University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: human medicine
Study type: Other courses
So first of all I would like to speak up for everyone here.
If they have ever heard of Latvia at all, many have terrible prejudices. It’s always cold there in the East, the people are unfriendly and it’s criminal anyway. Throw everything overboard please.
My first impressions:
I also had my concerns and doubts. But if you don’t dare, you don’t win. So I applied and was accepted early in December. Then I just took a look at the city on a short trip (highly recommended) and was pleasantly surprised. The people here are very open and helpful to foreigners and they all speak English. Check toppharmacyschools.org to see University of Technology Sydney study abroad opportunities.
When it comes to studying, I have to emphasize the atmosphere in particular! Not only did I quickly make friends here, but I also made very good friends. The difference in studying here in Riga compared to studying in Germany is very easy to point out.
Almost everyone is in the same situation. All of them are in a foreign country whose language they do not speak, starting their studies and, above all, a new phase of life in which they live alone or without parents for the first time.
This creates a very strong bond between the students and a pleasant group dynamic that makes studying easier.
Even if the English of the lecturers is not always perfect, one is always helped by students from older semesters with tips, tricks and books for their studies, but also for everyday life and hobbies. Our directors of studies are also helpful far beyond the everyday study routine. If you ask.
I really like the study system itself. It’s very similar to school. There are courses for 10 or 20 students. Depending on the subject, you write weekly tests and 2-3 exams in a semester. Sometimes you also get ‘homework’. In any case, you can’t avoid staying on the ball all the time. I think that’s very good, because you learn continuously and not everything at once and forget it immediately after the exam.
I also like that there is a little more emphasis on medically relevant subjects such as anatomy and molecular biology and not just physics and chemistry.
The German students personally take care of the recognition in the event of a change. Under certain circumstances, an extra course must then be taken, but that is less tragic. The completed degree in Riga is also recognized throughout the EU. You can also do a Medical Doctor (MD) here at the end, so that you can later work in the USA.
Now something about life here from my personal experience:
I just think it’s great to live here. Well, it’s not as warm as in southern Europe, but at least as sunny. The weather here is pleasantly constant. There is often constant sunshine, just as there can be constant torrential rain for a whole day. The summer is very nice with around 20°-25° and of course also colder days. For the winter, on the other hand, you really need suitable clothing. Because at -25° (!!), which it can get in winter, every shift counts.
With an apartment directly or close to the old town, which our one can afford and where most of them live, you have a lot of leisure activities. It is very close to all the great bars and nightclubs, there is pretty much every sport you could want to play (football, basketball, ice hockey, rugby, tennis, swimming etc) and there is a large lake with a small beach about 20 minutes away distance from the old town. It takes about 45 minutes by train and 20 minutes by car to get to the beach on the Baltic Sea. I also like to watch sporting events (Dinamo Riga or e.g. Latvia’s national basketball team) where tickets are very cheap for about 5€.
The cost of living in general is not as cheap as you might think, but you can still get away much cheaper than in Germany if you experience so much.
In addition to all this, you also have an experience here! Studying in Riga is more than an ordinary study abroad. I also met people from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland and and and.
Experiences you won’t soon forget!