With beautiful forests, rivers and lakes, dynamic cities and a fascinating and multi-ethnic culture, Latvia has something for everyone, and has been called “Europe’s best-kept secret”. Located at the crossroads of Northern and Eastern Europe, Latvia has been influenced both linguistically and culturally by neighbors such as Lithuania and Estonia, while retaining its own distinct national identity and traditions.
Latvia proudly holds the 2nd highest place in the world rank in number of students comparing to the size of the population.
Latvia is part of European Union and offers world class education in different study fields – Engineering, Medicine, Business, Tourism, Public Relations, Banking, Nature Sciences and Social Sciences. Latvia offers modern and safe study environment; internationally recognized academic staff; very competitive tuition fees, reasonable living costs and the degrees obtained in Latvia are recognized in all European Union countries.
The focus of Higher education in Latvia is on interactive learning and practical experience.
Latvian Higher Education System
The structure of the higher education system in Latvia is similar to that of the UK. Latvia has signed the Bologna Process Declaration and is part of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) which works to standardise HE qualifications across the member countries. This means that Latvia has the three-cycle degree system of first degree, masters and doctorate.
Ranked 47th in the QS University Rankings: EECA 2016 and 651-700* in the overall QS World University Rankings® 2016/17, the University of Latvia is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in the Baltic States, located in Riga and home to around 15,000 students. Established in 1919, the university has been rated four out of five stars overall in the QS Stars rating system, and achieves five-star ratings in the categories ‘internationalization’, ‘teaching’, ‘facilities’ and ‘innovation’. The university offers a number of international programs taught either partly or completely in English, including medicine and dentistry.
There are numerous institutions of higher education, which includes colleges and the following six universities:
Latvia University of Agriculture
University of Latvia
Riga Stradins University
Riga Technical University.
For a full list of higher education institutions in Latvia, see Study in Latvia.
There are a few popular degree courses in Latvia. Depending if you want to earn a bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree, are lot of choices that are available to you. Apart from that doctorate degrees can be obtained in the country in a number of fields. In order to understand what type of degree that you would like to earn, you should first of all have a view of the most popular degrees in Latvia. Courses to choose from for which Latvia are famous are:
Art & Humanities
History & Language
Western American Literature
Fundamentals of Philosophy
International students who want to study in Latvia must have completed relevant course and will need to show evidence of this in their application. Applications are made directly to the higher education institution and details can usually be found on the institution’ website. Some may use online application forms and an application fee may also have to be paid. Closing dates for applications vary between universities so check directly with the institution. The academic year runs from September to June and is split into two semesters.
Tuition fees and living costs
Tuition fees at Latvian universities vary depending on the institution, program, and where you’re from – non-EU students usually pay more than EU/EEA and Swiss students. In general you should expect to pay €3,000-5,000 (~US$3,300-5,540) per year for an undergraduate degree. Courses such as dentistry and medicine are more expensive, costing up to €15,000 (~US$16,600) a year. At master’s level, most courses range between €1,700 (~US$1,900) per year for EU/EEA and Swiss citizens and about €3,700 (~US$4,100) for all other overseas students.
Living costs are lower than in many other European countries. You’ll need to budget €5,400-8,400 (~US6,000-9,300) to cover everything including food (up to €250 per month), accommodation, travel and other personal expenses. Most Latvian universities have student halls of residence, which is likely to be the cheapest accommodation option. If you want to travel beyond Latvia to explore neighboring countries such as Russia or Estonia, you’ll of course need to budget more.
Study and Work in Latvia
The majority of graduate jobs are likely to be found in Riga, the capital. International students can work 20 hour per week on part time basis.
Major industries to work for in Latvia are: processed foods, wood products, textiles, processed metals, transit, synthetic fibres and electronics.
There is a growing demand in the construction, sales and processing sectors. Major companies are : Grindex Pharmaceuticals (pharmaceuticals), Phillip Morris International (tobacco company), KPMG (professional services), Latvenergo (utilities), Lattelecom (IT and telecommunications), Tele2 (telecommunications), AirBaltic (national airline).
Work placements and internships:
Universities in Latvia do provide internships for many courses. Placements tend to start in the summer and last from four weeks up to one year.
Professional internships in management, technology, education and development are available from 6 weeks to 18.
You can search for various placements in Latvia on Euro placement zone. Many international companies may also offer internships.
How to apply to Latvian universities
Each university’s admission procedures vary, but generally in order to apply to study in Latvia, you’ll first need to have your educational documents (academic transcript, degree certificate/diploma) certified to show that you’re eligible to apply. You should therefore send the appropriate documents to your chosen university’s admission office. The university will guide you through the process and inform you of what exams you need to pass, including any language test result/s (such as IELTS or TOEFL if you want to study in English). You may also have a video interview and/or need to submit your CV or a personal statement.
Once your eligibility is confirmed and you’ve been accepted, you’ll receive a conditional acceptance letter, receive and sign an agreement, and pay your tuition fees for the first year of study (some institutions may ask for a security deposit).
Visas and residence permits for persons interested in studying in Latvia are acquired as part of the application and enrolment process. Based on a positive assessment of the applicant’s education documents provided by the Academic Information Centre, and a successful enrolment application, the university contacts the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) to apply for a 3-month entry visa for citizens of countries who require a visa. When the student has arrived, a residence permit is applied for by the university on behalf of the student for the period of studies in which the student is enrolled.
Applying for a Latvian student visa
Once you’ve successfully and enrolled and paid your fees, your university will inform you of what you need to do next to gain a Latvian student visa and residence permit, and may apply for these on your behalf. Citizens of the European Union (EU) do not need a visa to study in Latvia, but will need to obtain a residence permit within three months of arrival, which in most cases will be applied for by your university. It’s mandatory for all students to have health insurance which covers you for the entire duration of your intended stay.
Non-EU students will need to apply for a visa and residence permit, and should apply for these in plenty of time before the course start date. Once accepted by a Latvian university, you’ll need to submit the required documents to your nearest Latvian embassy (you can search for yours here). If there is no Latvian embassy in your country, you should contact your university for advice on how to proceed.
The usual documents you need to present for your Latvian student visa are:
Completed application form
Original copy of passport
Original copy of your study agreement, showing you’ve been admitted to a Latvian university
Proof you’ve paid your tuition fees (provided by the receiving university)
Bank statement showing you have enough funds to support yourself during your studies
Rental agreement or guarantee letter from the university concerning your prospective accommodation
Proof that you’ve arranged adequate health insurance
Statement on fluorography or X-ray examining results
Why Study in Latvia?
Schengen Country (Student gets the Visa for 28 Countries), Exchange semester & Dual degree Programs available at all Universities.
a) Student can study at Indian cost, tuition fee starts from Rs 2,50,000 per year.
b) All Programs are in English Language
c) Student can work 20 Hrs per week part time.
d) Paid Internships in UK, CANADA, EUROPE
e) All universities are Govt. or Govt. approved
f) Very easy visa processing – one day old funds also acceptable, required only Rs 3.5 Lakh
g) Programmes available In all fields like engineering , Business , Medical , MBBS , Hotel Management etc.
h) IELTS is not required if student can speak good English
i) All Programmes Starts in Sept 2013j) Student can have exchange programme with other European universities as well.
Facts About Latvian Universities
a) All universities issue European Union Degree valid all over the world including India.
b) High Quality Education
c) Very Low Tuition Fees
d) Indian students who graduated from these Universities are working in Europe & Other Countries.
e) Erasmus Exchange Semester with grants on Living Expenses for Indian students
f) Paid Internships with all postgraduate programmes
g) Class rooms with good mix of international and local students
h) All Education in English Language
i) Excellent facilities for Sports & other activities
j) World class Laboratories for Research
k) Hostel Accommodation and other utilities available for as low as 100 Euros per month with all universities.
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