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Location: Riga, Latvia, Europe

Program Type: UMSL Exchange Program through the MAUI-Utrecht Network Exchange Consortium open to undergraduate and graduate students

Language of Instruction: English and/or Latvian

UMSL Term Abroad: Academic Year, Spring

Approximate Dates Abroad:
Academic Year: September - June
Spring: February - June

Application Deadline:

  • Fall/Academic Year: February 16 (final)
  • Spring: September 23 (final)

UMSL Study Abroad Eligibility Requirements


Subjects Available: 

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Business - Management
  • Business - Marketing
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Students with a high proficiency/native fluency may enroll directly in the regular university program

The University:  The University of Latvia (UL, Universitas Latviensis) was founded in 1919 from the former Riga Polytechnic less than a year after the Republic of Latvia proclaimed its independence after the end of WWI. The upheavals and occupation after WWII meant changes for the university but it survived and never closed. Today, the university has evolved into one of the leading Latvian higher education institutions with approximately 22,000 students. 

The University of Latvia is the first classical university in the history of history of Latvia. The university integrates diverse fields of research and studies with creative initiative to provide the higher education of European standard, to cultivate the Latvian language and traditions of cultural cooperation. Currently there are approximately 20,000, making it one of the largest universities in the Baltic States. An urban campus, the university is situated in the old town of Riga. It has many beautiful, historic buildings located throughout the city center. The buildings are well maintained and very impressive. 

Academics:  More than 250 courses are taught in English.  Latvian and Russian language courses are also available for credit.  Each faculty has an international coordinator giving advice and support in the selection of courses. Theoretical examinations are held in a written or oral form.

Housing: The University offers housing in residence hall which include single, double, and triple rooms. Exchange students usually live in the housing unit called ‘Prima’. Residence hall include suites with three bedrooms that share one bathroom. Each floor has a shared kitchen.  Private flats in the downtown area can also be arranged after arrival. It is common for students to cook in the dormitories or eat in the university cafeterias. Faculties have cafeterias available for students. Eating out at restaurants is not inexpensive.  The cost for meals will vary by student depending on eating habits

Activities and Programs: There is an intensive Latvian language program that begins one month before school starts. If there are spots open students can enroll. There is no cost other than living expenses to the student. Orientation is held the Friday before the semester starts and registration begins one week before the semester starts. Orientation includes presentations from the IR Department, the Student Council and ESN. It is a great time for students to meet other international students.

Students are matched with a buddy prior to arrival.  The buddy will meet the student upon arrival and help them travel to the housing unit, assist them with getting enrolled, purchasing public transportation tickets, etc. The buddy program is offered through the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) which is very active. The ESN organizes many excursions and activities. The IR Department makes a photo of the international students each semester. Examples of activities are: 'Charity, Education, and Culture' activities,  cleanup the city, bike tours, tree planting, Sea Battle, football, bowling, hockey games, paintball, St. Patrick's day party, Carnival party, Red and Black party, welcome and goodbye party, trips around Latvia, St. Petersburg, etc...


Location:  Riga, the capital of Latvia, was officially founded in 1201. Eight hundred years have shaped the city's unique appearance and rich traditions. Due to its geographical location at the southern coast of the Gulf of Riga along the Baltic Sea, the city has been an important centre of trade, finance and culture for centuries. Riga has unique architecture values - medieval architecture, Art Noveau and the 19-th century wooden architecture. The historical and geographical core of Riga - the Old Town - has been included in UNESCO's list of the world's most important cultural and natural sites. Latvia is often regarded as a land that sings - Latvian Nationwide Song and Dance festival takes place every five years in Riga and brings together thousands of the best singers and dancers.

No visa is required for US students before arrival. Students will get an email containing instructions about the residence permit prior to arrival.  Students will apply for the residence permit upon arrival with the assistance of their buddy. 

International Office Website: http://www.lu.lv/eng/istudents/

Course Offerings: http://www.lu.lv/eng/istudents/exchange/courses/

university of latvia

Cost Estimates for 2014-15*

Use the Budget Worksheet to compare the below cost to your personal budget or living on campus at UMSL.

Tuition 3,789.60
HTH mandatory insurance 140.00
Books and course materials 40.00
Accommodations 1,650.00
Meals & Personal Expenses 2,750.00
Airfare 1,500.00
Local Transportation 120.00
Other 300.00
TOTAL 10,299.60


Course Equivalencies: Each student is responsible for researching what courses are available to take and for obtaining an UMSL equivalent course. The UMSL equivalent course number is the course for which you will receive credit on your UMSL transcript. Finding courses to take while you are abroad requires some time and research. More information is on the course equivalency page.

Upon Acceptance: Students will be required to submit supplemental materials, purchase HTH insurance, and participate in a mandatory orientation. More information will be distributed to all accepted students.

* UMSL tuition fees are based on 12 undergraduate credit hours at the 2014/15 rate - 2015/16 tuition rate TBA April 2015. Non-resident fees may apply.
* Costs are based off a four month semester.
* Airline estimate based off of online search.
* Please note that expenses are ESTIMATES. Costs vary depending on the exchange rate, the inflation rate, individual spending habits, and amount of extra travel. The cost estimate above does not include visa expenses, personal expenses, independent travel, which vary widely from student to student.
* Program information is subject to change.
* Other includes Latvian insurance, student ID, and sports membership


Some photos and text courtesy of University of Latvia, photographed by Toms Grinbergs, UL Press Centre