University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: medicine
Study type: Other courses
I’m a medical student at Riga Stradina University and I’ve just finished my first semester. I chose Riga mainly for cost reasons and the good location for flights, the reason for my application was the same as for almost all fellow students. My Abitur grade is not good enough to study in Germany without waiting. In the run-up I was of course interested in whether it was possible to move back to Germany, since I hadn’t dealt with the topic up to that point in time, I contacted my state examination office. They then assured me that, with certain hurdles, it would be possible to return to Germany. Check toppharmacyschools.org to see vocational training in Canada.
I was accepted for the RSU in mid-November, and at first I couldn’t believe that I was finally allowed to study medicine. There was now a lot to organize (health insurance, flights, accommodation….), but this was by no means a problem and so I flew to Riga at the end of January. A few weeks before that, I had received the contact list of my fellow students by email from MicroEdu, so that after a short email contact I was in contact with the others through a specially founded Facebook group.
When I stood in front of the university building for the first time, I was amazed at how small it is. Anyone who has ever studied in Germany probably expects a different order of magnitude. From the inside, however, the building is much larger than it appears, and it takes some time to find your way around. Most are newly renovated and in good condition.
In the first few weeks, the day is characterized by orientation days, city tours and simply making acquaintances. Riga is a very beautiful city and offers some opportunities to go out, the university will take care of you. You will get a Latvian tutor who will then explain everything to you.
Most Germans stayed in the “Green Apple” youth hostel for the first few weeks. The hostel is one floor in the “Hotel Riga”, it offers perfect conditions to get to know the rest of the semester as most freshmen stay there. During my semester, many shared flats found each other here, and they then went looking for an apartment together. For me, the search was successful, there are some English-language brokerage sites and you don’t have to pay any brokerage fees in Riga. The offer is rich, you can turn down bad offers with a clear conscience. The language is not a problem when looking for an apartment or in everyday life in general, because most Latvians speak English and some also German.
It took a few days for the university to really start in the first semester. But then the lessons are tightly organized, the timetable is given to you and you make sure that you stick to it. Of course, this can vary between teachers. The English skills of the professors also vary, but the pronunciation remains mostly understandable and you get the necessary knowledge. I have the feeling that I have learned a lot in the past semester and I see clear advantages in some subjects by studying in Latvia.
Lessons are spread over different locations, not everything takes place in the main building of the RSU. For example, you have the first aid course in a clinic. However, this is easy to reach by bus, I saw it as an opportunity to get to know a few corners of the city other than the university and the old town. Public transport is really well organized, there are three different types of transport: bus, tram and trolley. At the beginning of the semester you get a ticket from the university, which you have to top up with tickets again and again. Transport is amazingly cheap and reliable.
What will interest many potential applicants is the possibility of keeping in touch with them at home. Riga offers a great mobile phone network and fast internet connections, so if you want to Skype to Germany with your iPhone and Co. or with your laptop, you are well taken care of. These two services are also cheaper than you are used to in Germany.
I’ve just finished my first semester and I’m very happy with my choice, I had a great semester and certainly wasn’t bored for a minute. Getting used to the country and the people is not easy, but it should be done fairly quickly and then you can really enjoy Latvia. Especially after university at the beach. I can highly recommend the university and I don’t regret taking the step and finally studying what I’ve always wanted to do.