Studying abroad comes with its own advantages and disadvantage but if you have made up your mind to achieving something then the best way is to go get it. Many countries offer great educational benefits to International students which later help them get the right exposure in the real life.
Similarly, Latvia offers great educational benefits if someone is looking into studying abroad but to a unique destination other than the mainstream ones.
Latvia is a small Baltic state which is economically developed and is a well-established country in Europe. The educational institutes of this country serve as esteemed and highly reputed universities that are known globally.
They provide the best quality education and advanced teaching methodologies. Some of the best courses they offer and which are greatly recognized include Masters in IT, Medicine and Business Management.
Admission Requirements in Latvian Universities
- 2 languages are readily spoken including Latvian and Russian.
- English language is also taught in Latvian universities and is commonly spoken there.
- When applying to any Latvian university, the first thing is to check and enroll yourself in an English taught course.
- The admission requirements of any Latvian University include that the student meets all the academic eligibilities and capabilities to meet the education standard set by the institutes.
- These universities do not have complex and rigid merit but the one where all the required background of the student is checked and accounted for especially his previous grades/scores.
- Some of the study programs such as medicine, IT, and engineering have merit just like any other university in Pakistan and around the globe.
Under Graduate Study Program in Latvia
- The minimum passing grade a student should have in their Higher Secondary School should be at least 60% in every subject.
- There is an entrance exam which will be held for a student taking admission either in the form of a motivation letter or an online examination.
- The entrance exam will be followed by an interview via Skype. The hosting university’s faculty member will ask the candidate certain questions regarding the degree program chosen to access the academic readiness and to judge your knowledge and skills.
Post Graduate Study Program (Masters)
- To take admission into a Latvian university for Masters’s program, they should have a Bachelors’s degree of 4 years minimum from a well-recognized institute of their own country.
- The minimum grades acquired in Bachelors should be a solid 60% overall.
- It should be kept in mind that 2-year Bachelor degrees such as Bachelors in Arts and General Science will not be entertained to get Masters in Latvian Universities.
- The entrance exam will be held in the form of either a motivation letter or an online examination followed by a Skype interview.
- In the Skype interview, the candidate will be thoroughly tested in the respective field and the faculty member of the same field will ask and test different skills and knowledge of the candidate.
- The student will be qualified only if he has successfully passed the online examination and Skype interview. After this, the admission procedure will get confirmed.
Post Graduate (Ph.D.) Study Program
- Bachelors of 4 years along with Masters (2 years) will be required from well-reputed universities in your native countries to get admission in Ph.D. in any of the Latvian universities.
- You should have passed your previous degrees with good grades.
- To get admission in Ph.D., you need to submit your research proposal, previous research experience, and previous work experience (if any)
- This whole procedure will be followed by a final skype interview.
Latvian Students Visa Requirements
- When your admission procedure will be finished, you will receive an acceptance letter from the hosting university and the process for your student visa will begin.
- For this purpose, you will need to visit the Latvian embassy in your country. This shall provide you with details to get your visa.
- Every country has a different system of visa requirements for foreign students hence, visa documents are country-specific.
- Here is a list of general documents required to get your visa:
- Your Valid Passport
- The Original Acceptance Letter from your hosting institute in Latvia
- Proof of Security Fee Deposit (Latvian Universities take 500 to 750 USD as security fee that shall be returned to students once their study degree is finished)
- Proof of Paid Tuition Fee (submission of receipt of payment of fee)
- Visa Application (Completed and attested)
- Proof of finances (Bank statement or credit card statement demonstrating the student can spend 450 Euros per month in Latvia during studies to cover all the basic expenses)
- Proof of Accommodation Arranged in Latvia (where you live, Rental contract with residential address)
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Medical Examination Certificate
- Clearance letter from police stating the applicant has no criminal record or case registered against them and that you do not have anything to do with any criminal activity
- Visa application Fee Receipt (Can be around 120 USD)
- English Language Proficiency Test Certificate (IELTS or TOEFL)
Permanent Residence of Latvia
Third-country nationals or non-EU can get the nationality of Latvia whilst staying for at least 5 years in the country. The person should make sure that during that period of time, they own a temporary resident permit. Like all the countries, to attain permanent residency, one needs to have a work permit.
You can easily look for jobs while you have completed your degree. Once you find a good job, the employer or respective firm will have to apply for permanent residency for a third-country national after seeking permission from the Office of Citizenship and Migration affairs after appointing you as an employee.
Once this process clears up and you are hired, you will have to submit an invitation letter, employment contract, and some other documents to the Latvian Embassy. The work permit is usually granted for a year and can be extended to up to 5 years. After this duration, a PR visa can easily be applied.
Estimated Living and Study Expenses in Latvia
A lot of international students are attracted to Latvian Universities and for a chance to study in them because of the calm and serene country that Latvia is. The accommodation, living standards are up to date with contemporary and modern lifestyle. It is an inexpensive country with a high-quality education that attracts thousands of students every year to enroll in Latvian universities.
The average amount required by the students to fulfill their needs can be estimated to be 430-500 Euros per month. The good thing about Latvian Universities is that foreign students can work part-time in between their degrees to earn money that can help with their day to day expenses and can maintain their budget too.
Working in Latvia During Studies
Foreign students studying different degree programs in Latvian universities are allowed to work without having additional working permits as they are working part-time instead of full time. The working hours of students doing a full-time course in one of the universities are 20 hours a week during semesters. During summer break, they can work up to 40 hours per week.
Certain areas, they can apply and work on during their stay in Latvia include the following options
- Petrol Kiosks
- Managerial Work
- Shop Keeping and Selling products and
- Internships related to their study field
As discussed earlier, once foreign students are done with their degrees, they can begin to look for jobs and employment firms so they can be settled and once they find a decent job, they can apply for a permanent residency visa in Latvia. But before that, they need to leave the country after graduation and then re-visit on a work permit to stay in Latvia.
The employer is wholly responsible for the employee’s health insurance, accommodations, and other things once they hire a foreign national.