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Moving to Riga - help

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Amonites
8/9/2010 15:43 EST

My DH is taking me and my DS to Latvia in January to live for 9-10mth. We're both English but my DS has pretty much fluent Latvian (he's lived there before for 2 years), and I am working my way through the new colloquial latvian book.

Although I've lived abroad before, I am alittle nervous about going out with an 18mth old. The one thing I have learned about having a baby/toddler is the need for a good support network (everything else I'm still learning).

So I was wondering if anyone had helpful advice or information about things like:

*is it worth getting international health insurance?
*where is a safe neighbourhood to live in Riga (I don't mind if it is right or left bank)?
*are there any such things as mums and tots groups over there?
*is there any areas of Riga where you find a large group of expats living?
*anything else you think might be helpful/useful to know

Thanks in advance...I know we have 5/6mths to go, but I have a feeling that it is just going to whizz by.

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tpasha
12/10/2010 13:16 EST

I went to study there for 6 years. I had ontario provincial health insurance coverage which covered me in Latvia. But after a year i took out a local Health insurance which was cheap and comes in handy. (ARS Clinic is English speaking clinic)
Stay away from downtown area's and Chaka St. I have lived near Marupes Iela, pretty quiet neighbourhood and market and hospital nearby.
Expats, the best way to contact expats is to go through embassy, sometimes they hold like BBQ's and etc.
Try to pick up Latvian and Russian language. Take courses and mingle with locals. I used to run around with phrase book and get help in pronouncing stuff from local shops.

Hope this helps. I will probably be headed there in Sep 2011.

If any questions feel free to ask.

Take care and good luck.

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arrecho
3/28/2011 13:02 EST

Hello tpasha! How are you? As I see, you lived in Latvia for around 6 years and you have been acquainted with the basics of Latvian culture much more than me. So, I was wondering if you could give me some insights as to how to make friends here as I feel that people here are either too shy or too cold. Either way, I would like to make more friends and experience more of the culture but I don't know if I am going to wrong way about it.

By the way, I am a PhD student and I am studying at the University of Latvia, from Venezuela and I have been living here for 6 months now. Would appreciate any assistance on this issue.

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