Masters in Latvia

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Population: 2,005,200
# of Students: 130,000*
# of Int. Students: 3,000*
# of Institutes: 24
Education Expenditure: 49‰ of GDP
Academic Year: Runs from September to June
*= Approx. total

Study in Latvia

For a country of just over two million inhabitants, Latvia has a wealth of both public and private higher education opportunities – 59 universities and colleges. Programmes taught in foreign languages (mainly English and Russian with a few German and Scandinavian language programmes) cover a wide range of fields, from architecture to social sciences. In particular, medical studies and qualifications in the aviation industry are the most popular study options in the country.

Academic structure

There is academic and professional higher education in Latvia. Most of the institutions of higher education offer both academic and professional higher education qualification.

Academic higher education programmes are focused on preparing graduates for independent research, as well as to provide theoretical background for professional activities. Academic education programmes are implemented according to the national standard of academic education. They usually comprise a thesis at the end of each stage and lead to a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree.

Professional higher education programmes focus on providing in-depth knowledge in a particular field, preparing graduates for design or improvement of systems, products and technologies. Students are prepared to be able conduct creative, research and teaching activities. In total, the duration of professional/vocational study programmes is not less than 4 years after secondary education and not less than 2 years after college education.

General Application Requirements

Admission office of the perspective university will assist you during the application process and will inform you about specific application requirements and necessary documents.

While applying for studies the following documents shall be sent to the admission office of the chosen university:

  • Education/ Degree Certificate or Diploma
  • Transcripts of records/marks (all education documents shall be translated into English)
  • English language proficiency certificates (IELTS, TOEFL or equivalents) or the perspective University exam (if applicable)
  • Copy of ID or passport
  • Motivation Letter or/and CV

Although each university has slightly different application and registration procedures, the general steps you take during the application procedure and registration period are as follows:

  • Apply by sending your documents for evaluation. Once eligibility is confirmed you receive your Conditional Acceptance Letter followed with the positive AIC approval.
  • Once you pay the tuition fees stated on your letter, you can simultaneously apply for Resident Permit and Study Visa.
  • Make sure you inform the University about your flight details at least 3 working days before your arrival for the airport pick-up.
  • Register the very next day after you arrive in Latvia, get your student ID, start selecting your courses, and register at accommodation halls if you are staying on campus.

For more information visit: http://www.studies.lv/content/files/Application%20procedure%20(visa,%20residence%20permit).pdf

Academic degrees

The objectives of academic higher education are to prepare graduates for independent research, as well as to provide theoretical background for professional activities. Academic education programmes are implemented according to the national standard of academic education.

  • Academic programmes leading to a bachelor's degree take 3 to 4 years.
  • Academic programmes leading to a master’s degree are 4 semesters long (2 years) and requires at least 5 years total length of bachelor and master studies.

The objectives of professional higher education are to provide in-depth knowledge in a particular field, preparing graduates for design or improvement of systems, products and technologies, as well as to prepare them for creative, research and teaching activities in this field.

  • Professional programmes leading to a professional bachelor's degree require 4 years of study.
  • Professional higher education programmes leading to a professional master's degree require 1-2 years of study.

Student experience

When choosing to study in Latvia, you can study in capital city Riga or other cities in the country. You will experience one of the safest and greenest countries in the world. Universities in Latvia offer an advanced education system. Institutions of higher education are small enough to operate functionally and effectively, ensuring each individual student approach to each student.

Language

Public universities in Latvia usually offer instruction in Latvian. At the same time, programmes for foreign students are designed and taught in English. Some private universities may offer programmes in Russian language.

To find and compare English language courses visit: www.languagelearningportal.com

Study Visa

Go through the checklist before going to the Embassy of Latvia responsible for your region or Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs:

  • Completed application form
  • Photo
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of study agreement with the university
  • Copy of Education/ Degree Certificate or Diploma and Transcripts of records/marks
  • Copy of academic recognition of foreign qualification (sent by receiving university)
  • Proof of study fee payment (provided by receiving university)
  • Bank statement that confirms sufficient financial means or living expenses for staying in Latvia during the validity period of the residence permit (it equals to 320 EUR/per month)
  • Rental agreement or guarantee letter from university about the perspective place of residence
  • Statement on fluorography or x-ray examining results
  • Health insurance for the whole validity period of the residence permit

Citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) need only valid travel documents, i.e. passports or identity cards to come to Latvia. Non-EU nationals have to check if they need a visa to enter Latvia.

Ask your local Latvian embassy for detailed information about the visa application process.

Also visit: http://www.studies.lv/en/how-to-apply/visa

Research & Careers in Latvia

Research

Research in Latvia is advanced in the fields of chemistry, medicine and materials science, with new developments in renewable energy, computer programming, engineering and agriculture. Research activities take place within universities, university hospitals and scientific institutes. Research is a mandatory component of doctoral studies.

Career & Working in Latvia

The Latvian labour market was very hard hit by the global economic crisis, with the unemployment rate almost tripling between 2008 and 2010, arriving at a peak of 17.3% in March of 2010. Since that time the economy has been gradually recovering, however employment rates have increased at a comparatively slower pace, since recovery has been linked to increased productivity.

The Ministry of Economics labour forecast indicates that almost 2/3 of the increased demand for labour in the period up to 2020 will come from three main sectors: the processing industry, sales and commercial services. Since economic growth is expected to rely heavily on ever increasing productivity, transfer of manufacturing technologies, research and innovation, employment prospects for researchers and applied scientists look promising.

Living in Latvia

  • Swimming, track and field, basketball, volleyball and fitness are activities you can do at practically every university.
  • Bowling and golf are rapidly gaining popularity with facilities opening around the country.
  • For lovers of culture, universities have music, dance and drama clubs, many of which participate in national or international competitions.
  • Dormitories and Student Hostel cost 70 to 120 EUR per month, depending on specific living conditions and location.
  • Rent for living in a private flat is about 250-350 EUR, while a shared flat may cost 100 to 200 EUR.
  • Food costs may be 120-250 EUR per month. The average meal costs 6 to 9 EUR.
  • Average monthly living expenses in Latvia are estimated to be between 450 and 700 EUR, depending on the type of accommodation. These amounts should be enough to cover food, accommodation, utilities, transportation and other expenses.
  • Riga can offer a wide range of cultural events and entertainment, from world-class performances of classical music, ballet and art galleries to lively nightlife and leisure activities.
  • Riga was founded in 1201 and is among most beautiful European medieval cities, and is the largest city in the three Baltic states.
  • Riga has always been the city of youth, since the majority of Latvian higher educational institutions are located here.
  • Latvia is renowned worldwide for its choral singing traditions. It is unusual to find a Latvian who has not sung in a choir or some other group at some point in his life.
  • Latvians embraced all the classical arts – literature, painting, theatre, symphonic music, architecture, opera, ballet and film.

About Latvia

Latvia is located at the crossroads of northern and Eastern Europe, on the east coast of the Baltic Sea. Latvia is bordered by Estonia to the north, Russia and Belarus to the east and Lithuania to the south, and has a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Other neighbouring countries include Finland, Poland and Germany.

Latvia is famous for its beautiful coastline and pine forests.

Latvia is located in such a geographical zone, which allows one to enjoy the magic and the differences of the four seasons, which is mostly not possible elsewhere in Europe. Therefore the climate in Latvia is mild and humid, without extreme fluctuations in temperature. Nevertheless, that the weather conditions are changeable, Latvia has four pronounced seasons – winter, spring, summer and autumn.

Latvia is a country of rich history and cultural traditions. For a thousand years this land in the North-East of Europe was inhabited by the Baltic and Finno-Ugric tribes. Latviaš geographical location between East and West has historically made attractive to foreign conquerors. The German, Swedes, Poles and Russians had ruled here, each leaving cultural imprint on the country’s architecture, infrastructure, style and personality.

The consolidation of the modern Latvian nation started in the 19th century. That was a period of national awakening that later served also as a precondition for establishment of an independent national state in the 20th century. Today Latvia is a member country of the European Union.

Latvia is a democratic, parliamentary republic. Parliamentary elections are held every 4 years.

Latvia is a member of the United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe, NATO, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation. Latvia is also a member of the Council of the Baltic Sea States and Nordic Investment Bank.

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