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Looking for Excellent yet Affordable Education in Europe
Choose to Study in Baltic Countries
International students who are looking for a high-quality education are well-advised to take note of the three small Baltic nations: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. In recent years, their educational systems have undergone an exciting modernisation with lots of improvements. All three countries offer more and more degree programmes in English, with together around 1,000 Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes. At the same time, the tuition fees are often lower than in other countries; especially for students from outside Europe.
Baltic Countries offers High-quality studies with globally recognised degrees - surrounded by a unique culture that cherishes traditions.
Have a look at our table for more details on the best-ranked universities in the Baltics:
Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic states, bordering Latvia in the South and Russia in the East, while the Southern tip of Finland is just a stone’s throw away across the sea. Estonia is one of the least-populous countries in Europe, with just 1.3 million inhabitants. About a third of the country’s population lives in its capital, Tallinn.
Estonia has spent much of its history under foreign rule, most recently as a part of the Soviet Union. Having regained its independence in 1991, Estonia has oriented strongly towards Western Europe and reformed and modernised itself with impressive success.
The government’s push for innovation, digitisation and the removal of bureaucracy has born fruit. Estonia is today one of the most prosperous former communist countries, where a modern, open-minded society enjoys a high standard of living. In this context, English proficiency among locals is also remarkably high. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that Estonia regularly ranks among the best European countries in the “Ease of doing business index” by the World Bank Group.
Over recent years, Tallinn has become an exciting hub for startups. All in all, Estonia is an attractive destination for international students, with many study options available.
Latvia is one of Europe’s hidden gems for higher education: With its safe and welcoming cities and spectacular coastline, it is ideal for students and visitors alike. Located on the Baltic Sea, Latvia is somewhat of a crossroads between East and West, and in this cosmopolitan country, a lot of languages are spoken - Latvian, Russian, German, and of course English.
Latvian history and areas of interest
Latvia has had a turbulent past, being incorporated into Russia for most of the last 700 years. It had a brief fling with independence after World War I, but the Singing Revolution brought about the changes needed to make it an autonomous state in 1991. It is quite a small country with a population of around two million. Its capital Riga has a rich cultural heritage, including opera, ballet, art galleries and museums.
Universities in Latvia
Although a small country, Latvian universities have readily adapted to the demands of international students. Well over 200 English-taught study programmes are available to choose from - many of them even at the Bachelor level.
Riga is the capital as well as the largest city, and here you will find the majority of the universities, the largest of which is the University of Latvia. It is almost 100 years old and teaches a number of courses in English, including medicine and dentistry.
Riga Stradins University has the largest cohort of international students in Latvia. The number 25% of the overall student population, and come from 50 different countries.
Alternative university towns are Daugavpils with its stunning architectural heritage, and Liepāja, famed for its Blue Flag beaches on the Baltic coast.
Student life in Latvia
If you like the outdoors, there is plenty to do in Latvia. From the famous white sandy beaches near Liepāja, to hiking or skiing in the pine forests, there are many places to enjoy the beautiful scenery. That is all before you even consider wind-surfing, water-skiing and bobsledding; just make sure you don’t forget to study.
The cost of living is very low in Riga, particularly when you compare it to other European capital cities. However, if you are studying in any of the other large cities around Latvia, you will find it to be even cheaper.
Riga, as the largest of the cities, has a burgeoning nightlife where you will always find something to do. It was the European Capital of Culture in 2014, and there are many cultural events and entertainment. Eating out is very reasonably priced compared to the rest of Europe. Many of the cafés and coffee shops have free wi-fi as well, allowing for impromptu study sessions in convenient surroundings.
Universities in Latvia
Baltic International Academy
BA School of Business and Finance
ISMA University of Applied Sciences
Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music
Latvian Academy of Culture
Latvian Academy of Sport Education (LASE)
Latvian Christian Academy
Latvian Maritime Academy
Latvia University of Agriculture
Rezekne Academy of Technologies
Riga Aeronautical Institute
Riga Business School at Riga Technical University
Riga Graduate School of Law
Rīga Stradiņš University
Riga Technical University
RISEBA University of Business, Arts and Technology
Stockholm School of Economics in Riga
Transport and Telecommunication Institute
University College of Economics and Culture
University of Latvia
Ventspils University College
With its colourful history and its important geographic location, Lithuania is the bustling connecting hub between Western and Eastern Europe. The small nation with a population of just about 2.8 million has been an EU member since 2004 and, in 2015, adopted the Euro as its official currency. Over the past two decades, Lithuania’s education system has seen exciting reforms. Today, there are hundreds of interesting English-taught study options available to international students.
Facts and figures on Lithuanian higher education
There are more than 30 institutions of higher education in Lithuania. Similar to countries like Germany, the Netherlands, or Finland, the system distinguishes between universities and university colleges (kolegija), often also called “universities of applied sciences”.
Through the Bologna process, Lithuanian universities have adopted a Bachelor / Master structure for its academic programmes. The awarded degrees are recognised throughout Europe and globally.
Citizens of EU member countries do not need any special visa to study in Lithuania. All others may have to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit ("TRP") through the Lithuanian Migration Department.
For Non-EU citizens, tuition fees in Lithuania typically range from 1,000 to 5,000 EUR per year for a Bachelor's degree and 2,000 to 6,000 EUR per year for a Master's degree, while doctorate programmes come in at a higher range of 7,000 to 8,000 EUR annually. Students from outside the EU may be subject to different tuition fees, depending on the university and programme. If you study at a university in Lithuania, you may be eligible for a state scholarship to cover the tuition fees. Tuition fees do not apply to students on exchange programmes.
Cost of living
One striking advantage for those who choose to study in Lithuania is the remarkably low cost of living. Student accommodation can be had for as little as 100 EUR per month. All in all, including food, books and leisure activities, students can easily get by on a budget of 500 EUR per month or less.
Job market for graduates
Lithuania is a modern economy with a global mindset, and a lot of international companies have offices in the country. But even though English proficiency is reasonably high, especially among younger people, speaking Lithuanian may still be the biggest hurdle for foreigners seeking employment. If you consider staying after graduation, your best bet is to take a Lithuanian language course early on so that you can improve your odds of competing with local job applicants.
Lithuania is located in Northern Europe, in the southeast of the Baltic sea. Lithuania shares borders with Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Russia's Kaliningrad exclave. There are four commercial airports in Lithuania, of which Vilnius Airport - in the country's capital - is the largest with over 30 international flight destinations.