The official language of Latvia is Latvian - but there are two Latvians. Modern Latvian is spoken in the west of the country; Latgalian is spoken in the east. The two languages are mutually intelligible but Latgalian uses some older words and phrases not found in Modern Latvian. If you choose to take Latvian classes as an international student, it’s normally Modern Latvian, as spoken in the west, that you’ll learn.
Latvia is an ex-Soviet state. This means that Russian is spoken and understood in some areas of the country. But Latvians are increasingly learning English as their second language over Russian and are using Latvian at home. As such, Russian is beginning to fall out of use across much of the country. That being said, about a quarter of Latvians still count it as their first language.
Latvia’s infrastructure is also developing. Much of it dates back to the Soviet era and is ageing. The government and the EU is currently funding a massive infrastructure regeneration project. But this is ongoing. Expect delays and cancellations if you find yourself travelling around Latvia, particularly in more rural areas.
Speaking of rural areas, the outdoors is a huge part of life in Latvia. With all the lakes, unspoiled woodland and babbling brooks dotted about the countryside, it’s little wonder why. You can easily spend a weekend in the great outdoors by going to a national park or simply setting up camp on a riverbank. The most beautiful countryside is in the south-east of the country, towards the tripoint with Russia and Belarus. You can find some of the oldest wooded areas in Europe there.
In addition to its nature, Latvia is also experiencing something of an economic boom. Since the Eurozone crisis hit the country hard a decade ago, the economy has bounced back and been restructured. Manufacturing, renewable energy and pharmaceuticals are now at the heart of the economy. Latvia is also among the easiest countries in the world to do business in. This adds to the experience for international students as there are plenty of internships available at companies with offices in Riga and elsewhere.
Study in Latvia
From ancient woodland to a vibrant business district, Latvia has a lot to offer international students. Find out a little more about the Land of Blue Lakes, as Latvia is known, in this section.
Education in Latvia
Want to learn about how the higher education system works in Latvia? Latvia is a good destination for a variety of students, given its good programs, lifestyle and internship opportunities. Take a minute to find out more about the structure of the education system in Latvia!
Do you need a visa to enter Latvia to study? Learn more about the student visa process, and what you need to enter the country, depending on your citizenship.
Housing & Living Costs
No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in Latvia.
Tuition Fees & Scholarships
Tuition fees for degree programs in Latvia can vary. Both international and domestic students are expected to pay tuition fees in Latvia, but these fees can vary a lot. We've put together information on how this works, and on scholarships, in this section.
Learn more about how to apply to Latvian schools and the documentation you need to do it in this section.
Ready to look at education in Latvia? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Latvia today!