Dilan Ortiz is a graduate of Riga Technical University’s Telecommunication Technologies and Data Transmission Engineering study program. He recently took a few minutes to reflect on and share his experiences as an international student studying in Latvia.
A native of Bucaramanga, Colombia, Dilan was encouraged to apply to study abroad as an exchange student through his home university. But it was the desire to be a bit different than everyone else that led Dilan from “the Gateway to South America” to Riga Technical University.
“Even though there were several [study abroad] options, I didn’t really want to go to places everyone goes like Spain or Germany,” he said. “Instead, I wanted something more unique and saw Latvia as a great option for that.”
“Once I was here, I liked it so much that I decided to stay at RTU and become full-time student,” he added.
For nearly 160 years, young minds have been nurtured at Riga Technical University. Those experiences—ripe with discovery—and ranging from sporting events to making new friends to engaging with your studies outside of the classroom—can stay with them for years to come.
Memories & Culture Shock
For Dilan, his favorite memories as an RTU student took place while participating in summer school and on trips where he had the chance to share with students from other universities.
His experience in Latvia has also been scattered with moments of culture shock, those moments when you notice differences between the way things are done and what you are used to at home.
“I believe that cultural shocks will always happen as long as we come from a different place,” Dilan said. “In my case, it was the language, the difficulties to communicate with some people, the way some people behave, and all the traditions that they have during summer.”
But an open mind and willingness to embrace change helped make Dilan’s transition to one of the Baltics states and RTU a smooth one. In fact, Latvian language for foreign students and Latvian culture have been his favorite classes to date.
“They helped me to understand better many things of Latvia when I was still young in this country,” he explained.
His overall time at RTU has been an incredible experience, not only academically, but also socially and in terms of personal growth. Telecommunications is a fast-paced industry and that’s what excites Dilan about his chosen path of study.
Dilan’s master’s thesis topic will be in the field of fiber optical transmission systems, which has seen dramatic technological advances over the last few years.
“The field of telecommunications is always evolving, and we discover something new every day,” he said. “So, I feel like I am working for our world’s future.”
What’s up next?
Dilan is looking forward to graduate school and the continued pursuit of telecommunications research, cultural experiences, and personal development in a place like Riga: a vibrant city with a budding tech scene.
“My goals after graduation are include continuing my studies to PhD,” Dilan said with a smile. “And then we we’ll see what happens.”
Dilan didn’t hesitate in his response when asked to describe RTU in five words: “progress, quality, technological, strong and great.”
Learning is never-ending when being in a new place, and you never know what the experience can lead to. Dilan encourages other international students to pursue their academic goals at Riga Tech.
“I strongly advise others to come and study in RTU as the quality of studies is high and the opportunities offered for students and graduate are several and therefore, there are good chances of getting a good professional career.”
To quote American children’s author Dr. Seuss— “you’ll never be bored when you try something new. There’s really no limit to what you can do!”