Just as in other European countries, during undergraduate studies, certain specializations require the students to go through a practical work experience.
A placement involves the placement of a student in a temporary work, school or research environment to acquire valuable experience profitable in the long run.
There are several student organizations facilitating student placements in Hungary: the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IASTE) helps students find summer placements for science and engineering; AIESEC (Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales) facilitates the exchange of information on programmes for students and recent graduates worldwide; the Leonardo Da Vinci Programme helps students with vocational training and business placements and is funded by the European Commission.
Social security and European health insurance card
During their stay in Latvia, students should be covered by private health insurance. Students are advised to take out a policy that will cover all the expenses that may be incurred from an accident or unforeseen health problem, including transportation to their country of origin, in the event of very serious injury or death.
The healthcare system is well established in Latvia and organised so that services are mainly co-located in larger health centres. Access to healthcare is normally by referral through a family doctor, so foreigners who are not registered with a primary care physician will normally be charged for any treatment at the point of delivery.
The cost can be covered through private medical insurance or paid by the patient before treatment is administered. If the person is eligible for medical expenses under the European Health Insurance Card system, the costs are only covered for treatment at a state-owned hospital or clinic.
Treatment in private clinics is not covered, except when otherwise informed and you might have to pay for part of the treatment that you receive from the state hospital.
Pharmacies can be used for all the prescriptions and over-the¬-counter medications required. However, some medications are only available with a prescription from a doctor. Pharmacies are usually only open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays, except designated duty pharmacies that stay open during the night and holidays for emergencies.
Most of the specialized hospitals are situated in the capital and largest cities. In Latvia, there are two types of public hospitals: state hospitals, which are accountable to the Ministry of Health, and municipal ones. The national emergency telephone number for the ambulance service is 104.
In Latvia, as in any European country you should be precut about your and your belonging safety. So, when travelling, you should be aware of pickpockets and take care where you are placing the documents and money. Never leave your luggage unattended in public spaces.
It is better to ask if the area you are leaving is secure in the night and the hour is better to be back.
Do I need a visa?
A citizen of the European Union does not require a visa in order to enter and reside in Latvia for a period of up to 90 days, provided that they present a valid passport or national identity card. For a visit of more than 90 days, an EU citizen must register with the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs and receive a registration certificate, in accordance with the legislation:
For studying and working in Latvia, a residence permit is required as a condition of the application and enrolment process. The universities apply, on behalf of the students for the residence permits for the period of enrolment, after the arrival of the students.
Internship and placement salary
In Latvia, employers are required by law to pay a minimum wage at a rate of not less than €255 per month. An employee who performs additional work outside of their normal hours or who is subject to difficult or dangerous working conditions is entitled to additional pay and benefits in accordance with their contract with their employer.
Internship and placement accommodation
As in other countries, many Latvian universities have their own halls of residence for students. There are also a number of resources which help students identify alternative accommodation. The housing market in Latvia is not very easy to understand, even for those who live there. So, you are urged to seek advice from either your host university or the company where you will be undertaking your work experience.