Life in Riga
SSE Riga holds the name of the capital city and we are indeed located in the very city centre just by the park and surrounded by plenty of cozy cafes.
The capital city Riga is the largest city in the Baltic States and the third largest (behind Saint Petersburg and Stockholm) in the Baltic Sea region. However, the city is not over-crowded and the atmosphere is rather relaxing and easy going. The official language is Latvian, but Russian and English are widely spoken.
Riga is small enough to make you feel at home and at the same time also big enough to keep you busy and entertained.
The School has one main building located in one of the most prestigious city districts, and all activities are concentrated there. The old town is within just 10 minutes walking distance and powder sand beaches in Jūrmala can be reached by train in 25 minutes.
Students often get around by bike and perceive the city as one big university campus as the National Library of Latvia, the Latvian National Museum of Art, cafes, gyms and other leisure activities are within easy reach.
Riga is also a very safe city compared to other cities in Europe.
Latvia ranks high on the Global Peace Index as a country with low crime rates, a stable political scene and no big natural disasters.
Getting medical assistance in Riga is easy and the School can arrange a consultation with English-speaking doctor should the need arise. Public hospitals in Latvia have modern medical equipment for treatment; dental services here will be at least 50% lower than in a London clinic.
For the most part, Riga is reasonably priced for students. The School also issues ISIC card that offers various student discounts in Latvia.
In recent years incoming international student mobility in Latvia has doubled, since its higher education is internationally competitive, yet everyday expenses in Riga are still generally cheaper compared to many European cities.
The city has a very convenient and inexpensive public transportation system – tram, trolleybus, bus (a ticket for one trip is around EUR 0,30 with student discount). The company called Bolt offers affordable rides similar to Uber.
It is estimated that around EUR 550 – 650 is enough to cover necessities such as food, transportation, utilities and accommodation for a month.
Here are a few of the most significant monthly expenses according to our students:
Shared accommodation costs (including gas and electricity) EUR 250
Telephone/internet EUR 20
Food EUR 200
Entertainment, recreation, clothing EUR 90
Public transport EUR 13
In total: EUR 573