Latvia is a country of just over two million inhabitants, but has a wealth of both public and private higher education opportunities – about 59 universities and colleges. Courses taught in foreign languages (usually English and Russian with a few German and Scandinavian language programmes) cover a wide range of fields, from architecture to social sciences. Interestingly, medical studies and qualifications in the aviation industry are the most popular courses in the country. Keep reading for top quality information about what it’s like to study in Riga, including degree course offers, career opportunities, student life, living costs, and more.
In Latvia, you’ll find that there are academic and professional higher education. Most of the universities do both academic and professional higher education qualification.
Academic higher education programmes are focus exclusively on preparing graduates for independent research, as well as provide a theoretical background for professional studies. Academic education courses are implemented using the national standard of academic education. They usually comprise a thesis at the end of each stage and always lead to a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree.
Professional higher education programmes focus majorly providing in-depth knowledge in a given field, preparing graduates for design or improvement of systems, products and technologies. Students will be able to conduct creative, research and teaching activities. In many cases, the duration of professional/vocational study programmes is not less than 4 years post secondary education and not less than 2 years after college education.
General Application Requirements
The admission office of the individual university will help you during the application process and will let you know about specific application requirements and necessary documents.
When applying for programs the following documents must be sent to the admission office of the chosen university:
- Education/ Degree Certificate or Diploma
- Transcripts of records/marks (all education documents has to be translated into English)
- English language proficiency certificates (IELTS, TOEFL or equivalents) or the perspective University exam (if required)
- Copy of ID or passport
- Motivation Letter or/and CV
Granted, each university run different application and registration procedures,however the general steps you take during the application procedure and registration period are written out below:
- Apply by submitting your documents for evaluation. Once your eligibility is confirmed you will receive your conditional Acceptance Letter followed with the positive AIC approval.
- Once you pay the tuition fees indicated in your letter, you are able to apply for Resident Permit and Study Visa.
- Make sure you inform the University about your flight details at least 3 working days before your arrival for the airport pick-up.
- Do well to register the very next day after you arrive in Latvia, get your student ID, begin selecting your courses, and register at accommodation halls if you are living on campus.
If you decide to study in Latvia, you can study in the capital city Riga or other cities in the country. You will experience what it means to live in one of the safest and greenest countries in the world. Universities in Latvia run an advanced education system. Institutions of higher education are small enough to operate functionally and effectively, ensuring each individual approach to each student.
Language of study
The official state language is Latvian, but international students can get around the country with a command of Russian and English, as a large part of the population of Riga speak Russian, while English is used in the bigger cities.
In public tertiary institutions, the language of instruction is usually Latvian, but also include programs in English for international students. There are about 200 international study programmes (Bachelors, Masters and PhDs) and programs taught entirely in English for those who choose to study abroad in Latvia. You will find Russian-taught courses in private universities.
In Latvia,there are no set language requirements for international students. The advantage of studying abroad in Latvia is that most universities do not strictly determine the need for internationally recognized language tests (although some institutions typically ask for IELTS or TOEFL). Language skills will be checked during the interview process of prospective students. You may find that the higher education establishment already has its own formal testing for language skills.
English language preparation for studying in Latvia
Work on your academic English language skills in order to meet the English language requirements at Latvian universities awarding degree programs for international students. Select an English language school anywhere in the world and choose your preferred English exam preparation course from diverse language course options.
How to Apply to a Master’s in Latvia
If you’ve made up your mind to study a Master’s degree at a university in Latvia, you will have to put together the right documents to prove that you satisfy the university requirements. Do well to provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.
What documents do I need to provide to apply in Latvia?
The first step required to apply to a university in Latvia is submitting your academic transcript, for it to be verified and in order to see how compatible your studies are with the degree you seek to pursue.
The documents you require are as follows:
- An English proficiency test;
- Education/Degree Certificate or Diploma;
- Your record transcripts;
- Copy of ID or passport;
- Motivation letter;
If everything comes back ok, the university of your choice will set a series of exams you should take, to prove that, if there is a difference between your Bachelor’s and your Master’s, you are familiar enough with the discipline as to not be overwhelmed by the curricula.
After you take these exams, the next set of steps you will need to take are:
- A Skype interview with the university;
- The agreement between yourself and the university;
- Proof you paid the first-year worth of tuition fee;
- The list of documents for the Latvian Residence Permit.
Prove your English skills
As you will probably attend a programme taught in English, you should know that the grades you need to obtain at your proficiency tests are:
- For IELTS: 6.0;
- For TOEFL: 500;
- For IBT: 90.
Application deadlines for Latvia
The application deadlines in Latvia typically vary from university to university, so do well to ask beforehand when you should start putting your documents together.
But, as a general rule, deadlines usually close in May/June.
Also, do not forget that deadlines can differ between EU and non-EU students.
Information Systems Management Institute in Riga
Riga Graduate School of Law
Riga Stradins University
Riga Technical University