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Some information about Latvia

1. HIgher education

Higher education in Latvia is generally split between academic and professional studies. Academic programs are designed to improve students’ independent research skills and provide a theoretical background to careers, while professional programs are more vocational, preparing students for graduate careers in the design or enhancement of systems, products and technologies, as well as preparing them for creative, research and teaching activities in their chosen field.

2. System

Latvian universities follow the Bologna system, offering three levels of study (bachelor’s, master’s and PhD). Most bachelor degrees take three or four years to complete, while master’s degrees are one or two years long. The academic year runs from September to June, with exams taking place in May and June.

3. Pearl of Baltic states

Labeled as the “Pearl of the Baltic States” and “Europe’s Best Kept Secret”, Latvia boasts distinct qualities which sets it apart from its European neighbors. The country has one of the best conservatories for wildlife, with its vast collection of forests, intricate networks of rivers, and gorgeous lakes contributing to 44% of the country’s total territory.

4. Low cost of living

The cost of living is very low in Riga, particularly when you compare it to other European capital cities. However, if you are studying in any of the other large cities around Latvia, you will find it to be even cheaper.

5. Weather

Being a northern country, Latvia experiences fairly long, dark winters (November to February). It is not generally extremely cold or snowy; averaging around minus ten degrees Celsius, but temperatures can reach minus twenty for a few days each year. Spring is lovely with plenty of flowers and blooming fruit trees and shrubbery. Summer is the favourite season of most Latvians because of long "white" nights and warm temperatures, averaging a pleasant 20 degrees

Latvian cities to study in

Many international students looking to study in Latvia will be keen to spend time in the country’s capital. Rich in culture, architecture and a range of attractions, Riga is also the largest city in the country, home to around 700,000 people (more than a third of the nation’s overall population). Riga was a European Capital of Culture in 2014 and is famous for its mix of fantastic architecture both old and new, including what is thought to be the largest collection of art nouveau buildings in the world. The city is one of the key economic and financial centers in the Baltic region and generates more than half of the country’s GDP. Riga is also a center of higher education, home to a wide range of universities.

Daugavpils is Latvia’s second-largest city, home to around 95,000 people and located in the south-east of the country. Daugavpils’ name literally translates to ‘Daugava Castle’ and like Riga, the city also has a historic center with a rich architectural heritage, and is particularly known for its red brick buildings. A multi-ethnic city, Daugavpils has a large number of Russian speakers and is an important cultural center in eastern Latvia, often hosting music events and festivals. Dauvavpils is home to Daugavpils University, and Riga Technical University has an affiliate located here.

The country’s third-largest city with around 82,000 inhabitants, Liepāja is located on the west coast, overlooking the Baltic Sea. Its pristine Blue Flag beaches make it an ideal destination either to study in or to visit during your studies for a seaside break. In terms of culture, Liepaja is often called the capital of Latvian rock music and has three concert halls, as well as many events throughout the summer, including the massive ‘Summer Sound’ beach party. Recent years have seen a significant amount of investment in higher education development and quality in Liepāja, and again a branch of Riga Technical University can be found in the city.

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