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What kind of exchange experience do you want?
I want to spend a all program lengths  studying in Latvia, or maybe all regions. And I'm looking for something with a traditional exchange  and I definitely want to show off my need for  any language skills. Can I go whenever?
  • All around the world.

    all regions
    Africa & Middle East
    Asia & Pacific
    Eastern Europe
    Latin America
    Scandinavian Countries
    Western Europe
    North America
  • Pick a place, any place.

    Say what?

    Any language requirements?

     Any  Yes  No
  • What I'm into.

    a traditional exchange
    a gap year option
    college & university programs
    language classes
    a connection to the Arts
    sports & outdoors
    a volunteer program
  • How long I want to go.

    All program lengths

    When can I leave?

    May to September
    December to March
Show me my options >


Scholarships Available

385 - Holcomb & Farnell Foreign Stud...
368 - YFU Community Grant
384 - YFU Financial Aid Fund

Age Requirement

2019 Summer Russian Language Program: July 1, 2001 - June 30, 2004. 2019 Year Programs: September 1, 2001 - July 31, 2004. Students who do not meet this age requirement or will graduate from high school before the start of their program will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.


Russian and Latvian. Previous language study is not required. Year Program students will participate in Latvian language training at the Arrival Orientation and receive materials for further study. A Latvian language test will be offered in October. Summer Program students will participate in 5 weeks of intensive Russian language study.

Host Family Placement

YFU host families live in towns and cities like Riga, Liepaja, or Ventispils. All Summer Program students will live in or around Riga.


Begins in September and ends in May, with short breaks in the fall, at Christmas, and in the spring.


The mid-year Orientation features a weekend trip to Tallinn, Estonia.

Latvia may be a small spot on the world map, but the hospitality, history, culture, adventure, and people will take up a big part of your heart if you choose this Baltic country as your YFU destination.
Learn more about Latvia.

Summer Program - Russian Language

If discovering new cultures and people appeals to you, try out a five-week homestay in Latvia! Students on the Russian language summer program in Latvia will live in Riga, Latvia's capital, and live with a native Russian-speaking Latvian host family. You'll be able to immerse yourself in the language, absorb colorful culture, and make new friends in your local community, while attending a summer Russian language institute. Throughout the program, YFU students attend immersive Russian language classes for 3 hours a day, 4 days a week- which gives students plenty of time to learn Russian and explore their temporary home.


Outside of classes, students are encouraged to get involved in their local communities by joining clubs, sports, and teams. Upon arrival in Latvia, students have an orientation in Riga along with other YFU students from all over the world. At the end of the program, students will travel to Sigulda to attend a two-day re-entry orientation, where they will have the opportunity to explore the city and reflect on their experiences. This program is open to students who have previously studied Russian or those new to the language with a strong interest in learning. 

Academic Year Programs

During your time in Latvia you will live with a host family and attend a local high school. Part of your experience will be:


School: Exchange students are usually enrolled in public schools and study all subjects. Schools in Latvia emphasize academic performance. The classroom atmosphere is formal and students are expected to treat their teachers with the utmost respect. Secondary education in Latvia is divided into secondary schools (university preparatory schools) and vocational schools. Secondary schools are known as vidusskolas (middle school). Most of these schools last for three years and students are required to take at least 12 subjects. You will take classes at the upper secondary level in a wide variety of subjects, including math, language, history, biology, social sciences, music, art, and sports.

Some secondary schools, known as Gymnasiums, may specialize in a group of subjects such as math, physics and computer sciences, chemistry and biology, foreign languages and humanities, etc.




Special Interest Programs: Art, Music, and Ballet

Art and music schools have their distinctive places in the Latvian system of education. They are known for their high professionalism and classical schooling. In these schools, intense special instruction is combined with required liberal arts courses. There are strict demands on students, whether or not a professional career is planned, requiring the highest effort that the student is capable of giving. Students on the special interest programs attend the same orientations as those on the traditional academic programs.


Art: Students participating in the Latvia Art Program will either be enrolled in a specialized art school or attend an academic high school combined with after-school attendance at a professional art school 2-3 times per week. In art schools, students are taught the basics of classic art. They work in pencil, water and oil colors, and ink. Schools of applied arts offer classes in ceramics, textiles, wood, leather, glass, and metal work. Students applying for this program should have at least two years of experience in art and will need to provide a letter of recommendation from a previous art teacher.


Ballet: Students on the ballet program will be enrolled in a local high school and attend a local professional ballet studio 2-3 times per week. Students are required to have at least two years of ballet experience, and should submit a statement from their ballet instructor or school verifying their experience.


Music: Students participating in the music program to Latvia attend either a high school that specialized in music, one that offers extremely strong extracurricular music options, or attend a specialized music school after school.  In music schools, students receive instruction in voice, solfeggio, music theory and history, choral singing, plus piano and a second instrument, chosen by the student. Students have the option to play in the school's orchestra and sing in the choir. Students applying for this program should have at least two years of experience in music and will need to provide a letter of recommendation from a music teacher. 



Orientations:  All students applying for the year programs must be available for a mandatory 3-day National Pre-Departure Orientation, which usually takes place in mid-July. This orientation is a required part of the program aimed at preparing students for their experience overseas. All students will participate in a one-day local pre-departure orientation in May or June. Students will also attend a four-day arrival orientation and language course a few days after arrival. During this orientation, students spend three to four hours per day in language classes to gain a strong footing in Latvian prior to beginning school. YFU Latvia organizes a weekend trip to Tallinn, Estonia for a mid-year orientation, which takes place during the spring holiday weekend. In June, students have a departure orientation weekend to reflect on their experiences. All orientations costs are included in program tuition.


Cultural Excursions and Activities:

YFU Latvia volunteers usually organize various activities and events throughout the year, including a fall gathering and a Christmas event. 


Year program students may have the option to participate in the YFU Young Europeans' Seminar, a week-long program of seminars, educational workshops, inspiring guest speakers, panel discussions, and other activities.  The Seminar takes place in Germany in late June and is attended by around 500 other YFU exchange program participants from across the continent. Space is limited and participation requires an additional application and fee.


Tuition Includes

-Placement with a host family
-Enrollment in a local Latvian high school
-Airport transfers
-Domestic and international travel
-All pre-departure and post arrival orientations
-Pre-program support by trained YFU staff
-Support from a YFU Latvia Area Representative while on program
-Comprehensive Insurance


Additional Information:

Visa Information: Information about visas will be provided upon enrollment. To learn more about the process, you can refer to the Latvian Embassy website. 


​​​​​​Additional Costs: Program tuition does not include personal spending money, school textbooks and materials or activity fees, or transportation to/from school.




Programs Code Departure Return Full Tuition
Fall Year
Fall Year Art and Music
Fall Year Ballet

0670 *
0715 *
1414 *

late August
late August
late August

early July
early July
early July

Summer Russian Language

0691 *

late June

early August


* Programs also available to graduates