University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: medicine
Study type: Other courses
Hello my dears,
just a year ago, like probably many of you, I was faced with the decision of whether to study medicine abroad or whether I would rather wait for a place at university in Germany. When I got the confirmation from Riga, it quickly became clear that I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity, without knowing what to expect. To make your decision easier, let me tell you a little bit about Riga:
First of all, Riga is a very cute little town, with an incredibly cozy old town, mostly in Art Nouveau style. When I came to Riga in January, it was around -20 degrees, there was a lot of snow and there was ice fishing on the frozen Daugava, but the city generally looked very dreary. A condition that you really have to get used to in the first few weeks. In contrast to summer, when the city is completely transformed. The parks are full of colorful flowers, which have a special status in Latvia, the old town is filled with tourists and there is a street musician playing on every corner. Of course, a special luxury is the beach, which you can reach by train or taxi in half an hour to take a break from studying or at least pretend to study. In addition, Riga is well known for that you can go out very well and relatively cheaply. There are many large nightclubs, as well as cozy pubs and very good bars. These were of course inspected particularly intensively in the first few weeks. The cost of living can be the same or cheaper compared to a German student life. That depends on everyone. Rental prices naturally depend on the size, location and condition of the apartment. There are very cheap, but very simple and beautiful, large apartments, but the prices increase as soon as the landlord notices that you are not Latvian. Nevertheless, you live much cheaper than in Germany. If you spend around 300 euros warm, you get huge, renovated apartments that bear no relation to German student apartments. The ancillary costs are of course a lot higher in winter than in summer, precisely because of the heating costs, but they are cheaper than in Germany. The food prices are about the same or more expensive because a lot is imported. However, there is a huge impressive market where you can get fresh food at cheaper prices. And if you are not a member of an animal protection organization, you can also buy warm fur coats and hats here. For those who don’t live so close to this market, there are of course large supermarkets everywhere with a range comparable to that in Germany. Other costs such as telephone, internet and public transport are much cheaper. Depending on how often you want to go to Germany, you should of course also calculate the flight costs. Check toppharmacyschools.org to see Japan higher education.
The university is not directly in the city center, so it takes about 15 minutes by tram or bus. By the way, the public transport network in Riga is very well developed! However, anyone who has already studied at a German university will miss the typical campus life, as the university is relatively small. Unfortunately, you also have to do without a great, large canteen. There are three small canteens ranging from cheap to expensive, don’t expect a huge menu here, but it’s definitely edible. There is also a supermarket directly opposite.
As for studying, I can tell you that I really like it too. Of course, you should be aware that it is completely different from studying in Germany. Unfortunately there were some problems in the organization of the university in the last semester. For example, we were not able to prepare this semester due to construction work, but according to the university, this should be made up for in the next semester. In addition, it is sometimes difficult to obtain exact information. I think this is because the university has to change and reorganize a few things at the moment due to the great rush, which of course sometimes leads to confusion and displeasure. But I think a reorganization should help everyone in the end. Despite some discrepancies, everything has always been resolved so far. So became for the Germans, which certain credits need to change to Germany an additional course set up. In addition, you generally have to adapt to a different system than at German universities. Since everything is very personal, not everything (e.g. exam dates, confirmations for passed exams) runs via the Internet, but via direct contact with the individual professors.
Regarding the structure of the course, I can say that you learn a lot more in anatomy and biology here compared to Germany. Less value is placed on subjects such as chemistry and physics, however. In my opinion, the focus on anatomy is a huge advantage over those who study in Germany in the long term. In addition, you have subjects that should bring you closer to the language, history and current situation in Latvia. This is of course very interesting and really helps you to settle in. I find it very pleasant that you are divided into groups of 10 to 15 students in which you have lessons. So of course you learn more intensively, take a lot with you from the lessons and have direct contact with the professors, which is generally totally normal here. So you have your troops together with whom you can learn. Due to the group system, it is often possible to spontaneously rearrange the lessons, so we could go to the emergency room or the intensive care unit during the first aid course. Nevertheless, of course, all lectures are for the whole semester and the anatomy lessons usually take place with 2 groups.
Overall I can say that we all feel very comfortable in Riga and there were only a few who dropped out during the semester because they didn’t like it. Of course, it’s not easy to leave everything behind at the beginning and to find your bearings in a completely new way, but everyone who has already moved out from home or spent time abroad knows that. The city is great, the people are all funny, especially when you compare them to some German medical students and you not only get to know medicine but also life in another country.