Norwegian Schoolchildren Shared Their Impressions of VMU

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On the first day of spring, Kaunas and VMU has welcomed a delegation of 12 students and 2 teachers from the Greveskogen gymnasium in Norway. The schoolchildren are staying in Lithuania for a few days, and they will use most of that time to socialize with the students of the Kaunas Rasa gymnasium, participate in the Mardi Gras celebrations, visit museums and explore Kaunas.

 
Renata Novogreckaitė, r.novogreckaite@smt.vdu.lt
Martynas Gedvila, m.gedvila@vkt.vdu.lt

Being aware of the close relations between Kaunas Rasa gymnasium and Vytautas Magnus University, the members of the Consulate of the Kingdom of Norway who take care of guests in Lithuania have followed the delegation’s request and asked to organize a tour to the VMU Faculty of Economics and Management. A meeting is also planned with incoming foreign students who are visiting VMU as part of the Erasmus exchange programme.

"Kaunas and the Vestfold region in Norway, the location of the Greveskogen gymnasium, are connected by ties of partnership – the gymnasiums in Norway and Kaunas Rasa gymnasium have been communicating for a number of years already.  The students of the Greveskogen gymnasium visit a foreign country every year. This year Lithuania was chosen, and 12 students arrived here, intending to study economics or management in the future. By request of the students, we have organized a visit to the VMU Faculty of Economics and Management", explained the Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Norway in Lithuania, Vytautas Valaitis.

The guests were greeted by the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management Prof. Pranas Žukauskas and the Vice-Dean Vytautas Liesionis, who read the lecture "Lithuanian Economy: Historical-Philosophical Perspective" and wished for the students to discover Lithuania.

We rushed to talk to the students, get to know their first impressions of VMU, ask what they have heard of Lithuania from before. Since the students had been in Kaunas for just a few hours, we asked what they had known about Lithuania before coming here: "Basketball! We know you have good players", said the school’s students without much thinking. The first differences noted by the visitors were the different kind of buildings and heavier traffic jams than in Norway. However, upon the first glance, they found Kaunas to be a beautiful city.

Asked about the impressions of the visit to VMU and whether they have ever thought of studying here, the students said: "VMU is very different from Norwegian universities in Oslo. Those are larger, more modern, have more students. We haven’t noticed if the students during the lectures here are taking notes by using computers. In Norway they are very popular even in high schools. We would prefer studies at universities in our country, and if there was an opportunity to study abroad we would probably choose the USA or Australia. We must admit that we haven’t considered the possibility of studying in Lithuania. On the whole, we have very little knowledge about your country, so we hope that this visit will help to get to know the people and culture of Lithuania better".

At the end of the conversation we received an unexpected question from the schoolchildren: "We know that  there are very many Lithuanians working in Norway. We heard that some of them return to their country very rich. Do you know how many of your countrymen are working in Norway?". Unfortunately we didn’t know the exact numbers but calmed them down by saying there are many more Lithuanians working in England and Ireland.

After discussing what the schoolchildren would like to see and do in Kaunas, we wished them good luck and pleasant impressions during their visit in Lithuania. Hopefully, the pupils will share their newly acquired positive experience and knowledge about Lithuania and its people with their classmates in Norway, and more schoolchildren from this country will come here next year.

You are welcome to view the photo report by VMU photographer Jonas Petronis (j.petronis@vkt.vdu.lt), capturing the moments from the Norwegian high school students’ visit in Lithuania.

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