Lithuania (or Lietuva) is a country in Northern Europe. It is the largest country of the three Baltic states located along the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea.
The name of Lithuania was first mentioned in the written account back in 1009. In the Middle Ages, Lithuania had already had its state: the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. By 15th century the Grand Duchy of Lithuania reached the peak of its power, with its territory stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea. At the end of the 18th century the Constitution was adopted, which makes it the first constitution in Europe (even preceding the French Constitution), and the second in the world.
Throughout its history Lithuania has developed a unique culture, which encompasses both – deep respect for traditions and robust desire to innovate.
Lithuanians are one of the ethnic groups in the Baltic region. Seemingly a bit cold at first, Lithuanians are hospitable and welcoming once you get to know them. They, also, tend to express their passion for basketball loudly and proudly.
While Lithuania has a population of about 3 million people, there are at least another million living in other countries – USA, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, etc.
Lithuanian language is one of the oldest languages in the world. It is one of two presently living Baltic languages, which retains archaic features otherwise found only in ancient languages such as Sanskrit.
Some might say that it is a difficult language to learn because of some aspects of its grammar and phonology, but you can try yourself!
Every country has its own customs and practices, some of which travel guides can’t teach you. Lithuania is no exception. So, if you don’t want to feel left out, here are a few useful tips:
When on a date, bring an odd number of flowers. An even number is only suitable for funerals!
• When travelling by bus – always mark your ticket! The conductors are not always forgiving.
• If you receive good service – leave tips! The usual practice is to give at least 10% of the total.
• Always be on time! Lithuanians tend to value each other’s time and punctuality is encouraged.
• Don’t consume alcohol in parks, squares and other public places. It is prohibited by law!
• Don’t litter in public places. You will get fined!
• Don’t kiss a person when greeting them if you do not know them well. It is more common to shake hands in Lithuania first.
• Don’t get into a waiting taxi. If you call it by phone or online app, it will take you to your destination at a much lower rate.
Lithuania has a long-standing tradition of higher education and offers a warm environment for foreigners. A wide variety of Lithuanian universities offer more than 500 study programmers, taught in English, that foreign students could choose from. Students can choose to study full-time or part-time. Several universities offer spring intake.
Higher education degrees are offered in three cycles:
Lithuanian Higher Education system has a lot to offer, but a large number of universities could be quite overwhelming for a potential student to choose from.
So how can you identify the strongest institutions? QS World University Rankings is here to help!
According to the latest data, four Lithuanian universities were included among the top universities in the world:
• Vilnius University : =458 place
• Vilnius Gediminas Technical University : 591–600 place
• Kaunas University of Technology : 751–800 place
• Vytautas Magnus University : 801–1000 place
Also, the following eight Lithuanian universities were included among the top universities from the emerging Europe and central Asia:
• Vilnius University : =18 place
• Vilnius Gediminas Technical University : 32 place
• Kaunas University of Technology : 53 place
• Vytautas Magnus University : 61 place
• Lithuanian University of Health Sciences : 115 place
• Klaipeda University : 116 place
• Mykolas Romeris University : =142 place
• Šiauliai University : 301-350 place
Each study programme is evaluated according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), with each year of study being awarded 60 ECTS credits.
During the first cycle, you can choose to study for a Bachelor’s degree and/or a professional qualification for which you will need to have obtained 180 – 240 ECTS. When you successfully complete the course, with or without a professional qualification you receive a Bachelor’s Diploma. If you only want to study for the professional qualification, then you will receive a Higher Educational Diploma.
If you are at the second cycle stage (or aim to be there) and you want to study for a Master’s degree and/or a specialised professional qualification one of the options open to you is the Integrated study programmes. These programmes combine university studies of the first and second cycles. The successful graduates are awarded a Master’s Diploma which testifies to their Master’s degree status. You can also attain a professional qualification. If you are studying for the Master’s Diploma (which is only offered at universities) you have to obtain 90 – 120 ECTS credits.
In the third cycle, students study for a postgraduate (PhD) qualification. This could be for a Doctorate, a Residency (for example, those studying medicine or veterinary science) or a postgraduate qualification in the Arts. Postgraduate studies are offered by a university or a university and science institution collectively. The duration of the different postgraduate studies is determined by the Government.
The most important opinions are the ones of international students themselves.
Here’s what some of them had to say!
Moving to another country is not easy, especially if the country is culturally different from your own.
Here you can learn the nuances of living in Lithuania.
According to the “Lonely Planet“, a large travel guide book publisher, Lithuania is “a land of crumbling castles, soaring dunes, enchanting forests and magical lakes”. Yes, Lithuania is all that and much more! From the Curonian Spit to the Hill of Crosses, to the Old Town of Vilnius (a UNESCO heritage site) – the country is full of surprises wherever you turn your eye.
Most universities offer the opportunity of living on campus. Some of the dormitories are situated near the universities, others – further away, so you will have to use public transport to get to the university. Most dormitories have been renovated and equipped with modern appliances and internet access.
What should you expect from living on campus?
• Most likely you will have to share a room with one or two other students.
• One shower/bath is intended for two or more rooms.
• You will be provided with the necessary furniture in the room – bed, wardrobe, table and chairs.
• There may be internet access in each room, however this is not included into the price.
• You will be able to make breakfast, lunch and dinner in a common kitchen area with other students. There is usually an equipped kitchen on each floor.
• Guests are not permitted to sleep in the dormitories. When entering the premises, they will have to submit ID and register in the guest book.
• The residents of the halls must keep noise to a minimum during particular hours (usually from 11pm to 6am).
• Consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or psychoactive drugs is prohibited by law. Smoking is allowed in specified areas only.
Please inquire your selected university about the conditions of your accommodation, applications for a room in a hall, prices and rules prior to your arrival.
Shared accommodation doesn’t have to be the only option. If you prefer to live alone or more comfortably, here are a few choices you might consider:
• Solo Society
Lithuanian cities have well-developed systems of public transportation. There is a choice of buses, trolleybuses (in the largest cities of the country), and minibuses. Students are offered large discounts on public transportation tickets (daily, monthly and yearly) and are encouraged to use it.
Information on routes and schedules (available in English for all major cities) is available on “TRAFI” website and mobile app.
Taxi cab services is a fast, comfortable and relatively inexpensive way to travel around the city. However, in Lithuania it is not a common practice to stop taxis in the streets. It is always better (and cheaper!) to use popular mobile apps, such as “Bolt“, “Uber” and “e-Transport“, or rent a car via “CityBee” and “Spark”.
Rentable scooters and bikes are currently also a popular choice of transportation!
If you would like to visit your friends in other parts of Lithuania or have a desire to see more of what Lithuania has to offer – simply hop onto an intercity bus or train.
Don’t forget to use your student discount when purchasing tickets!
Students in Lithuania receive discounts in various places from restaurants to museums, from public transportation to certain shops.
In order to use ALL discounts, you will need to have:
• Lithuanian Student Identity Card (LSIC);
• International Student Identity Card (ISIC).
LSIC is issued and administered by the Lithuanian National Union of Students (LSS) and is valid in Lithuania only. The card is mandatory for ALL students in Lithuania, including students of student exchange programmes. ISIC is an international student identity card. It is not mandatory, but it is recognized all around the world and it is a must if you plan to travel abroad.
If you want to access as many student discounts as possible, we would recommend you to have BOTH.
If you are a citizen of one of the Member States of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and have a European Health Insurance Card, you are guaranteed state health care services in the case of an accident. You need to be aware that the card does not cover the expenses of health care services provided by the private sector.
If you are a citizen of a country outside the European Union, you must contact one of the insurance companies on Lithuanian Insurers Association (LDA) list. In order to study in Lithuania you must have a valid health insurance covering the duration of your stay.
In case of an accident or real threat to your health or property, immediately call the Emergency Call Number 112.
EURO (€) is the national currency of Lithuania.
Banking cards such as Mastercard, Visa, and American Express are accepted in most shops and places of service. Also you can easily exchange foreign currency at banks, bureaux de change, airports, and railway stations. The Bank of Lithuania acts as the central monetary authority in Lithuania. Currently, six commercial banks hold a license from the Bank of Lithuania and operate in the country:
• Šiaulių Bankas
• Medicinos Bankas
You can easily open an account at one of the banks by visiting their branches.
There are three major providers of Mobile services in Lithuania:
• Tele 2
You can buy a prepaid SIM card of either one of the three providers at every news stand. Each of the three providers offers different rates and terms, so you will be able to choose the one which suits your needs the best.
There is free access to wireless internet in most public places – libraries, parks and squares. The majority of cafés, bars and restaurants also provide free wireless internet. Just ask the staff for the password.
Are you a foreign student in Lithuania eager to find a perfect job?
students.workinlithuania.lt will help you to kickstart your career here!
This foreign student-specific website features student job postings (internships and junior positions included), latest migration information, other job offers and the latest relevant news.
The website was launched by “Study in LT” partners “Work in Lithuania” – the initiative which encourages professionals living abroad to build their careers in Lithuania and helps international companies meet their potential employees.
International students have a possibility to stay in the country for 15 months afterwards to look for a job:
• During the last year of studying apply for a temporary residence permit renewal for 3 additional months from the day when studies are finished.
• After graduating, you also have the possibility to apply for a temporary residence permit for 12 months for job search and self-employment purposes.
Starting your higher education career in a foreign country can be quite stressful, so we have prepared a tool, which will help you to feel at home quicker.
“Study In LT” international student‘s survival guide is an interactive mobile application, designed to help international students get accustomed to living in Lithuania.
Inside this application you will find:
You can download “Study In LT” international student‘s survival guide to your smartphone using the following links and/or QR codes: