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Riga Stradinš University (RSU) is located in Riga, the capital of Latvia. Latvia (population 1,9 million people) is a member country of the European Union, NATO, and other international organizations. Latvia is part of the Schengen zone and eurozone. It is prestigious university offering study programs of General medicine and Dental medicine in 2 intakes (September intake and February intake).
The faculty has a long history as it is running since 1919. The international programs of Medicine and Dentistry run since 2013, programs of Nursing and Public health since 2018. There are students from 60 different countries currently studying at RSU – also in mixed study groups, which means that international students study together with Latvian students since 2014. There are basic subjects in the 1st and 2nd year, preclinical subjects in the 3rd year, and clinical subjects in the 4th to 6th year. The credit system at University is different from the ECTS credit system, but credits and awarded degrees are recognized abroad. One Latvian credit equals to 1,5 ECTS credits approximately, which means that one compete study year has 40 credits (equals 60 ECTS). The top mark in Latvia is 10, the lowest to pass the exam is 4 or 5 (marks 1,2, or 3 means failure at credit test or exam).
Basic facts about Riga Stradins University
The university in Riga has 1100 employees and 61 offered study programs. The university is public and recognized in the European Union and EEA. There is a 1:10 ratio of students per teacher. The University cooperates with 14 hospitals so the students can take internships: 5 are in Riga, 6 in other cities in Latvia, 3 in Germany, 1 in Italy (Bolzano), and 1 in Israel. Studies are in the English language, but during medical or dentistry studies, students learn also Latin and Latvian (for clinical classes and rotations). Study materials are provided by the RSU library.
Study programs in English at Riga Stradins University and fees
There are programs of General medicine and Dental medicine offered at RSU – Faculty of medicine. Students are organized in small groups with 8-15 students where practical classes are happening. This makes the relationship between teacher and student very close and students may get responses to their questions very fast.
The program of General medicine has 6 years and ends with a Doctor of Medicine degree. There are 290 seats in September intake (application deadline for September intake is 1st of July) and 240 seats in February intake (numbers from 2020/21 intake) – application deadline for February intake is 1st of December. The total load of 360 credits needs to be achieved by students in order to be awarded a degree.
Students take theoretical classes in 1st and 2nd year (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry,…), preclinical classes in 3rd year, clinical subjects in 4th and 5th year, and practical classes in 6th (including 6 weeks rotations at departments for internal diseases, surgery, and one elective course).
All study groups have max. 12 people in them, which means that students are in close touch with their professors. Tuition fees are 12.000€ per academic year (2 semesters). School is offering also tuition fees discounts – for academic excellence (25% of semester fee for TOP 30 students in 3rd to 6th year), 10% social discount (5 students with the hard personal situation) and 5% discount for family members. Discounts are possible only for students who are not retaking a semester or subject during their studies. There are 2 intakes for the General medicine program. The program is offered by the Faculty of medicine of Riga Stradins University.
The program of Dental medicine has 5 years and ends with a degree of Doctor of Dental medicine. There are 70 seats in the September intake (application deadline 1st of July) and 28 seats in the February intake (application deadline 1st of December). Tuition fees are 14.000€ for 1st and 2nd year and 15.000€ for 3rd, 4th, and 5th year.
There is a load of 300 ECTS credits – theoretical classes are taught in 1st year, preclinical subjects in 2nd year, and clinical subjects in 3rd, 4th and 5th year.
School is offering also tuition fees discounts – for academic excellence (25% of semester fee for TOP 30 students in 3rd to 6th year), 10% social discount (5 students with the hard personal situation), and 5% discount for family members. The first 20 students from lower to middle-income countries also do not need to pay the application fee. There are 2 intakes for the Dental medicine program. The program is offered by the Faculty of dentistry of Riga Stradins University. Students spend a lot of time at RSU dentistry preclinical learning center.
There is a registration fee of 1500€ paid at the beginning of studies of General medicine or Dentistry at RSU.
International medical students at Riga Stradins University
There are international students studying in Riga from all over the world. Students come from 61 countries and TOP 6 countries from where
International students come from are Germany (35,2%), Sweden (21%), Finland (12%), Norway, Portugal and Italy. There are a total of 9934 students at RSU, while international students form 25% of this figure – a total of 2500 international students studied at RSU in 2020. The majority of international students come from the EU (86,4%). There were 1367 graduates totally in 2020.
Admission requirements at Riga Stradins University
Unlike other universities in central Europe, RSU is not performing a written entrance exam. Students need to submit a given list of documents for admission and faculty will decide on the admission list. The most important requirements are the following: completed secondary school (diploma and transcript of grades), good or excellent final grades in English, Biology or Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics (min. mark of 70% and more). If students cannot submit any confirmation on English language skills, it is also possible to submit an English certificate, such as IELTS, CAE, or FCE.
What are the documents to be submitted for an admission process?
- online application from the RSU website – it is necessary to print it out and submit it by post as well
- high school academic documents (Diploma and transcript of records) – hard copies to be submitted by post
- 2 letters of recommendation
- letter of motivation
- proof of language proficiency – mandatory for non-EU students
- 2 copies of the passport
- application of application fee payment – 100€
- optional certificates or diplomas confirming suitability to study medicine or dentistry
All documents need to be submitted in English or Latvian language. If documents are not in these languages, they need to be translated by sworn translator to English / Latvian.
If an applicant is coming from outside of EU/EEA, it is necessary to submit also following documents: Chest x-ray radiograph and radiologist’s report, police clearance certificate and Proof of financial means sufficient to cover tuition and cost of living.
Accommodation for international students at RSU
There are 2 dormitories where international students may get their accommodation during studies at Riga Stradins University – RSU Student Hostel Dzirciems and RSU Student Hostel Āgenskalns. Facilities are modern, as last dormitory was opened just in 2019. They are getting filled fast, so we suggest booking them right after the positive decision of the admission committee.
Student dormitory Dzirciems is located right next to the University and contains not only comfortable accommodation but also study facilities and on-site laundry facilities. There are 3 types of rooms: type A with place for one to two students (240-360€ per month), type B for two to three students (225€ to 370€ per person), and type C which is flat for 5 people. All facilities are modern and up to higher standards.
Student dormitory Āgenskalns is located only 10 minutes from the campus and has lockable bicycle storage, an on-site laundry facility, and even a place for free-time activities. All rooms were reconstructed and are a budget options for students – although the comfort is the same as at Dzirciems. The price of accommodation ranges 120-250€ per room (depending on whether it is a shared room or a single room).
Practical aspects of living in Riga
Public transport in Riga, the capital of Latvia is very modern and running daily from 05:00 to midnight. Students have 70% for public transport – they will get personalized e-Ticket which is needed to be activated and then use for 24-hours, 5 days, monthly tickets, etc.
Taxis are also an alternative, where online applications like Taxify, Bolt, or Uber may be a considerably cheaper option.
Riga Stradins University is also an operating medical center where students may go for medical checkups in case of medical problems. RSU Health Center is located directly at University Campus – Block E and is open every working day. For dental problems, students may use the services of Institute of dentistry or ARS Dental clinic. It is always necessary to visit a medical center to get a sick note otherwise the attendance at the classes on the given day will be not given. It is also recommended to buy medical insurance for a long-term stay abroad (EU Medical Card is valid in Latvia, as it’s part of the European Union, on another hand, it is valid only for urgent cases). There are 4 main insurance companies that are providing long-term insurance for international students: Balta, BAN, BTA, and Seesam. Thanks to insurance, students do not need to pay anything in case of preventive medical checkups at the doctor.
Budget of living in Riga
The recommended budget for international students while staying at RSU is 555€. Here you can check the breakdown: rent will vary from 200-400€ (the cheapest accommodation is at RSU dorms), food will range between 150-300€, monthly public transport ticket is 15€, utilities will be around 40-100€ and various other expenses will be around 100-200€.
Deadlines for application for medical programs at RSU
Students from EU/EEA countries have deadlines for September intake by 1st of July (all documents need to be submitted by this date) and the 1st of December for February intake. Students from outside of EU/EEA, need to submit documents by 1st of May for September intake and by 15th of October for February admission.
Transfers to Riga Stradinš University – Faculty of medicine
RSU has a strict transfer policy – transfers are possible, but only to a limited extend. Here are the rules: only subjects from European universities might be recognized (or TOP universities from non-EU countries according to QS World University Ranking, The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, The Academic Ranking of World Universities). Marks might be only excellent or very good – other marks are not recognized. Transfer student had to study at least 1 complete year at the different university and has a minimum of 60 credits. Students must have an active status in his/her studies.
What are the next steps?
Are you interested to study at Riga Stradins University and start your preparation of documents for the admission process? Feel free to contact me by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at +421/910173958