Frequently asked questions about applying for studies in Latvia
Updated on 29-10-2020
During this year's admission with a lot of uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Study in Latvia receives many questions. We are doing our best to answer your questions and reduce the confusion. Here are the most frequently asked questions with the additional links for further inquiries and guidance.
I want to study in Latvia. What should I do?
We suggest to start with visiting our website www.studyinlatvia.lv which is a national level website and official information resource providing information about the higher education in Latvia. It also has a searchable database with a list of study programmes and practical information about life in Latvia for current and prospective international students. We advise to follow these overall steps of the admission process and contact the chosen university or your education agent for further inquiries about the application process managed by each university.
What is Study in Latvia and where are you located?
Study in Latvia is a public national body in charge of promoting Latvia’s higher education to international students, managed by the State Education Development Agency of Latvia in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science. We are located in Riga, Latvia.
Can you guide me through the admission process in Latvia?
We are not education agents or a consultancy company. Therefore we don't provide consultancy and guidance services during your application process for studies in Latvia. Instead we can offer general guidelines, insights and advice as available on our webpage www.studyinlatvia.lv and social media.
What are the entry requirements for the admission at Latvian universities?
The basic university entry requirements include:
- Previous education - an attested certificate of secondary education or higher education diploma allowing to pursue the desired studies,
- Recognition of your previous diploma - assessed by the Latvian recognition institution the Academic Information Centre,
- Sufficient study language proficiency, which is mostly English. It must be equal or higher than B2 according to CEFRL levels.
Detailed entry requirements here. As each university can set its own additional entry requirements, for example, previous marks, exams, tests, interviews, etc., please visit the website of the chosen university to find out the specific entry requirements in detail.
How can I apply?
For the application process step by step we advise you to check the section Admission on our website where the overall process is explained in 7 steps, from finding a desired study programme to the processing of the visa and residence permit.
Plase note, that Study in Latvia does not administer the application process in Latvia, it is managed by each Latvian higher education institution on its own. Therefore, each university's admission procedure may vary and you should directly address the chosen university to find out about the application procedure and deadlines in detail. The application process is normally organized online via Dream Apply platform or another IT tool.
When will I be able to arrive in Latvia? Are there any travel restrictions because of the Covid-19?
Yes, there are still travel restrictions to Latvia from a number of countries. Here you can see the actual destinations from Riga Airport at the moment. Be aware, within the last 14 days if you have visited a country where the 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants exceed 16 people, you are required to self-isolate for 14-days after the arrival in Latvia. The list of these countries (coloured red and yellow) is published on the website of the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and is updated every Friday.
Students, who have enrolled for full-time studies or exchange programmes at Latvian HEIs, are allowed to enter Latvia via border crossing points of external border of the European Union, if a higher education institution or college has issued a written certification on the matriculation of the student and organisation of studies on site.
What are the application deadlines?
The application deadlines depend on the specific intake:
- For the autumn semester the deadline for the EU students is usually the beginning of July, for the non-EU students - the beginning of June;
- For the spring semester the deadline for the EU students is the beginning of December, for the non-EU students – the beginning of November or mid-October.
Due to the current pandemic situation, many universities have extended the application deadlines.
If the application deadline is before I get my diploma from secondary school/university, what should I do?
If you are still studying in the last semester and have not received a diploma yet, you can apply with provisional results from your school. You have to submit a provisional certificate officially signed and stamped by the school/university. It is only applicable if a university in Latvia agrees to admit you with the provisional certificate/document.
Do I need TOEFL or IELTS?
All students applying for the studies in Latvia need to demonstrate sufficient study language proficiency, which is mostly English. The level of the language knowledge must be equal or higher than B2 level according to Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). The proof of the language knowledge can be provided in different ways depending on the country, where the previous education has been obtained, and the language of instruction in the previous educational institution. Please see detailed requirements here.
Is there an application fee?
Yes, there is a non-refundable application fee, which is around €150 or $200, but it may vary depending on the chosen university. There are higher education institutions in Latvia, which do not require application fee.
How do I obtain a visa and/or residence permit?
Visa or residence permit requirements may vary depending on your home country. Students are strongly advised to communicate with the international department of the chosen university in Latvia regarding the visa process. The basic information can be found here.
Am I allowed to work as a student?
Yes, you are allowed to work in Latvia during studies but be aware that there are some restrictions depending on your study level:
- a full-time Bachelor's student at a Latvian university has the right to work for up to 20 hours per week (part-time) or 40 hours per week (full-time) during the break with any employer.
- a full-time Master's or Doctoral student at a Latvian university, has the right to work with no restrictions.
More on Immigration Law here.
What are the tuition fees?
Information on tuition fees can be found here.
What are the living expenses in Latvia?
Information on the costs of living can be found here.
Can I get a scholarship?
There are Latvian state scholarships, which are available for the citizens of more than 40 countries. The call for applications is usually open from February to April. For more information please check our webpage here or go to the webpage: viaa.gov.lv. Be aware that some universities have their own scholarships for international students.
Can I get a discount for studies in Latvia?
There are a number of discounts, financial aid and free-waivers offered to students, which meet certain criteria. Check the criteria and follow the updates on the university websites.
Can I transfer my previous credits?
It is possible for students to transfer their credits and continue their studies at the chosen university, but the application process for this, as well as the details and requirements must be addressed to the university.
Do I have to study the Latvian language?
The Latvian language courses are offered at all universities. Incoming degree and exchange students are encouraged to learn Latvian.
Do universities offer dormitories or other accommodation?
Some universities have their own student dormitories, others provide assistance with the housing search. You can check this information on our website at the profile of the university or ask the international student advisor at your chosen university for advice and/or assistance.