University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: medicine
Study type: Other courses
In terms of organizing my studies and applications, I personally consider myself to be independent. Nevertheless, there were a few reasons for me to apply to RSU with MicroEdu (CC) and it was really worth it. Check toppharmacyschools.org to see James Cook University study abroad opportunities.
Laura from MicroEdu was always available and very knowledgeable about questions that weren’t necessarily obvious on the website. In my case, for example, it was about the natural sciences, because I only had biology up to the Abitur, but I didn’t take an Abitur exam in it either. It turned out to be completely problem-free in my case, which I didn’t think from the info on the RSU site. I think the service of having my motivational letter read again is fantastic, but I didn’t use it myself due to time constraints. In addition, it was simply practical to only have to send the application with all the valuable recommendation letters and references within Germany and not later Latvia, I just found that safer. If you wish, you can get in touch with other MicroEdu applicants in advance, which is also a nice touch. I got my acceptance for the summer semester from Laura in November and was very satisfied with the relaxed application process. Thank you again!
Orientation week in Riga
I can really recommend the orientation week to everyone. It was super organized and starts a week before the regular start of your studies, so make sure to include it in your schedule! Not only do you get to know your whole semester, but you also make contacts with higher semesters and possibly also with locals. You also get to know the building and its study group at the university rally. Of course there were a few parties in the evening, but there was also a trip to Rundale Palace for culture enthusiasts. All in all a great week and above all a great start to university life in Riga.
Personally, I can highly recommend the buddy program, I had a wonderful Latvian buddy who was great at answering all my questions and also showed me everything on site.
University and studies
I particularly appreciate the small study groups of 8-15 students at RSU. You can choose between an international or a national group. In addition to the approx. 60% Germans, I got to know mainly Swedes, Finns, Indians and the Dutch.
The contact to so many different nationalities is valuable, but as study buddies I find it more practical if you can also talk in German and work through the material again in your own language. The course is generally in English, is really doable, but of course it would certainly be more pleasant in the mother tongue, you need a little time to get used to it. Nevertheless, I find German books to learn a good thing.
Life in Riga
In Riga, life is often not so different than in Germany. Because of the many German students and the European atmosphere, I often don’t even notice that I’m abroad.
The living situation
There are really a lot of students and therefore a lot of flat shares. You can find a lot on Facebook groups. Most students come in their first semester, go to a hostel and team up on site. Personally, I got my acceptance very early on and therefore had time to look for my own apartment on site beforehand. In terms of price, WG is of course cheaper. I would definitely recommend viewing the apartment beforehand though as photos can really be deceiving.
It should also be noted that in the first semesters you not only have a lot of lessons at the university, but also in the Anatomicum (Dzirciema iela 16). In general, nothing is particularly far in Riga.
Cost of living
In short, I find supermarkets to be a bit more expensive than in Germany, eating out and bars/cocktails/parties are cheaper. Bus card costs 16 euros per month.
A trip to the sea is always a great thing, with the train for about 2.50 euros you are at the sea in about 45 minutes. Whether it’s totally frozen in winter or a sandy beach in summer – it’s always beautiful ! In Riga itself, I would say the Skybar is the highlight when visitors come (here, however, the prices are German;) ) And longer trips can be made to Vilnus or Helsinki, for example.