Riga Medical College of the University of Latvia has been part of Erasmus University charter since 2005. We cooperate with similar institutions in Poland, Turkey, Lithuania, Norway, Belgium, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Finland, Netherlands, Slovak Republic, Estonia, Sweden, Denmark and Portugal (20 cooperation institutions from 13 countries).
College has taken part in Lifelong Learning program IP since 2005. We have had students from Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium and the Netherlands to make out international nursing plans and nursing experience between these countries.
College is also active in Nordplus program projects.
Most institutions of higher education offer Latvian language courses. The University of Latvia (www.lu.lv) and Riga Technical University (www.rtu.lv) offer intensive language courses before the study year begins.
You can attend lectures and practical classes to get new information you are interested in. Teachers are committed to helping you make the most of your stay with us. If necessary other students can help you with translation.
Your internship will be organized already before your coming to Latvia; you are going to attend theoretical and practical classes in one of the hospitals depending on timetable. As you know there are constant amount of hours you have to work to accept your study program, it will be taken as basis to make schedule, but you have to follow your hours by yourself too.
You may not have all your time in Latvia spent in one hospital, but you will be introduced with all the information before your studies starts.
You will be offered accommodation at the hostel of College located within the same building as college and 30 min ride from the city centre (by bus or trolleybus). On each floor of the hostel there is a study room, a computer class with an internet access, a lounge with TV, as well as an assembly hall. There are four fitted kitchens on each floor. Linen, blankets, pillows, and kitchen utensils are provided.
Hostel is situated close to a lake and forest – an ideal place for walking, jogging or enjoying beautiful views. There is big supermarket nearby for day – to-day shopping.
Before coming to Latvia, we strongly recommend that all students obtain health insurance – it will cover the costs of treatment in emergency, as well as when visiting a doctor. You can get medical help in state and private hospitals, emergency help is available 24-7, but for doctors visit you have to make an appointment well in advance.
Pharmacies in Latvia are called “aptieka” and they are open on weekdays from 9:00 to 19:00 and 10:00 – 16:00 on Saturdays. You have to remember that in Latvia part of the medicine in pharmacies delivered only on prescription.
FACILITIES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS
The college building is adapted to the students with special needs.
Before coming to Latvia, we strongly recommend that all students obtain health insurance – it will cover the costs of treatment in emergency, as well as when visiting a doctor.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS
You can get Erasmus grant that varies depending country you are going to. To find out more, please, contact your Erasmus coordinator.
STUDENT AFFAIRS OFFICE
If you have any question or problem, please do not hesitate to contact international coordinator – Sanita Puncule (firstname.lastname@example.org or +371 67840747)
There are a number of sport facilities at your choice. College has its own gym; there are a few sport centers not far from the students’ hostel and Bikernieku forest offers wonderful jogging opportunities; you can also use other gyms in the city centre, as well as University of Latvia stadium.
Students from College can take a part in student self-government; they organize different social activities, do scholarship committee work and College Senate work.
COST OF LIVING
Prices in Latvian markets are almost in the same level as prices within Europe. International students, who want to travel, buy fresh fruits and vegetables, make frequent phone calls, and lead an active social life, should expect to spend at least Eur 500 a month. For example – 1 kilo of beef – Eur 4.50; 1 kilo of potatoes – Eur 0.45; a loaf of white bread – Eur 0.70; 10 eggs – Eur 1.05; 1 liter of milk – Eur 1.00.
Most of the supermarkets are open from 08:00 – 22:00 daily, smaller shops can be open 8:00 – 20:00. Most stores accept credit cards but you have to be ready that smaller shops and kiosks can accept only cash.
On weekdays hospital canteens provide a variety of cooked dishes. You can also use the kitchen facilities at the hostel and cook your own meals. If you like, you can go to the city centre or nearest shopping malls. There are a lot of brasseries, cafes and eateries serving all kinds of food – soups, pancakes, pizzas, meat and fish dishes, desserts etc. Prices will vary depending on where and what you choose to have.
EXTRA-MURAL AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES
Students coming to Latvia are advised to travel outside the capital as well.
Visit Jūrmala, The “Latvian Riviera”, or Sigulda, the “Latvian Switzerland”, both easy accessible by train. Jūrmala is a spa town 25 km from Riga, stretching along the coast of the Baltic Sea. Its 30 km of sandy, golden beach and pine forests attract holiday makers in spring and summer. The architecture of Jūrmala, with its elegant small wooden houses, has the charm of the nineteen century.
Sigulda is located in the picturesque valley of the river Gauja with steep banks, sandstone caves, and ruined medieval castles which make this town unique.
In Latvia there are a lot of places to attend and go, you can choose already done trip plans or make your own.
Latvia consists of 4 parts called Vidzeme, Latgale, Zemgale and Latgale, all of them have their special traditions, meals, popular and interesting places. Latvia has historical places as the Rundale Palace and the Jelgava castle as well as natural and wild beauty – the Slītere nature reserve, Gauja, Rāzna National Parks, and Baltic coast line.
You can look for the further information in tourism centers like “Countryside Traveller” (www.celotajs.lv) or “Latvia Tours” (www.latviatours.lv) – they offer accommodation in the countryside and organizes weekend trips, fishing and boat rides, horse-riding, tours to Open Air Museum, the Rundale Palace, Sigulda, Kurzeme, Cēsis and Latgale.
Latvia on the Web –
YOU SHOULD KNOW
112 (fire – 01, police – 02, ambulance – 03, gas leakage – 04, lost property 67086628, road accidents – 67377000, AIDS and STS Prevention centre – 67378278, infectology centre of Latvia – 67014595, twenty-four hours information centre – 1188).
January 1 – New Year
March/April – Easter (Good Friday, 2nd Day of Easter)
May 1 – Labor Day
June 23-24 – Līgo, Midsummer Night
November 18 – Proclamation of Latvian independence
December 25-26 – Christmas
December 31 – New Year’s Eve
Public Transport – Riga and the biggest towns in Latvia have combinations of public buses, trams and trolley buses. Riga’s public transport system runs daily from 05:30 till approximately 23:30; some routes have night service once an hour. You must buy ticket before your ride (in kiosks or markets it will cost 50 santims, but if you will buy ticket directly form driver it will cost 70 santims). From Students’ hostel to Riga centre you can get with trolley buses No. 14 and 18, bus No.21 and microbuses 206, 207, 263 and 204.
From Riga airport – Airport is located 13 km south-west of Riga. There is a special shuttle bus service (No. 22) to the city centre. The ride is approximately 30 minutes and the bus runs every 15-20 minutes between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. (Information service – +371 67207009, location: Departure hall, first floor)
From the central railway station – The central railway station is located in the central part of Riga (Stacijas laukums). It is a 5-10 minutes walk to get to the Old Town, the major hotels. (Information service – +371 1181)
From the bus station – The bus terminal is also situated in the centre of Riga, next to the railway station. The luggage room is open from 05:00 to 24:00. Tram No. 7 will take you to the centre is just one stop ahead. If you choose to walk, it will take you 5-10 minutes to reach the Old Town (Information centre +371 90000009)