Latvia is home to beautiful forests, rivers and lakes, dynamic cities and a fascinating and multi-ethnic culture. Latvia indeed has something for everyone, and has been called “Europe’s best-kept secret”. It is located at the crossroads of Northern and Eastern Europe, Latvia has been influenced both linguistically and culturally by neighbors such as Lithuania and Estonia, while retaining its own distinct national identity and traditions.
The annual tuition fees at Latvian universities vary depending on the institution, program, and where you’re from – note that non-EU students usually pay more than EU/EEA and Swiss students. Generally, you should expect to pay €3,000-5,000 (~US$3,300-5,540) per year for an undergraduate degree. Courses such as dentistry and medicine are more expensive, costing up to €15,000 (~US$16,600) a year. At master’s level, most courses range between €1,700 (~US$1,900) per year for EU/EEA and Swiss citizens and about €3,700 (~US$4,100) for all other overseas students.
Living costs are lower than in many other European countries. You’ll need to budget €5,400-8,400 (~US6,000-9,300) to cover everything including food (up to €250 per month), accommodation, travel and other personal expenses. Most Latvian universities have student halls of residence, which is likely to be the cheapest accommodation option. If you want to travel beyond Latvia to explore neighboring countries such as Russia or Estonia, you’ll of course need to budget more.
Each university’s admission procedures vary, but generally in order to apply to study in Latvia, you’ll first need to have your educational documents (academic transcript, degree certificate/diploma) certified to show that you’re eligible to apply. You should therefore send the appropriate documents to your chosen university’s admission office. The university will guide you through the process and inform you of what exams you need to pass, including any language test result/s (such as IELTS or TOEFL if you want to study in English). You may also have a video interview and/or need to submit your CV or a personal statement.
Once your eligibility is confirmed and you’ve been accepted, you’ll receive a conditional acceptance letter, receive and sign an agreement, and pay your tuition fees for the first year of study (some institutions may ask for a security deposit).
Student Visa Requirements
Once you’ve successfully and enrolled and paid your fees, your university will inform you of what you need to do next to gain a Latvian student visa and residence permit, and may apply for these on your behalf. Citizens of the European Union (EU) do not need a visa to study in Latvia, but will need to obtain a residence permit within three months of arrival, which in most cases will be applied for by your university.
Non-EU students will need to apply for a visa and residence permit, and should apply for these in plenty of time before the course start date. Once accepted by a Latvian university, you’ll need to submit the required documents to your nearest Latvian embassy. If there is no Latvian embassy in your country, you should contact your university for advice on how to proceed.
The usual documents you need to present for your Latvian student visa are:
- Completed application form
- Passport photo
- Original copy of passport
- Original copy of your study agreement, showing you’ve been admitted to a Latvian university
- Academic record
- Proof you’ve paid your tuition fees (provided by the receiving university)
- Bank statement showing you have enough funds to support yourself during your studies
- Rental agreement or guarantee letter from the university concerning your prospective accommodation
- Proof that you’ve arranged adequate health insurance
- Statement on fluorography or X-ray examining results
For more enquiries about admissions into universities abroad, send an email to Jonah@studyabroad365.com or call +2347037293057