Study in Latvia
Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, one of the three Baltic states. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Belarus to the southeast, as well as sharing a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi).
Latvia is a democratic republic and a highly developed country. Its capital Riga served as the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Latvian is the official language. Latvia is a unitary state, divided into 119 administrative divisions, of which 110 are municipalities and 9 are cities. Latvians are the indigenous people of Latvia. Latvian and Lithuanian are the only two surviving Baltic languages. Despite foreign rule from the 13th to 20th centuries, the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations via the language and musical traditions.
It is a member of the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OECD, OSCE, and WTO. For 2014, Latvia was listed 46th on the Human Development Index and as a high income country on 1 July 2014. A full member of the Eurozone, it uses the euro as its currency since 1 January 2014, replacing the Latvian lats.
Most of the country is composed of fertile lowland plains and moderate hills. In a typical Latvian landscape, a mosaic of vast forests alternates with fields, farmsteads, and pastures. Arable land is spotted with birch groves and wooded clusters, which afford a habitat for numerous plants and animals. Latvia has hundreds of kilometres of undeveloped seashore—lined by pine forests, dunes, and continuous white sand beaches.
Higher education in Latvia is generally split between academic and professional studies. Academic programs are designed to improve students’ independent research skills and provide a theoretical background to careers, while professional programs are more vocational, preparing students for graduate careers in the design or enhancement of systems, products and technologies, as well as preparing them for creative, research and teaching activities in their chosen field.
Latvian universities follow the Bologna system, offering three levels of study (bachelor’s, master’s and PhD). Most bachelor degrees take three or four years to complete, while master’s degrees are one or two years long. The academic year runs from September to June, with exams taking place in May and June.
The language of instruction at Latvian universities is mainly Latvian, but there are a small number of English-taught programs available, many of which are specifically aimed at foreign students.
Latvian education offers a broad-based curriculum and global perspective to equip students with the relevant qualification and skill that will serve as a springboard to a brighter future. Studying in Latvia provides an opportunity for cross-cultural exposure and personal development. Latvia remains a wonderful country for studies abroad in Europe due to:
Bachelor / Master/ Doctorate level Programs taught in English Prestigious Globally Recognized Degrees Government approved Universities Exchange semester or internship abroad Attractive Tuition Fee On-campus accommodation provided Moderate living costs (400 $/month) Numerous opportunities for leisure activities and sports
Latvia is a multi-ethnic country and rich in different cultural and education traditions. The higher education institutions in Latvia are members of international cooperation within many different fields of study. Latvia offers researchers and teaching staff from several countries for studies as well as research work. Universities also offer both English taught academic and professional bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Tuition fees and living costs are generally lower than the costs in most “Western Countries”. Universities are well known for producing high quality IT and engineering graduates. EU membership means that a degree from Latvia is equivalent to other EU countries, making it easier to get credentials recognized
You will have all the benefits of living in a European country with lower costs than many westernized EU Countries.
TThe standard of living is much lower in Latvia compared to the more developed European states. The average wage is also not competitive in comparison with Europe. The average gross monthly wage in Latvia in the4th quarter of 2013 was EUR 737.According to the EURES (European Employment services) data on living and working conditions in Latvia, the country has a fairly lower standard of living as compared to other European countries, so students from abroad can spend more on their everyday needs.
Dormitories/Student Hostel: 70-120 EUR
Flat renting, not shared: 250-350 EUR
Flat renting, shared: 100-200EUR
Average monthly living expenses in Latvia are estimated to be between 450 and 700 EUR, depending on the type of accommodation (student dorm or privately rented housing/flat). These amounts should be enough to cover food, accommodation, utilities, transportation and other expenses.
120-250 EUR (Meals at the city centre: 5-9 EUR per meal)
Taxi (from the city centre to suburbs): 7-15 EUR (1 transfer)
Public transport tickets for students: 16 EUR per month (trams, trolleybuses, buses)
Public transport one-way ticket: 1.20 EUR
Leisure, personal needs
Around 100 EUR depending on needs
Cinema ticket: 5-10 EUR
Opera ticket: 7-42 EUR
Rock concerts: 7.5-30 EUR
The climate of the Latvia can be described as typical European continental influenced climate with warm, dry summers and fairly severe winters. January is the coldest month with daytime temperatures usually around -5°C, but in some cases winter months can be quite colder with temperatures far below zero, about -20°C or lower and strong, cold northeasterly winds. Heavy snowfall or even snowstorms are also possible on some days; the yearly average number of days with snow is about days. The weather is often breezy and humid due to the proximity of the Baltic Sea.