Sveiki! or Labas!, this is how Lithuanian people greet each other. As you can see, one month in and I am already a native. Even though I still don’t fully understand and know what to say to the cashier at the supermarket.
So I arrived in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, about one month ago. I decided to get here by car, mostly for the reason that in one suitcase there’s not a lot of room for your stuff and in my case a lot of tech stuff as well. If you’re coming from Berlin, I suggest stopping by in Warsaw before continuing to Vilnius. If you drive by car though, be aware of the Belarusian Border. If you don’t have a travel visa or don’t know that you are supposed to give the Belarusian officers a ‚tip‘, be careful and definitely dont try to visit Belarus then. Trust me I had to experience that the hard way.
Anyway after two days of travel and a lot of sweating at the Belarusian customs, I finally arrived and let me tell you: Vilnius is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. Especially in contrast to Berlin the old houses with beautifully renovated facades are a must-see. Especially in the late summer, where you guys would arrive, the city is full of people. There is a street festival basically every day and all the people sitting outside having a coffee or a beer, both which honestly really taste good.
Gladly all Macromedia students came in contact, even before we started. So many of us connected via What’s App and got apartments together beforehand or just got to know people if you didn’t at the start. On this occasion I met someone from Munich, we hit it off immediately and explored the city together the week before orientation started.
And wow, it was beyond my expextations! This city is stunning, you immediately feel at home. A Lithuanian native we met here made a really funny but nonetheless true remark on the city. He said, I quote „Vilnius is the G-Spot of Europe“, It’s not easy to find, but once you do, you never want to go back.“ And there is nothing more to say.
Getting an Apartment was easy, and I recommend doing this beforehand over Agencies such as „1Home“, because most private lessors only rent for minimum a year and not 6 months. And if you are early you can pick the best spots. Definitely be aware of the distance of the flat to the university! Best would probably be in the neighborhood between the „old-town“ and the University.
This way you can get to school and into the nightlife easily.
Speaking of nightlife, the most popular bar for Erasmus and International students is the PlusPlusPlus, and not only because beer costs only 1,60 Euro here. I would also recommend Mr. Pub. The atmosphere when you are going out is pretty chill and but if you want to meet the local people, you have to get out of your comfort zone and go to not so well known ‚Erasmus-bars‘.
After exploring the city for the first few days our life at VDK (Vilnius College of Design) started. And honestly I couldn’t be happier, the courses are extremely interesting and very challenging.
The courses we’ve got are:
- Lithuanian Culture and history
- Visual Expression (three lecturers, changing every week)
- Visual and Motion Design (very interesting)
- Movie Industry Project (extremely challenging)
- Project Management
- Interaction and Interface Design (every two weeks)
The cafeteria is cheap and very good. All meals are written in English as well, and vegetarians can always find something! At present the workload is still manageable, but I feel like „Oh honey you’ve got a big storm coming“. I must say I am looking forward to the next months and I am excited, because I can feel it in my guts. I will learn a lot!
Iki (See you again) Nicola