Read the interview below with our talented student from the Netherlands – Ande Oey. Find out why he decided to study Latvian at RLA Durbe in Riga. Nowadays, the constantly growing popularity of the Latvian language as one of the official languages of the EU attracts an increasing number of students coming to Riga to study it.
« The reason why I decided to study Latvian is that I’m planning to study medicine here, at Rīga Stradiņš University. The university requires you to study Latvian for the first three to four years, approximately. The study program is conducted entirely in English, but everyone expects you to learn to converse in Latvian. Eventually, you will have to talk to local patients. And since I’m planning to move to Riga in January anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to get a head start and apply to Latvian courses now.
Overall I studied at RLA Durbe for three weeks, 15 individual lessons per week, which is quite intensive. Since you constantly learn something new, within the time frame it’s hard to process all the useful information. So for someone considering choosing the same intensity, it probably would be wiser to take the same amount of lessons over a longer period of time. I learned to structure full sentences, be able to greet people. Also to have a general conversation learned how to introduce myself and tell someone where I’m from. 🙂 I have to say that speaking other languages really helps to learn a new one. Being fluent in Dutch, Chinese, English, French, and German, in particular, is a huge plus. Some of the grammar points are quite similar and having an existent vocabulary from other languages also helps.
In addition, all the personnel at RLA Durbe are fluent in English, Latvian and Russian! So for people who are going to study either Latvian or Russian – consider the personnel as excellent conversation partners!
My genuine advice for everyone who decided to study Latvian language – check out some useful vocabulary before you come to Riga, because having a vocabulary ready to apply to grammar is going to help a lot by speeding up the study process. Enjoy your stay and lai veicas (“Good luck!” – latv.)!”
We wish Ande the best of luck with his studies and hope to see him back at RLA Durbe next year!