After I decided to apply to RSU, everything went pretty quickly. I never thought before that I would go abroad, let alone Latvia. To be honest, I wasn’t even very aware that Riga is the Latvian capital, that it is the 2015 World Capital of Culture and I also didn’t know exactly where Riga is. According to AbbreviationFinder.org, RSU is the abbreviation of Riga Stradins University.
Before studying medicine, I already completed a bachelor’s degree in Germany and, after the state universities had rejected it, I knew that it would be very unlikely for me to get a place even if I had to wait.
I got the impulse to apply from a family member who was also in Riga up to the Physikum. Since I didn’t have much time left with my application, everything had to be done quickly. Collecting the necessary documents and, above all, the English certifications was therefore very hectic and demanded a lot from me. Longer planning would probably have saved me a lot. But I managed to find everything together in good time, Collage Contact helped me a lot and answered my emails at any time of the day. I am very grateful for this and can therefore only warmly recommend MicroEDU!
The decision to go to Riga was relatively difficult for me. On the one hand, not, because I was finally able to realize my dream of studying medicine. And studying English and getting to know many people from all over the world really has its advantages. However, it was not easy to separate from family and friends for six years, and above all from my boyfriend for me.
The first weeks in Riga were accordingly difficult and tearful for me, I was not one of those who wanted to get to know as many new people as possible and to party, which frankly included quite a few. Of course, I was sometimes five years older than some of my fellow students.
Aside from the people, who admittedly I was rather disappointed with, I was enthusiastic about the university from the start. I started to learn a lot right from the start, and my earlier studies certainly helped me. Accordingly, I have consistently had good grades so far and am very satisfied with my academic performance. Of course I have also found people whom I now call friends, possibly even better ones than those who just want to know everyone.
What determines the beginning in Riga is above all the search for an apartment and flatmates. I was in Riga before I started my studies and looked for an apartment with a fellow student. However, many others also lived in hostels and then got together, which certainly had its advantages. I wasn’t happy with my first apartment in Old Town, mostly because of the volume. The Center or Quiet Center is more recommendable! I then moved during the semester, with a new roommate and now very happy. The move during the semester was also quite stressful.
As far as the course content is concerned, I was particularly fond of anatomy from the start, but walking around in the old anatomy in white lab coats has a lot to offer and you feel right in the middle of it. The strength of our “study groups” is also very pleasant, more school than university, but very pleasant. Furthermore, we often write small tests that encourage constant learning and, for me personally, increase the likelihood of remembering things years later.
I find the Latvian lessons, which are probably the biggest difference to other universities, very pleasant. I think living in a country without any basic knowledge of the language is very questionable. For this reason, I have always tried to be able to at least be able to do everyday things such as shopping or ask the time in Latvian. Because even if many English and especially older Latvians even speak German, I think it is simply part of understanding at least some Latvian. Otherwise you always feel like a stranger in the country.
When I went to Riga, I was firmly convinced that I would come back after the physics at the latest. I think that was the case with many. Meanwhile some have returned to their home countries because they got a place or decided that it is not for them in Riga. However, I also know people who plan to stay in Riga for the six years. As for me, I’m not quite sure yet, but I think that’s difficult to say after the first semester and also depends on many external circumstances.
I can only tell everyone who is in a similar situation to me that while it is difficult to have a long-distance relationship (I could never have imagined it before!), It works really well when you try. Skype and weekend visits help a lot and especially the two months of summer vacation that you can spend completely at home are great!
I am looking forward to flying to Riga again and starting the second semester.