Mentor’s programme at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) was launched back in 2003 and is coordinated by VMU International Cooperation Department.
VMU Mentor is an active student, who has sense of responsibility and has time which can be dedicated for incoming international students. Mentors help new students from abroad to adapt in the new social and cultural environment and get to know the academic community. VMU mentors usually have already studied abroad (or perhaps are planning to study in the future), have motivation, international and intercultural experience and voluntarily helps the incoming students from abroad.
Goals of VMU Mentor’s Programme
- To help international students adapt and socialize in the new academic, social and cultural environment;
- To encourage the involvement of international students into the life of VMU academic community, organized events and other activities;
- To promote students’ voluntary activities and community spirit;
- To give an opportunity for VMU students to gain additional intercultural experience, get to know different countries, learn more about the traditions and customs of the other nationalities, accept cultural differences;
- To increase VMU students interest in various exchange possibilities, encourage them to go for study exchange or traineeships abroad;
- To establish possibility for VMU students to improve their foreign language, communication and other skills as well as gain experience in organizing events and implementing projects;
- To contribute to the reintegration processes of VMU students who returned from exchange.
Student and mentor feedback about the programme
- “If your mentor is good, the first days are way easier. Also, you can become friends and it’s always nice to know someone local. The first days can be lonely and the mentor can really improve them” – Fabiola Villamor (Spain).
- “The program is so useful and helpful. It gives you a confident for the first days in a foreign country” – Doruk Adakoglu (Turkey).
- “I can have Lithuanian friends not only mentor herself but also friends of her. I can get information from my mentor even before I arrived Lithuania and it make me relax even I don’t know anything about my future life in new country cause i know where can get help” – Kwon Jeongyeon (S.Korea).
- “I love being a mentor! I truly believe that it has been a great experience and the only thing I am sad about is that my plans to go around Kaunas with bikes or go to other cities with my real or adopted mentees (together about 8 of them) and do more fun stuff. I learned not only about cultures of my mentees, but I had good practice of thinking on my feet when I met new students that would join us to little excursions around town. I also got to be empathetic and supportive for the new student not to mention I learned more about what to expect when going on an Erasmus exchange myself” – Simona Jakaitė (VMU mentor).
- “Every semester, there is a different people coming to this university and they all said the same – that they had the best time in there life while studying here in Kaunas. I am really happy that this mentoring program exist and it is pretty well ordered. Even tho I faced one thing that I guess it is not surprising, I don’t know. They see mentor as a big sister, brother, mother or father, but not as a friend, because from my experience, it is weird for them to see a local person to join there parties or gathering. It is just my opinion and experience that I felt by myself as a mentor. I guess for them is hard to understand that but I believe eventually they will see that Lithuanian can be also nice and welcoming! Thank you for this opportunity to find more friends from any part of the world! :) I was really blessed to be a part of this community and it was great journey, that sadly it is finished! I hope new International “mom” will soon appear!” – Samanta Kaupaitė (VMU mentor).