Latvia – An ideal destination for foreign students
It is quite likely that many of us might not be aware of Latvia or where it is located. Once a part of the Soviet Union, Latvia gained its independence in the year 1991. Since then Latvia has developed into a fairly prosperous country and has now become a part of the European Union. Latvia has its borders with Belarus, Russia and the other two Baltic States Lithuania and Estonia. The mighty Baltic Sea is to its west. Latvia is a multi-ethnic state. Other than the native Latvians, there's a large percentage of Russians living in the country. Others from the neighbouring region also form a good part of the population. Even though the official language is Latvian, both Russian and English is popular in the country. To the advantage of international students, they can select either Latvian or English for their medium of instruction. Most of the students come to study in lativa prefer English as their medium. But learning the local language does a sea of good to you in all matters concerning your stay or study and is always advisable.
Why study in Latvia
Since a good many years Latvia has been promoting itself as a country ideal for higher education. Over the years, a consortium of seven Latvian universities participated in a number of international education fairs in India and abroad. In January 2014, the consortium opened a 'Study in Latvia Centre (SLC)' in Chennai. Since then, the country has often participated in every international education fair being organised in India. As recent as in May 2016, representatives from the seven Latvian universities interacted with prospective Indian students and parents regarding their plans to study abroad, in an education fair titled Education Plus International Education Fair. The idea behind these fairs is to provide Indian students with an exposure and the opportunity to compare Latvian universities with the best in Europe.
An agreement between the two governments has resulted in a mutual recognition of educational qualifications. The understanding has also resulted in Indian students getting the opportunity to avail of government scholarships while studying in Latvia. This has made it easy for Indian students to apply for an educational program in Latvian universities. Additionally, Latvia has one of the cheapest education system in the whole of Europe. The cost of education is very low compared to most European nations. All this makes studying in Latvia a very attractive proposition. Latvia's rising popularity among Indian students can be gauged from the fact that India stands next to Uzbekistan in the number of students coming to Latvia for their study abroad program. Every year more than 100 Indian students come to Latvia for their higher education.
Major Universities in Latvia
Latvia has many state as well as private universities. The seven state universities are
Some of the private universities and colleges are
Scope of education and tuition fees
Latvia has a variety of educational courses for foreign students. They are all divided into three levels: bachelors, masters and doctoral programs. The bachelors courses last from 3-4 years, the masters 1-2 years and the doctoral programs could be anywhere from 3-4 years or more.
The yearly tuition fees for some of the important programmes are as given below. The fees may vary depending upon the university and the course. The figures are all in Euros.
How to get admission in a Latvian college
While taking admission in one of the colleges or universities in lativa, you have to take care of a few basic points. The first step is to send your documents to the university of your Choice. The university sends back the documents to the concerned authorities for recognition (verification). This may take 30-45 days. Depending upon the course, each university has its own criteria for admission. The university may insist upon an entrance exam, a Skype interview or a IELTS and TOEFL score for checking your language proficiency in the English language. Once your documents are recognised and fulfil all the necessary conditions, the university sends you with the agreement. The next step will be getting the visa. There is another important requirement though. For all courses lasting more than 90 days, an international student has to get a resident permit.
Getting a visa
Students from all Non-European Union nations including India have to get a visa from the Embassy of Latvia. Once your candidature has been accepted by the concerned university, you can apply for the resident permit and the visa by visiting the Latvian embassy. Along with all other necessary documents regarding your qualification and citizenship you have to present the acceptance letter from the university.
Why Latvia, in a nutshell
Contact details of 'Study in Latvia Centre' in Chennai
Kodambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam,
Near Palm Groove Hotel, Chennai – 600034
A decision worth its value
Latvia is among those few countries which have been blessed by nature abundantly. More than two-fifth of its territory is covered with forests and there are a number of national parks to preserve the wild population. The country has a beautiful landscape, numerous rivers and thousands of lakes. Its forests have a rich bio-diversity. Latvians are very conscious about their environment and since centuries, they have been taking measures to preserve their environment, forests and bio-reserves. To study in such a beautiful country which has also a rich cultural heritage is once in a life time opportunity for everyone and should not be let go off, in case you get one.