Why VMU: Trustworthy Lecturers and Practical Knowledge
An intern at VMU interviewed a number of international full-time students and asked them to explain the reasons for choosing studies at Vytautas Magnus University. This series of articles, “Why VMU?”, presents their thoughts.
South Korean student Jongguk Park is currently pursuing Master’s Degree in Marketing and International Commerce at VMU. Having already spent a couple of years in Lithuania, Jongguk reveals that his biggest achievement is improved English skills and the ability to speak the language without hesitation.
One Year at VMU Turned into More: Found Reasons to Settle Down
When asked how he started his Master in VMU, Jongguk remembers that at first he came to the university as an exchange student, intending to stay for just one year. “It was enough time for me to settle down here and find more reasons to continue studying here”, the student explains. He also had his own reasoning for choosing Lithuania as a place for the studies: desire for something more unique. “Lithuania drew my attention since most of candidates applied for well-known or big countries such as Germany, U.S. or Canada. I wasn’t buying that”. Additional factors were the country size, which was smaller than the aforementioned big countries yet bigger than Jongguk’s native South Korea, and relatively low cost of living.
The exchange experience helped Jongguk make up his mind about his future plans for studies: he says he was surrounded by trustworthy professors and had access to reliable, qualified academic knowledge. “I no longer had to worry about deciding where to apply for Master’s degree”, Jongguk explains, adding that he believes one year is not enough to fully understand the culture and he intends to spend even more time in Lithuania.
Student Life in Kaunas and VMU
How do VMU international students spend their free time in Kaunas? What kind of activities are they interested in?
Usually, from what I have noticed, they like to join various communities according to their hobbies and interests. Some of them participate in language exchange projects, others organize something unique in the VMU international dormitory, such as tea parties. What everyone loves for sure is one of the most popular pubs in Kaunas, Džempub, and karaoke nights with songs and dances, music of different genres hosted each Tuesday.
What kind of additional activities does the university organize for international students of VMU?’
There is quite a large number of them: from trips and parties to social activities such as visits to animal shelters. Those are mostly organised by ESN VMU (Erasmus Student Network at Vytautas Magnus University).
How are international students received by the professors at VMU?
I never felt any kind of discrimination or unfairness towards international students. I would describe the student-professor relationship as very positive. Most of my lectures are related to marketing and the materials provided by the professors are based on practical experiences and things that are actually happening daily in the world of economics. That’s how the professors draw my attention, by presenting practical cases, not relying only on theory.
Would you recommend studies at VMU, Kaunas to your friends or anyone who is interested in studying here?
I have already recommended it and, as a result, two Korean students from my university have already come here thanks to my feedback. Also, next week a friend of mine is coming from where I used to live. Am I already qualified to be an Honorary Ambassador or something like that?..
International Experience is Not Enough: Personal Effort is What Matters
After gaining personal experience as an international student in Kaunas, VMU, Jongguk says that the international studies themselves will not bring a huge impression if the student does not work on his own deeper understanding of things. “Frankly speaking, becoming open minded for all the foreigners, different cultures and traditions might take a lot of time, but in the end, with effort, it brings us open-mindedness”, the Korean student says.
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