Student from Dubai Studying in Kaunas: “Lithuania has a Very Rich Culture”

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Niranjan Reju Dinesh, an aspiring veterinarian from Dubai, city of the future, has chosen Kaunas for his studies. The third-year student at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences shares that he decided to experience the European culture in Lithuania and has found everything a foreign student could desire. 

Kaunas has become the second home

Niranjan has dreamt of treating animals since childhood. In his senior year, he had the opportunity to try his hand at various fields: robotics, engineering, marketing, design, even professional swimming. But he kept coming back to what he was passionate about.

“I wanted to give a voice to the animals that do not have a voice of their own,” – Niranjan explained his choice of profession.

When asked why he decided to study in Kaunas, he said that the experiences of other students encouraged him to make this decision.

“While doing my research looking for universities around Europe to study Veterinary Medicine, I was recommended to LSMU. I attended an open day event and after hearing the experiences of the students at that time and their description of how student life was here in Kaunas, I had my mind set on coming here. At this point, I would say that Kaunas has well and truly become my home. I’m a part-time stand-up comedian, and Kaunas has given me the ability to make a name for myself. Through the ERASMUS student network, I have received multiple opportunities to travel and network with people across Europe. I have my close group of friends in Kaunas, and this is everything I can ask for”.

Niranjan is Indian by origin, but was born and raised in Dubai. His grandparents, like many other Indians, migrated to Dubai for a higher standard of living and better job opportunities.

“I think other Indian expats would agree that it feels like we are both Indian and from Dubai in some way. My grandfather migrated to the United Arab Emirates, back when it was not even fully recognised as a sovereign country. My mother was raised in Dubai and so was I. She works as an architect for some of the biggest construction firms in Dubai, I am grateful to have had the opportunities and its thanks to my parents that I am here studying in Kaunas,” – shared Niranjan, adding that young people from Dubai choose to study in Europe to broaden their horizons.

“Personally, I chose to study in Europe to be able to experience the diverse culture, see a new environment and because I liked the integrated studies offering the Master’s degree at LSMU, which is not available elsewhere. Dubai also does not have any universities specifically for vets so I wanted to explore my options abroad”.

It is not just Kaunas that a young student in Lithuania likes. In the three years he has lived here, he says he has already discovered other places he likes.

“I regularly visit Vilnius and enjoy its nightlife. I also did internship in Kedainiai and got to see its town square and Old Town. I have had the pleasure of experiencing traditional Lithuanian Christmas dinners, dances and I found it very beautiful. I think of Lithuania as a country that’s rich in culture, beautiful natural landscapes and wide contrast in weather”.

Helping to rescue animals who have also become victims of war

Another memorable experience of the student from Dubai living in Kaunas was volunteering at the animal shelter Nuaras. He started working there to get some practice and to see how this type of voluntary organisations work. He started working with castrations and was responsible for administering medicines and anaesthetics, and when the war broke out in Ukraine, he helped rescue animals brought from that country.

“When the war broke out, we started receiving numerous evacuated dogs and cats that were arriving in very complicated conditions. There would be 4-5 animals crammed into a single cage. The animals were dirty and in poor health condition. We had to take blood samples, examine them for various diseases, and give them a bath. There were dogs that had been traumatised to the point that they could not walk. We had to rehabilitate them and put them back on their legs,” – the student of Veterinary Medicine shared his memories.

Although the animals from Ukraine were in poor condition, many of them found their homes in Kaunas.

“Working with Nuaras was a rewarding opportunity. As much as I liked this experience, I don’t think it’s for me. I would much like working with horses as in horse racing, the horses are trained, bred and fed to be at their physical and physiological peaks”.

Horses as a dream job

The dream of the aspiring veterinarian Niranjan is to go into horse racing for the adrenaline of the sport and its popularity in the world.

Niranjan says that Dubai, where he comes from, is one of the world’s major horse racing and training centres. It is known worldwide for its horse racing culture, the high level of the sport, its progressiveness, and research. The Dubai World Cup has been held here every year since 1996.

“In Dubai, the stables are meticulously maintained. Arabian horses are well regarded as one of the best pure racing breeds, although not as well used in dressage, show-jumping and other events. Dubai’s racing events attract racing enthusiasts from all over the world”.

According to the LSMU third-year student, the care of champion horses is a very intense activity, so the lives of veterinarians working in racing are fairly stressful.

“The vets themselves would live pretty stressful lives, as the horses need to be closely monitored and taken care of extensively, but I personally don’t believe in cracking under pressure, but that such pressures are important in growth. After all, raw coal needs to be put under immense pressure and heat by the earth to become a shining diamond,” – Niranjan shared his views.

He plans to return to Dubai after his studies in Kaunas, but not before he gains experience in other European countries such as Germany or Sweden.