VMU Introductory Week for International Students
As a way to kick off their studies at VMU, all international students were invited to attend the events of a special introductory week, which offered an informative yet fun first look at the university and the city from 27 August to 2 September.
Traditionally, the new school year at VMU is met with an impressive run of events ranging from important and educational to wildly entertaining and fun. This year an exclusive programme for the international students was prepared by the VMU International Office in collaboration with ESN VMU and mentors.
International students were able to get acquainted with the university’s various locations, enjoy the tourist atrractions in Kaunas and participate in a fun orienteering game. Representatives of the Faculty of Humanities and the Institute of Foreign Languages told the students all about the multitude of languages they can learn here, including Lithuanian, Spanish, Turkish, Korean and many more.
Foreign scholars and students also shared some insights about the university and its liberal study system. Prof. Charles Szymanski, the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Law, spoke about his experience of working at VMU. Second-year Master’s degree student Gabrielle Kempton (USA) provided her impressions as well.
Lithuanian history professor Rūstis Kamuntavičius offered an in-depth introduction of Lithuania and its people. Prof. Kamuntavičius’ fields of interest include historical relations between Lithuania and Western European countries (16th to 19th century) and Central and Eastern European history, culture and politics.
The incoming students also attended the events for the entire community of VMU. On 28 August, a film viewing of Swedish drama Sebbe (with English subtitles) was held at the Dept. of Modern Arts (Vytauto pr. 71, Room 101). The film is a coming-of-age story about a 15 year old boy who lives with his mother and grapples with poverty and bullying. Critics complimented its arresting emotional tension, which balances between sentimentality and manic aggression. Sebbe received the Best Debut Film award at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2010. The film viewing was sponsored by the Kaunas International Film Festival.
Those who prefer a more rocking celebration had their fun in the VMU Introduction Party at one of the hottest local clubs, Gargaras (Raudondvario pl. 101), on 30 August. The featured guests included renowned Lithuanian band Saulės Kliošas, freestylers Jama & W, electronica artist Andy Lau, nudisco DJ duo Martin & McFly and Jonas Deep. The entrance was free of charge for VMU students. Night trolleybuses ensured that students got home safely after the party.
Finally, the international students also enjoyed the festivities on 1 September at 1.30 p.m. near the Vytautas Magnus monument (Laisvės al. 96). There, the university was congratulated by representatives of Kaunas Municipality and a photo of the celebrating crowd was taken from the roof the municipality’s building.
This was followed by the traditional procession of all participants and the wind orchestra Ąžuolynas from the monument to the Vienybės Square, where the beginning of the new school year was marked at 2 p.m. The first-year students solemnly swore to be faithful to the university, listened to the congratulations by VMU Rector and the guests and tasted the huge festive VMU cake.
More information about the events of the introductory week at VMU is provided by the VMU International Office.