University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: human medicine
Study type: Other courses
Medical studies in Riga, Latvia, if you don’t know exactly where Latvia is, you don’t have to be ashamed, you’ll find out for sure! I just finished my 1st semester at Riga Stradins University, which certainly had its ups and downs.
First of all, it has to be said that this course is a great way to bridge the waiting time in Germany, and I am certainly very grateful for that. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see china higher education.
About the accommodation:
I flew to Riga on January 22nd, 2010 without looking at the city or the country more closely, which is certainly not wrong. Of course there was snow and it was quite cold. Like most others, I first lived in the Green Apple, the student hotel. The hotel, which is actually the Hotel Latvia, the Green Apple is only one floor, is located in the heart of the old town, it couldn’t be more central. Rooms vary widely, I was very lucky, was placed on the 4th floor and my room was reasonably spacious. But many others also had quite small and ugly rooms. But that shouldn’t really bother you at first, as you hardly spend the first few weeks in your room, but rather somewhere in Riga’s numerous pubs. The hotel has gradually come up with strange things to make life difficult: the rooms have to be cleaned themselves, the bills are carefully checked because there are errors in almost every monthly bill. All in all, every German hotel operator would probably throw up his hands over his head, but for the first time it is very bearable there and you quickly get to know your fellow students. So I would recommend the hotel again to start with but for the first time it is very easy to endure there and you quickly get to know your fellow students. So I would recommend the hotel again to start with but for the first time it is very easy to endure there and you quickly get to know your fellow students. So I would recommend the hotel again to start with
Compared to German universities, the RSU is a very small university, just outside the center. The area where the university is located is really not nice, which also applies to the university building. The university has a very nice entrance hall and outdoor area, but many specialist rooms, such as chemistry or biology, are really in need of renovation. In the end it’s not really bad, there were similar conditions at my high school. However, the necessary working materials, eg microscopes, etc., are available and not worthy of complaint. The lectures take place in a nice big lecture room. There are 3 canteens, which mainly differ in price. The food there is okay, certainly not comparable to the standard in German universities, but sufficient for the hunger in between. Teaching is mainly in small groups, except for the lectures, which is a really good system. All in all, one has to say that most lecturers and professors really try to meet the demands of international students, but of course there are exceptions here too. Anatomy, with weekly tests, and molecular biology are certainly the most learning-intensive. You have to be prepared to take a lot of exams during the semester (3 molecular biology and 2 in anatomy), which requires continuous learning, but at best you have it a little easier for the final exams, since you were already very diligent during the semester;). A few courses take place outside the actual university, for example anatomy is taught in the so-called Anatomikum, which is located in the immediate vicinity of the old town, cell biology can also be found there. The Anatomikum is an “old”, charming building, which, due to its exhibits, is sometimes reminiscent of a cabinet of horrors. The university also has a so-called “student council” – a student council that is really there for the students if there are any problems. As is to be expected, the timetable in the first semester is relatively packed and especially at the end of the semester you have more than your hands full, the learning effort is really big, as is to be expected. It is good, however, that especially in anatomy, things start slowly for the first time in terms of the scope of learning, so that you can get used to it and have a little time to explore the city at the beginning.
The city of Riga:
Riga is really a very beautiful city, at least as far as its historical core is concerned. The old town is teeming with beautiful buildings, each with a story to tell. Especially at the beginning it is very exciting to explore the city. Especially the night life in Riga has a lot to offer, in addition to various, different pubs (from the popular Kiwi bar to the alternative Leningrad), there are also some discotheques, there is something for everyone. The drink prices are comparable to Germany, depending on where you go. The city is very safe, which is mainly due to the very high police presence in the old town. Riga offers plenty of shopping and shopping opportunities, especially for women. The food prices are roughly comparable to those in Germany, but sometimes a little more expensive, as most of the products are imported. It’s really not difficult to find an apartment, Riga offers a very large and varied housing market, which is mainly due to the fact that the “normal Latvian” can hardly afford to live in the old town. For us international students, however, the apartments are relatively cheap. You should just make sure that you don’t let the landlord rip you off, especially when it comes to additional costs. Many apartments are newly renovated and really nice. Depending on the season, the city has two faces: the winter is really long and hellishly cold, temperatures down to -20°C sometimes make life really difficult. Especially in the winter months of January and February, the city is more or less deserted and only a worrying cold accompanies one on the daily way to the university. In “summer”, however, the city really blossoms, you can hardly save yourself from tourists, mainly drunken English people, and the city is bursting at the seams. Every bar, no matter how small, has an outdoor area and the city is lavishly planted, largely due to Latvia’s affinity for flowers. In summer the city is really beautiful and lively. In June we had temperatures above 30°C, which is not really ideal for studying, but one shouldn’t complain.
Only English is spoken at the university, even in the small groups, which are always well mixed. Even if you’re not a native speaker, don’t worry, you can improve your language skills quickly because of the international community. You also get along quickly in the lectures and courses, the professors don’t speak perfect English either and usually understand if you don’t use the perfect, subject-specific formulation. English is a great way to get around within the city, especially the young Latvians, surprisingly, speak very good English and you should use that to get to know the local people, very interesting! At the university, Latvian is also a compulsory subject, although most Latvian lecturers understand that that the learning time is usually not used for their subject;-). Latvian is not easy to learn, since there are hardly any textbooks and mature didactics, such as in the school subjects French or Spanish, are missing. Nevertheless, the Latvian lessons are bearable and offer a good change from anatomy and co.
Studying human medicine at Riga Stradins University is really an experience, once you settle in and get used to the new circumstances a bit, everything is only half as bad and you have a great time. To avoid the waiting time, there is hardly a better solution. Riga really is an exciting city and the nice people are fun. You are not alone, there is a very good bond between the students and good communication with the older semesters, everyone is in the same boat and you certainly don’t find a situation like this at the large state universities in Germany. So off to Riga!