Orientation Week 2023 off to a Good Start
The 288 new international students joining Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) in the spring of 2023 are joining the University at a time of immense growth! RSU Rector, Professor Aigars Pētersons gave a speech at the opening of Orientation Week on Tuesday, 31 January outlining that RSU is modern research university that aims to become one of the world's top 500 universities.
He went on to explain that the University is actively working towards reaching this goal by engaging visiting professors - a fifth of the teaching staff now comes from abroad. The contents of the study programmes are synchronised with the programmes of leading European universities and over the past years, the research capacity has been strengthened. This can be seen by the increase in publications in internationally reputable journals, as well as in the number of research projects.
The student is central at the University's. In order to ensure a smooth transition from studying to working, RSU has worked on developing its infrastructure and collaborations, including establishing clinical study bases in Latvia and abroad: RSU is collaborating with 119 clinics in 19 different countries. Last year, RSU even established a branch in Germany!
For 33 years now, RSU has been the most international university in Latvia and in the Baltics. This winter, RSU received 585 applications from 64 countries meaning that 2-3 applicants competed for one study place. Only the best 288 international students were admitted in 2 study programmes: Medicine (262 students) and Dentistry (26 students). The students starting their studies this February come from 40 different countries, predominantly from Germany (30%), Sweden (25%), and Finland (9%).
The Rector's speech was followed by well wishes from Baiba Pētersone, Director of the International Department. Then, with a healthy dose of humour Māris Ginters, the Head of the International Admissions Office, gave the students practical information that will help them in their studies. 9 new students whose birthday it was were congratulated with gifts and a song by the improvised choir consisting of the assembled students. Later, after getting to know their group members by playing a game of bingo, the 288 new students took an impressively large group photo!
After lunch, the new students came back to listen to useful presentations from Student Services, the Health Center, and the International Admissions Office. The first day ended with an exciting bowling tournament!
On the second day, students will be able to meet with representatives of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Dentistry, as well as with students from the International Student Association and the Student Union. A representative of the Riga Municipal Police will talk about safety in Riga and Rafael Martín Calvo from Ventspils University of Applied Sciences will speak about his first experiences and impressions when he moved to Latvia. Students will also be taken on a tour of the RSU Main Building and International Admissions Office. To get to know the city better, the students will be able to participate in a scavenger hunt and test their skills in a game of laser tag!