University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: medicine
Study type: Other courses
Riga, Latvia, Baltic States. Medicine?!
Of course, long before I even had the idea of studying medicine in Latvia, I already knew all about this wonderful little country. I had an accurate idea of the mentality, standard of living and economic importance of Latvia and I knew exactly where to find it on the world map.
Jokes aside. Check liuxers.com to see how to open a UK bank account.
After I finished my Abitur in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2012 with what I considered to be a very decent average grade of 1.8, I didn’t really know what to do with my life at first. Probably a problem of our generation because of “he who has the choice is spoiled for choice”. Since both my parents are medical doctors, this was somehow obvious, but I resisted this predetermined path. So first in the completely different direction, studying engineering in Aachen. That was nothing at all, I noticed after 3 months. So I wanted to give medicine a chance and did a 6-week internship at the hospital. After that, the situation was clear: Let me through, I’m going to be a doctor!
Now it had to be done quickly, because I had already frittered away a few months and wanted to start my studies in NRW before the double class of 2013. However, when it became clear that this would unfortunately not be possible in Germany, my interest turned to other countries.
Here’s a big thank you to Heike Kutzler, who was always a very friendly and helpful contact person for me! The application itself then went relatively smoothly, the only special request from Riga Stradins University are the chest x-rays. Slightly dated but good. One afternoon at the doctor’s and that, too, was done.
After that it was time to wait. But after the specified period of about 6 weeks, the letter was actually on my desk and the preparations could begin.
In order to get an initial overview, I flew to Riga in December with a friend, who fortunately had also got a place at the RSU, and our parents. Fortunately, flights are not too expensive and snowy Riga is definitely worth the trip. We also immediately started looking for an apartment, the problematic situation is known from Germany and we contacted the real estate agent Agris Cimoska (email MicroEdu available). It’s really not meant to be surreptitious advertising, but the guy was so kind and self-sacrificing that I have to mention him here. With his help, we quickly and easily found a great 3-person apartment, freshly renovated and, above all, fully furnished for around 250 euros per person.
Now everything was settled and we were looking forward to starting our studies at the beginning of February.
Anyone who has already started studying in Germany and has taken part in an Ö week will not necessarily be impressed by what is on offer here. But that wasn’t so bad, because after just a few days you had made so many new contacts through the CoCo Facebook group that you couldn’t keep up with running from one bar to the next, shaking hands and to exchange views on the previous efforts for a medicine place.
And that’s really what you have to emphasize very positively here in Riga: There are almost exclusively interesting people to meet. Because everyone has their own story to tell. It’s a colorful crowd of physios, paramedics, college dropouts, college returnees, globetrotters and of course a few recent high school graduates.
And all these people are cosmopolitan, willing to take risks (otherwise you would hardly go to Latvia!) and have only one goal in mind: medicine. This connects and has already led to many close friendships after half a year.
To say a few more words about the quality of the course: it is demanding, but easily manageable. Concentrate on anatomy and molecular biology, this is where performance really matters. If you don’t stay on the ball, you will have problems. The Anatomikum is very centrally located and easily accessible. There you can retreat to study and you can always find a quiet corner to go through your bones or muscles again.
In other subjects (Latin, Latvian, cell biology, chemistry, physics), physical presence is usually sufficient. Overall, I feel well prepared and am looking forward to histology next semester.
My final tip for everyone who wants to start in Riga soon: Organize yourself!
This applies to make-up appointments for exams or collecting signatures for the gradebook as well as for sports activities etc.
But since you seem to have found your way to the CoCo website, I am sure that you are not completely helpless and organized one of your strengths!;-)