We had a chance to interview Anika, who is from Finland and is currently studying in the 5th year ar Riga Stradins University. She is a student of General medicine and shares useful tips about the application procedure, accommodation options and quality of teachers.
Tell us a little about yourself and where are you studying now?
Hi, I’m Anika from Tampere. I study at Riga Stradins University (RSU) for 5 years in English.
Why did you decide to apply to that particular university and study for this degree?
I had wanted to study medicine since I was little, and a few of my friends had studied at RSU, so I decided to apply here after graduating from high school.
Will a degree from Latvia be accepted in Finland after graduation?
The degree can be accepted in Finland after graduation through Valvira.
How does the application process work? What are your tips for getting accepted?
You can apply to RSU twice a year, where approximately 250 students are admitted to the Medical degree in both applications. Previous degrees must be translated into English by a translator. There is no entrance exam at RSU, but instead, the high school & high school certificate is considered. You also need a motivation letter where you tell why you want to study medicine and why you should be chosen. In addition to the motivation letter, a letter of recommendation is required, where in practice a teacher, former boss, etc. recommends to the school why you would be a good choice for this degree.
What degrees does your university offer to international students and how much do the degrees cost?
RSU offers English-language degrees such as Medicine (6 years), Dentistry (5 years) & Business (3 years) on-site. Degree prices are the following: Medicine: 12,000 euros per year, Dentistry: 14,000-15,000 euros per year, and Business: 2800 euros per year.
What is the quality of education like?
The professors teach the subjects well and give help whenever needed. Several professors have studied and taught their own subjects for decades, which is also reflected in the quality of the teaching.
What are the easiest and hardest subjects for you?
I found Microbiology to be the most difficult subject, probably due to how broad the study topics were in the course. I found Anatomy to be the easiest subject because it seemed natural and interesting to me.
What are the university facilities and lecture halls like?
The university’s lecture halls & classes are large, with space to follow classes & lectures well. The library is also very peaceful and I often go there to study if I want to study at school. In the main building of the university, where a large part of classes up to the third year are located, there is a library, a large canteen, and lecture halls. For anatomy classes, the university uses a separate building dedicated to studying anatomy, the “Anatomicum”. The Anatomicum contains all the necessary materials and models for studying anatomy, and next to the Anatomicum is the RSU anatomy museum, which you can visit whenever you have free time. I personally liked the university canteen a lot, there are many different options to choose from & the food is good.
Are there organizations or organizations for international students?
There is a RISLO group for Finnish students, which organizes various events throughout the year.
Where are your classmates from?
My classmates are mostly German, as well as from Sweden and Finland. There are about 20 classes in total and the class sizes are 10-15 people.
What kind of housing options are there and how to find an apartment?
Opposite the university, there is a possibility to rent an apartment at, RSU Student Hostel. From there you can rent a shared room or your own room. The dormitory is new and many people move there at the beginning of their studies, later, for example, if you are interested, you can rent an apartment in a private center. The University also offers its own dormitories in other locations, which are also quite close to the University. The price of the dormitory depends a little on what type of room you want, but approx. 250-500 euros per month, which includes internet, electricity, water, etc. You can visit the University’s own dormitories here: https://www.rsu.lv/en/rsu-student-hostels If you want to rent an apartment from a private person, https://www.ss.lv/ru/real-estate/flats/ is a good site to search for rental apartments
What kind of budget is good to prepare for in Latvia?
Living in Latvia is cheaper than in Finland. In addition to the rent, it is good to reserve approx. 250-400 euros per month for living, plus eating out and partying, etc. (50-200 euros) At the beginning of my studies, I bought the Sobotta Anatomy book series, which cost 100 euros used, which I can recommend buying. Most of the school materials are in digital form and apart from Sobota, I have not acquired any other books in physical form.
What kinds of activities are there for students?
In Latvia, there are good gym opportunities around Riga. You can enjoy many different activities in Latvia, and I personally like to go to Jurmala to walk by the sea, which is easily accessible by train. It is also easy to find online if you are looking for a specific activity that you would like to do.
Do you recommend others to apply to your university?
I do recommend RSU to everyone who is interested in studying abroad, I myself have not regretted my decision to study at RSU. RSU is very international, from what I have found