International Office Welcomes Exchange Students for Spring Semester

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Over 50 exchange students from 20 different countries were accepted to LSMU for studies and practice in the spring semester of the 2022/2023 academic year. About 20 more students are planning to come for summer internships. Most of the students came under the frame of Erasmus+ exchange programme, 5 students under the short-term study project supported by the Education Exchange Support Fund, and 5 under other short-term exchange projects. As always, we received students from Spain, Italy, Turkey, Portugal. From further countries, students from Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Japan can be mentioned. Most students came to Nursing (23) and Medicine (19) studies and practice.

               Cultural and educational event “Cepelinai”

               On the 3rd of February the Academic Mobility Division (AMD) and Erasmus Student Network (ESN) organized a cultural-educational event “Cepelinai” for the newly arrived exchange students. During this event the students were taught how to make Lithuanian national dish. They had to peel and grate raw potatoes, mash boiled potatoes, chop onions (while wiping away tears) and prepare the stuffing. It did not take long, and Cepelinai were ready for cooking! And while the dumplings were cooking, everyone was entertained by the LSMU Lithuanian folk dance group Ave Vita, whose leaders Goda Puleikytė and Rasa Kazakevičienė taught the students Lithuanian traditional dances and songs. Orchestra leader Gintaras Vilčiauskas accompanied with an accordion. Everyone sang, danced, and did their best. There was no shortage of laughter and good energy! And when the dinner time came, everyone sat down at the tables to taste cepelinai that were accompanied by cranberry kissel, cumin compote and Lithuanian kwass.

During the event, the new exchange students also had the opportunity to get to know each other, their mentors, ESN members and were able to ask Žydrė Vengalytė, International programme coordinator, questions regarding their studies in LSMU. It was nice that the president of the Lithuanian ESN Association, Gvidas Norvilis, also visited the event. Gvidas was pleasantly surprised how productive the cooperation between LSMU international program coordinators and LSMU ESN members were.

               Celebration of Mardi Gras in Rumšiškės

               On the 18th of February exchange students were invited to the Mardi Gras celebration, which took place at the Museum of Lithuanian Folk Household and Ethnography in Rumšiškės. The organizers of the trip, AMD and ESN, were happy that the students were not frightened of the rain, strong wind, or bitter cold. Erasmus students immersed themselves wholeheartedly in the winter banishing rituals: they danced, sang, made masks, tasted pancakes, competed with Lašininis, smashed pots while being blindfolded. Two of the bravest students even agreed to dress up as the Bride and Groom and color their cheeks with boiled beetroot juice! In the afternoon with bags full of Lithuanian delicacies from the stalls, the students returned to Kaunas.

               Trip to Vilnius

               On the last weekend of February, ESN members delighted the Erasmus students with a sight-seeing trip to Vilnius. On Saturday, March 24, the students caught a train to the capital, where, joined by the tour guide, they visited the Old Town of Vilnius, Gediminas Castle, the Cathedral, the Museum of Illusions, and other famous places. Erasmus student Said Vahidi (Azerbaijan Medical University) gladly agreed to share his experiences from this trip:

Last week l joined a beautiful trip to the capital city of Lithuania, Vilnius together with a lot of Erasmus students from LSMU. We had a big walk of the old city and uphill visit to the Gediminas castle from where we were able to experience the panoramic view of Vilnius. It was really beautiful! Of course who could forget the cosiest lunch we had all together in the city centre! More importantly what made this one-day trip special was the people! All students from different countries and backgrounds got together and spent great time together which brought us all even more closer after couple of events we had had previously. As they say time whizzed by…. and the atmosphere became warmer and warmer which was a lovely escape from chilly Vilnius weather in February. I consider myself so lucky that l got to know all those amazing people and be part of a gorgeous family!

            Joyous to the bits… With much love from Said Xx

               Other events

               In addition to the events, described above, ESN members also organized 7 other events for LSMU exchange students in February: Valentine’s Day celebration, Escape Room, Kaunas city tour, to mention a few. Meanwhile, AMDS also received a guest from Turkey. On the 20th of February Ozge Cemiloglu Ulker, professor from the Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ankara, came for a teaching visit to the LSMU Faculty of Pharmacy. As the professor also works as an Erasmus institutional coordinator in her university, she also found time have a meeting with Erasmus students and AJS international programme coordinators and to discuss issues concerning Erasmus+ exchange programme and plans for further cooperation.            

Looking back, one wonders is it possible that February only had 28 days this year?…