When first thinking about Erasmus+ I would never say I will choose a country in the Baltics as the place of my exchange semester. Luckily, after hesitating some weeks, I made the best decision that I could have made-apply for Erasmus+ in Kaunas.
"These memories and trips I will never forget, and I truly believe, that without Erasmus it would be impossible to see all these places in such a short time."
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY
Full of fear and excitement, I arrived in Kaunas on the 29th of January. Right on the second day, my fear disappeared, and my semester full of adventure begin. I attended the Kaunas University of Technology. Although I am studying at the Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, I was enrolled in the Electrical Faculty. There I attended two classes: Programmable Logical Controllers and Automatic Control Fundamentals which are both connected to my bachelor's studies programme Process Control at STU in Bratislava. I was also attending the classes of Physical Chemistry, which is also connected to my studies. I wanted to enroll in two more courses, but finally, because of the overlaps, I had to cancel them from my timetable.
I wanted to learn some basic Lithuanian expressions, that is the reason why I enrolled in the course called Lithuanian for Foreigners. After a while, the most useful expression that I learned was: „Atsiprašau, aš nesuprantu lietuviškai“, which means: „I am sorry, but I do not speak Lithuanian“...
However, my exchange semester was during the Covid-19 pandemic, I could attend all my classes from the beginning, and from the beginning of March also without a face mask.
LIVING IN KAUNAS
As an accommodation, I have chosen the KTU Dormitory n. 8, where there were mostly just exchange students. At this dormitory, we had private bathrooms for 2 or 4 people and I had to share my room with one roommate. We had a common kitchen, which we had to share with 20 people. The kitchen sharing was sometimes hard (there was always a big mess, while everyone was trying to cook), but I also had some unforgettable memories there - for example, I made my first goulash soup in Lithuania, and accidentally mess up spicy and sweet paprika...
The only negative side of dormitory life was that the city center was 20 minutes away by bus. At the night we had to use many times Bolt, Citybee (car-sharing), or scooters.
TRAVELLING DURING MY ERASMUS
One of the biggest benefits of Erasmus+ exchange programs is that you can travel a lot during the semester. From Kaunas, it was super easy to find cheap flights to Western Europe and Scandinavian countries.
During my Erasmus, I visited 5 different countries and 17 different cities and made countless memories with people all over the World. I saw different coastlines not just in Lithuania, but also in Finland and Latvia, archipelagos in Sweden, national parks in Latvia, and amusement parks in Copenhagen.
I also learned how to travel economically with a backpack, which was impossible for me before Erasmus. These memories and trips I will never forget, and I truly believe, that without Erasmus it would be impossible to see all these places in such a short time.
WHAT I GET FROM MY ERASMUS
Besides the number of memories that I have from this Erasmus+, I am thankful for many other things:
• Improving my English skills - besides using the English language in my studies I was using it in my everyday life.
• Learn how to study effectively - during the Erasmus the last thing I wanted to do was study, so I learned how to study with a concentration of 100% to finish it faster. Before I spent more time just sitting next to the books doing nothing, now this is gone.
• Finding friends from different countries and cultures - I can say, I found friends from different countries. With these people, I will stay in touch and visit each other in the next years.
• Learn what is worth spending money - wise advice, spending money on experiences and memories is more worth it than on clothes and other stuff.
• Learn how to cook.
• Improving self-confidence and getting to know me more.
In the end, I can say that all my Erasmus experiences that I participated in, changed my life. I made memories that are always going to be mine and would never be made them stay in my home country. However, leaving was hard, and coming back was even harder and while I do regret some things that happened or did not happen during my Erasmus, I never regret going.