VMU Baltic Summer University Welcomed Students from 30 Countries
In July, over a hundred students from around the world gather in Kaunas and Vilnius in order to deepen their knowledge of various fields or get acquainted with Lithuania: here, they not only attend lectures and practical seminars but also spend time with Lithuanian families, taste national dishes, sing local songs, watch Lithuanian movies, and travel around the country. These and many other activities are offered by Baltic Summer University: a project initiated by Vytautas Magnus University (VMU), recognized as one of the most international in Lithuania.
The project’s main initiative is the Lithuanian Language and Culture Course, which has been enjoying popularity for a number of years. This year the month-long course has been chosen by almost a hundred youths from over 30 countries: Italy, United Kingdom, Iran, Australia, India, Philipines, Mexico, Latvia, Ukraine, Georgia, the Netherlands, China and many others.
Every year Baltic Summer University has been welcoming increasing numbers of foreigners who wish to improve their skills and share a bond with Lithuania: some of them have Lithuanian origins, and the project gives them an opportunity to develop the relationship with their homeland. According to the organizers, in order to strengthen its global outreach, the project took on an important mission: to show the visitors from the neighbouring and faraway countries why Lithuania is beautiful and worthy of being discovered, explored, and savoured.
As usual, the courses are attended not only by those who wish to examine their Lithuanian roots but also by Erasmus+ students, foreigners who have received Lithuanian state scholarships, teachers from Lithuanian schools abroad, language enthusiasts who are not intimated by the complicated Lithuanian grammar, and many others.
During the courses, the participants study Lithuanian language, culture, and history, take tours to Trakai, Vilnius, Anykščiai, and Pažaislis Monastery, learn Lithuanian national songs and dances, watch the best Lithuanian films, work on projects dedicated to “Memory Places” in Kaunas, visit various museums, VMU Botanical Garden, Kaunas Biennial etc.
Baltic Summer University is more than just an introduction to Lithuania: it also provides a variety of specialized courses (taught in English) in which prominent professors, specialists and practicians of their respective fields share their experience. The courses include subjects such as molecular genetics and branding, both of which have been offered for the second year in a row. This is an opportunity for Lithuanian and foreign students to deepen their knowledge in a particular field while simultaneously exploring various cultures and making new friends.
A special four-week summer internship program is offered by VMU Centre for Enterprise Practice. In cutting-edge laboratories, students complete tasks provided by the university’s partners: Kaunas IN and Kaunas 2022. The participants solve real-life challenges faced by organisations, work in interdisciplinary teams, receive advice from experienced mentors, discover creative solution methods and gain business skills.
After coming to Baltic Summer University from all corners of the world, the youths spend about 2-4 weeks attending the courses in Lithuania. This year the Lithuanian Language and Culture Course takes place in two cities: on 14 July, the foreign guests gathered in Kaunas, while two weeks later participants will be welcomed in Vilnius, the VMU Education Academy.