) and now in my second semester of medicine at Riga Stradins University.
First of all, I would like to tell you about the application. If you take a look at what you have to submit to MicroEdu, you will hardly feel like it anymore. But I needed 1.5 weeks intensively for the stuff until I had everything together. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see Russia higher education.
At the RSU, they do NOT first accept all applications and then select them, but instead allocate places from among the first applicants. Of course, the longer you wait, the worse the chances get. But for the people who don’t get their high school diploma until later: That’s not a broken leg. I have many in the semester who were among the last applications received and still got in.
I am convinced that the letter of motivation is the be-all and end-all. Here you should not only rattle down how great you actually are, but also specifically address the university. What interests you about the RSU, about Riga and why should they choose you? I wrote almost 2 pages. Tell us what you have already done, why you want to study medicine and why exactly at RSU.
On the subject of English: If you don’t have a 1 or 2 on your certificate, you have to take an English test (TOEFL,…). For me it was the case that I had a three on the certificate and the next English test was only 4 weeks later. I really panicked (because I wanted to be among the first applicants), but agreed with Heike Kutzler that I would send in my application and the test. That’s how I did it and lo and behold – I was accepted without any tests. But since I put so much effort into the letter of motivation and it was written in great English, they overlooked the one three.
I got my confirmation after about 5 weeks.
Then it was planning for Riga! What do I take with me? I flew with two huge suitcases and packed moving boxes at home that my mother sent me (I think 15kg 20 euros at the post office). There I also packed a few belongings (pillows and decorations and stuff like that) because I wanted to furnish my room a little at home and didn’t want to buy everything new.
I’ll be there on August 26th. flew to Riga with my mother to see the city a bit more. It was still midsummer and wonderfully warm and I was really excited. Then the orientation week started. There you get to know your study group and the university organizes events, which are also very nice. In the end, the whole week consisted only of celebrations. We were always out in bars or clubs in the evenings and roamed around the city during the day and already did the first things like opening an account (easy and fast. My recommendation: swedbank) and buying a mobile phone card (“bite” is the best and cheapest).
The city is incredibly lively and there is so much to do. There are nice cafes for the afternoon, a great many (and sometimes very cheap (e.g. the ezitis migla (hot translated as hedgehog in the fog), there you can get a beer for €1.70) bars and clubs. Concerts in the summer – that’s it There ‘s always something going on!
In addition, you can be in Jurmala in 20-30 minutes, that’s the beach. Dream!
You have to get used to the Latvians in general. The older generation is sometimes secretive and unfriendly. We’ve been to the Tramp rudely told us we were too loud or jostled in the street, but like I said, you have to get used to that.
A lot of people are probably wondering how do I find an apartment/shared flat? At the time, I saw an offer for flat share in the MicroEdu Facebook group and it sounded so nice that I simply moved in blindly in the first week of study. Of course, that can go haywire. Basically, people got together during O-week and found pretty nice apartments pretty quickly.
I would first rent a hostel (I stayed in a 6-bed room at the Cinnamon Sally for a week and that was really great! ) and then take a look on site. This is quite uncomplicated and not like in the big German cities.
The rents are different here. You have to be a bit careful, because you get a heating bill every month, which in winter can easily be the cold rent. I now pay a fixed price of 285 euros with everything. So you don’t have to spend more than 300 euros here if you pay attention.
In general, the costs, apart from the tuition fees, are about as expensive as in Germany. Drugstore items, for example, are much more expensive because they come from Rossmann in Germany. Food is about the same.
So now to the most important part: the studies.
It is structured in such a way that you are divided into study groups and spend the whole day with them. There are lectures that usually do not require attendance and are often unnecessary because you don’t understand half of them and you work through them again in the classes. I always work through the material of the lectures at home. In the study group you go to the so-called classes, where you learn and have lessons in small groups (about 10). In the first semester there are the subjects Cell Biology, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Anatomy (with dissection), Latin, Latvian (Latvian), Physics, Chemistry and Philosophy. There are also small subjects such as History of Medicine and an elective (I had Mental Health).
At the end of the first semester we had three major exams: Anatomy, Cell Bio and Molecular Bio. The other subjects are completed with work or tests.
In anatomy I wrote a test every week, which you always cursed 10 minutes before, but is insanely useful because you just stick to the material.
Anatomy and Molecular Biology are the most learning-intensive, so you really have to keep at it. Latin was no problem for me, who NEVER had Latin. In my opinion, Latvian is not an easy language, but it is easy to master.
Who is afraid of studying in English – no stress! You understand everything very well and quickly pick it up!
All in all, I feel very comfortable here! I met great people here who have the same goal as me! It’s really fun and I don’t regret being so far from home.
I hope I was able to tell you a little bit about Riga and help you with your decision.