Latvia: Daugavpils

Program Snapshot
Semester: Fall, Spring, or Full Year
Offered: Annually
Estimated Dates: Fall: early September to mid-December, Spring: early February through May
Program Focus: Language Intensive
Prerequisites: Minimum of 2.5 GPA. Students must satisfy the Words and Numbers CORE requirement before participating in an overseas program.
Housing: Host families
Campus Contact: Maria Hristova Assistant Professor of Russian, 503-768-7442

Program Design

In cooperation with Learn Russian in the European Union and Daugavpils University, Lewis & Clark offers a language intensive program in Daugavpils, Latvia. The program specializes in Russian language classes, including electives taught in Russian on a variety of subjects, such as literature, history, international affairs and STEM.

The extensive Cultural Program offered by “Learn Russian in the EU” takes full advantage of all that Latvia, the Baltic region, and Eastern Europe have to offer. Activities include multiple excursions to historical sites and museums, local craft and cooking masterclasses, as well as nature outings. By virtue of being small, the program offers a truly immersive linguistic and cultural experience. Students are placed in classes of 6-8 and live with Russian-speaking host families. The campus is located in the city center with cafes, museums, shopping, theaters, and churches within walking distance.

Daugavpils, dating back to the 13th century, is the second largest city in Latvia, and the center of the country’s Russian-speaking population. It is 3.5 hours away from Riga by train, surrounded by lush forests and pristine lakes. It is quite diverse, culturally, hosting Russian Orthodox, Old Believer, Catholic, and Lutheran communities (and used to be the home of a large Jewish population prior to WWII). By virtue of being a small town, where most people speak Russian as their first language, it provides the perfect setting for language immersion. There will be very little temptation to automatically speak English as sales people and servers address newcomers in shops and restaurants in Russian. At the same time, if students want a taste of nightlife or more varied food options, Riga is a train-ride away.

There are also many opportunities to stay active by working out in the local gym, hiking/skiing in the forests and swimming/rowing in the nearby lakes.


Requirements Fulfilled: 

General Education - This program fulfills the Global Perspectives general education requirement for students who successfully complete 8 or more semester credits.

Major/Minor Requirements - Select courses may be applied to the Russian minor or the WLL major. In order to earn credits towards the Upper Level Russian requirement for the Russian minor or the WLL major when Russian is one of the languages selected, students must complete RUSS 202 or the equivalent prior to studying abroad. It is also possible to apply one 3-4-US credit elective course towards the Russian Literature requirement with advisor approval.

Credits: Credit earned varies based on courses completed. Students may earn up to 19 credits. Overloads are not permitted.


There are three blocks of courses (everything is taught in Russian) for a typical total of 15 US credits:

  1. Compulsory Russian language courses, required by Daugavpils University, 15 ECTS = 7.5 US credits.
  2. Compulsory elective courses. Topics include literature and culture, political science, area studies, history, etc. The program provides a list of recommended courses. Students have to select the required course credit worth 9 ECTS=4.5 US credits.
  3. Elective courses. Students are eligible to pick courses from the full course catalog, 6 ECTS total=3 US credits


Weekday excursions samples: Welcome to Daugavpils tour. Multicultural Daugavpils: Church Hill. Russian House in Daugavpils. Daugavpils Regional and Art Museum. Dinaburg Fortress. Mark Rothko Art Centre. Jewish Community Museum. Military memorials (WW1, WW2, Afghan War, and more) and the Holocaust Memorial. Russian banya.

Long weekend and full day study trip samples:

    • The Basilica of Aglona, World War II collection, and Devil’s Lake in Aglona.
    • Riga – the capital of Latvia. Old Town, Art Nouveau architecture, Jurmala seaside resort. Rundale Palace – a masterpiece of Baroque architecture.
    • Lithuania: Vilnius, Trakai, Kaunas.
    • Estonia: Tallinn.

Student Life

Housing: Students live with Russian-speaking homestay families.


2024-2025 Fee Breakdown*

Total Fee (includes Tuition, Program Fee, and Health & Wellness Fee): $40,962

Tuition: $32,197

Program Fee: $8,728

Health & Wellness Fee: $37**

Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, and administrative fees. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals. *Fees are updated every February for the following academic year.

**The Health & Wellness Fee supports the operations of Wellness Services staff in delivering pre-program orientation services, as well as in providing health-related consultation regarding participant health needs. All students in the College of Arts and Sciences pay a mandatory fee of $37 per semester.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to RIX): $800-$1,500

Estimated Travel Document Fees: $160 - $190

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,906

All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding health insurance & overseas programs.

Program Preparation

Application Process: Student must first submit a Lewis & Clark Application. Once admitted by Lewis & Clark, the students will receive instructions for submitting their pre-departure materials to Learn Russian in the European Union.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Travel: Students usually fly into the Daugavpils airport (DGP), where they are met by local staff and transported to orientation.

Visa: Students will not be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in this program. More information will be provided upon admission to the program.

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to Latvia.

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s Latvia page.

Daugavpils, Latvia