International Student Association
The Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) International Student Association’s (ISA) mission is to represent, serve and help improve the lives of international students at RSU. The ISA co-operates with the RSU Student Union, the International Department, and the Deans of various faculties in order to help all our students with any queries or problems that they may have during their time at RSU.
The ISA works to help promote integration and school spirit among both International and Latvian students at Rīga Stradiņš University. The ISA also aims to provide opportunities for students to apply and develop their talents, skills, and interests through various academic, social and cultural programs.
Our primary aims
- To implement and maintain efforts to facilitate the integration of international and Latvian students into the RSU student community;
- To provide information, offer advice and speak to the appropriate departments within the University in order to help students with questions or concerns;
- To represent the opinions of international students in matters affecting their interests at RSU;
- To coordinate and organise academic and social events for students;
- To promote constructive collaboration among students, staff, and organisations at RSU;
- To further the interests of the international community at RSU and to promote cross-cultural contacts.
- Academic events
Teddy Bear Hospital
Our Teddy Bear Hospital is a fun and educational project where international and Latvian students create a hospital setting for the pupils of the international schools in Riga. The aim of the event is to alleviate the fears of children about visiting a hospital. The children are allowed to treat their teddy bears at a number of different stations e.g. surgery, general practice, X-ray etc. In recent years the Teddy Bear Hospital has introduced a dental clinic which was organised by dentistry students and a great way to educate children about oral hygiene. Visiting the Teddy Bear Hospital is wonderful experience for both University and school students alike!
A full day seminar with lectures by esteemed specialists from various countries and different workshops such as Suture Techniques, Trauma & Emergency Medicine, Toxicology and ENT.
This annual lecture aims to inform RSU students on 'How To Do USMLE '. It gives an introduction to the USMLE steps and provides information about different parts of the exams with practice questions.
We organise Radiology, Gynaecology and Obstetrics and Suture workshops which offer students a possibility to gain more practical knowledge and skills.
We are always looking to help students expand their medical interests. Every year the ISA holds several lectures by top professors from Europe. The lectures cover a wide range of topics and are very popular in the student community.
- Social events
The ISA organises many social events throughout the academic year working together with the many national societies at RSU to hold events that showcase the wealth of cultures at the University.
The social calendar starts with Orientation Week! We organise the Info Fair, a Sports Day, a Movie Night, a Riga Night, various Museum Tours and a Board Game evening for RSU freshmen together with the International Department. The week always ends with a Welcome Party!
The biggest showcase event of the year is the #WorldWide Talent & Cultural Experience. We organise a talent show showcasing the best musical, dance and performance talents from students at RSU. The event is also a good showcase for the various cultures at our university.
Every year before the Christmas holidays we organise the most anticipated event of the year - the Winter Ball! Complete with photo booths, workshops, a dance floor, drinks and snacks this event always attracts the most attention. In 2017 we collaborated with the RSU Student Union for the first time and hosted the biggest event to date with over 3,000 participants.
We have organised several charity events to help children from orphanages, refugee centres and other social institutions.
European Refugee Crisis Aid Project
Together with the national societies we held an event to sell food and handicrafts in support of Syrian refugees in Latvia.
Easter Charity Project
We organised a charity stall to collect chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies for the children in Māras Center. We also spent a day with the children and prepared fun Easter activities such as egg painting and an Easter egg hunt.
Where Is The Love? – Valentine's Day Charity Project
For Valentine's Day we sold postcards made by children from the social care centre Ezerkrasti. All of the donations were given to the NGO Pūks un draugi (Pooh and Friends) that works with children with disabilities.
For more information about ISA events, take a look at the ISA Facebook page.
- National Societies
- Academic Societies
- Social Societies
Get in touch with us
We are always available for a chat if you have any worries, complaints or suggestions concerning academic or social affairs at RSU. We also welcome any ideas for social events so just drop us a line if you have anything on your mind! If you see any of our board members walking around campus please feel free to approach us, talk to us or even just say hello! We are always pleased to meet our fellow students.
If you are even more interested in helping us out be sure to get in contact with our Activist Group! Email them at activist[pnkts]isagmail[pnkts]com or check them out on Facebook!
Sign up here to become an ISA activist!
Subscribe to our ISA newsletter here.
E-mail us: isarsu[pnkts]lv or follow us on Instagram.
Telephone: +371 22 720 750
- President – Hannah Katharina Schöberl
Hello everyone, my name is Hannah Katharina Schöberl and I am the President of the 2020 ISA Board.
I held the position of Head of Academic Affairs on the 2019 ISA Board and actively worked with representatives from RSU on several academic matters. I also sought to create a closer connection to semester leaders and the Academic Office of the Student Union, which I consider we achieved. This led to improved communication and to seminars for semester leaders and the boards of the academic societies. We even held a joint academic seminar together with the Latvian first semester leaders in September!
What has worked on the academic level with the Student Union, I would like to see happening in more offices of ISA in 2020 and I will encourage my board to work hard for it. One of those projects could be the realisation of a joint Christmas Ball, like under the ISA 2017 Board!
What I have liked about my time here at RSU is that I have been able to work on projects that are important to me. I started out in DSiA (the German Student Association) where I organised my first events, then I founded and worked with Fashion Revolution Latvia and now I devote my time to my university to enrich your studies here in Riga together with the other members of ISA.
One of my suggestions to you is to be curious and active at the same time! If you notice something that needs to be improved, do not just complain, but take steps to make a change and be patient.
We also encourage each and every one of you to contact us at any time if you have an idea for a project, whether it is in science, sports, music or arts. We will provide you with the best support possible.
This year marks the 30th year of international students at RSU - so let's get ready to celebrate together!
Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
- Oscar Wilde
- Vice-President – Irina Mariotti
Hello, my name is Irina Mariotti and I am the Vice President on the 2020 ISA Board. I started my adventure working with student life at the university already in my second semester when I became a member of ASIR (the Italian Student Association in Riga). I then became Head of Integration and Sports of ISA in 2019. These experiences gave me the opportunity to broaden my connections and also to organise events such as the Teddy Bear Hospital, the International Students' Christmas Ball and Orientation Week.
Being part of RSU means not only finding the perfect study environment to better achieve your goal, but also participating in student associations and meeting people with the same interests in order to create a home away from home.
I am looking forward to a year of collaboration and growth together with all international and Latvian students.
Don’t hesitate to contact any ISA members if you have a great idea for a project, or about
any issues that you encounter throughout your studies!
Get engaged with life at RSU - you won't regret it!
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success
- Henry Ford
- Treasurer – Katharina Waibel
I’m Katharina Waibel, and I'm the new Treasurer on the 2020 ISA Board. I am currently in my 2nd year of medicine studies. As treasurer my main goal is to use the budget in the most efficient way, improving our work with sponsors and also helping the academic as well as the national societies with their budgets.
Building a stronger and better-working collaboration between ISA and the societies is important, but so is working on and improving cooperation with the Student Union. I am looking forward to a year of creating many cool events, lectures and workshops for everybody!
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
– Helen Keller
- Head of Academic Affairs - Max Zwartjes
Hello everyone, my name is Max Zwartjes and I'm from the Netherlands. This year I am going into my 6th year of Medicine at RSU. I am the Head of Academic Affairs on the 2020 ISA Board.
In my function as Head of Academic Affairs, I will be your contact person in case of any academic issues, questions regarding the study process and for any general help you might need as a student at RSU. Furthermore, I will organise regular meetings with the semester leaders of all semesters and will be the intermediary between semester leaders and the university's professors and officials. I am also in close contact with the Student Union and the Dean’s office so that we can make sure that you as a student will be heard in case of any urgent issues.
Finally, as a big goal this year, I hope that we from ISA and the organisations connected to us can help our university get accredited by the World Federation for Medical Education 2023 recognition program.
Man has always to be busy with his thoughts if anything is to be accomplished.
– Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the “Father of Microbiology” and first microscopist
- Assistant to the Head of Academic Affairs – Anna Leonova
My name is Anna Leonova and I am the Assistant to the Head of Academic Affairs on the 2020 ISA Board.
This year I will be working together with Max Zwartjes to deal with any academic issues that may arise during your studies. We are here to listen to your complaints and suggestions for improvements regarding academic issues. We will try to find an answer for every one of your questions.
Another part of our role is to work with the Student Union's Academic Office, semester leaders and departments to provide you with a qualitative academic environment at RSU. Additionally, we will be assisting the international academic societies to arrange interesting seminars and workshops in different fields of medicine every month for you.
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
- Walt Disney
- Medical Science Director – Francesca Zanghi
I’m Francesca Zanghi and I’m a 4th year medical student, and the Medical Science Director on the 2020 ISA Board.
Together with Stina Jantke, I am looking forward to organising interesting guest lectures, seminars, as well as practical workshops to improve the medical and scientific knowledge of RSU students.
I hope to see many of you at all our upcoming events!
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
- Nelson Mandela
- Assistant to the Medical Science Director – Stina Jantke
Hello, my name is Stina Jantke and I am starting my 4th year of medical studies this year. As Assistant to the Medical Science Director I will be working closely with Francesca Zanghi.
We will be working on the scientific development of the students and intend to organise a variety of interesting lectures, workshops and seminars. For the upcoming year, we are planning a variety of new workshops adapted to the different study phases. We want to help students improve their practical skills and theoretical knowledge, as well as form a solid base for future research.
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.
― Marie Curie
- Head of Integration and Sports – Simone Oliver Senica
My name is Simone and I am the Head of Integration and Sports.
In the upcoming year I will be working together with Theresa Gsöllpointner to promote the well-being of students by integrating them into RSU and the wider society.
To realise this, one of our tasks will be to organise specific events such as Orientation Week and the Teddy Bear Hospital. We also believe that sports represent the easiest and most fun way to bring a better balance to students' lives - it is a way to relieve the stress of academic duties and often improves study performance! We will help anyone interested in becoming more active and looking for a way to do so. Also, we will do our best to arrange sporting events so that everyone can get a chance to have fun, meet new friends and be healthier!
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.
- Michael Jordan
- Assistant to the Head of Integration and Sports – Theresa Gsöllpointner
Hello, I am Theresa, a medical student in the 2nd semester and the Assistant to the Head of Integration and Sports. Simone Senica and I will be working together to organise fun events for students to help them integrate into RSU.
We are looking forward to welcoming the first semester students at Orientation Week and helping them make Riga their home. As we believe that sports is the easiest and most fun way to bring a good balance to students' lives, we will do our best to arrange various opportunities and events for students to get active. We thereby hope to encourage everyone to find a balance between their complex studies and to take some time out for their social lives.
It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.
– Napoleon Hill
- Internal Collaborations and Human Resources Officer – Avishka Wickramasinghe
My name is Avishka Wickramasinghe, and I’m a 2nd-year medical student. I am the Internal Collaborations and Human Resources Officer on the 2020 ISA Board.
I will function as a mediator within ISA to give everyone a chance to voice their opinions, and also to make everyone feel welcome. I would like to promote a rewarding and fulfilling work environment and a good working structure within our board. Help and respect are vital components of a well-functioning student body, and my listening skills together with my fondness for helping people will help me fulfil the responsibilities of this post.
My primary goals this year will be to encourage more activists to get involved with ISA, to recruit new members, make students aware of what ISA is and what it stands for, help students understand how they can make use of ISA to enhance themselves in order to make university life easier and more enjoyable for themselves and others, as well as make sure that ISA runs like a well-oiled machine.
Be motivated by the fear of being average.
- Public Relations Officer – Arathi Nair
Hey there! I’m Arathi, both the previous (2019) and current Public Relations Officer of ISA.
My past year working with the ISA has been an unforgettable learning experience. I feel like I’m a whole new person today; I’ve grown, evolved and wish to achieve more now that I have this bonus year in my pocket.
When you’re in a team of twelve completely different people, who come from different backgrounds, you tend to bring a wide variety of ideas to the table. My job is to fuse these ideas and make a masterpiece! Posters and illustrations were only a hobby until 2019, but now it’s something I do on a daily basis. The same goes for keeping track of our social media accounts and simultaneously working as the Editor of the RSU ISA Newsletter.
I want to be a role model and set an example for students to encourage more to join ISA in the coming years, as this platform is a once in a lifetime opportunity! You learn so much about yourself and how stepping out of your comfort zone can never go wrong!
Remember, whatever decisions you make for yourself are always the right decisions. Because, no matter the outcome, you always learn something new!
- Liaison Officer – Mohamed Naleef Ahamed Mazhar
Hello, I’m Mohamed Naleef Ahamed Mazhar and am in my 6th semester of Medicine studies. I currently hold the position of Liaison Officer on the 2020 ISA Board.
My function within the association is to serve as a conduit for the various national societies to communicate with ISA. Furthermore, I will oversee collaborative events between societies for events such as Worldwide and other events in the future. Outside my work with the national societies my role is to facilitate communication with other international student representatives at other universities and be inspired by their experience to improve student life and integration at RSU.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
- African proverb