Half a century ago, Latvia’s economy depended on fishing and agriculture, but the Soviets, who controlled the country from 1940 to 1991, imported heavy industry. Now, having shaken off Russia’s dominance, Latvia is privatising those industries. Meanwhile in Riga, the country’s capital, entrepreneurs are launching service businesses, giving the town a boomtown energy housed in old art nouveau buildings. Despite ancient castles and churches preserved around the country-and beaches that were once favourites of Russian czars-Latvia sees relatively few tourists, and its artists and writers are unsung beyond its borders. Even so, Latvians are deeply proud of their centuries-old culture.
During your time in Latvia you’ll be exposed to new family, friends, language, and culture. At school you’ll have the opportunity to make new friends and learn all about the ancient and unique culture of Latvia, which has always been a bridge between east and west. Latvia is currently experiencing a cultural rebirth, making this a very exciting time to be there.