University of Latvia
ISEP and MAUI-Utrecht are total immersion programs. In most cases, ISEP and MAUI-Utrecht participants register as a regular student at the host institution, take the same courses and have the same assignments, and participate in the same activities as the local students at that institution. This means that a student applying for an ISEP or MAUI-Utrecht site must be more proactive and prepared to handle being in a location where they may be the only KU student in the program.
-ISEP Exchange: undergraduate programs available for single semesters only
-MAUI-Utrecht Exchange: undergraduate and graduate students (certain disciplines) available for single semesters
CHANCE OF PLACEMENT
-ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Good.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students
-MAUI-Utrecht Exchange chance of placement for US students is relatively low. MAUI-Utrecht is only allowed to send 3 students within 2 semesters.
-ISEP semester exchanges only:
Semester 1: Late August to late January
Semester 2: Late January to late June
-MAUI Utrecht semester exchanges only:
Semester 1: Late August to late January
Semester 2: Early February to early July
Latvia, on the Baltic Sea, shares borders with Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, and Russia and Belarus to the east. In territory it exceeds Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. It is the central and strategically most significant part of the Baltic States, with a population of 2.5 million people. As a result of the intense Russification during the Soviet occupation from 1945 to 1991, ethnic Latvians make up only 56 percent of the population. Riga, its capital, was founded in 1201 and is by far its largest city; it is also one of Latvia's major ice-free seaports that handles considerable shipping to and from Russia.
The field especially recommended for ISEP students is the Baltic/Latvian Studies Program. It is taught in English and includes a Latvian language course. It covers Latvian literature and anthropology/cultural studies (focusing on Latvia); other topics include history and economics of Latvia and the Baltic region.
There is also a Russian Studies Program, taught in Russian (with some courses in English) and requiring Russian language proficiency.
Students typically enroll in 3-4 classes per term which averages to 20-25 hours in class per week. A term runs for 15-16 weeks.
Most students take courses in English. Students may take Latvian and Russian language courses during the academic year as a part of ISEP benefits.
See: Courses in English
The departments of Humanities and Social Sciences are open to undergraduate exchange students, and the courses within these two departments are taught in English. The Computer Science, Chemistry, Optometry, and Medicine departments instruct in English, but these courses may not be open to exchange students through MAUI-Utrecht. Some Humanities and Social Sciences courses are available to graduate students through exchange. Graduate students may also enroll in Computer Science, Chemistry, Optometry, and Medicine classes as well. Undergraduate students can take graduate level courses, and graduate students can take undergraduate courses.
For more information, visit the Course Catalog.
HOUSING AND MEALS
ISEP students are housed in a residence hall and receive a stipend for their meals and accommodation.
ESTIMATED PERSONAL EXPENSES
You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: optional fees (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month, including books, are estimated at: 500-600 USD.
MAUI Utrecht Exchange:
HOUSING AND MEALS
It is estimated that housing will cost around 300 EUR for a single room per month, and meals will cost around 300 EUR per month. UL offers two dormitories for students, but there are no campus meal plans.
ESTIMATED PERSONAL EXPENSES:
It is estimated that students will spend about 20 EUR on books, 25 EUR on transportation, and 50 EUR on health insurance. These are all costs per month. Other expenses will be based on what the student wants to spend money on.
There will be a five hour session regarding the system of higher education in Latvia, the history of the University of Latvia, student activities, studies at the university, and social life. In addition, there will be tours around the university, the library, the museum, and computer facilities.
Host will provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.
ESN-Riga (local section of the Erasmus Student Network) during each semester organizes different activities for foreign exchange students which include introduction week, trips inside Latvia and journeys to the neighboring countries, thematic evenings etc. ESN maintains as well the buddy system which helps exchange students to integrate in the Latvian society and offers opportunity to meet local students.
Under Russian rule in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Tsar’s offer to establish a university in Latvia was repeatedly rejected by the rulers in Riga, who feared that such an institution could become a breeding ground for opposition to the established order. The Latvian intelligentsia was educated mainly at the universities of Tartu (Estonia) and St. Petersburg. The first institution of higher education in Latvia, the Riga Polytechnic, was founded in 1862. The University of Latvia was established in 1919, when Latvia first become independent from Russia; it used the facilities and staff of the Riga Polytechnic. Total enrollment: 22,000 students in 68 study programs.
For more information regarding costs and deadlines, please contact the appropriate program coordinator.