Julia Ritschel from Germany: "Veterinary medicine is my calling!"
Julia Ritschel is a 23-year-old student from Germany, studying at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (VMF) of the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LLU). She has always known that she will connect her life with the treatment of animals. However, as a child and adolescent, she did not even realize that the dream life and studies would take her to Latvia.
An important role in Julia's decision to go to Latvia was played by her mother, who visited Latvia several years ago and shared her impressions with her daughter, acknowledging that the small country is very attractive. As Julia approached the end of high school, looking for a place to study veterinary medicine, she looked at many offers, read descriptions of study courses at European universities that offer such studies. When comparing the programs, after a thorough research, the young woman came to the conclusion that studying at LLU will be the right choice.
Starting an independent life in Jelgava, the girl emphasizes: "I really like this city, moreover, I felt at home here after a couple of weeks of study. Jelgava offers everything you need - good food, cozy places to enjoy peace, as well as enough opportunities to spend free time. Although I prefer to live in the countryside, I enjoy Jelgava!"
To make the student hotel as cozy as possible, Julia has decorated and rearranged her room, emphasizing that she really likes her room. An important advantage of the student hotel, in her opinion, is meeting new people - together with fellow students from different countries, traditional dishes are prepared, which is not only a great opportunity to spend time and get to know people, but also provides an insight into foreign culture. Together with foreign and Latvian friends, the student spends her free time traveling around Latvia. The girl emphasizes that she tries to see as much as possible. Julia admits that there are no lack of various everyday obstacles - she tries to learn Latvian, but it is not easy at all.
Veterinary studies are Julia's call: "I would never have imagined that classes here would take place in such small groups, it is a huge advantage! I can learn more and I am given the opportunity to work independently. The attitude of the teaching staff towards the students should also be praised! In my opinion, I have already acquired so many practical skills in veterinary medicine, which is the biggest benefit of these studies."
Julia emphasizes that a typical veterinary student is always busy, with very limited free time. The biggest difference between the education system in Latvia and Germany is that in Latvia the classes are very practical, there is a personal contact with the teaching staff, which creates a feeling that you are not just one of the students, but a personality. The student also evaluates the work of teachers during the Codiv-19 pandemic, acknowledging that teachers prepare video lectures quickly and are always available.
Despite the busy schedule of the day, the student has many interests, which are mostly related to nature and animals - she likes to go for walks with dogs, at home, in Germany, the student takes care of her bee colony, while in Latvia the girl spends her free time in stables with horses, as well as taking part in the International Veterinary Student's Association.
Although Julia already feels a sense of belonging in Latvia, her future plans include returning to Germany and working as a veterinarian. She admits: "Latvia is my second home, I hope to be able to connect my career with frequent visits here!"