Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

zola Block
This is example content. Double-click here to enter your registry name and display items from your registry. Learn more
           

641 S St NW Suite 200

1.800.833.6243

admissions@yfu.org

Latvia

latvia-top.jpg

Study in Latvia

Latvia may be a small spot on the world map, but the hospitality, history, culture, adventure, and people will take up a big part of your heart if you choose this Baltic country as your YFU destination.

“Many people ask me: Why Latvia? Honestly, I still don’t know the answer, but I am so glad I made that choice! I lived with a host family (mom, dad, and sister) and attended a local music school. For not knowing a single word of the language, I somehow made it work; but there were definitely struggles along the way. The friends are lifelong and the memories are forever.”

- Sofia

+ More About Latvia

Sveiki! Do you want to experience the European art and music scene? How about trying your hand at basketball? In Latvia, you can do both! Latvia may be a small spot on the globe, but the unmatched hospitality, deep history, rich culture and fascinating adventure will take up a big part of your heart if you choose this country as your destination.

The culture of Latvia has been and remains a central symbol of national identity, strongly influenced by the country's many previous inhabitants and its present day neighbors. Now independent of the Soviet Union, Latvia’s theatre, choir music and classical music are leading examples of this rich culture. The diverse music is a great example of the blending of the old and the new, which can be witnessed at many song and dance festivals. You can listen to a variety of music in Riga, Latvia's capital city and the center of its musical life.

The country of Latvia takes school very seriously, and has a well-structured education system. Latvia's capital city, Riga, is not only the center of entertainment, but also home to the oldest school in the country: the prestigious and esteemed University of Latvia. However, don't worry - although your education will be taken seriously, you'll still have plenty of time for fun!

For vacations and pastime, Latvians enjoy outdoor activities such as canoeing or bicycle touring. You may also find yourself out at a competitive golfing tournament or a gripping windsurfing expedition with host siblings and friends. Attending plays, movies, exhibitions, and concerts also make enjoyable family and social outings. Surprisingly, basketball is the third most popular sport in Latvia. When your Latvian friends hear that you're from the United States, they'll be sure to ask you to shoot some hoops! Even if you don't play now, you can improve your skills there!

Latvia is a place of song, dance, and customs like no other that will keep you wanting more! If a blend of sports and arts sounds like a good fit, then Latvia is the country for you!

Online Resources

To learn even more about Latvia, we recommend:

  • Visit your local library to find reference books, travel guides and essays, language dictionaries, and many more country resources
  • Use an internet search engine to find informative web sites
  • Embassy of Latvia in Washington, DC web site

+ Scholarships Available

385 - Holcomb & Farnell Foreign Study Fund
378 - The Grand Forks Scheels Scholarship
368 - YFU Community Grant
384 - YFU Financial Aid Fund
596 - Norbert Hardner Foundation International Exchange Scholarship

Learn more about scholarships.

+ Programs & Tuition

Academic Year: $13,495
Art or Music Program Year: $14,995
Ballet Program Year: $14,995
Summer - Russian Language: $5,995

+ Additional Information

Visa Information

Information about visas will be provided upon enrollment. To learn more about the process, you can refer to the Latvian Embassy.

Additional Costs

Program tuition does not include personal spending money.

Important Information

The application deadline for all winter and spring departure programs (January-March) is October 1. The deadline to apply for scholarships is December 1. The deadline for all summer or fall departure programs (June-September) is March 15. Programs can fill up before the deadline, so we encourage early submission!

Choose Your Program

+ Academic Year Programs

During your time in Latvia you will live with a host family and attend a local high school. Part of your experience will be:

School

Schools in Latvia emphasize academic performance. The classroom atmosphere is formal and students are expected to treat their teachers with the utmost respect. Secondary education in Latvia is divided into secondary schools (university preparatory schools) and vocational schools. Secondary schools are known as vidusskolas (middle school). Most of these schools last for three years and students are required to take at least 12 subjects. You will take classes at the upper secondary level in a wide variety of subjects, including math, language, history, biology, social sciences, music, art, and sports. Some secondary schools, known as Gymnasiums, may specialize in a group of subjects such as math, physics and computer sciences, chemistry and biology, foreign languages and humanities, etc.

Orientations

All students applying for the semester or year program must be available for a mandatory 3-day National Pre-Departure Orientation, which usually takes place in mid-July. This orientation is a required part of the program aimed at preparing students for their experience overseas. All students will participate in a one-day local pre-departure orientation in May or June. Students will also attend a four-day arrival orientation and language course a few days after arrival. During this orientation, students spend three to four hours per day in language classes to gain a strong footing in Latvian prior to beginning school. YFU Latvia organizes a weekend trip to Tallinn, Estonia for a mid-year orientation, which takes place during the spring holiday weekend. In June, students have a departure orientation weekend to reflect on their experiences. All orientations costs are included in program tuition.

Special Interest Programs

Art and music schools have their distinctive places in the Latvian system of education. They are known for their high professionalism and classical schooling. In these schools, intense special instruction is combined with required liberal arts courses. There are strict demands on students, whether or not a professional career is planned, requiring the highest effort that the student is capable of giving. Students on the special interest programs attend the same orientations as those on the traditional academic programs.

Art: In art schools, students are taught the basics of classic art. They work in pencil, water and oil colors, and ink. Schools of applied arts offer classes in ceramics, textiles, wood, leather, glass, and metal work. Students applying for this program should have at least two years of experience in art and will need to provide a letter of recommendation from a previous art teacher.

Ballet: Students on the ballet program will be enrolled in a local high school and a local professional ballet school. Students will attend ballet classes at least 2-3 times each week. Students are required to have at least two years of ballet experience, and should submit a statement from their ballet instructor or school verifying their experience.

Music: Students participating in the music program to Latvia attend either a high school that specialized in music or one that offers extremely strong extracurricular music options. In music schools, students receive instruction in voice, solfeggio, music theory and history, choral singing, plus piano and a second instrument, chosen by the student. Students have the option to play in the school's orchestra and sing in the choir. Students applying for this program should have at least two years of experience in music and will need to provide a letter of recommendation from a music teacher.

PROGRAM CODE DEPARTURE RETURN FULL TUITION
Academic Year 0670 late August early July $13,495
Art or Music Year 0715 late August early July $14,995
Ballet Program Year 1414 late August early July $14,995

Tuition Includes

  • Placement with a host family
  • Enrollment in a local Latvian high school
  • Airport transfers
  • Domestic and international travel
  • All pre-departure and post arrival orientations
  • Pre-program support by trained YFU staff
  • Support from a YFU Latvia Area Representative while on program
  • Comprehensive Insurance

Age Requirement

Special interest Programs: July 1, 2001 - July 1, 2004. Russian Language Program: September 1, 2001 - August 1, 2004. Students who do not meet this age requirement or will graduate from high school before the start of their program will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.

Language

Russian and Latvian. Previous language study is not required.

Host Family Placement

YFU host families live in cities like Riga, Liepaja, or Ventispils.

+ Summer Program - Russian Langauage

If discovering new cultures and people appeals to you, try out a five-week homestay in Latvia!

Students on the Russian language summer program in Latvia will live in Riga, Latvia's capital, and live with a native Russian-speaking Latvian host family.

You'll be able to immerse yourself in the language, absorb colorful culture, and make new friends in your local community. You'll also have the unique opportunity to live with a local host family and attend a summer Russian language institute. Throughout the program, YFU students attend immersive Russian language classes. Language classes are 3 hours a day, 4 days a week- which gives students plenty of time to learn Russian and explore their temporary home. Outside of classes, students are encouraged to get involved in their local communities by joining clubs, sports, and teams.

Upon arrival in Latvia, students have a two-day orientation along with YFU students from all over the world that chose to make Latvia their temporary home. At the end of the program, students travel to Sigulda for a re-entry orientation, where they explore the city and reflect on their experiences.

Age Requirement

Special interest Programs: July 1, 2001 - July 1, 2004. Russian Language Program: September 1, 2001 - August 1, 2004. Students who do not meet this age requirement or will graduate from high school before the start of their program will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.

Language

Russian and Latvian. Previous language study is not required.

Host Family Placement

YFU host families live in cities like Riga, Liepaja, or Ventispils.

PROGRAM CODE DEPARTURE RETURN FULL TUITION
Summer - Russian Language 0691 late Jue early August $5,995

Tuition Includes

  • Placement with a host family
  • Airport transfers
  • Domestic and international travel
  • All pre-departure and post arrival orientations
  • Pre-program support by trained YFU staff
  • Support from a YFU Latvia Area Representative while on program
  • Comprehensive Insurance