59 universities and colleges is not bad for a country of just over two million inhabitants. Yes, Latvia has a wealth of both public and private higher education opportunities for local and international students . Note that programs that programs are taught in foreign languages (mainly English and Russian with a few German and Scandinavian language programmes) cover a wide range of courses, from architecture to social science programs.Interestingly, medical studies and qualifications in the aviation industry are the most sought after study options in the country. Keep reading for info on what it’s like to study in Riga, including degree programs offered, career opportunities, student life, living costs, and more.
In this country,you’ll find both academic and professional higher education in Latvia. Most of the institutions of higher education do both academic and professional higher education qualification.
Academic higher education programmes focus solely on preparing graduates for thorough independent research, as well as provide them theoretical background for professional activities. Academic education programmes are carried out using the national standards of academic education. They are usually made up of a thesis at the end of each stage and lead to either a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree.
Professional higher education programmes on the other hand focus exclusively on providing in-depth knowledge in a specific field, preparing students for design or improvement of systems, products and innovative technologies. Students will be able to carry out creative, research and teaching activities. In total, the duration of professional/vocational study programmes will not be less than 4 years post secondary education and not less than 2 years after college education.
General Application Requirements
Note that it is the admission office of the perspective university that will assist you during the application process and will inform you about specific application requirements and necessary documents.
When applying for studies, the documents listed below will 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 applicable)
- Copy of ID or passport
- Motivation Letter or/and CV
Although each university runs a slightly different application and registration procedures, the general steps you take during the application procedure and registration period are shown below:
- Apply by submitting your documents for evaluation. Once your eligibility has been confirmed, you will receive your Conditional Acceptance Letter in addition to a positive AIC approval.
- The moment you pay the tuition fees as stated in your letter, you will be able to apply for Resident Permit and Study Visa.
- Do well to inform the University about your flight details at least 3 working days before your arrival for the airport pick-up preparations.
- Remember to register the very next day after you arrive in Latvia, obtain your student ID, start choosing your courses, and register at accommodation halls if you are residing on campus.
Keep reading for additional information on how to apply to a university in Latvia.
The objectives of academic higher education are to adequately prepare graduates for independent research, as well as to provide theoretical background for professional activities. Academic education programmes are implemented according to the national standard of academic education.
- Academic programmes leading to a bachelor’s degree take 3 to 4 years.
- Academic programmes leading to a master’s degree are 4 semesters long (2 years) and requires at least 5 years total length of bachelor and master studies.
The objectives of professional higher education are to provide in-depth knowledge in a particular field, preparing graduates for design or improvement of systems, products and technologies, as well as to prepare them for creative, research and teaching activities in this field.
- Professional programmes leading to a professional bachelor’s degree require 4 years of study.
- Professional higher education programmes leading to a professional master’s degree require 1-2 years of study.
When making the decision to study in Latvia, you are able to study in capital city Riga or other cities in the country. You will live in one of the safest and greenest countries in the world. Universities in Latvia typically offer an advanced education system. Institutions of higher education are usually small enough to operate functionally and effectively, ensuring a well tailored individual approach to each student.
Language of study
Although the official language used in Latvia is Latvian, international students can easily get around with a good knowledge of Russian and English, since a large part of the population of Riga is Russian speaking, and English is equally used in the bigger cities.
In public institutions for example, the language of instruction is usually Latvian, but also include programs in English for international students. There are well more than 200 international study programmes (Bachelors, Masters and PhDs) and courses taught completely in English for students who desire to study abroad in Latvia. You will eqaully find Russian-taught courses in private universities.
There are no specific language requirements for foreign students in Latvia. An advantage of studying abroad in Latvia is that most universities do not strictly define the need for internationally recognized language tests (although some schools may ask for IELTS or TOEFL). Language skills are often checked during the interview process of prospective students. It is possible that the higher education establishment organises its own formal testing for language skills.
English language preparation for studying in Latvia
Develop your academic English language skills in order to meet the English language requirements at Latvian universities offering degree studies for international students. Choose an English language school anywhere in the world and pick your preferred English exam preparation course from diverse language course options.
List of Universities
Information Systems Management Institute in Riga
Riga Graduate School of Law
Riga Technical University
University of Latvia