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Study and Work in Latvia

Study and Work in Latvia
Alpina ChariApr 9, 2024

Latvia has quietly been becoming an increasingly popular destination for international students, with a steady influx from around the globe. The nation’s educational institutions are experiencing a renaissance, with international students comprising 10% of the tertiary student population, reflecting Latvia’s growing appeal. Affordability is a key factor in this upward trend. Compared to many Western European nations, Latvia offers a more economical education experience, with tuition fees for international students averaging between 2,000 to 8,000 EUR per year. Living costs, while lower, still present challenges. In Riga, for example, students can expect monthly expenses of around 620 EUR, excluding rent. Despite the relatively low costs, financial management remains a hurdle for many, especially those without consistent financial support. To bridge this gap, many students chose to study and work in Latvia. Part-time employment emerges as a practical solution, to offset living expenses and tuition fees. This work-study balance not only aids students but also contributes to the Latvian economy. The exact impact of student employment on the national economy is complex, with factors such as academic performance and employment rates intertwining in the broader socio-economic landscape. As Latvia continues to welcome students from over 60 countries, the variety of part-time job opportunities expands, offering flexible options that can accommodate academic schedules. This symbiotic relationship between student workers and the local economy is a testament to Latvia’s commitment to accessible education and cultural exchange

In this article, we will look at the nitty-gritty of working as a student in Latvia, along with popular jobs, where to find them etc, and more. 

Study and Work in Latvia: Highlights 

Popular Jobs Teaching assistant, library assistant, delivery rider, barista, waitstaff etc. 
Work Hours 20 hours during the academic term; full-time during vacations (40 hours)

Masters and Ph.D. students have no work restrictions. 

Where to Find Jobs Online Job Portals, personal networks, university career centers, etc. 
Average Earning  700 EUR/Month (minimum wage)

How many hours can international students work in Latvia?

International students can work during their studies, but there are restrictions depending on their study level. A full-time bachelor’s student at a Latvian university has the right to work for up to 20 hours per week (part-time) or 40 hours per week (full-time) during holidays with any employer. A full-time master’s or doctoral student at a Latvian university has the right to work with no restrictions. After completing their studies, students may receive a residence permit for the study period and an additional 4 months to apply for a post-graduation course or seek a job. Students in master’s and doctoral programs receive a residence permit for the study period and an additional 4 months, with the possibility to request an additional extension for 9 months to look for a job. Work permits must be obtained in close cooperation with an employer who is ready to enter into an employment contract. 

Suggested Reading: Living Costs for International Students in Latvia

Study and Work in Latvia: Types of Part-time Jobs 

There are several types of part-time employment available for international students in Latvia, including on-campus jobs, off-campus jobs, internships, and service jobs.

  • On-campus jobs are often available at universities and colleges, providing students with the opportunity to work in various administrative and academic positions. These jobs can be an excellent way for students to become more involved in their academic community and gain valuable work experience
  • Off-campus jobs are also plentiful in Latvia, with many opportunities available in industries such as textiles, fast food restaurants, and electronics. These jobs can provide students with a steady income and valuable work experience in their chosen field of study
  • Internships are another popular form of part-time employment for international students in Latvia. Many universities and colleges offer internship and traineeship programs as part of their curriculum, allowing students to gain first-hand experience working in job roles that are relevant to their studies. These internships can be an excellent way for students to build their professional network and gain valuable work experience in their chosen field. 

Suggested Reading: Scholarships in Latvia for Foreign Students

Study and Work in Latvia: Popular Part-time Jobs 

Library Assistant: As a Library Assistant, students have the opportunity to work in the heart of the university’s academic resources. Their responsibilities extend beyond mere book sorting; they play a crucial role in organizing literature, managing digital records, and assisting visitors in navigating the vast collection of knowledge. 

Research Assistant: Research Assistants are integral to the fabric of academic research, providing essential support to professors and departments. They may collect data, conduct experiments, or analyze results, contributing to the advancement of knowledge in their field of study.

Teaching Assistant: TAs are involved in various aspects of academic instruction. They may lead discussion sections, grade assignments, and provide students with one-on-one assistance. TAs are often graduate students who are gaining teaching experience in their field of expertise, making this role a stepping stone for those aspiring to become educators.

IT Support: The IT Support role is crucial in maintaining the technological infrastructure of the university. These individuals troubleshoot hardware and software issues, assist with network connectivity, and provide support for various IT-related inquiries from students and staff. 

Campus Tour Guide: Campus Tour Guides are the face of the university for prospective students and visitors. They lead groups around campus, highlighting facilities, sharing historical facts, and conveying the spirit of the institution. This role requires excellent communication skills and a friendly demeanor.

Retail Worker: Retail Workers engage with customers in local shops and malls, providing service with a smile. They handle transactions, assist with product inquiries, and ensure shelves are stocked and presentable. 

Waitstaff/Barista: Working as a Waitstaff or a Barista, individuals serve up delicious food and beverages in a fast-paced environment. They must be attentive, efficient, and able to provide a pleasant dining experience. 

Delivery Person: Delivery Persons are on the move, bringing goods right to the customer’s doorstep. Whether it’s food, newspapers, or groceries, they ensure timely and reliable service. This job requires a reliable mode of transportation and is suited for those who enjoy being on the go.

Tutor: Tutors offer personalized academic support in subjects they excel in. They help peers and younger students understand complex concepts, improve study habits, and achieve academic goals. This role is perfect for individuals who are knowledgeable, patient, and enjoy teaching others.

Event Staff: Event Staff are involved in the hustle and bustle of local events, concerts, or festivals. They may handle ticketing, guide crowds, or assist with event setup and takedown. This job is great for those who enjoy dynamic work environments and are interested in the behind-the-scenes aspects of event management.

Business Management Intern: As a Business Management Intern, individuals gain hands-on experience in the inner workings of companies. They learn about business operations, marketing strategies, and management practices. This internship is valuable for those looking to enter the business world with practical knowledge and experience.

IT Intern: IT Interns work on real-world technology projects, honing their skills in areas such as software development, network security, or data analysis. This position provides a platform for aspiring IT professionals to apply their theoretical knowledge in a practical setting.

Medical Intern: For students pursuing healthcare careers, Medical Internships offer a glimpse into the medical field. Interns may observe procedures, assist with patient care, and learn from experienced professionals in clinics or hospitals. 

Suggested Reading: Cost of Medical Studies in Latvia  

How much can International students earn in Latvia?

As of January 2024, the minimum monthly wage in Latvia is 700 EUR. This is the baseline for full-time employment and is also relevant for students working part-time jobs. Part-time jobs typically offer wages below the minimum wage level, since international students are allowed to work up to only 20 hours per week during the academic year. But they can earn full wages during vacations since they work full time. International students in Latvia are subject to the same taxation rules as residents. The personal income tax in Latvia is a progressive tax, with rates ranging from 20% to 31%, depending on the total annual income. The compulsory state social security contributions rate is 34.09%, with 23.59% paid by the employer and 10.5% by the employee. 

Suggested Reading: Best Medical Universities in Latvia

How to Find Jobs in Latvia as a Student?

Work Permit Requirements: Before you begin your job search, ensure you understand the legal requirements for working in Latvia as an international student. Depending on your nationality and the duration of your stay, you may need to obtain a work permit or fulfill certain visa regulations. Check with the Latvian Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs for the latest information.

Language Proficiency: While English is widely spoken, especially in urban areas and within international companies, having a working knowledge of Latvian or Russian can significantly broaden your job opportunities, particularly in local businesses and organizations.

Explore University Resources: Many universities in Latvia offer career services and job boards specifically tailored to students. Visit your university’s career center or check their website for job postings, internship opportunities, and career workshops.

Networking: Build connections within your academic department, student organizations, and professional networks. Attend career fairs, seminars, and industry events to meet potential employers and learn about job openings. Networking can often lead to hidden job opportunities that aren’t advertised publicly.

Online Job Portals: Utilize online job portals and websites to search for part-time, temporary, or freelance positions. Websites such as CV-Online, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor frequently list job openings in various industries across Latvia. Customize your job search criteria to filter for student-friendly positions.

Internships and Traineeships: Consider pursuing internships or traineeships in your field of study. Many companies offer structured internship programs for students, providing valuable hands-on experience and the opportunity to establish professional connections. Check with your university’s career services or directly approach companies of interest.

Language Teaching and Tutoring: If you’re proficient in English or another language, consider offering language teaching or tutoring services to residents or fellow students. You can advertise your services through university bulletin boards, online platforms, or word-of-mouth referrals.

Hospitality and Tourism: Latvia’s thriving tourism industry offers seasonal job opportunities, particularly during the summer months. Explore part-time positions in hotels, restaurants, cafes, and tourist attractions. Fluency in multiple languages can be advantageous in this sector.

Freelancing and Remote Work: With the rise of remote work opportunities, explore freelance or remote job options that allow you to work flexibly around your academic schedule. Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr offer a wide range of freelance gigs in areas such as writing, graphic design, programming, and digital marketing.

Suggested Reading: Medical Studies (MBBS / MD) in Latvia For International Students

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be an extremely rewarding option to study and work in Latvia as an international student. Part-time employment presents a plethora of opportunities for students and offers them the flexibility to manage finances more effectively. Moreover, it provides invaluable work experience, giving students a competitive edge in the job market post-graduation. However, students must familiarize themselves with Latvia’s work regulations and their rights as employees. Understanding the legal framework ensures that students are treated fairly and can advocate for themselves in the workplace. It’s also important for students to be mindful of their work hours. Overworking can lead to burnout and negatively impact academic performance and personal well-being. Maintaining a healthy work-life-study balance is essential for both academic success and mental health. By navigating these aspects carefully, international students can make the most of their time in Latvia. For more information about study and work in Latvia, feel free to contact our admission experts at Gyanberry. Book your free video call appointment now!

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FAQ’s

Yes, international students in Latvia are permitted to work part-time during their studies. They can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during holidays.

International students in Latvia are allowed to work in various sectors, including hospitality, retail, and tutoring. However, there may be restrictions on certain professions that require specific qualifications or licenses.

Yes, there are opportunities for international students to gain work experience related to their field of study through internships, cooperative education programs, and research projects conducted in collaboration with universities and businesses. 

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