University: Riga Stradins University
Field of study: medicine
Study type: Other courses
Every year there is a small group of people who in their imagination are already the greatest doctors and for whom nothing is more important than finally being able to study medicine. Unfortunately, these few highly motivated people stand in front of the gates of the venerable German universities every year and are simply not allowed in. I was one too. Check toppharmacyschools.org to see Thompson Rivers University study abroad opportunities.
Those who don’t give up and reconsider become quite inventive and are willing to sacrifice much for their desire.
One night I stumbled across MicroEdu and decided to apply. In fact, I was actually late, the deadlines had almost expired and my mail would never have gotten there on time. Mrs. Uhlig spoke to the university for me, put in a good word, and in the end they allowed me to send off my documents and apply.
From then on things went fast. I got a place at university and all of a sudden there were a lot of problems to be solved. A place to sleep was needed and preferably a thick jacket too. (It’s really damn cold there in the winter).
MicroEdu gave everyone a list of names, which helped to communicate with the others. We talked it over and in the end almost all of the new freshmen had rented a room in the “Green Apple”. This is quite a big hostel right in the center of the city. At first we always sat together in the evenings and got to know each other, which was nice because nobody knew their way around. Every single one of us thrown together in a strange city.
About a week after arriving, the day came when we drove to the university for the first time. For the adjustment week.
We were greeted, given a bag with a few small gifts, and most importantly, lots of speeches. The dean promised us how much we had to learn. The International Office gave us tips on how to behave in Riga and of course there were a lot of dates and timetables etc.
That was pretty well done. No one had the feeling of being in bad hands. There were rarely minor frictions with the official departments of the university. Most of the time it was a question of payment.
The university building has to be said that it is pretty ugly. The entrance hall and the new building are bright and friendly, but the older rooms of the departments could do with a major renovation.
There are two canteens, a smaller, slightly more expensive one with good food, and a larger, cheaper one, where the food is correspondingly worse.
The chemistry rooms, for example, cannot be compared to German ones, everything is older and certainly does not meet German “safety standards”. Nevertheless, everything you need for your experiment is always there, for everyone. That’s not always the case in Germany.
The lessons are good. As in Germany, there are lectures called “lectures” and “classes” where you work together with your group. You spend most of your time in the classes. They are around 10 people strong and form the smallest teaching group. The subjects are structured in such a way that you hear the theoretical background in the lectures and then work through the whole thing in practice in the classes. In chemistry, you make the respective experiments, in molecular biology, individual structures are microscopically examined. And in anatomy you learn bones or muscles.
Unfortunately, I still don’t know who checks the English of the lecturers before they are let loose on the students. A few can speak English really well, but for some, even after the hello, it becomes difficult to articulate. That can be really annoying.
In terms of space, the lessons are spread over three or four buildings. There are the university buildings themselves, the Anatomikum, the Universitätsklinikum and a small but really nice medical history museum.
The houses are all spread across the city, but can still be reached quickly. The public transport system in Riga is well developed and fast.
The Latvians are a really special people. They can’t stand their country, but you shouldn’t tell them that. Just because they scold doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to. There are many Russians, that is, after Latvian, the second language is Russian. The old people can speak German even better than English. It is really advisable to keep at least one or two words from Latvian in mind to be able to at least say hello and thank you. For most people, that’s enough for a smile and a reason to help you.
So if you ever have the pleasure of visiting Latvia, don’t be put off by the fact that nobody is talking and everyone looks so grumpy. On the bus everyone looks at you like you’re a terrorist if you talk too loud. Actually, the Latvians aren’t that dismissive either, they just need a sentence or two to warm up.
Let me tell you, Latvia is definitely worth starting your studies there. The feeling so far in the northeast in a very different way than here. Everything is much more on the move and that is contagious. It’s a bit more dangerous than Germany, but that’s why it’s more exciting. So if you’re not afraid to experience something new, you’re sure to have a good time.
In any case, I wish that you all achieve your goal of studying medicine. Whether in Latvia or somewhere else, that’s up to you. But Latvia is definitely a good start.
I hope my brief report was of some help to you.