The small Republic of Latvia lies between the Baltic Sea, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. Around two million people live in an area of 65,000 m². Around 40% of them are at home in the capital Riga.
Latvia in portrait
Latvia looks back on an eventful history and has been repeatedly determined by foreign powers: the Teutonic Order has ruled here since the 13th century. Afterwards, among others, Swedish, Polish, Lithuanian and Danish occupiers came to the country.
According to 800zipcodes, Latvia officially became independent in 1918. However, Soviet and Russian troops soon occupied the country. Countless Latvians were exiled to Siberia and Russians settled in Latvia. This turbulent period was only in the year 1990/1991 to an end when the country again for independently explained.
Since then, Latvia has been a parliamentary republic and, since 2004, has also been a member of the EU. The turbulent history of the country is reflected in its buildings. The structures range from medieval churches and fortresses from the time of the Teutonic Order to Russian Orthodox churches. Classicist residential and commercial buildings and baroque residences can also be found in the Baltic country.
Climate and nature in Latvia
Strong temperature fluctuations are typical for the climate in Latvia. This manifests itself in long, cold winters from October to April and short, warm summers. The seasons between the seasons are also short. The Latvian lighting conditions differ greatly from those in Central Europe: In summer it is light for up to 18 hours, in winter it is only a few hours at times.
The Latvian nature is also diverse: Wild animals such as brown bears, wolves, elk and countless species of birds inhabit the country’s extensive forest areas and swamps. On the coast, miles of sandy beaches invite you to swim or take walks.
In the last few years the economy of the Baltic country experienced an ups and downs: From 2000 to 2008 the economy boomed so strongly that the country was nicknamed the “Baltic tiger”. From 2009, however, the global economic crisis made itself felt and left its mark. The country now seems to be recovering from this. The service sector and metal production make a major contribution to the country’s economic success. The wood industry, machine and vehicle construction also play an important role in the Latvian economy.
Latvia’s capital Riga is strongly influenced by university life and attracts with a wide range of cultural activities. Compared to other European countries, there are relatively many students living in the “European Capital of Culture 2014”. So it’s no wonder that studying in Latvia is becoming increasingly popular with many international students.
University landscape of Latvia
A special feature of the higher education system in Latvia is that universities can offer both professional and academic programs. The Latvian university landscape is divided into
- six state universities (Universitāte)
- numerous public universities
- many private universities, which are only partially recognized by the state.
Around 115,000 students are currently studying at the country’s higher education institutions.
Latvia’s range of courses is becoming more international
The number of foreign students in Latvia is still manageable. Only about 1,700 students come from other countries. This is also due to the fact that there are more Russian-language than English-language courses. With the help of various measures, the state is trying to attract more international students to the Baltic country in the future.
Medical studies in Latvia without numerus clausus
Meanwhile, several Latvian universities have specialized in international prospects. English-language courses in subjects such as medicine are becoming increasingly popular. What many do not know: German high school graduates can start studying medicine in Latvia without a numerus clausus. Thanks to the small course sizes, the relationship between lecturers and students is very good. Modern equipped lecture halls and laboratories also speak in favor of studying in Latvia.