Latvia joined the European Union in 1991 and since then has undergone an incredible transformation. In addition to its development Latvia's rich culture, beautiful castles, and divine food guarantees that high school students will have an incredible experience.
Worried about language barriers? That's OK -- While Latvian is the main language of the country, English is known by most residents, making the country accessible to those who also know English.
While doing high school abroad in Latvia, you'll have the chance to travel, immerse yourself in Latvian culture, and learn more about this lesser traveled corner of the globe. Get out there, explore.
Latvia is great for students who are interested in business, technology, history, and making new friends.
High School Exchange
Students studying for a semester or year in Latvia will usually live with a host family. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to see what everyday family life is like in Latvia. A semester exchange provides students ample time to make new friends and settle into their new home.
School environments in Latvia are formal and teachers are treated with the highest respect.
Youth Travel Tours
Travel tours for teens are an excellent way for high school students to spend a short, concentrated amount of time in Latvia. Tours are usually focused on specific themes such as volunteerism, conservation, or adventure. Students will have a fun, unique experience while incorporating educational components like language and history.
Summer Study Program
High schoolers who only have the few months of summer break available will find an intensive summer program is a great option. Art, music and learning Russian are common focuses of high school summer programs in Latvia. Often, these summer programs can be partnered with universities that will allow students to receive college credit.
Staying Healthy in Latvia
It's recommended travelers receive hepatitis A, tetanus, measles-mumps-rubella, and rabies vaccinations before traveling to Latvia. If you're planning outdoor or adventure travel you should be vigilant against ticks as they are known in Latvia to carry Lyme-disease and tick-borne encephalitis. High school students should take proper precautions by covering their skin and using bug spray in high-risk areas.
Hepatitis A is not uncommon in Latvia, so high school students should take special care of what they eat and drink. Foods most likely to be contaminated include fruits, vegetables, shellfish, ice and water. Only drink bottled water and ensure the foods you eat are washed in clean water.
Latvia is a relatively safe country with low instances of crime, which are generally nonviolent. As with anywhere in the world though, be aware of your surroundings, especially in more touristy / crowded areas where pickpocketing and petty theft are known to happen. Avoid using ATMs after dark and don’t walk alone at night. Always follow local government laws and stay away from illegal drugs and underage consumption.
In the winter months, Latvia can become quite dark at night and pedestrians are required to wear small reflectors so motorists can see them. Also, be careful of falling icicles and slippery sidewalks and roads.