Language is one of the most important aspects of

Latvians speak Latvian, a language that shares certain characteristics with Lithuanian but differs from Estonian.

Latvian education

Higher education in Latvia is both state-funded and fee-paying. Higher education institutions use a student selection system to identify the most capable candidates whose studies are funded by the government. Academic and specialised higher education programmes are available in Latvia (for example translators, bank staff, business lawyers, pilots etc.).

Higher education institutions of the university type provide both academic and professional education, while “non-university type” institutions only provide professional education. Latvian academic higher education is organised according to the Bologna method, with three levels: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral studies.

A bachelor’s degree is earned after three or four years of study, while a master’s degree is earned after completing the second phase of undergraduate higher education, which usually lasts one or two years. Doctoral studies are only open to graduates with a master’s degree or an equivalent higher education diploma.

Advanced research, tests, and the preparation and defense of a doctoral thesis take three to four years.


All those who have completed a general secondary education programme have the right to attend a higher education institution. If a secondary education certificate was obtained outside of Latvia, it must first be submitted for review to the Academic Information Centre, where it will be reviewed and a decision on the international certificate’s validity in Latvia will be reached.


International students are encouraged to contact the Latvian Embassy in their home country for more details about how to apply for a residence permit. The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will provide you with details on where to find the nearest embassy. EU residents are entitled to live in Latvia without the need to apply for a residency permit.

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