Guide For Incoming Students


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Guide For Incoming Students

  1. 1. DISCOVER 2 Introduction 2 Lithuania What is it? 2 It started a long time ago… 3 Did you know that Vilnius is European Capital of Culture 2009? 3 STUDY IN LITHUANIA STUDY LITHUANIA Want to know who is famous in Lithuania? 4 Second religion 4 Where to go and what to see if you want to discover Lithuania 5 Vilnius 5 Kaunas 7 Hill of Crosses (Kryžių kalnas) 7 Curonian spit (Neringa) 8 Kernavė 8 Biržai 8 DEVELOP 9 Wondering about higher education system in Lithuania? 10 Do you know what grade system is in Lithuania? 11 Which higher educational institution to choose? 12 Want to be mobile? 15 Want to learn the Lithuanian language? 16 ENJOY 17 Interested in arts, theaters or music? 17 Movies 18 What is so special about Lithuanian music? 18 Lithuanian customs and traditions 19 Want to taste local food and drinks? 20 Let’s celebrate public holidays and festivals together! 21 Want to spend your leisure time in nature? It’s not a problem! 22 Not active enough and want to be fit? 24 Going shopping or want to send a letter? 25 Party, party, party! 26 Want to know at least several phrases in Lithuanian? 26 PRACTICALITIES 27 DISCOVER Need a lift? 27 Want to get in touch? 28 Short of cash? 29 Finding where to live? 29 DEVELOP Wondering how much it will cost to live in Lithuania? Want to find a job in Lithuania? 30 31 Your country is closer than you think… 32 Feeling safe? 32 How to make your stay and studying legal in Lithuania? 33 ENJOY Want to know how to get a Lithuanian Student Identity Card? Where to find help during your first days at university? 33 34 CHECK LIST 34 Contacts  1
  2. 2. DISCOVER DISCOVER Hi! What’s up? Maybe you’re thinking about studying in Lithuania? Maybe you’ve already decid- ed? If this is true, then you are the one I’m thinking of as I write this little book I was so surprised and fascinated with this country that I wanted to share my feelings, experiences and knowledge here with you I will show you how exciting Lithuania is and how I found it through the joy of discovery, the possibilities of development and the beauty of enjoyment So let’s discover Lithuania together Lithuania. What is it? Statistically speaking… Area: 65 300 km2 Population: 3, 39 million Language: Lithuanian Currency: Litas (EUR 1 = LTL 3, 4528) Religion: Roman Catholic Church There are also communities of Eastern Orthodox Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Evangelical Ref- ormation Church, Old Believers, Judaism, Islam, and others Cities: Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys Ethnic composition: Lithuanians: 83 5%, Poles: 6 7%, Russians: 6 3%, Belarusians: 1 2%, other: 2 3% In total there are 115 ethnicities in Lithuania Climate: between maritime and continental Average temperature in July is 23°C, and aver- age temperature in January is -4 9°C Landscape: a flat country with lowland plains that make up to 75% and lots of green forests Form of government: Parliamentary Democracy Head of state: President, the Executive Branch: Government (appointed by the President), the Legislative Branch: the Seimas (Unicameral Parliament, direct elections) Member of UN, NATO, EU, Schengen zone Content   2
  3. 3. DISCOVER DISCOVER ...It started long time ago… Did you know … I think that knowing a bit of country’s history will make it easier for you to that Vilnius is discover Lithuania as a small country with a rich heritage and it will also rather The 2009 European impress your new Lithuanian friends… Capital of Culture? Absolutely! And the best information you can find about this 1009 – Lithuania’s name was mentioned for the first time in Quedlinburg event is on the website http://www culturelive lt/ Chronicle 13th century – Lithuania was united by the first and the only King, Mindaugas 1387 – Lithuania, the last pagan country in Europe, became Christianized 1410 – The United Army of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland’s defeated the Teutonic Knights After this battle, the Teutonic Knights would never be a serious threat again 1569 - The Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland unified and became the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 1773-1795 – The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth disappeared from the map, as Russia, Prussia and Austria partitioned the country 1918, February 16th – Lithuania declares Independence 1939 – After the treacherous Molotov – Ribbentrop pact and the onset of the Second World War, Lithuania lost its independence During the Soviet occupa- tion, 200,000 Lithuanians were exiled to Siberia 1990, March 11th – Lithuania declares Independence for the second time In 1991, Russia tried to take Lithuania back by force, but it did not succeed and the international community recognised Lithuania as an independent country After this recognition, it became a member of the United Nations 2004 – Lithuania became a member of NATO and the European Union 2009 – Vilnius is named the European Capital of Culture Content   3
  4. 4. DISCOVER DISCOVER Want to know who is famous Second religion in Lithuania? Don’t be surprised when all of the sudden Lithuania has lots of famous people and the best way to meet it seems that Lithuania has gone crazy! them…is to make friends with a Lithuanian Maybe you’ve never Suddenly, there are people in the streets, heard of Arvydas Sabonis, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Žydrūnas Ilgaus- cars blaring their horns and kids hanging kas, “Šaras” Šarūnas Jasikevičius, or Olympic Gold Medalist Virgilijus out of car windows waving Lithuanian flags Alekna You can be sure that every Lithuanian (and pretty much all and everyone is singing What’s going on? It of Europe) knows them Lithuanians take great pride in their sport simply means that the Lithuania’s national heroes, but Lithuania is more than just basketball basketball team has won a big game Yes, Lithuanians have some celebrities in culture sphere too Every Lithu- believe me, they are crazy about basketball anian of course knows the extraordinary works of M K Čiurlionis and it is worthy of being called their “second (1846–1914) – Composer and Artist as well as prominent They also religion” By the way, football is popular have prominent theatre directors Oskaras Koršunovas and Eimantas too, it’s just that Lithuanian football teams Nekrošius and filmmaker, writer, curator and “the godfather of Ameri- haven’t won that big game yet But stay can avant-garde cinema”, Jonas Mekas, the opera star Violeta Urmana tuned to the 2010 World Cup! who performs at famous theatres and concert halls all over the world, but few actually know that the star soprano is Lithuanian Perhaps the most famous Lithuanian today is the Lithuanian Presi- dent, Valdas Adamkus As the winner of the European of the Year Award, it was the first time a representative of a new EU member state received such an honour Content   4
  5. 5. DISCOVER DISCOVER Where to go and what to see Vilnius if you want to discover Lithuania “My first impression of the Sure, I could tell you lots places of interest to see in Lithuania all by myself, but capital – charming, tidy and… here I would like to share reviews from my foreign friend Daniela Toifl from unforgettable: so many Austria, who was studying at ISM University of Management and Economics in beautiful churches – from Vilnius during the spring semester of 2008 each window of our flat you could see at least one I loved walking through the Old Town along Pilies street, especially in springtime The famous sites: the Town Hall, the Cathedral, Gediminas’ Castle and Gedi- mino avenue – they never fail to impress I also enjoyed many pleasant and relaxing parks in Vilnius ” You will find more details, things to see and what to do there on the website of Vilnius Tourism Centre www vilnius-tourism lt Content   5
  6. 6. DISCOVER DISCOVER Content   6
  7. 7. DISCOVER DISCOVER Hill of Crosses (Kryžių kalnas) “15 km north of Šiauliai you will find this little hill full of thousands of crosses – all kinds of crosses made from everything “A little peculiar, definitely mysterious and downright impressing at the same time ” Visit there, and discover its story The place where exactly it is you can find on the website of Šiauliai Tourism Centre http://tic siauliai lt/ Kaunas “It is not worth seeing it”– you will hear that from quite a lot of people from Vilnius – a little city to city jealousy perhaps? However, we took the bus to Lithuania’s second largest city and it was certainly worth it We enjoyed walking down the famous Laisvės Alėja, (Freedom Lane) with its old buildings, nar- row streets and many shops As it was a national holiday, we also could explore quaint little mar- kets along the Old Town with its national food (the honey is especially very delicious), music and handcrafted souvenirs ” Check the website of Kaunas Tourism Centre http://visit kaunas lt Content   7
  8. 8. DISCOVER DISCOVER DISCOVER Kernavė “Lithuania’s oldest capital city – Today Kernavė is famous for its archaeological excavations and its five impressive hills It is a nice destination to enjoy a walk through the hills and a picnic at the river ” More detailed information for visitors of this archaeological and historical place can be found at www kernave org Curonian Spit (Neringa) “PICTURESQUE! – Imposing sand dunes, beautiful fishing villages and pine forests - a MUST SEE when you visit Lithuania Juodkrantė – The Hill of Witches (Raganų Kalnas) is a little park with wooden statues of witches and other creatures – very nice for taking funny pictures and taking a walk through the forest Nida – Neringa’s “capital” with its lovely little houses and garden cafés Just sit down and enjoy the beautiful scenery (The only drawback – bring some insect repellent ;-))” You can find more information at www visitneringa lt And one of my tips: visit Klaipėda on your way to Neringa – www klaipedainfo lt Content   8
  9. 9. DISCOVER DISCOVER DEVELOP Biržai “The “capital of beer” is located at the very north of Lithuania Biržai doesn’t only After the discovery of Lithuania, you probably will be interested in the ways offer lots of breweries and you can develop both your cultural as well as your educational knowledge tasty beer but also a marvel- The Lithuanian education system satisfies all the requirements of EU education lous landscape with quite a policy and is accredited in all countries few lakes Still…it is definitely worth participating at the beer tasting festival at the Biržai Castle – very amusing and funny!” You can check for more enter- tainment and visiting places at www birzai lt Content   9
  10. 10. DEVELOP DEVELOP DEVELOP Wondering about the higher education system in Lithuania? First of all, you needn’t worry about the quality of higher education in Lithu- ania A Lithuanian diploma is recognized in all countries which have signed The Lisbon Convention, which means, it’s good I can tell you that there are two types of higher education institutions in Lithuania: universities and colleges As in many other countries, they are divided into state or non-state If you are interested in studying at college you should know that studies there are undergraduate, first cycle, focused on practical activities and aimed at acquiring a professional bachelor’s degree and/or a professional qualification, testified by the professional Bachelor diploma or higher education diploma The duration of studies is 3-4 years The education system at universities is a bit different Studies there are or- ganised in three cycles: 1st – undergraduate studies (Bachelor), 2nd – Master and specialised professional studies; 3ed – Doctoral, post-graduate, residency studies The university studies that encompass the first and the second cycle are called integrated studies Clock this: Start of school year is usually September 1st The School year is divided into two semesters: spring and fall Usually one semester takes 16 weeks Holidays: Christmas (as of December 25), Winter (end of January – beginning of February), Summer (two months) Content   10
  11. 11. DEVELOP DEVELOP Do you know what grade system is in Lithuania? You will probably be interested to know if you And finally, I want to highlight the most important things passed your course in Lithuania or not There about the whole studying procedure First of all, you are different grading systems in different for- should know that Lithuania uses its national credit system eign countries so Lithuania’s might be new for based on student work-load with an average of 1,600 you, but it’s simple Check out the table below working hours per academic year One credit corresponds to 40 hours of student work (in classes, laboratories, inde- pendent work, etc ), or to one working week More information is on the website www smm lt Required ECTS Pass/fail Grade Definition knowledge % equivalent system 95-100 10 Excellent A 85-94 9 Very good B 75-84 8 Good C Pass 65-74 7 Highly satisfactory D 55-64 6 Satisfactory E 50-54 5 Sufficient E 40-49 4 Insufficient FX 30-39 3 Insufficient F Fail 20-29 2 Insufficient F 0-19 1 Insufficient F Content   11
  12. 12. DEVELOP DEVELOP State universities Name City Address Webpage Lithuanian Which higher Academy of Vilnius Gedimino pr 3 http://lma lt/ educational institution Music and to choose? Theatre After you find out about the main aspects of Mykolas Lithuanian higher education system, the second Romeris Vilnius Ateities g 20 http://www mruni lt/ question would probably be…where exactly University do you want to study? You can find universities The General and colleges in four different cities of Lithuania: Jonas Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai as well as Žemaitis colleges in Panevėžys, Telšiai, Utena, Marijampolė, Vilnius Šilo g 5 A http://www lka lt/ Military Alytus and Rietavas You can find more details Academy of about the available English courses and other Lithuania important issues that concern studies for foreign students on the websites of higher education Vilnius institutions in Lithuania Academy of Vilnius Maironio g 6 http://www vda lt/ Almost all study programs are in the Lithuanian Fine Arts language A foreign national seeking access to higher education in Lithuania must show profi- Vilnius ciency in the language of instruction by passing Gediminas Vilnius Saulėtekio al 11 http://www vgtu lt/ the pass/fail test that is administered by Vilnius Technical University (www lsk flf vu lt) However, a certain University number of programs leading to a degree are Vilnius available in English, German, French or Russian Pedagogical Vilnius Studentų g 39 http://www vpu lt/ You can check the detailed list about such avail- University able programs at www smm lt Vilnius Vilnius Universiteto g  3 http://www vu lt/ University Vytautas Magnus Kaunas K Donelaičio g 58 http://www vdu lt/ University Lithuanian Univerity Kaunas Sporto g 6 http://www lkka lt/ of Physical Education Kaunas University of Kaunas A Mickevičiaus g 9 http://www kmu lt/ Medicine Content   12
  13. 13. DEVELOP DEVELOP Kaunas College of University of Kaunas K Donelaičio g 73 http://internet ktu lt/ Religious Kaunas Papilio g 5 http://www lcn lt / Technology Studies Lithuanian Kaunas Veterinary Kaunas Tilžės g 18 http://www lva lt/ Technical Kaunas Tvirtovės al 35 http://www ktk lt/ Academy College Lithuanian Akademija, Klaipėda Dariaus ir Klaipėda http://www klk lt/ University of Kaunas Studentų g 11 http://www lzuu lt College Girėno g 8 Agriculture region Klaipėda Klaipėda Herkaus Manto Business and Jaunystės g 1/ Klaipėda http://www ku lt/ Klaipėda http://www klvtk lt/ University g 84 Technology Bijūnų g 10 College Šiauliai Šiauliai Vilniaus g 88 http://www su lt/ University Lithuanian Maritime Klaipėda I Kanto g 7 http://www lmc lt/ College Šiauliai http://www State colleges Šiauliai Aušros al 40 College siauliukolegija lt/ Name City Address Webpage Panevėžys Laisvės a 23/ Panevėžys http://www panko lt/ College Klaipėdos g 29 Vilnius College of Alytus http://www akolegija Vilnius Antakalnio g 54 http://www vtdko lt/ Alytus Merkinės g 2b Technologies College lt/ and Design Marijampole V Kudirkos g 61 / Vilnius Marijampolė http://www marko lt/ Vilnius J Jasinskio g 15 http://www viko lt/ College Sodžiaus g 1 College Utena http://www utenos- Kaunas Utena Maironio g 7 Kaunas Pramonės pr 20 http://www kauko lt/ College kolegija lt/ College Žemaitija Kaunas Rietavas L Ivinskio g 5 http://www zemko lt/ College College of Girionys, Forestry and Kaunas Liepų g 1 http://www kmaik lt/ Environ- region mental Engineering Content   13
  14. 14. DEVELOP DEVELOP Non-State universities Non-State colleges Name City Address Webpage Name City Address Webpage ISM Vilnius Law University of Arklių g 18/ and Business Vilnius Laisvės pr 58 http://www vtvk lt/ Vilnius/ Management E Ožeškienės http://www ism lt/ College Kaunas and g 18 Economics Vilnius Business Vilnius Kalvarijų g 125 http://www kolegija lt/ Business Law College Academy of Vilnius Kauno g 34 http://www vvtakademija lt/ Vilnius Vilnius Design Vilnius Kauno g 34 http://www dizainokolegija lt/ International College Business School Vilnius Saulėtekio al 22 http://www tvm lt/ Vilnius Co- Konstitucijos at Vilnius operative Vilnius http://www vkk lt/ pr 11 University College Vilnius St Vilnius J Basanavičiaus Joseph’s Vilnius Kalvarijų g 325 http://www seminarija lt/ Management Vilnius http://www vvk lt/ g 29a Seminary School European College Klaipėda/ Nemuno g 2/ Humanities Vilnius Tauro g 12 http://lt ehu lt/ of Social http://www smk lt/ Vilnius Ulonų g 5 University Sciences LCC Interna- VA tional Univer- Klaipėda Kretingos g 36 http://www lcc lt/ Graičiunas Kęstučio g 57a/ Kaunas http://www kvk lt/ sity Management Laisvės al 33 School Bishop Vincentas Kopling Kaunas Raguvos g 7 http://kolegija kolping lt/ Borisevičius Telšiai Katedros a 6 http://www tks lt/ College Seminary of West Telšiai Lithuania Klaipėda Šilutės pl 2 http://www vlvk lt/ Business College Klaipėda Business Klaipėda Tilžės g 46a http://www klvk lt/ College Content   14
  15. 15. DEVELOP DEVELOP DEVELOP North Lithuania Šiauliai Tilžės g 22 http://www slk lt/ College College of Manage- ment, Law and Šiauliai Dvaro g 87 http://www kolegija com/ Languages of Šiauliai Region Want to be mobile? Search for possibilities to get scholarships! State scholarships: These scholarships are designed for students, lecturers and researchers of higher education and research institutions to come for studies or research stays to Lithuania These scholarships are divided into three sections, for which you can apply: Study/research stay scholarships, these scholarships are for a great variety of study fields Scholarships for Lithuanian (Baltic) studies, these are full time studies Lithuanian language and culture summer courses, usually these courses last three weeks to one month For more information about scholarships and re- quirements, you should check out the website www smpf lt under the Academic Exchange section Other possibilities to study in Lithuania can be found in your country via these multilateral programmes: Erasmus programme http://ec europa eu/education/index_en htm Nordplus programme www nordplusonline org Erasmus Mundus programme http://ec europa eu/education/exter nal-relation-programmes/doc72_en htm Fulbright program http://us fulbrightonline org/home html Content   15
  16. 16. DEVELOP DEVELOP DEVELOP Want to learn the Lithuanian language? If you want to study the Lithuanian language, you can even receive a scholar- ship There are two main scholarships for Lithuanian (Baltic) studies, Lithuanian language and culture summer courses Requirements for the grants are found at the website www smpf lt – under the Academic Exchange section If you want to learn the basics of Lithuanian you can communicate with the locals or just to understand what the signs and posters say there are other ways to learn Lithuanian: You can learn Lithuanian either through intensive language courses in summer or winter before the study semesters or you can take a full Lithuanian language program This you can apply via the Erasmus intensive language courses pro- gram (EILC) or the state scholarship program Some universities like Klaipėda University, Vytautas Magnus University, Šiauliai University, Vilnius Pedagogical University, Vilnius University, Lithuanian Christian College and others have departments of Lithuanian language, which run all kinds of Lithuanian language and culture courses for foreigners as well More details about the tuition fees, scholarships and more detailed information about the exact things you will learn during such courses are found at the websites of Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science (www smm lt) and Education Exchanges Support Foundation (www smpf lt) Remember, studying Lithuanian language is challenging and fun: after all, it is one of the oldest and most conservative of languages in the world Content   16
  17. 17. ENJOY ENJOY Interested in arts, performance or music? There are various cultural venues where you can see popu- There are lots of cultural events held in Lithuania You can choose where to go lar performances of drama, ballet, opera, modern dances and what to see according to your taste: from jazz concerts, drama, theatre plays or other concerts To discover what suits you best, visit the and classical European cinema to rock concerts, modern dance performances websites of theaters and concert halls and amateur video festivals But in case you decide to have a nice evening watching a performance on the spot without any clear vision of what you would like to see, visit www eb lt where you will find not only performances held in all of Lithuania but also oth- er entertaining events that are going on at that moment I used this lots of times and enjoyed discovering Lithuania’s great theatre talent I also think this is the best place for you to check out what to see in a particular region or city of Lithuania If you are more interested in museums, you can visit the website www muziejai lt to find the ones that you would like to visit Content   17
  18. 18. ENJOY ENJOY What is so special about Lithuanian music? First of all, I think that Lithuanian folk music is very unique It is based on the songs, which include romantic, wedding, as well as work and more archaic war and partisan songs The songs are polyphonic played on flutes, zithers and other instruments You should also know the most famous classical music author – M K Čiurlionis (1875-1911) who created about 200 pieces of symphonic music During the 1980’s the most popular music style in Lithuania was rock In fact, Lithuania was known as the ‘Rock Capital’ of the Soviet Union The most popular groups were Antis, Fojė and Bix, and their songs are still played every day And finally, you will discover that nearly every Lithuanian can sing – just watch TV Lithuanian music you hear on the radio can be best described as pop music Lithuanians are proud of such artist groups as SKAMP, Jurga, Happyendless and Milky Lasers that became popular internationally and put Lithuania on the map for quality music Movies I thought so Fortunately, most movies shown in Lithuanian cinemas are in their original language and have only Lithu- anian subtitles The single ticket to a movie usually costs LTL 8-16 (Eur app – 3-5) Content   18
  19. 19. ENJOY ENJOY Lithuanian customs and traditions Lithuania is a Catholic country, yet some of its traditions hearken back to Pagan times So what’s interesting? Well, the most important feasts for Lithuanians are: Easter, St John’s day or “the Day of Dew”, All Saint’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Mardi Gras Mardi Gras, known in Lithuania as “Užgavėnės”, heralds the beginning of Lent It’s also the time when people ask winter to leave and spring to come Somewhat like Halloween, children usually prepare and don masks and go to neighbours to ask for sweets, money…or pancakes Pancakes are king during this day and there are all kinds of entertainment going on in the countryside with games and songs that welcome spring Easter is the day when the whole family gets together, goes to the church on Easter morning and afterwards, has a big break- fast with lots of painted eggs, which are ‘cracked’ against each other to see who has the strongest egg St John’s day, or “Joninės,” is a very popular summer feast when people celebrate the longest day and the shortest night by being in nature, searching for a blossom of fern, jumping over fire and singing Lithuanian songs And if you happened to be named “John”, or in Lithuanian – “Jonas” (or if you’re a girl – “Jonė”) you’re especially popular on this day, and will no doubt wear a wreath so everyone knows your name Unlike Halloween, Lithuanians celebrate the next day, “All Saint’s Day”, a day of meditation and calmness when people remember their relatives and friends who have passed away and go to cemeteries with flowers and candles This is especially tranquil at night, when the cemetery is dotted with lit candles Christmas, as you can imagine, is a cheerful and joyful time for a whole family In Lithuania, Christmas begins at the stroke of Christmas Eve (Kūčios) where fami- lies soberly gather round the table and sample the traditional twelve “meatless” dishes Christmas day is welcomed especially by children, because “Grandfather Christmas” has dropped off a few presents under the Christmas tree New Year’s Day is often an all-nighter celebrated with friends and usually very loud with fireworks, champagne, dances and songs There are two other Lithuanian customs, not necessarily connected with festi- vals, but very important in everyday life Please remember that when you enter a Lithuanian’s home, you should take off your shoes Also, be punctual When a Lithuanian invites you to do something, try not to be late Content   19
  20. 20. ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY Want to taste local food and drinks? Believe me, nothing else can char- acterise the nation better than its cuisine Lithuanian cuisine has a fine diversity of dishes, especially from potatoes and meat The most famous Lithuanian dish – cepelinai (zeppe- lins), is a kind of big dumpling made from grated potatoes with meat in- side As the humple spud is the basis of much of Lithuania’s cuisine, a lot of dishes are cooked from it Among them are kugelis (a potato pud- ding cake) and for the adventurous types, there is also “a potato sausage cased in a pig’s intestines dish” called vėdarai Soups are also a staple in Lithuania One of the most attractive Lithuanian soups is šaltibarščiai (cold beetroot soup), which is made from beets/beetroot, kefir (a fermented milk product), greens and boiled eggs This dish is most popular when served on a hot summer day One more dish I recommend is Lithuanian rye bread And if there’s a “best snack for beer in the world”, it’s sure to be strips or chunks of fried rye bread with garnished garlic and cheese that you can get in any bar or restaurant But remember, the best places to taste real Lithuanian food are the same ones that are popular among the locals Content   20
  21. 21. ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY Let’s celebrate public holidays and festivals together! What is more enjoyable than celebrating? There are lots of occasions to celebrate in Lithuania Below I wrote you the list of official holidays in Lithuania January 1st – New Year’s Day February 16th – Day of Re-establishment of the State of Lithuania (1918) March 11th – restoration Day of Restitution of Independence of Lithuania (from the Soviet Union, 1990) First Sunday and Monday of spring with full moon -Easter May 1st – International Labour Day The first Sunday in May – Mother’s Day June 24th – Day of Dew July 6th – King Mindaugas’ Crowning Day (Statehood Day) August 15th – Assumption Day November 1st – All Saints’ Day December 25-26th – Christmas Moreover, there are even more occasions to celebrate For example, birthdays are cel- ebrated especially heartily You can also enjoy spending your time and taking part in the various festivals held all over Lithuania, all year long You can check the dates and programs at the below links: Days of Vilnius http://www vilniusfestivals lt Kaziukas Fair (This festival is held in all bigger cities The fair is traditionally held on the Sun- day nearest to St Casimir’s Day, March 4, the day Saint Casimir Jagiellon died ) Street Music Day (http://www gatvesmuzika lt/) Kaunas Jazz Festival(http://www kaunasjazz lt/) Rock Nights (http://www rocknights lt) Blues Nights (www bliuzonaktys lt) Sea Festival (http://www jurossvente lt/) Klaipėda’s Castle Jazz Festival (www jazz lt ) Content   21
  22. 22. ENJOY ENJOY Want to spend your leisure in nature? It’s not a problem! OK, my friend, there is one cherished thing to do when you are recovering from partying all night in the clubs Head out of town and spend time in nature - it will make your minds fresh, and cleanse your souls Chances are, once you find a spot, you won’t be completely alone, because heading off to nature is one of Lithuania’s most popular things to do There are plenty of tips on how to spend your weekend – it’s something you’ll treasure forever Maybe want to spend a weekend in a countryside? Go to www countryside lt Content   22
  23. 23. ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY Content   23
  24. 24. ENJOY ENJOY Not an active enough life and want to get fit? There are lots of possibilities if you like sports and want to get fit You can always find some gyms and SPAs near you Most of them are rather new, modern and well- equiped, and have pools, saunas and jacussis There you’ll find not only body-builders but plenty of others doing all sorts of sports But the best way to get fit is to do what most Lithuanians do – take a walk, there’s usually some- thing cool to see Content   24
  25. 25. ENJOY ENJOY Going shopping or want to send a lettger? The surprising thing I found in Lithuania was the opening hours of shops I imagine you will be happy about it, too For example, shops in the city centre where you buy clothes, shoes or other stuff usually work as follows: I-V 10 00- 20 00, VI 10 00-18 00, VII 10 00-17 00 and in shopping malls – I-VII 10 00-22 00 Great, isn’t it? You can always shop at the most popular grocery stores Most of them work from 8 00 till 20 00, 22 00, 23 00, 24 00 or even 24/7 and that depends on the place where they are located By the way, while visiting a shopping centre you might buy a post card for your mother This is easiest done by going to the nearest post office You can find the address and work hours at www post lt, but they usually work from 8 00 to 19 00 Content   25
  26. 26. ENJOY ENJOY Want to know at least several phrases in Lithuanian? Hello [Laa-bas] Labas Thank you [A-chyoo] Ačiū Goodbye [Vee-so ge-ro] Viso gero Good luck [Sehk-mes] Sėkmės What is your name? [Kwo yous var-doo] Kuo jūs vardu? I am sorry, Excuse me [Atsi-pra-shau] Atsiprašau Please [Pra-shau] Prašau Beer [A-los] Alus My name is [Ma-no var-das] Mano vardas yra I am from [Ash esu ish…] Aš esu iš [Ar ga-le-te man Ar galite man Can you help me? pa-deh-ti] padėti? [Ash ne-kal-boo Aš nekalbu I do not speak Lithuanian lye-too-vishkay] lietuviškai I love you [Ash tave meeloo] Aš tave myliu Shall we dance? [Pa-sho-kima] Pašokime? [Koks tavo telepho- Koks tavo telefono What‘s your telephone number? no numeres] numeris? Party, party, party! Students love to party a lot, especially when they are in a foreign country In Lithuania, you can find plenty of good places to have a beer or a cocktail, to dance and listen to good music But remem- ber, no smoking inside This can be tough on smokers but every place has a smoking room – it’s called, “Outside,” and you can join all the others there, at the entrance After spending your time in cafes, bars, pubs or clubs, you can always reward your waiter or waitress with a tip Depending on how rich you are, leave some- thing but not more than 10% Content   26
  27. 27. DISCOVER DISCOVER PRACTICALITIES Need a lift? You already know many facts about Lithuania itself, its traditions and specialties If you want to travel somewhere abroad, you can go by bus or and the whole system of higher education You might also need some informa- train or by plane There are three main Lithuanian airports but also tion about practical issues that concern daily life in this country Here are some take care of how much stuff you want to bring to Lithuania by us- tips for you ing the website www cust lt Airports: Vilnius www vilnius-airport lt Kaunas www kaunasair lt Palanga www palanga-airport lt Trains: www litrail lt Now I can tell you how not to get lost in this country Lithuania is a small country: you can cross it in less than 7 hours by bus and even faster by car There is a list of links where you can find all the information you need There are different kinds of transport in every city: buses, trolley- buses, micro buses and taxis While travelling by public transport, you have to buy single tickets at kiosks or the driver will sell you one Monthly tickets are sold only in kiosks Note that in Vilnius and Klaipėda there are now electronic tickets If you want to travel to other cities, use local buses or trains Public transport and local buses: Vilnius www vilniustransport lt (local transport), www toks lt (bus station) Kaunas http://transportas kaunas lt (local transport), www kautra lt (bus station) Klaipėda www klap lt (both) Šiauliai www busturas lt (both) Panevėžys www panevezioautobusai lt (both) Taxi: www etaksi lt You can also rent a car in all airports in the biggest car rental companies: http://www addcarrental com/, http://www avis lt/, https://www hertz lt, http://www europcar lt/ Content   27
  28. 28. DISCOVER DISCOVER DISCOVER Want to get in touch? It is very easy to get a phone card here I got mine in a shopping centre for a small fee There are plenty of choices, so go to the websites and check the prices and services they offer I personally recommend you to buy pre-paid cards, and these are provided by www extra lt, www ezys lt, www labas lt and www pildyk lt And sure, how could we live without the Internet nowa- days? Well don’t worry, you can find really easy access to the Internet Areas where you can find wireless internet connection can be found in the website www wifi lt Content   28
  29. 29. DISCOVER DISCOVER Short of cash? Finding a place where to live There is always a way how to get some Opening a bank account is not difficult There are two ways to live: in dormitories or private apartment Prices are shown in in Lithuania For common requirements in different banks which provide ser- the part “Wonder how much it will cost to live in Lithuania?”, but pay attention – not vices in Lithuania you should check on the Internet www lba lt under all universities and other higher educational institutions have dormitories, so you “Members” section might have to search for a private apartment Content   29
  30. 30. DISCOVER DISCOVER Wondering how much it will cost to live in Prices for food: Lithuania? Meat LTL 20/kg (EUR 5,79/kg) To help you imagine how much every- Bread LTL 4 (EUR 1,16/kg) thing costs, I will give you several ex- Milk LTL 3 (EUR 0,87) amples with approximate prices Though Cheese LTL 4 - 20 (EUR 5,79) keep in mind that due to inflation prices may have risen Prices for services: Haircut for man LTL 15 – 50 (EUR 4 – 15) Haircut for ladies LTL 50 – 120 (EUR 15 – 35) Single public transport ticket LTL 0 55 – 2 (EUR 0,16 – 0,58) Monthly public transport ticket LTL 12 (EUR 3,5) Fuel LTL 4/litre (EUR 1,16/litre) Taxi LTL 2 - 3, 5/km (EUR 0,6 – 1/km) Ticket to cinema LTL 10 – 16 (EUR 3 – 4,5) A glass of beer in a bar LTL 7 (EUR 2) Average receipt in restaurant LTL 30 (EUR 9) Club entry LTL 15-35 (EUR 4 – 10) Content   30
  31. 31. DISCOVER DISCOVER Want to find a job in Lithuania? Average cost of accommodation depends on its location It is not going to be easy I think… First of all, it is much easier if you know the Lithuanian language but you probably do not Secondly, you should Dormitories usually cost from 80 – 200 (EUR 23 – 58) check about the documents required for the be- Private apartments in Vilnius - form LTL 400 – 2000 (EUR 116 – 580) ing able to work in Lithuania for foreigners on In Kaunas – from LTL 300 - 1300 (EUR 87 - 376) www migracija lt and some suggestions of work In Klaipėda – from LTL 250 - 900 (EUR 73 - 260) places You can also check for work possibilities In Šiauliai – from LTL - 800 (EUR 58 - 232) at the state job centre’s website www ldb lt or the In Panevėžys – from LTL 150 - 600 (EUR 44 - 174) private job centres’ websites If you are interested in what taxes to pay, check it on www sodra lt Content   31
  32. 32. DISCOVER DISCOVER Your country is closer than you think… Need to talk with someone from your country? Go to your country’s embassy The embassies addresses are at www urm lt under the Foreign Representations section You can also visit some foreign culture centres such as: Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania www norden lt American Culture Centre www usembassy lt British Council Lithuania www britishcouncil lt Goethe Institute www goethe de/vilnius Italian Culture Institute www iicvil lt Polish Institute www lenkukultura lt Feeling safe? French Culture Centre in Vilnius www centrefrancais lt Again, there are plenty of internet cafes and even cafes Do not worry! Lithuania is a regular European country that have free wireless internet access So just ask You can feel quite safe here but, as in all other coun- tries, you should know how and where to take care of yourself In case of emergency, you should call 112, which is the emergency phone number for ambu- lance, police and fire brigades In case of health problems you should go to the near- est health care centre I would recommend you take a Lithuanian friend with you in case there are problems with communicating with doctors in English, and don’t forget health insurance, which is obligatory if you want to get a temporary residence permit If you are a resident of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland, you can take your European Health Insurance Card which guaran- tees help of public health centre in case of emergency problems The other way is to get private insurance, but get advice about this from your embassy in Lithuania Water and electricity? Water is taken from deep under- ground in Lithuania, and is fresh and clean Electricity is 220Vs, and the plug is of general East European type, but you can get adapters at any electronics’ store If you are a disabled person, do not worry, most shops, public places, universities are adapted for you Also, Lithuanians are friendly and ready to help in case of anything Content   32
  33. 33. DISCOVER DISCOVER Want to know how to get a Lithuanian Student Identity Card? When you will come to Lithuania, you will have to get permission for tem- porary living You do this at the Ministry of the Interior, Department of Migration (www migracija lt) But it is always recom- mended to check all the aspects of regis- How to make your stay and tering before leaving your country at the studying legal in Lithuania? Lithuanian embassy in your country and to talk with the representative from the When you will come to Lithuania, you will have to get permission for international affairs department of your temporary living You do this at the Ministry of the Interior, Depart- university in Lithuania if you have some ment of Migration (www migracija lt) But it is always recommended questions once you’re here to check all the aspects of registering before leaving your country at Now, talking about VISAS, absolutely the Lithuanian embassy in your country and to talk with the repre- check to see if you need one in the nearest sentative from the international affairs department of your university diplomatic mission or a consular institu- in Lithuania if you have some questions once you’re here tion of the Republic of Lithuania You can Now, talking about VISAS, absolutely check to see if you need one also do it at www urm lt under Consular in the nearest diplomatic mission or a consular institution of the Re- Issues section There you will find informa- public of Lithuania You can also do it at www urm lt under Consular tion about which countries’ citizens need Issues section There you will find information about which countries’ to get a Lithuanian VISA, as well as details citizens need to get a Lithuanian VISA, as well as details about fees about fees and how and where you can and how and where you can get your VISA get your VISA Content   33
  34. 34. DISCOVER DISCOVER CHEK LIST Where to find help during your first days at university? Do not be afraid to ask for help when you come to uni- versity for the first time The first person that could help you is the international relations coordinator with whom you had contact be- fore arriving This coordinator should be able to answer Do not forget! all questions that concern academic issues The other person that will help you with other questions and con- cerns is your mentor/buddy that should be appointed Find out if you need a VISA, and if you do, get it before your arrival Usually, Student Association can always help you solve all the problems, if have any or to tell where to look for the solution Moreover, you should Take care of your health insurance have an introduction lecture in the beginning of studies where you will find out all the important information about your studies at your particular university or other Get a permit for temporally living higher educational institution Have a place to live Contact the international relations coordinator from your educational institution to get information about the documents you should bring with yourself Optional: register for an intensive Lithuanian language courses Finally, be prepared for the best period in your life Content   34
  35. 35. STUDY IN LITHUANIA DISCOVER. DEVELOP. ENJOY. Prepared by Education Exchanges Support Foundation in cooperation with “Žaismė” Edited by Aleksas Apynys Education Exchanges Support Foundation Geležinio Vilko g 12, LT-01112 Vilnius, Lithuania Phone (8 ~ 5) 261 05 92 Fax (8 ~ 5) 249 71 37 E-mail info@smpf lt www smpf lt This project has been funded with support from the European Commission This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein 2008 Vilnius Content  35