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Take advantage of Erasmus and stop by in Riga, Latvia

Published by flag-pl Adrian Zinko — 4 years ago

0 Tags: flag-lv Erasmus experiences Riga, Riga, Latvia

Why did you choose to go to Riga, Latvia?

To be honest it's the most frequently asked question by my friends and I reckon I don't even have any proper answer for that. On the one hand, I've searched for the uni with the most related subject in case I wouldn't have many exams to pass after come back to my uni in Poland. However, I've been always looking for an adventure and this play seemed curious to me. Talking about prices, of course in Riga goods are commonly more expensive than in Poland though, fair enough, we aren't even close to Madryt or Helsinki. Furthermore to submit it in one statement - The best choice for eastern adventurers!

How long is the scholarship? How much money do you receive to help you with living costs?

My scholarship lasts about 5 months during which I've received a fairly amount of about 2000 euros.

What is the student lifestyle like in Riga?

I'm not the right person to respond optimally to this question. I have a pretty strict daily routine. Every now and then we organize some meetups around Old Town, there are many chillish pubs and also crowded night clubs. I mainly choose the first option. My favourite so far is the pub called Puce, when you have a chance to take part in beer pong competition, try classic drinks, beers, beverages.

Would you recommend the city and the University of Riga to other students?

Of course, I would. There is not much to say - just give it a go.

What is the food like?

Another kind of question I'm not the right person to respond to however for a typical Europe diet requirements you wouldn't complain. Try traditional Riga bread - Rudzu maize, some sweets like sweet little alcohol drink Rīgas Melnais balzams (especially black currant) - a traditional Latvian balsam made with many different natural ingredients.

Did it cost you to find your accommodation in Riga?

It costs me about 250 euros every month with utilities. I haven't pay anything for searching or prebooking.

How much does it cost to live in Riga?

It depends. Food is more expensive then in Poland however, overall living costs are far more expensive (i. e. accommodation and tremendous(!) price for utilities). Eggs are cheaper - to take also a positive sight.

Is the language easy to get to grips with? Are there language courses available at the University?

There is a Latvian language course available for all Erasmus students. A bit tricky I would say at first but still, you learn something new every day and eventually die with so many questions.

What's the easiest or most economical way to travel to Riga from your city?

Travel by bus or find some cheap flight from Warsaw.

Where would you recommend to go on a night out in Riga?

Nice or popular places to chill out: French Bar, Kiwi Bar, KKK, Chomsky, Autentika, Just (on Thursday, in the weekend they don't allow foreigners to get in), La rocca (especially on Friday), Friends, Kalku varti, Ala (where you can also eat), First Dacha, B-bar, Puce, Rock Café, Piens (on Wednesday, but pay attention, they don't have a wardrobe). Pay great attention to your coats and phones: they often steal them in clubs from Erasmus.

And for eating? Can you recommend some good restaurants in Riga?

My suggestions about restaurants: Da Sergio, italian restaurant, crossing between Matisa and Terbatas; Galereja istaba, crossing between Gertrudes and Barona: art gallery in the ground floor, very nice restaurant bar upstairs. Lido, the Latvian typical restaurant: everywhere in old town and centre (the closest is in Gertrudes iela); Pel'meni (in old town), Wok to Walk (in city centre).

What good cultural sites are there to visit?

Riga experienced its golden age in the early 20th century just as Art Nouveau architecture was coming into fashion, and so the city has one of the world’s richest collections of this exuberant style.

Also worth to see Open Air Ethnographic Museum, The Latvian National Museum of Art. For a shopping experience like no other, head to Riga’s Central Market.

Is there any other advice that you could give to students going to Riga in the future?

Don't hesitate. Don't ask so many questions. Take advantage and stop by for a min or two, cross abroad to see the taste of Latvian folklore mixed with more than 30% of Russian influence.

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