ISA – International Students' Association
International Students' Association
The International Students' Association’s mission is to represent, serve, and help to improve the lives of international students at RSU. The ISA co-operates with RSU Student Union, International Department, and the Deans of different faculties in order to help all our students with any queries or problems that they may have during their study time at RSU.
The ISA work to help promote integration and school spirit among International and Latvian students of 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 in 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 the international students in matters affecting their interests at RSU
- To co-ordinate 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 promote cross-cultural contacts
- Academic events
Teddy Bear Hospital
Our ISA 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 going on a hospital visit. 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 Teddy Bear Hospital has introduced a “Dental Clinic” which was held by Dentistry students and is successful in educating the children about oral hygiene. The TBH experience is wonderful for both the University and school students alike!
A full day seminar with lectures by esteemed specialists from different countries and different workshops such as Suture Techniques, Trauma & Emergency Medicine, Toxicology and ENT.
This annual lecture aims to inform RSU students 'How To Do USMLE '. It gives an introduction to the USMLE steps and 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.
ISA is always looking to help students expand their medical interests. Every year ISA holds several lectures with top professors from Europe. The lectures cover a wide range of topics and are very popular among the student community.
- Social events
The International Students Association organises many social events through the academic year. ISA works together with the national societies at RSU to hold events that showcase the wealth of cultures at this University.
The social calendar starts with the Orientation Week! Together with the International Department, we have organised the Info Fair, Sports Day, Movie Night, Riga Night, Museum Tours and Board Game evening for the RSU freshmen. At the end there is always a Welcome Party!
The showcase event of the year is the #WorldWide – Talent & Cultural experience. The ISA organises a talent show, showcasing the best musical, dance & performance talents from the students at RSU; the event also showcases all the different cultures at our university.
Every year, before the Christmas holidays we organise the most anticipated event of the year with photo booths, workshops, dance floor, drinks and snacks. In 2017, for the first time we collaborated with RSU SP and hosted the biggest event with more than 3000 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 sold food and handicrafts to support Syrian refugees in Latvia.
Easter Charity Project
We organised a charity stall to collect chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies for the children in Maras Center. We also spent a day with the children and prepared Easter fun activities such as egg painting and Easter egg hunting.
Where Is The Love? – Valentines’ Day charity project
For Valentines’ Day, we sold postcards made by children from Social Care Centre "Ezerkrasti". All of the collected donations were given to the NGO "Pūks un draugi" that works with children with disabilities.
For more information about ISA events, take a look at the ISA Facebook page.
- National societies
African Association Riga
Get in touch with us
We are always available for a chat if you have any worries, complaints or suggestions about academic or social affairs at RSU. We also welcome any ideas for social events so just drop us a line if you have anything in 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 and speak to them.
If you are even more interested to help us, be sure to get in contact with our Activists group! Email them at activist[pnkts]isagmail[pnkts]com or check them out on Facebook!
E-mail us: rsu[pnkts]international[pnkts]studentsgmail[pnkts]com
- President – Robert Ekman
My name is Robert Ekman and I am the President of ISA. I am a 4th year medical student at RSU. In my free time from studies and ISA work, I enjoy playing sports, hiking, and spending time with friends.
I am in ISA because I enjoy organising events, meeting new people and being proactive to make things happen. ISA is a main part of our student community and I want to promote and create more of its possibilities. I try to support the board in organising, decision-making, and planning of events and activities. I want to organise more educational seminars, as well as make interest groups and sport groups available for international students. Additionally, I hope to improve the connection between fellow Latvian and international students by creating joint events where every nationality is welcome.
Together with my team, I hope to be a worthy representative of the student body at RSU. If you have any questions, or ideas, don't hesitate to contact me.
The most common way people give up their power, is by thinking they don't have any.
- Vice-President – Simon Scheibner
I am Simon, the Vice-President of ISA and a medical student at RSU. I am a big fan of Rīga and its countless leisure opportunities and of the atmosphere of the learning environment.
I like to promote the ISA, because I believe it is a worthwhile engagement for my fellow students and for me personally.
We interconnect all student organisations and try to support their events, as well as we have events, like international and academic conferences which are mainly organised by ISA. Thus, we are able to promote student events on a large-scale and bring together cultures.
That is a challenge and challenges are tempting me, but it is also a call of responsibility as the board represents all international students as one.
"Science and art belong to the whole world, and before them vanish the barriers of nationality.".
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- Treasurer – Mattias Jan Sachteleben
Hi I am Matthias Sachteleben, and the Treasurer of ISA. I am currently studying Medicine in the 4th year.
My job will be to accomplish successful cooperation with the national societies and to guarantee maximum budget utilisation.
I am looking forward to meet you all in person and to a year of good cooperation.
- Head of Academic Affairs - Leonard George
Hello I am Leonard, the Head of Academic Affairs. The main task of the team involved with Academic Affairs is to provide students with help, information and counsel in regard to issues that might arise during their studies. These issues range from information about deadlines and applications, to helping with failed courses or exams. Furthermore Academic Affairs deals with complaints from all students about tricky situations within groups, semesters or courses to provide quick help and solve these problems quickly so the study process is not affected. We represent students when confronting university officials and try to achieve mutually beneficial agreements with departments and teachers. At the same time we communicate with officials to give and get feedback about the study process and the results from students and how to improve them.
We especially make sure to inform all new students arriving about the most important basic questions and information to keep in mind. This introduction during Orientation Week has helped to give insight into how we can help and when to approach us.
Furthermore we try to initiate projects that will improve students' clinical skills and overall knowledge, such as workshops and close cooperation with all semester leaders.
“Not all who wander are lost “
- Assistant to the Head of Academic Affairs – Margi Patel
Hello, I am Margi Patel, Assistant to the Head of Academic Affairs.
My main reason for joining ISA is to make more academic opportunities for international students so everyone can get the most out of their time at RSU.
I would like to help organise the following during my time in the ISA:
- Suture workshops
- Mentor groups for those who fail the semester
- Student Interest groups in English
“Words and ideas can change the world. ”
John Keating, Dead Poets Society
- Medical Science Officer – Vili Pehkonen
Hello! I am Vili Pehkonen, Medical Science Director.
After being part of the arguably best ISA board in history, I wanted to stay in and continue doing the good work ISA has been doing for the past year but from another position in the board.
“Obstacles do not exist to be surrendered to, but only to be broken.”
- Social and Integration Officer – Karol Ardylewski
My name is Karol, I'm a 4th year medical student at RSU, and I am the Head of Social and Integration Affairs. It is a position with a wide spectrum of tasks and activities such as the Orientation Week and many other social events which are aimed at integrating local and international students.
My main aim for this year would be an attempt to make the interest groups more accessible to RSU students and the existing ones official… and what’s most important: create a home-like atmosphere for all the RSU students!
“Words are nice but actions are exquisite and so damn necessary”
- Assistant to Social and Integration Officer – Philipp Paul Merkle
I am Philipp, 4th year student at RSU. I am the Assistant to the Head of Social and Integration Affairs. The tasks include organisation of activities, for example the Teddy Bear Hospital, Orientation Week and other social events.
My main aim is to improve the integration of international students into the social and academic life at RSU.
"If you go jogging one hour per day, you will live 2 years longer. But then you spend 3 years of your life with jogging."
- Human Resources Officer – Alexander Zeidler
My name is Alexander Zeidler; I’m from Germany and currently studying in 4th year Medicine. I work as the Human Resources Officer, which means that I will provide moral back up for the ISA Board, ensuring that the environment is always in good condition. Additionally, I work together with the activists who help out with our events.
"The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self."
- Public Relations Officer – H.B. Roshika Fernando
Hello! I am Roshika Fernando, a 5th year Medical student and currently serving as the Public Relations Officer of ISA. This is my second year working in this position because I believe I still have so much more to offer to the RSU students’ community and I would like to complete the projects which I started midyear. Since January 2017, I have been publishing RSU ISA Review & Preview every month, which includes information about events of students’ associations and student discounts and publishing the magazine RSU ISA Today which contains information for RSU students.
Last year my goal was to be the voice of the students and build a stronger bond between students and ISA which I was able to achieve and this year my goal is to improve integration between local and international students.
I am an open-minded, friendly, approachable person and a team player, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Have a great time!
“The building blocks that form the foundation of a great and successful future are the actions you take today”
- Liaison Officer –Viboosani Murugaboopathy
I am Viboosani, the Liaison Officer. I am originally from India, born and raised in Germany and currently studying 4th year Medicine at RSU.
This post will enable me to be the important link between ISA and all the various RSU student societies. Our societies are as diverse as their projects are – there are socially active societies such as RSU Asian Society and DSiA, academically-focused societies such as EMSA Riga, religious societies such as Yachad Riga, among many others. We also support our independent societies such as ANSA and RiSLO. We are always very happy to cooperate with Latvian student organisations such as RSU SP, as well as LAMSA.
We are very proud of all the different organisations and their enduring work. Thanks to the diversity of their intentions, the range of offered events is vast. During the past year there have been various dynamic ventures such as regional festivities, religious celebrations, social get togethers, educational movie nights, medical lectures, fun outings and charity projects.
If you have any suggestions regarding new events, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always open to embrace your thoughts!
- Secretary – Iga Olejarczyk
Hello, I am Iga, the Secretary of ISA. Throughout my life I have been involved in different student organisations focused to improve student life. After 3 years at RSU, I felt it is the right time to give something back to the international student community. I find ISA to be the best means to fulfill that.
I hope that together with the ISA team, we will be able to organise events, which students find interesting, fun and educational. Also, being ISA's secretary my goal is to facilitate the functioning of the association.
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."