Also there was a meeting with the dean and coordinator of the law faculty. They explained how the studies go, how you get marks and provided us with the timetable. In the first two weeks it was required to choose the subjects and to register the courses. I participated in all the lectures that I found useful and interesting. Eventually I chose 5 subjects: Legal Argumentation, Negotiating and mediating in private law disputes, international competition law, legal remedies under EU law, human rights in Europe.
Another memorable episode was international dinner where students prepared traditional dishes of their countries. Unfortunately, us, students from Kazakhstan were not enough and we could not cook anything from Kazakh cuisine. But, we tasted various food from different nations. And I would like to mark guys from Turkey, South Korea and Germany for the delicious snacks.
Also the orientation week program contained the guided tour around Vilnius. Unfortunately, me and my friends were late for it because we decided to have lunch 15 minutes before the start. However, we didn’t give up and decided to explore the city by ourselves. We walked around the narrow streets of the old town without a clear plan and destination, simultaneously admiring the architecture and talking about the culture and art. That’s how we ended up in Uzupis. It is an isolated district of Vilnius which is has been popular with artists, and has been compared to Montmartre in Paris. In 1997, the residents of the area declared the Republic of Užupis, along with its own flag, currency, president, cabinet of ministers, a constitution written by, an anthem, and an army numbering approximately 12 men. I think that we didn’t miss too much arranging our own excursion.
I studied 5 days per week from Monday till Friday. My timetable was well-balanced, I had only one subject in a day. Good thing is, you can create your own schedule. For example, some students chose only afternoon courses so they could get enough sleep.
I preferred doing my homework in the university library, because it was close to the dormitory and my faculty. The library is a big 4 floor futuristic building equipped with modern technologies, computers and superfast internet. Moreover, it works 24/7 so you can study the whole night which is also very convenient.
One of the best part studying abroad is meeting people from other countries. Students from almost all over the world studied in Vilnius. I discovered lots of new things about their culture, mentality, politics and language. The vast majority of them are really open-minded, friendly and easy going. I learned a lot from them in these 5 months. Me and my friends from Brazil, France, Italy, Portugal and Turkey became really close to each other. We used to play card games, prepare dinners and visit museums and other entertainment places together.
Simultaneously guest lectures were held in the university. The one that I liked the most the lecture of the Italian professor Silvia Marino on the topic “Multilinguism and democracy in the EU”. There she explained the importance of all the languages of the EU having the official status and how it affects the democracy regime of the Union.
Touching upon the complexity of the subjects, generally they were not too hard for me. I think, here time management is the most important thing. If you do everything on time, you can succeed and get high marks. One subject ‘Legal remedies under EU law” I found quite difficult, because I didn’t have the base of the European law comparing to my colleagues from EU. Nevertheless, I achieved good results.
Another significant part of the exchange is travelling. During the Easter holidays we decided to go to Poland. Planning, booking tickets and accommodation was stressful process. But it was worth it. We visited two cities: Warsaw and Krakow. I liked both a lot. We tried traditional food, did the sightseeing and had a lot of fun.
Next trip was travelling to Stockholm by furry which take place every year and is organized by the student councils of Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Plenty of the events, games, dancing classes and parties were held on the boat. We had only 1 day to see Stockholm which is obviously not enough. Anyway, we saw the main sights, bought some souvenirs and took a lot of pictures.
Also I discovered many things inside Lithuania. For instance, I visited Trakai, a small town close to Vilnius which is remarkable for the castle which is located on an island inside the lake and was built in the middle ages. In addition, Trakai is popular for the best Lithuanian traditional dishes that you can try in local restaurants.
Another place that I really loved was the small lake close to the dormitory (4 stops by bus). Me and my friends spent a lot of time there having picnics and barbecues, swimming, playing volleyball, feeding ducks and listening to music.
Final stage of the exchange were the examinations. During this period, students forgot about partying and started studying hard. All the exams that I had were different from each other, i.e. one was essay, other was ópen book’, also I was exempted from one exam because I gotenough points during seminars. It should be noted that I used distinctive methods of preparation which led to the good results in the end.
In conclusion I would like to thank our university for giving me the opportunity to study in Europe. These 5 months were the best in my life. I strongly recommend all our students to enroll the academic mobility program and get this amazing and unforgettable experience!