Higher Education in Latvia
Universities and other higher education institutions award both academic and professional bachelor’s and master’s degrees, with the latter covering professions such a lawyer or teacher. Master’s degrees generally require at least 5 years total study (including the time spent studying for the bachelor’s degree). Master’s degrees provide entry to doctoral programs.
Why Study in Latvia?
Latvia provides master’s degree students with a curriculum that includes a global and cross-cultural perspective. In addition, Latvian institutions provide a high quality education at a reasonable price, including tuition, fees and cost of living expenses. Master’s degree programs are taught in a wide variety of languages, including Latvian, English, French, German, Spanish and Italian although most programs are in English.
Universities in Latvia
Latvia has 60 state and private colleges, university colleges and universities. More than 50 of these higher education institutions have been established since Latvia became independent from the Soviet Union in 1990.
Tuition and Program Duration
Tuition for master’s programs at public schools is about €1,700 per year for EU/EEA and Swiss citizens and about €3,700 for all other international students. Most master’s degree programs require 2 years of study.
The academic year is based on semesters (autumn and spring) and usually begins in September and ends in June. Each semester is 20 weeks long and includes final exams.
After obtaining their master’s degree, students are welcome to seek employment in Latvia and surrounding countries. Most students are required to show an invitation for a job before applying for a visa and work permit, but students with some specialized skills may receive a work permit without a firm job offer. These include skills such as information technology specialists and scientists to be employed by state institutions.
All international students must have both life and health insurance that is valid in Latvia. EU citizens may use their European Health Insurance Card. Non-EU citizens must have a health insurance policy that covers emergency treatment, treatment for chronic illness, transportation costs to health facilities in Latvia, and transportation costs to return to the student’s home country in the event of serious illness or death. The minimum policy amount should be at least 30,000 LVL (about €43,000) and must be valid during the entire time of the student’s residence permit.
Most shops and restaurants in major towns accept credit cards, but students traveling to rural areas should take cash.
Old bank notes will not be accepted for exchange so students should be sure to arrive with new bank notes (for example, a US $100 bill before 1990 will not be accepted).