University of Latvia exchange students. Photo: Toms Grīnbergs.

336 exchange students have begun their studies in the University of Latvia (UL) in the autumn semester of 2017, from which 69 will continue their studies in the university for the whole academic year, informs Ieva Ģerģe, the international coordinator from the International Mobility Unit.

As every year, the most preferred UL faculties remain the same. The biggest number of exchange students (146) have decided to study in the Faculty of Business, Management and Economy, 45 students in the Faculty of Humanities, 40 in the Faculty of Social Sciences, and 37 in the Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art.

Exchange students have begun their studies in the UL with the help of different exchange programmes – “Erasmus+“(for the European students), “Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility” (for the students all around the world), as well by using bilateral agreements between the UL and other universities.

During their one or two semester stay in Latvia exchange students not only study within their selected programmes, but also use the opportunities provided by the “Erasmus Student Network” in order to get more familiar with Latvia and other places, such as Saint Petersburg and Lapland. Just like local students they also participate in the UL Student Council’s work and events, use the opportunities of Business Incubator and are active in sports.

Exchange students also have the opportunity to study Latvian throughout the whole semester. However, 15 exchange students came to Latvia before the study year and attended the summer school’s intensive Latvian language courses. “During these three weeks they learned the same amount as others in six months. Courses were very intensive,” says I. Ģerģe.

The number of exchange students that come to the UL is bigger comparing it to the number of local students that go abroad. In the calendar year of 2016, 567 exchange students were studying in the UL however, 344 UL’s students participated in the exchange programme.