Higher Education in Latvia

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Published Date: 16th March 2023

 

Latvia is a beautiful country located in Northern Europe, with a rich history and culture. The country has a long-standing tradition of providing high-quality education, and its higher education system is well-developed and recognized internationally. Latvia is an ideal destination for international students who wish to pursue higher education in a safe, friendly, and multicultural environment. In this blog, we will discuss the higher education system in Latvia, its benefits, the admission process, and the cost of living for international students.

 

 

Higher Education System in Latvia

Latvia's higher education system is based on the Bologna process, which ensures that the education provided is in line with the European Union's standards. The system consists of two main types of higher education institutions: universities and colleges. There are eight state-funded universities and sixteen state-funded colleges in Latvia. Apart from these, there are also several private higher education institutions in the country.

 

The universities in Latvia offer a wide range of courses in various fields, including medicine, engineering, law, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The colleges, on the other hand, mainly offer vocational and professional education in fields such as business, tourism, and technology. The language of instruction in most universities and colleges is Latvian, but many courses are also offered in English.

Benefits of Studying in Latvia

Studying in Latvia has many benefits for international students. Some of them are:

  • The country's higher education system is well-recognized internationally, and degrees obtained from Latvian universities are recognized globally. This makes it easier for graduates to find employment opportunities in their home countries or other countries around the world.
  • Latvia offers a safe, friendly, and multicultural environment for international students. The country has a low crime rate, and its people are known for their hospitality and friendliness toward foreigners. 
  • International students can experience a diverse culture, and the country's rich history and natural beauty make it an excellent destination for travel and exploration.
  • Latvia has a low cost of living compared to other European countries, making it an affordable destination for international students. The cost of accommodation, food, and transport is relatively low, and students can also benefit from various discounts on public transport and cultural events.

 

 

Admission Process to Study in Latvia

The admission process for international students in Latvia is relatively straightforward. Applicants must first choose the university or college they wish to attend and then check the admission requirements for their chosen course. The admission requirements may vary depending on the institution and the course, but typically include:

 

  • Completed application form
  • Proof of language proficiency (Latvian or English)
  • Certified copies of academic transcripts and diplomas
  • Passport or identity card
  • Health insurance
  • Payment of application fee

After submitting the application, the institution will review the application and inform the applicant of their admission status. If accepted, the applicant will receive an acceptance letter, which they can use to apply for a student visa.

Cost of Living in Latvia

As mentioned earlier, the cost of living in Latvia is relatively low compared to other European countries. The average monthly living expenses for a student in Latvia range between 400 to 600 EUR, depending on the city and lifestyle. The cost of accommodation is the most significant expense, and it can vary depending on the type of accommodation and location.


Students can choose to live in university dormitories or private apartments. The cost of a room in a university dormitory ranges from 80 to 150 EUR per month, while private apartments can cost between 200 to 500 EUR per month, depending on the location and amenities.


Transportation in Latvia is affordable, and students can benefit from various discounts on public transport, such as the ISIC student card. The cost of food and entertainment in Latvia is also relatively low, and students can enjoy various cultural events and activities at affordable prices. The country also offers various discounts and special offers for students on museums, theaters, and other cultural events.

 

 

Scholarships and Financial Aid in Latvia

Latvia offers several scholarships and financial aid opportunities for international students. The Latvian government provides scholarships for international students, which cover tuition fees and provide a monthly allowance for living expenses. The scholarship programs are available for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, and the application process is open once a year.


Apart from government scholarships, there are also several private organizations that offer scholarships and financial aid for international students. Students can search for scholarships online or contact the international student office of their chosen institution for more information.

Work Opportunities in Latvia

International students in Latvia can work part-time during their studies to support themselves financially. Students from European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries are allowed to work without any restrictions, while non-EU/EEA students can work up to 20 hours per week during their studies.


After graduation, international students can also stay in Latvia for up to six months to look for employment opportunities. If they find a job, they can apply for a work permit and continue living and working in Latvia.

 

 

Conclusion

Latvia's higher education system is well-developed and recognized internationally, making it an excellent destination for international students. The country offers a safe, friendly, and multicultural environment, and its low cost of living makes it an affordable option for students. The admission process is straightforward, and there are several scholarships and financial aid opportunities available for international students. Studying in Latvia can be a life-changing experience for international students, and it can open up a world of opportunities for their future.

 

 

1.How long does a Bachelor's degree take in Latvia?
A Bachelor's degree in Latvia typically takes three to four years to complete, depending on the program and university. The duration may vary based on the field of study and the level of coursework required. Some programs may have additional requirements, such as internships or thesis projects, that can extend the duration of the degree program.

 

2. What are the admission requirements for higher education in Latvia?
The admission requirements for higher education in Latvia vary depending on the course and institution. Generally, applicants are required to have completed secondary education, and some courses may have specific subject requirements. International students may also need to demonstrate proficiency in the Latvian or English language.

 

3. What is the cost of higher education in Latvia?
The cost of higher education in Latvia for international students varies depending on the university and program. On average, international students can expect to pay between 2,000 and 8,000 EUR per year for tuition fees. However, some programs, particularly in fields such as medicine and engineering, may have higher tuition fees. It's also important to factor in living expenses, such as accommodation and transportation, which can vary depending on the location and lifestyle of the student.

 

4. Are there any English language requirements for international students studying in Latvia?
Yes, there are English language requirements for international students studying in Latvia. Most universities require international students to demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting the results of standardized language proficiency tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. Some universities may also offer language courses or accept alternative language tests. It's important to check the specific language requirements of the university and program before applying.

 

5. What types of degrees are offered in Latvian universities?
Latvian universities offer a wide range of degree programs at undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels. These include Bachelor's degrees, Master's degrees, PhDs, and other research-based programs.

 

6. Can international students work while studying in Latvia?
Yes, international students can work while studying in Latvia, but there are some restrictions. Non-EU students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during holidays. EU students have no restrictions on the number of hours they can work. However, it's important to note that part-time jobs may not cover all the expenses, and students should not rely on working to cover all their living expenses while studying

 

7. What is the application process for studying in Latvia?
The application process for studying in Latvia varies depending on the institution and course. Generally, international students can apply directly to the institution or through the Online Admissions System. Application deadlines and requirements also vary, so it's important to check with the institution or Online Admissions System for specific information.

 

8. What support services are available for international students in Latvia?
International students in Latvia can access a range of support services, including academic support, welfare support, and visa and immigration advice. Most institutions have an international office or student support services team that can provide information and assistance to students.

 

9. What are the accommodation options for international students in Latvia?
Accommodation options for international students in Latvia include university halls of residence, private apartments or houses, homestays, and hostels. It's important to research accommodation options and apply early, as housing can be competitive and fill up quickly.

 

10. Is it necessary for international students to learn Latvian to study in Latvia?
No, it's not necessary for international students to learn Latvian to study in Latvia. Many universities offer courses taught in English, and there are English-language programs available at both undergraduate and graduate levels. However, learning some basic Latvian can help international students to better integrate into the local community and culture.

 

11. What are the visa requirements for international students studying in Latvia?
International students from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland are required to obtain a student visa to study in Latvia. To obtain a visa, students must provide proof of acceptance into a Latvian institution, sufficient funds to support themselves during their studies, and a valid health insurance policy. Read more: How to get a Student visa for Latvia?

 

12. What is the grading system used in Latvian universities?
Latvian universities use a 10-point grading system, with 10 being the highest grade and 4 being the minimum passing grade. Some institutions may also use the ECTS grading system, which is used throughout Europe.

 

13. Are there any opportunities for international students to study Latvian language while studying in Latvia?
Yes, many universities in Latvia offer Latvian language courses for international students. These courses are often free or offered at a reduced rate for students who are enrolled in degree programs.

 

14. Can international students apply for scholarships to study in Latvia?
Yes, there are several scholarship opportunities available for international students who wish to study in Latvia. These include government-funded scholarships, university-specific scholarships, and scholarships from private organizations.

 

15. What is student life like in Latvia?
Student life in Latvia is generally lively and active, with many opportunities for socializing and cultural events. There are numerous student clubs and organizations that cater to a wide range of interests, and many universities have their own sports teams and facilities.
 

Read Also

How to Obtain Bachelor's Degree in Latvia?
How to Solve the Problems While Studying Abroad in Latvia?
Stay back and Work Permit after Study in Latvia
 

Twinkle
About the Author:

Twinkle is an active listener and observer. She has a boundless curiosity to improvise her all-round knowledge. She is always open about her thoughts and her personality is filled with thirst for acquiring knowledge about different fields. Her favourite pastime is to pen down her thoughts and knowledge. Her strength is the simplicity of language yet being artistic.

Categories: Latvia

Tags: Study Abroad

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