Latvia is a country of rich history and cultural traditions and a relatively new national state. For a thousand years this land in the north-east of Europe was inhabited by the Baltic and Finno-Ugric tribes, but the consolidation of the modern Latvian nation started in the 19th century. That was a period of national awakening that later served also as a precondition for establishment of an independent national state in the 20th century.
Higher education and academic mobility is a national tradition in Latvia. The awareness of a national identity and ambitions for national self-determination came from the first Latvians who were fortunate enough to overcome their peasant background and go to study at universities abroad. The tradition is even stronger today with the existence of 60 state and private colleges, university colleges and universities. Of these 50 have been established since Latvia regained it’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. The number of students attending higher education studies has also steadily increased.
The weather in Latvia is governed by a moderate oceanic climate and it is quite changeable. Summer (June-August) is usually warm or hot with the average temperature of about +20oC, but time to time it may reach also +30oC and more. In winter (December – February) snowfall is common, and it is rather cold with the average temperature of -5oC, but the temperature may drop to even -25oC or more.
The population in Latvia is about 2.3 million. The largest ethnic groups are Latvians (59%), Russians (28%), Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Poles, Lithuanians and Jews.
The national currency is the Latvian lat (LVL). One lat equals 100 santims.
1 LVL / ≈ 1.42 EUR / ≈ 2.10 USD
1 EUR ≈ 0.70 LVL
1 USD ≈ 0.48 LVL
Latvian education offers a broad-based curriculum and global perspective to equip students with the relevant qualification and skill that will serve as a spring broad to a brighter future. The capital of Latvia, Riga is famous for some of the best Art Nouveau architecture in Europe. Studying in Latvia provides an opportunity for cross-cultural exposure and personal development. Latvia remains a wonderful country for studies abroad in Europe due to:
Reasonable Tuition Fees
Globally Recognized and Prestigious Degree
Universities are well known for producing high quality graduates.
Studies in Vibrant and Multicultural City
On-Campus Accommodation Provided
Low Living cost
Career Opportunities for Leisure Activities and sports
The Latvian educational system comprises pre-school education, 9-year basic education, upper-secondary education and higher education. Formal post-secondary non-tertiary education in Latvia is classified within the secondary education level.
In Latvia there is a difference between academic and professional higher education, nevertheless, it is not institutionalized. Universities and other higher education institutions run both academic and professional programmes, e.g. lawyer, teacher, translator, marine mechanic etc. Bachelor's and master's degrees are awarded in both academic and professional higher education programmes. A master's degree is awarded after the second stage of academic/professional education (post-graduate studies) and requires a total of at least 5 years of university studies. Graduates of both types of bachelor's degree have access to master's studies, graduates of the master's degree - to doctoral studies.
Cost of Education
The cost of Education in Latvia varies acccording to the course, chosen and the Institution. Tuition fee starts from Euro 2,000 and goes upto 15,000 Euros, approximately.
To get admission into the desired course, the international students should have English knowledge corresponding to IELTS 6.0 or TOEFL 500. Most of the times, the University sets what examinations, student should pass and organizes Skype Interviews as well.
Each university in Latvia has different application and registration procedures, the general steps international students should take during the application procedure and registration period are as follows:
Apply with sending the documents for evaluation and once the eligibility is confirmed you receive your Conditional Acceptance Letter followed with the positive AIC approval.
Once you pay the tuition fees stated on the letter, you can simultaneously apply for Resident Permit.
Apply for Resident Permit and prepare documents for the visa.
Various Scholarship opportunities are available for international students in the Institutes of Latvia. However, the students should meet certain criterias to avail those scholrships.
Some universities in Latvia have their own student dormitories; others provide assistance with housing search database that provides information on accommodation arrangements offered by each university. International students can consult the student advisor for advice. The Shared accomodation in Latvia may cost from 80-250 U.S. dollars per month. Hoeever, the cost may vary according to Locations.
Completed Application Form
Curriculum Vitae and Motivation letter
Copy of the legalized secondary education certificates with transcript
College recommendation Letter for Admission to the University in the home country Notarized Copy of Passport
PP size Photograph 1
IELTS Score or Skype test by the University
Work Experience (If any)
Payment of application fee (non-refundable) as per University policy
Note: The copies of the educational documents acquired abroad will be submitted for recognition to the Academic Information Centre, Latvia. Upon receipt of the academic recognition statement, University will send an admission letter, an agreement of studies from the university and other relevant documents necessary to apply for the residence permit.
Documents for Immigration Invitation (Residence Permit)
Application Form for residence permits application
University Study Agreement (original and copy)
Passport and copies of the identification pages and all the pages containing information about visas that has already been issued. Please note that the passport must be valid at least 3 months longer than your planned residence permit term
Bank Statement confirming that you have sufficient financial means to live in Latvia (at least EUR 5000.00 in your bank account)
Place of residence in Latvia (such as a hotel reservation, Rental agreement, Or University letter confirming stay at University Student Hostel)
Legalized Documents of the previous education. Criminal Record issued by a respective institution in the country. If you have lived outside your home country for the last 12 months or more, you have to get the criminal records from this residence country
Payment proof-of-state duty fee (legalization and residence permit) -200 USD.
Payment proof of the tuition fees
Note: Once the University receives all above documents, The University will apply for your Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) and will notify you within 45 days.
A valid passport
A completed and signed visa application form
2 passport-size recent color photo (35x45mm)
Citizenship certificate, original and photocopy
Payment or confirmation of the payment of visa application fee
Supporting documents justifying the purpose and conditions
Evidence of your economical and social situation (e.g. properties, marriage certificate & proof of the relationship)
Evidence that you intend to return to Nepal at the end of your Study (e.g. proof of employment or studies)
Round Trip ticket booking (original and copy)
Bank Statement- Proof of subsistence to stay in Latvia & Proof to return to state of residence (such as records of Bank Account Transactions (at least EUR 5000.00) in the past months or tax returns). Other relevant document which ensures proof of financial means in the country of residence
Proof of employment: Bank Statements
Proof of real estate property
Proof of integration into the country of residence: family ties; professional status
Note: Travel medical insurance policy valid in all Schengen countries and covering the entire 3 Month (the minimum amount of the insurance is EUR 30 000) Place of residence in Latvia (such as a hotel reservation, rental agreement, Or an invitation approved by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, if staying with the inviting party Or UNIVERSITY letter confirming stay at University Student Hostel
International students can work 20 hour per week on part time basis.The majority of graduate jobs are likely to be found in Riga, the capital. Employers are looking for workers with flexibility and wide-ranging skill sets so make sure you demonstrate this in your application.
Students who graduate from Latvian Universities could get a working permit and work in many corporate companies such as banks, hotels, department stores, etc. if they have finished at least their undergraduate studies. Graduates need to have an offer from an employer before they can apply for a permanent work and residence permit. In most cases, the employer applies on the worker’s behalf to get the necessary permits from the government before the worker starts to actually work in that employer’s company.
Some universities have special units that help graduates find suitable jobs to stay and work in Latvia, however this is not guaranteed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why choose Latvia?
Do I have to speak Latvian?
How can I find a course of my interest?
What are the tuition fees at Latvian institutions?
What are the living expenses in Latvia?
Is Latvia safe?
Am I allowed to work in Latvia?
Is health insurance necessary?
How will I find housing?
Are any scholarships available?
Can I stay and work in Latvia after completing my studies?
What is the economic situation in Latvia?
Will my diploma be recognizable in Nepal or other countries?
Will I able to communicate with people in English?