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Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) has been the academic destination of international students for almost 30 years. The International Student Department (ISD) offers international students the possibility to study medicine, dentistry, pharmacy (since 2013) and since 2018 - also nursing and public health in English.

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International students enrich our community, are a testament to the quality of medical education in Latvia and are our heralds all over the world. The presence of international students raises the awareness of RSU academic staff of the international dimension of studies and our university’s importance in European medical processes.

Smuidra Žermanos, Dean, International Student Department

Studying in English

Although it is mostly students from EU and EEA countries that choose to study at the International Student Department, the number of students from other countries is constantly growing. In recent years, Latvian citizens and permanent residents have been demonstrating an increased interest regarding study possibilities in English.

International students enrich the study environment at RSU, foster intercultural communication, facilitate tolerance and multiculturalism and promote internationalisation.

To encourage internationalisation, since 2014 senior international students have been given the opportunity to study in mixed groups with local students. The teaching language is English.

Clinical placement opportunities

Having a long history, medical studies at RSU is an attractive choice for both local and international students because of the opportunities for clinical placements. Contrary to numerous other European universities, where students can undergo practical training at hospitals only during their residency year, RSU students learn in a clinical environment on a daily basis. For example, 3rd-year students have the opportunity to contact patients and discuss medical examinations and treatment plans with practitioners and upon completion of the 3rd-study year, students go on clinical care placement. In subsequent years, students attend clinical placement at hospitals where they work under the supervision of hospital practitioners.

Support for international students

The International Student Department offers comprehensive support to all international students:

  • assistance with study planning,
  • tips for finding accommodation,
  • how to effectively adapt to academic life and
  • how to integrate into the local community.

RSU also implements a mentoring programme to offer academic support and help with the smooth transition to university life for incoming freshmen. There is also a psychological consultation centre at the university.

Study programmes

Admission

History

2020-

2021 - There are 2367 international students from 62 countries representing USA, Austria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia (study process in English), the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Sri Lanka, Sweden, UK etc. The majority of the international students come from Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Italy.

2010-2019

2018 - First international students to start studies in ISD study programmes Nursing and Public Health.

RSU Senate resolves to place International Student Department under the supervision of the Vice-Rector for Health Studies.

2017 - Beginning of cooperation with foreign partners in Germany in clinical field.

2015 - RSU celebrates its 65th anniversary as an institution of higher education and ISD its 25 years of experience in educating international students. RSU has enrolled 1,611 international students from more than 40 countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, India, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Turkey, etc. The majority of the international students represent Germany, Sweden and Norway.

From 1995 – 2015 RSU has produced almost 450 international graduates. In 2015 RSU admitted over 500 international students, most of them from Germany and Sweden.

Prof. Juta Kroiča is awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the Ministry of Education and Science for significant achievements in attracting foreign students while acting as the head of the Department of Academic and Foreign Affairs (DAFA).

RSU Senate resolves to undergo reorganization of the Department of Academic and Foreign Affairs, resulting in the separation of the International Student Department and placement under the supervision of the Vice-rector for Education.

2014 - Formation of the first mixed groups of local and foreign students.

2013 - In the academic year 2013/2014 there are 1050 international students what is by now the largest number of international students at RSU and also among Baltic universities.

2011 - October 19 - Foreign students establish the International Student Association (ISA).

2010 - There are 210 international students from 17 countries representing Austria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia (study process in English), the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Sri Lanka, Sweden, the UK, and the USA. The majority of the international students come from Sweden, Norway and Germany.

2000-2009

2009 - Dr Smuidra Žermanos is elected the Dean of the Division of International Studies.

2008 - Establishment of the Department of Academic and Foreign Affairs (DAFA) with 3 Divisions – Division of Academic Exchange Programmes, Division of International Studies, Division of Foreign Affairs. Professor Juta Kroiča is appointed the Director of DAFA.

2004 - RSU Senate resolves to undergo reorganization of the ISSD by transforming into the Division of International Studies.

2003 - International students representing 18 countries are studying at the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry and the Faculty of Pharmacy. 

From 1995 – 2010 RSU has produced altogether 300 international graduates from 25 countries. The majority of them represent Lebanon and Sri Lanka. Prof. Juta Kroiča is awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the Ministry of Education and Science for significant achievements in attracting foreign students for RSU and for promoting the image of Latvia abroad while acting as the head of the Department of Academic and Foreign Affairs. The Dean of the International Student Department Smuidra Žermanos receives a Certificate of Recognition awarded by the Ministry of Education for exceptional achievements in attracting international students. 
1990-1999

1998 - There are 150 international students from 18 countries studying at the International Student Department (ISD).

1996 - The first international graduates of the Faculty of Medicine receive diplomas.

1995 - The first international graduates of the Faculty of Dentistry receive diplomas.

1994 - Professor Juta Kroiča is appointed the Dean and the lecturer Smuidra Žermanos is appointed the Vice Dean of the ISSD.

There are 125 international students studying at the ISSD (105 in the Faculty of Medicine and 20 in the Faculty of Dentistry). International students represent the Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Kuwait, Syria, Egypt and Nigeria.

1992 - Professor Juta Kroiča is appointed the Vice Dean of the ISSD.

1991 - Associate Professor Sarmīte Boka is appointed the Vice Dean of the ISSD.

1990 - Aīda Beķere (22.07.1950.–†28.10.2009.) is appointed the Vice Dean of the ISSD.
Establishment of the International Student Study Division (ISSD). The very first international students enrolled are form the Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Syria, and Egypt.

Facts and Figures