I have been studying at Stradins University in Riga (one of two universities with foreign students in Riga) since the 2010 winter semester. The application process was relatively simple, if you take the time to read through and fill out all the forms, it really is a breeze.
Before I went to Riga I didn’t really know what to expect – you hear a lot about Eastern Europe. When I first arrived in Riga, I was incredibly relieved. The city is beautiful (especially in summer), there are lots of young people walking through the streets and there are plenty of opportunities to spend the night around your ears! Getting there is also relatively inexpensive, there are “low-cost airlines” that fly to Riga directly – and the bus from the airport to the city costs one euro.
Short for RSU by abbreviationfinder, the Riga Stradins University itself is just under renovation, so there are some areas that are very modern (eg, the large lecture halls), but also parts are still waiting for a renewal (chemistry laboratories Anatomical)
The professors usually speak enough English and partly take care of touching to the students. The students are divided into small groups with a maximum of 15 people, so you always have the opportunity to ask again if you have not understood something. Most professors respond to such requests. (Of course there are exceptions, but that is the case everywhere. ) In addition to anatomy, chemistry, physics, Latin, ethics and biology, you also have Latvian in the first semester – a relatively difficult language, but with two 90 minutes of Latvian per week you learn the basics pretty quickly.
Even with normal school English you get along well, the lectures are mostly voluntary events, which affects the number of visitors. The practical units, on the other hand, are required to be present; missing them can have unpleasant consequences. (Retyping, writing summaries, and in any case, evil looks. )
There is currently some confusion about the curriculum. Changes in the Latvian curriculum (and thus also in the English curriculum) made it a little more difficult to move back to the home country. But if everyone agrees (and there is good cohesion in most semesters) there are opportunities to change something in the curriculum and then the university management is also ready to talk. For example, the number of biochemistry semesters has been changed, but with extra courses you can still achieve a sufficient number of credit points for changing after the physics course.
So far everything has worked out so far, but every applicant who has the change in mind should ask his state examination office. (And yes, that may take a little time)
Furthermore, the interpretation of the rules has now been tightened: if you fail the exam in a subject (and the follow-up exam) you are only allowed to take exactly that subject in the next semester. So you can no longer take all the other subjects of the following semester and at the same time imitate the subject from the old semester. This is annoying for those who fail, but leads to the fact that the small classes are retained. (Although you have to say that the classes would still be small enough, even with 17 students. )
In terms of learning effort, there is only to be said that you study medicine and that it is associated with effort. You write tests almost every week, so you hardly have the opportunity to put learning on the back burner. (This is really an advantage!)
As already mentioned, Riga itself is a beautiful city. In your free time you can do sports and go out wonderfully. The night clubs, bars and beer gardens are really good. (Many a Western European metropolis can learn something from this). So there are enough opportunities to use the free time that you have despite the study. Since many Scandinavians study in Riga, the whole thing really has an international character. There is also an in-house international soccer team. The city is particularly beautiful in summer and particularly cold in winter. In a winter that feels like the end of October to the end of April, you should definitely pack a pair of warm socks. In summer, Jurmala beach is a welcome change.
Living in Riga is comparatively very cheap. For a flat share in the old town with over 140m² with three people, 300 € each is a bargain compared to most German university cities. The prices for groceries are roughly comparable with the German prices.
So it remains to be said that Riga is a wonderful choice if you haven’t got a medical degree in Germany or if you just want to study in English. If you don’t have any problems expressing your opinion in front of the university management, then you really have a nice degree. The price for this is certainly high, so everyone has to decide for themselves whether the job is worth the price for them.