Together with face numbing cold, last weeks of January also brought new exchange students to Kaunas and VMU. Armed with scarves, gloves and cold proof jackets our newcomers stepped into Orientation Week greeting their new home for these few upcoming months.
DAY 1. Monday
On 27th of January Kaunas was calm and quite. As studies haven’t started yet, most of the local students were spending their holidays at home with a cup of warm tea. But this Monday was different. One after another, students with big eyes and maps in their hands or with the help of their mentors were heading to the International Office. Yes, the orientation week began and international students were the ones who started another exciting semester in students’ city –Kaunas
DAY 2. Tuesday
Day 2 was all about getting to know new surroundings and settling in. The morning kicked off with a get-to-know excursion around Kaunas starting from the city centre and going all the way till the Old Town. Walking by foot our courageous gang outbraved the cold weather and discovered many interesting facts about the city and its cultural and historical heritage. To our great surprise students already knew the most important facts about Kaunas. That made us love them even more! After a warming cup of tea the day continued with the excursion around university’s faculties. Students saw where they will be doing most of their brain work and that to their convenience, every faculty is within a reach.
After getting more or less familiar with new home the time came to settle for living. Without having to leave the dormitory students attended International Flea Market where they bought previously used items for their everyday life. Plates, cups and pans were selling like hot cakes and seems like everyone got everything that did not fit into the luggage and had to be left at home. Rumor has it that our president herself got a pretty good bargain. ;) All of the collected money will be used for a visit to the Nursing home.
Long and busy day was far from ending. After enjoying small talks in the dormitory, exchange students and their mentors went to the local pub where some of them stayed there till the very end. We’d say it was one successful day, wouldn’t you?
DAY 3. Wednesday
Day three started with “Survival Lithuanian” courses. For those who haven’t encountered Lithuanian language before, it was a great opportunity to learn basics which will definitely help while staying here.
Straight after “Survival Lithuania” our newcomers were introduced more closely to Lithuania, Kaunas and our university. Of course we couldn’t miss a chance to introduce ourselves as well. Hope we bought our students’ hearts by sending our president to the front. Most often it works.
Our program continued with a welcoming aperitivo and speed-friending in a more informal environment. The game was only a beginning for new friendships to be born, because afterwards nobody was thinking about leaving.
DAY 4. Thursday
After another “Survival Lithuanian” and introduction to our library, students had meetings with their faculty coordinators. Tereza, a student from Czech Republic shares her impressions about faculty of Social Sciences: “They were very kind for me, as everyone here. Our coordinator showed us the faculty and told us everything important. I have very good impression from the faculty and people there.”
On the second half of the day, students and mentors were invited to exchange freezing cold to the indoor volleyball tournament. After walking like penguins towards the sand arena they felt a relief when stood on soft sand barefoot and enjoyed the feeling of summer.
DAY 5. Friday
Yesterday students decided that Survival Lithuanian is not enough and they headed to the Institute of Foreign Languages to sign for more language classes. It seems like our new friends are ready to turn the new page and we wish them to make a great story out of it!
What can be a better way to end the week of new discoveries and friendships than to embark on a journey all together? Speaking of which, we are about to hop on a bus to Vilnius and Trakai. But that is a whole new story, so stay tuned!
Think different, think ESN VMU!
Karolis Kriuka, Dominykas Graibus