An All-Inclusive Guide to Study in Latvia

9 minute read
Study in Latvia

You might not have heard of Latvia as a country and definitely not as a study destination. Latvia’s only shot to fame is that it has one of the fastest internet speeds in the whole world. On average, its speed remains around 13.9 Mb/s. So if you’re an internet geek, this place can be a treasure for you. However, the Internet isn’t the only magical wand that Latvia has. Let us explore the other interesting things the country has to offer and how the decision to study in Latvia is a smart one.

Latvia At A Glance

Latvia is located in the north-eastern area of Europe. It is bordered by Russia, Belarus, Estonia, and Lithuania. After the fall of the Soviet Union, this nation achieved its independence. In 2004, it joined the European Union and became an active member. Today, the country has an approximate of 64,590 sq. km area in which almost 2.2 million inhabitants are living. It’s surprising to note that with only 2.2 million inhabitants, Latvia has its own language which is called Latvian. At present, the country has two major languages: Russian and Latvian. Now let’s why it’s a good idea to study in Latvia.

Why Study in Latvia?

Culture: One of the obvious benefits, when you study in Latvia, will be its rich culture. Nobody knows about the abilities of Latvia. And that’s the advantage. We don’t know why its cuisines aren’t known worldwide. Once you have some of the native dishes here, you’ll never forget them. The reason behind the unforgettable taste maybe the German and Russian influence that has found its way into Latvian dishes. When it comes to transportation, you can either walk or hop on your bike. In fact, some companies offer cycling and walking tours. 

Education System: If you study in Latvia you will find that some institutions are funded by the government to provide financial aid to students while some are there to make a profit. The nation offers an academic and professional level of higher education programs. So we advise you to take admission in “university-type” higher education institutions where you can get both professional as well as academic education. On the other hand, “non-university” type institution offers only professional education. 

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Impeccable Architecture: You may be already aware of the fact that all European countries have impressive architecture. However, you wouldn’t have heard this before. Right? Well, Riga has the largest number of Art Nouveau buildings among all European countries. Thus, you will get to witness amazing architecture when you study in Latvia.

Locals: When we don’t know about a country, we often research about its people. We do everything in our power to understand how people interact, work, think, and live. Whenever we reside in any foreign country for a while, we check out some of the unspoken rules and the behaviour of the people, so that we can live there peacefully. Don’t worry! You won’t have to research about this if you plan to study in Latvia. Generally, people interact in the Latvian language. However, most people still talk in the English language with a surprising mix of various accents like Dutch, Swedish, and English. 

Tuition Fees & Living Cost: In some European countries, you will find that tuition and living expenses both are expensive, while in some, tuition fees are cheaper and the living cost is expensive. If you don’t have a perfect budget, Latvia is an excellent place to study abroad. When you will study in Latvia, you will find Latvia universities offer affordable tuition to their students’ and when it comes to living expenses, it’s relatively cheaper than the other European countries. At an affordable cost, you will get a degree that will be recognized just like the known universities of other European nations.

No Scores: So many countries require high marks, but Latvia is a bit different. You won’t have to score more than 80 or 90 percent. Students must have at least 50% marks. That’s enough. Moreover, if you fall into the category of those students who have taken a gap from academics, then you can study in Latvia with no issues.  

No Language Proficiency Tests: Some students have good English speaking skills, but they can’t prove that in a written test. Such students develop their own way to speak English. So if you are just like them, you will be accepted here without written tests. All you need to study in Latvia is words. They will talk to you to analyze whether you can speak English or not. 

Challenges of Studying In Latvia

Job Prospects: International students often plan to reside and work in their study abroad destination. You may not be able to do that here because there’s a constraint of language. You will have to master Latvian, to be able to work after studying in Latvia because getting a job is a bit competitive. 

But a degree earned from here will be well-recognized in every European state. If you ever need to work, you can shift to any other European country to get a high-income job after studying in Latvia. 

Weather Condition: For those who are not used to extreme weather conditions, the weather can seem a little harsh with temperatures dropping to -20 degree Celsius. Dark and gloomy winters last from November to February in Latvia. Make sure you are well prepared for these extreme conditions when you plan to study in Latvia.

Cost to Study in Latvia

The cost of studying in Latvia would be a sum of tuition fee one has to pay for the course and the cost of living. The tuition fee remains similar throughout the course duration, however, the living expenses change as per the city. For example, the expense of living in Riga would be different from the cost of living at Liepaja. On average the living expenditure will fall under 450 to 750 Euros including the cost of food, utility, accommodation and transportation. 

Tuition Fee

The tuition fee to study in Latvia might vary as per the university and course one picks. Non-European students or international students have to pay a higher amount in comparison to the amount paid by in-house students. A general outlook of undergraduate courses in Latvia is as follows: 

Area of StudyFees Per Year
Medicine7500-15000 Euros
Business Programs  2000-6000 Euros
Management Programs2000-6000 Euros
IT & Engineering Programs2200-4000 Euros
Mathematics2200-4000 Euros
Informatics2200-4000 Euros

Thus, we can estimate that the average tuition fee to pursue an undergraduate course in 3000-5000 USD. Master’s degree course fee can be estimated to 3700 Euros or higher as per the specialization. 

Admission Process to Study in Latvia

Application is the first step towards starting the study abroad journey. It is essential for candidates to ensure that they do it the right way. Keeping that in mind, Leverage Edu has created a step by step guide for making the admission process to study in Latvia an easy task for you:

Step 1: Research all the programs and universities to study in Latvia and make a list of the top 5. It would be better if you have an alternative for yourself. 

Step 2: Collect all the required documents like: 

  • A properly filled application form
  • A proof that represents you are done with the secondary education
  • Entrance exams(if required)
  • A valid passport
  • Passport size photographs with white background
  • No English proficiency test is required but having a certificate may add a positive impression.
  • Proof of financial ability
  • Have a police clearance certificate to prove that you haven’t been into any criminal activity lately. 

Step 3: Now send all the documents to the university admission office. They will send your documents further for the analysis. This analysis may take at least 1 month or more. 

Step 4: Based on your study program, you will have to give an entrance exam. (If required)

Step 5: After the analysis of your documents, you will receive an agreement from the university. Sign the agreement and pay the application fees of the 1st year to begin your journey to study in Latvia. 

Step 6: Most of the universities have their own procedure to complete the process of residence permit. However, they generally send a code number that allows you to submit your documents into the embassy of Latvia. But make sure that you submit to the embassy of your home country. If you don’t have one, then contact the university. 

How To Get A Visa to Study in Latvia?

Those students who belong to EU/EEA region don’t need a visa. Just bring your valid travel passports. Here is a guide for international students:

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  1. First, collect all the documents: 
    • A copy of previous year records and transcripts of your records. 
    • Attested letter of acceptance or any proof that shows you have been accepted into the university. 
    • Receipt of the payment that you have made for the 1st year tuition fees. 
    • Proof of financial ability
    • Health insurance that remains valid till the end date of your course. 
  2. Contact the Latvia embassy or consulate to make an appointment. 
  3. On the day of the appointment, dress up well and submit all the documents that you have collected earlier. We said to dress up well because an interview process is also conducted for aspirants who want to study in Latvia
  4. Don’t forget to apply early because it may take up to 8 weeks to get the visa. 

Top Universities to Study in Latvia

Here is the list of the top universities to study in Latvia that offers an array of courses to international students:

University of Latvia

This university is the most prestigious institution to study in Latvia. It provides several programs that no other university does. Moreover, it has an experience of over 100 years. The city is known for its humorous heartwarming activities. Those who are inclined towards sci-fi, fantasy, gaming and things of that nature are likely to have a great time here. The University offers graduate, undergraduate, professional and doctoral programs. 

Turiba University

It is the largest business school to study in Latvia and was founded 26 years ago. Presently, they have 5 branches in the following regions:

  1. Liepaja
  2. Cesis
  3. Talsi
  4. Jekabpils
  5. Riga

The University believes in imparting practical knowledge to its students. Let us tell you something eye-opening! “99.61% of the graduates of Turiba University are employed globally.” Isn’t it amazing? The university specializes in International Tourism, Law, Business Administration, and Communication. Besides these benefits, they also provide an electronic library, which is accessible from any part of the world by using the computer and internet.

University of Daugavpils

One of the largest regional public research universities to study in Latvia, the University of Daugavpils was established 98 years ago for profit. Currently, the university has campuses in Jelgava, Dobele, Balvi, Madona, Rezekne, Limbazi and Riga. Students can enroll in bachelors, masters, and even doctorate level programs here, you will have to prepare yourself for an entry level examination for admission to the programs. The university has the following faculties:

  • Social Sciences 
  • Humanities
  • Music and Arts
  • Education and Management
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Riga Technical University

Founded 157 years ago in Riga, it was previously known as Riga Polytechnical Institute. At present, the university has the following faculties:

  • Architecture
  • Civil Engineering
  • Power and Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Science and Information Technology
  • E-Learning Technologies and Humanities
  • Engineering Economics and Management
  • Mechanical Engineering and Transport & Aeronautics
  • Materials Science and Applied Chemistry

Latvia has generated many IT graduates in recent years, the university can be credited for these efforts and changes. It has been providing technical courses at an affordable tuition fee for many years. A number of Indian students studying there claim that the cost of education invested there would amount to the same price that they would end up spending in their home country.

Art Academy of Latvia

This leading art and design Institution of Latvia was established 100 years ago. It can be said that the university is responsible for the nation’s artistic influence. It provides a safe space where students from an art background can show their talent. At present, the university has the following faculties:

  • Design
  • Audio-visual Media Art
  • Plastic Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • History and Theory of Art

Most students around the world want to take a short cut for success. But we all know that the probability of success falls when we take short cuts. It’s true that you can’t climb the ladder of success at the speed of Latvia’s internet connection but it’s also true that you can’t get such an inexpensive study abroad destination with various courses in Europe. 

If you have made your mind to study in Latvia let Leverage Edu be your helping hand. Our mentors can help you in making an excellent study abroad application to your dream university. Book a free career counselling session and find out the right course that lines with your interests!

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