University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: medicine
Study type: Other courses
When I had passed my Abitur, it was finally time to decide what the next step should be for me. I had always wavered between studying business administration and studying medicine, and when my Abitur was not good enough with a 2.0, I had already mentally prepared myself for studying business administration. Check toppharmacyschools.org to see Spain higher education.
But I didn’t want to give up my dream of studying medicine so quickly, so I sat down in front of my computer to look for universities abroad that offer international courses.
Here I came across the MicroEdu page relatively quickly, to which I then wrote an e-mail in which I described my situation.
After a very quick response, several phone calls and perfect support from MicroEdu, my application for Riga Stradins University was sent.
Now it was time for me to wait and hope. A few weeks later the said letter came, which was to send me to Riga in Latvia for the foreseeable future.
Now that I knew for sure that I would study in Riga, the next step for me was to find accommodation. When after several hours on the internet I still hadn’t found anything in my price range, I decided to call the university and inquire about dormitories.
There was one, but it was fully booked three months before the start of the course.
Today I also know that it is not advisable to live there either, as it does not correspond in the slightest to the hygienic conditions that we are used to here in Germany.
However, the secretary recommended two hotels that had one of their floors reserved for students.
I decided on one of these hotels and immediately reserved a room there, but it was clear to me that I wanted to find my own apartment as soon as possible.
The course was supposed to begin on February 2nd, 2009, with an introductory week scheduled beforehand, in which our future course could get used to one another. I flew to Riga on January 20th, 2009 in order to settle in there a little and to make first acquaintances.
I also took care of my apartment search and relatively quickly had two apartments to choose from. The first was recommended to me by a medical student who had been studying there for two years, and I found out about the other through the university.
After we had spent a very nice week with going to restaurants, bowling and partying in Riga’s old town, the course had already gotten used to each other and the first friendships were made.
In the meantime I had visited both apartments and decided on the one recommended by the university.
You should budget at least €250 per month for rent in Riga.
I now live in a shared apartment with two Latvians and 3 other Germans just outside of Riga and it takes me about 20 minutes by tram to get to the university.
(A monthly pass, which is valid for all buses and trams, costs 18.40 lats, i.e. around €26. However, there are different cards that are then, for example, only valid for the tram or only for the bus.
You can find more detailed information about this on the website: http: //www.rigassatiksme.lv/?setl=2)
On the first day at the university, our group, which consists of 24 students, was greeted by a somewhat somber-looking but very nice woman who welcomed us led through the university. There she showed us the entire campus, from the chemistry labs to the auditoriums to the cafeteria.
Half of the students in my course are from Germany and the other half are Swedes and Norwegians.
In comparison to German universities, however, the university looks a bit run down.
However, this is more than compensated for by the very good professors and the amount and speed of the learning material.
What is also important to mention is that more than a third of the students drop out after the first or second semester because they cannot cope with the pace of learning or with the somewhat authoritarian behavior of the professors at the beginning.
However, the professors thaw out over time and you also get used to getting a lot into your head in a short time.
The learning material is tested in weekly tests, all of which must be passed in order to be admitted to the final exam.
In addition to the main building of the university, you are still taught in the so-called Anatomikum, which is centrally located in Riga.
In addition to anatomy, you also take part in other courses such as cell biology or histology.
The courses we had in the first semester were:
- cell biology (which is primarily about the different types of cells)
- International Relations
- First aid
- History of Medicine (was taught at the Medicine Museum)
In general, it can still be said that the prices for food, cosmetics, etc. in Riga are comparable to German prices, although the Latvians are a little behind in terms of income and standard of living.
I like the country and especially the studies very much and I think that an experience abroad is generally a good thing that you won’t regret.