Find your ideal university and best course for your dream career

It can be confusing which country to choose for your studies abroad. You will need to learn a lot about each of the possible countries and the educational systems before making a decision.That’s why PingmeStudyAbroad, the leading Europe study visa consultants has set up a useful guide about the top study abroad destinations


Study in Latvia

The Eastern European Republic Latvia borders Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, and the Baltic Sea. It is home to a population of just under 2 million inhabitants, a number estimated to decrease steadily over the next years. Latvia's healthcare system is among the worst-rated in Europe, however, life expectancy at birth and the fertility rate are on par with western standards. Still, Latvia is among the European countries with the highest death rates, reporting 14.4 deaths per 1,000 people as of 2015.

Watch our video on why more & more students are choosing to study in Latvia.

Formerly part of the USSR until May 1990, when Latvia declared their independence, the country became a member of NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004. In 2014, it joined the euro zone, and just a couple of years later it became an OECD member. Due to a large Russian minority living in the country, Russian is spoken by almost one-third of Latvia´s population in addition to Latvian, which is the official language.

Latvia has a free market economy which has been quite stable - and it recovered remarkably fast after the 2008-2009 economic crisis. In the years 2014 and 2016, the country reported dips in the GDP growth rate in an otherwise quite stable economic growth pattern. Due to the country's geographical location, the service industry - which includes the transportation and the electronics industries - is the most developed one and accounts for roughly three quarters of the country’s economy. This sector also employs the majority of the labor force, with approximately 70 percent of working people. Latvia's most important export and import partner is Lithuania, with a share of 17.3 percent and 16.9 percent of the market, respectively.


Latvia is one of the most budget-friendly options for studying in Europe, but don't make these mistakes while applying!

  • Name of Country : Republic of Latvia
  • Size of area : 64,573 km2
  • Population (at the beginning of 2019): 1.92 million
  • Capital city: Riga


An ideal Location

Riga is the capital city of Latvia and also the largest city in the Baltic State Region.

You might not have ever heard of Latvia, but you might have seen pictures of elegant men and women strolling arm in arm along the tiny streets of Riga, which is a mix of Russian glamour and elegant Art Nouveau boulevards!

Riga is a metropolis pulsing with life, romantic walks, live music and celebration. It’s a well preserved medieval city which still shows traces of its religious and Romanesque past and in 2014 was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for the uniqueness of its architecture in the “old town” and as one of the European Capitals of Culture.

Much of Latvia’s wilderness is similar to nearby Scandinavian countries. There are beaches, parks and forests, all of which are teeming with wildlife and perfect for exploring. Latvia’s low population density has helped retain the natural environment and make it the perfect spot for ecotourism and ethical travel.

About 25km west of Riga, the resort town of Jūrmala is made up of beaches, with the most amazing ice blue Baltic waters.  It’s a quaint little village offering thermal waters, pine forests, and white quartz sand beaches.

Pleasing Architecture

All European cities have impressive architecture, but did you know that Riga has the largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings in Europe? Wander around and marvel at the work of Latvian architects of the late 19th/early 20th centuries on over 800 buildings. The main streets to view are Elizabetes, Alberta, Strelnieku, and Antonijas. One of the finest buildings is the 1904-built Riga Graduate School of Law at Alberta 13 and while there, you may as well pop into the Art Nouveau Museum at number 12.

Whether you prefer art nouveau, romanesque, gothic or baroque architectural style, you can find it all here.

Great Education System

In Latvia, there are both state-financed and fee-paying higher education. Public grants and scholarships are available for top students.

Latvia offers two levels of higher education programs – academic and professional (for example translators, bank staff, business lawyers, pilots etc.). University-type higher education institutions offer both academic and professional education, while the “non-university type” institutions provide only professional education.

Academic higher education in Latvia follows the Bologna system and is divided into three levels: Bachelor’s studies, Master’s studies, and Doctoral studies. A Bachelor degree takes three or four years, while a Master’s degree will take one or two years.

Only graduates holding a Master’s degree or equivalent higher education diploma may take up doctoral studies. These last three to four years, involving advanced studies, examinations and the preparation and defense of a doctoral thesis.

Great Culture and world-class cuisine

Latvia is not renowned for a world-class culinary tradition, but the food, influenced by German or Russian cooking, is simple, hearty and filling. Riga has an overwhelming choice of places to eat in all price ranges. Many restaurants now offer discounts and ‘happy hours’ to attract visitors, so eating in Riga shouldn’t be a problem any time of the day – or night.

As cities go, Riga is pretty peaceful.  Touring the city on foot or by bike is a great way to get to know your way around, and there are lots of eateries on the way.  Generally, the food is of good quality and extremely cheap. Beets are served up in every possible way imaginable, and a meal of baked salmon, beet salad and bread, followed by cake for dessert, in a cozy bistro will set you back around $5.00!

There are companies offering walking and cycling tours all over the city, or you can go it alone.  Places worth visiting on the food trail are the Riga Central Market (especially the old warehouse – Maskavas iela – behind the fish pavilion) and Hospitalis, one of the newer attractions of Riga; a crazy hospital-themed restaurant where you can sit in a dentist’s chairs, be spoon fed while in a strait-jacket or have food served from trolleys by surgical instruments.

Make sure you visit the landmark buildings that used to house one of the biggest markets in Europe. The five enormous former Zeppelin hangars were converted into market halls in 1930 and have retained their traditional division into different types of food for sale.

Buy fish, meat, dairy, bread and vegetables inside and clothes, CDs and appliances outside. You might not pick up any exclusive fashion items or souvenirs, but a visit to the giant Bazaar will give you a feel for local everyday life.

Internship Programs

The universities in Latvia have compulsory internship programs. This gives the foreign students the opportunity to contact the employers and they can apply for jobs. This in turn helps the students to convert their student visa to work visa.

Locals and language Travel

The language spoken in Latvia is Latvian, but most people speak English, often with an interesting mix of accents; American English, Swedish and Dutch. Oh, and they also have a warm sense of humour!

Pretty much every European capital city has an “old” part of town and a “new” part of town. Cities taken over by the Soviet Union were able to hold onto the “traditional look” mainly due to the lack of interest in changing it, and a lack of finance. These capital cities still retain the feel and look of centuries past, when royal or local aristocrats would probably chop people’s heads off, but would also walk the cobbled streets or ride across them and hunt for “spoil.”

If you’re looking to go to the Baltic States then of course you have to either go through Latvia, start in Latvia, or end in Latvia. It’s quite easy to get to as pretty much every airline in the Nordic-Baltic region does a stop-over in Riga, so you might as well stay for a few days.

Andrejsala used to be a very busy and important harbor, but since its decline it has been taken over by the creative contingent of Riga who have turned the old dock buildings and warehouses into artist studios and workshops, exhibition halls, offices for trendy businesses and party rooms. The cafes are always buzzing and there’s usually an event going on – which could be anything arty, theatrical, musical or electronic. Find a local person to find out what’s going on, or simply head on down and discover for yourself.

  1. Latvia’s internet speeds are among the fastest in the world, averaging 13.8MB/s, compared to 11.6 in the UK, 11.9 in the US, 7.5 in France, 3.4 in Brazil and 1.7 in Egypt.
  2. Latvia produces more female models per capita that almost any country in the world.
  3. Over half its territory covered by forest, so Latvia is a very green place. Locals love to pick mushrooms and berries, and at Midsummer young couples duck into the woods to look for the mythical flowering fern. No such plant exists, but the search goes on…
  4. You don’t need to go to a health food store in Latvia to find organic food, because locals find fantastic ingredients on their own. From birch sap juice in spring to berries in summer and mushrooms in autumn, Latvians are a nation of foragers.
  5. Latvia holds one of the largest song and dance festivals in the world

With over 40,000 (!) participants, it is recognized by UNESCO as World-class culture phenomena, while choir singers and conductors are celebrities in Latvia. Latvia also has one of the largest collections of traditional folk songs in the world, numbering over 300,000.

The Ventas Rumba in Kuldīga is the widest waterfall in Europe, and in spring you can see fish jumping up the rapids as they head for spawning sites.

The Latvian educational system comprises pre-school education, basic education, secondary education and higher education.

General education in Latvia in total lasts 12 years consisting of compulsory 9-years basic education and 3-years secondary education.

  • Basic education stage comprises general basic education (grades 1-9) and vocational basic education.
  • Secondary education stage comprises general secondary education, vocational secondary education and vocational education.

The Latvian higher education system is a part of the Bologna process, and follows the 3-cycle system:

  • the 1st cycle includes short cycle programmes and academic or professional Bachelor’s degree programmes
  • the 2nd cycle includes academic or professional Master’s degree programmes
  • the 3rd cycle includes Doctor’s degree programmes


In Latvia, tertiary education programmes are provided by:

  • university type institutions of augstskola,
  • non-university type institutions of augstskola,
  • koledža.


The Law on Institutions of Higher Education makes a distinction between university-type and non-university-type institutions. While non-university-type institutions run professional programmes, universities often offer both academic and professional programmes.

Latvia is using a national credit point system in higher education. One Latvian national credit point is defined as a one-week full-time study workload. The average full-time workload of an academic year in most higher education programmes is 40 credits. The Latvian credit point system is compatible with ECTS.

  • 1 credit point = 1,5 ECTS = 1 week full-time study workload
  • 1 academic year = 60 ECTS = 40 Latvian credit points

The objectives of academic higher education are to prepare graduates for independent research, as well as to provide theoretical background for professional activities.

  • Academic programmes leading to a bachelor’s degree comprise 120 – 160 national credit points
  • Academic programmes leading to a master degree comprise 80 national credit points (120 ECTS)

The objectives of professional higher education are to provide in-depth knowledge in a particular field, preparing graduates for design or improvement of systems, products and technologies, as well as to prepare them for creative, research and teaching activities in this field.

  • Professional programmes leading to a professional bachelor’s degree comprise at least 160 national credit points (240 ECTS)

The duration of full-time studies is 8 semesters (4 years).

  • Professional higher education programmes leading to a professional master’s degree comprise no less than 40 (60 ECTS) credits

Duration of full-time studies is 2-4 semesters (1-2 years).

Check out our video on Popular courses to study in Latvia

  • Business
  • Supply chain management
  • Tourism & Hospitality
  • Accounting
  • Applied Science
  • Humanities

Find out what are the minimum requirements for admission to Latvia

Entry requirements to Latvian Universities depend on the university, the type of program, and the level of competition to get into the said program.

Entry Requirements for Bachelor

  1. Secondary (High) School Graduation Certificate and Transcript with good results, particularly in mathematics and/or physics. Education documents must be accompanied by English translations of all certificates and transcripts along with approval of the documents authenticity;
  2. If English is not your native language, all international students are required to provide a proof of English language knowledge. Preferably you should submit one of the following certificates with a minimum scores of:


IELTSminimum overall grade of 5.5
TOEFL iBTminimum 61
TOFEL paper-basedminimum 530

Entry Requirements for Master

In this video, we are discussing whether the IELTS is required for admission to Latvia.

  1. Bachelor degree or other equivalent qualifications (official transcripts required). Education documents must be accompanied by English translations of all certificates and transcripts along with approval of the documents authenticity;
  2.  If English is not your native language, all international students are required to provide a proof of English language knowledge. Preferably you should submit one of the following certificates with a minimum scores of:
IELTSminimum overall grade of 5.5
TOEFL iBTminimum 61
TOFEL paper-basedminimum 530


  • A copy of passport or ID card
  • A passport picture
  • A personal statement in English (should contain around 500-800 words answering questions such as: Why and what would you like to study at the university? What are your plans after graduation?)
  • Copies of obtained secondary school diplomas, certificates and/or grade lists (uploaded diplomas and/or grade lists which are not in English need to be accompanied by an official English translation)
  • Transcript of records
  • Proof of English language proficiency


Some universities may require additional documents, such as:

  • CV or resume (including two referees)
  • Motivation letter
  • Sample of academic written work


Watch our video on the expenses of studying in Latvia

Tuition fees for Latvian universities are relatively affordable compared to institutions from other countries in the EU.While the tuition fees in Latvia will vary depending on the chosen university and program, there is a recognizable difference in tuition rates between the local Latvian students and enrollees from other EU countries and Switzerland.Non-EU students are generally required to pay at an even higher sum than their domestic and EU counterparts.

Facts about Tuition Fees in Latvia

  • The average tuition fee in Latvia for undergraduate programs is between EUR 3000 – EUR 5000 (USD 3,600 – USD 6,100).
  • Medicine degrees are at higher rates, with the most being up to EUR 15,000 (USD 18,400) per year.
  • On the other hand, master’s degree programs range from EUR 1,700 (USD 2,095) annually for EU/EEA and Swiss students to EUR 3,700 (USD 4,560) for other international enrollees.


Health Care & Medicine€8,000 – 15,000
Business Administration & Management                    €2,000 – 6,000
Engineering€2,700 – 3,500
Computer Science€1,800 – 3,800


While living costs in Latvia will depend on the city, type of accommodation and one’s lifestyle, everyday expenses in this Baltic state are still generally cheaper compared to many European countries. It is estimated that around €450 – 700 (USD$ 553 – USD$ 861) is enough to cover necessities such as food, transportation, utilities and accommodation for a month.

Applicant must prepare following documents for Visa Application


    • Long Stay Visa Application Form of the Republic of Latvia
    • One photo (size 35mm x 45 mm) must be taken in the last 6 month,white background.)
    • Passport with a period of validity extending at least three months after the intended date of departure from Latvia or other Member State, and containing at least two blank pages.
    • Copies of the identification pages and the pages that contain information about previously issued visas
    • An invitation by applicant’s education facility in Latvia that is approved by the OCMA has to be submitted( dated not later than 6 months prior to the application date.)
    • A copy of a signed study agreement
    • A copy of a proof of your intended residence in Latvia
    • Original private bank account statement (movements during the last three months with balance confirmation letter from the bank duly stamped and signed by the bank)
    • Indian income tax return acknowledgment for the last three assessment years (please note that Form 26AS as well as Form 16/ 16 A has to be submitted along with ITR-V). In case university provides the service of issuing a statement on the availability of the necessary financial means in the university account, original of the statement duly signed and stamped by the university has to be submitted
    • In case you are sponsored by a family/relative, a notarised declaration of sponsorship to be submitted. Proof of professional status of the sponsor – contract of employment, pay slips for the last 3 months; self-employed – certificate of registration of the Company,Company’s bank statements for the last three months duly signed and stamped by the bank.
    • Originals presented and copies of your prior education diplomas and mark sheets
    • An air ticket reservation stating the intended entry to Schengen area
    • Travel insurance to be valid for the whole Schengen area and covering the entire period of the intended visit (90days).(minimum coverage of 42,600 EUR)
    • Police Clearance Certificate 


  • “Hello Verify” confirmation slip


Applicants from India can schedule their appointment only after uploading documents on Hello Verify for verification. Provide all required details, Upload the mentioned documents and Make the Payment. Download your payment receipt and schedule an appointment with VFS.

Go to an official biometrics collection service point to Provide your biometrics and submit your Documents. It is mandatory to attend a visa interview through a Video Conference.Applicants from Kerala can attend biometric appointments in Cochin and Bangalore.

If a visa gets Approved Applicant will receive a visa for a duration of 90 days.Applicants need to apply for a Temporary resident visa 90 Days after entering into Latvia.

Latvia has a provision of international students to stay back in the country. The international students who are pursuing masters degree in Latvia are allowed to stay back in Latvia for the duration of six months once the study program is over. The students can opt for an internship in Latvia and have that ever valuable international experience, or they can seek permanent employment to elongate their stay in Latvia.

Want to get free counseling? Don’t hesitate to contact us with your doubts.

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