Orientation Week for New International Students Once Again in Person
Orientation Week for all new international students is organised by the Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) International Department (ID). This year, it was once again held in person and gathered more than 400 newly admitted students.
After two years of studying and holding events remotely, the newly-admitted international students were able to meet in person at the end of August and participate in presentations, get to know their group mates, and enjoy various activities. This semester, 421 students from 35 countries, as well as 38 incoming Erasmus+ mobility students, joined the RSU student body.
On the first day of the event, the newly-admitted students focused on the university and their group mates. RSU Rector Prof. Aigars Pētersons wished everyone successful studies, while Baiba Pētersone, Director of the ID, invited them to take advantage of all the opportunities that RSU offers. Māris Ginters, Head of the International Admissions Office, followed up by turning to more practical issues like finding group mates, handing out ID cards and other documents, and answering frequently asked questions about the admissions and study processes.
In the second half of the day, Gunita Kurpniece and Marija Fjodorova from Student Services talked about the services that they offer and explained how new students can apply for a personalised public transportation ticket. Next, Ilze Koreškova, a physician at the RSU Health Centre, spoke about healthcare in Latvia, while Liena Kindzule and Reinis Gailītis from the ID International Admissions Office gave an overview of the immigration process.
The second day started with more practical and academic issues. Smuidra Žermanos, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and Karīna Krūmiņa, student mentor at the Faculty of Dentistry, welcomed the new students and wished them luck in their studies. Afterwards, the representatives of various student organisations took to the stage.
Helēna Smiltniece from the RSU Student Union (Studējošo pašpārvalde, SP) and Mohamed Naleef Ahamed Mazhar from the International Student Association (ISA) spoke about student organisations and what they do. Later, Hanna Thando Klaesson Hjelt, the Head of Academic Affairs at RSU ISA, presented the e-learning portal, the structure of the courses, and gave comprehensive answers to the new students’ questions.
In the second half of the day, Oskars Kokņevičs from the Riga Municipal Police gave a presentation on security and public order in Riga. Irma Kalniņa, a communication and etiquette expert, gave a presentation on Latvia. The incoming Erasmus+ mobility students met with Maruta Funta and Anita Krastiņa, the Erasmus+ programme coordinators at RSU.
On the final day of the event, the new international students enjoyed a picnic where they met representatives of the faculties, the RSU Sports Club, and the Clinic of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy. They could also learn Latvian traditional folk dances under the guidance of the folklore dance group Dandari. In the afternoon, many students participated in the Sports Day organised by RSU ISA in Inspiration Park.
The aim of the event was not only to inform students about the university, but also to give them an opportunity to meet their new group mates and get to know the city. A tour of the Old Town was organised on the evening of the first day, and ISA representatives had prepared various activities for the new students after the end of the official programme.
RSU ID thanks everyone who took part in the event and provided the new students and Erasmus+ mobility participants with valuable information about the university, the study process, and life in Riga, as well as to ISA for organising various events.