Refresh in Lithuania Returns This Summer


Refresh Lithuania Program, co-sponsored by Vytautas Magnus University and the Lithuanian Emigration Institute, invites people of Lithuanian descent living abroad to attend the summer course Refresh in Lithuania, which will take place in Kaunas from 16 to 28 July 2012.

The main purpose of Refresh in Lithuania is to bring together Lithuanians living abroad, help them retain their bond with their family’s homeland and introduce them to modern Lithuania. The course is dedicated to those who want to feel the pulse of life in Lithuania today. They will also get acquainted with the academic community of VMU and discover what it means to be a Lithuanian in the international community.

The course, which will take place in Kaunas for two weeks in mid-July, is targeted towards the members of Lithuanian Diaspora who wish to forge closer ties to Lithuania either by improving their language skills or by learning more about Lithuanian culture and history, as well as social, economic, and political conditions in the country. The participants will travel around Kaunas, visit historical landmarks and other famous towns and cities in the country.

VMU held the first summer course from 5 to 16 July 2010. The idea to organize a summer course exclusively for persons of Lithuanian heritage living beyond the borders of Lithuania came about not long ago and was implemented in less than a year. Prof. Egidijus Aleksandravičius, director of the Lithuanian Emigration Institute and professor at VMU, was the one who proposed the idea.

At the time Prof. Aleksandravičius said that the “time was ripe” for this kind of course because “the way has been paved by many years of observation. Except for Ireland, other attempts by universities to take original courses of action were weak. VMU is the first one to create a course which meets the challenges of distant future and provides a significant common good.”

Collaborating with the Lithuanian Emigration Institute, VMU undertook the summer course with the aim of strengthening the self-awareness of Lithuanians as a Diaspora nation. This Diaspora nation is perceived as an undivided whole, as people living in Lithuania and beyond who have Lithuanian roots and share the language, culture and history with their compatriots everywhere. The academic course is heavily focused on introducing participants to the traditions, culture and history of Lithuania and exiled Lithuanians, as well as learning the Lithuanian language. The course is complemented by a cultural educational program.

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