Darius Lithuanian student in Warsaw
Who are you? Briefly describe yourself (where do you come from, what do you study, etc.)
I am Darius, I come from Lithuania and I study History here at the University of Warsaw.
What has surprised you in Poland?
Well, I don't think that is solely the thing in Poland, but I was really surprised how long the winter stayed here - I was hoping to spend warm evening near Vistula already in April, but still you can see small hills of snow on the street. On the more serious note, there wasn't anything that really surprised me here in Warsaw, because I come from the neighboring country and we have a lot of things in common, so it is fair to say that I knew where I was coming. Well one thing that surprised me is how many national dishes are the same both in Poland and Lithuania - same stuff just with the different name.
How did you come up with the idea of studying in Poland?
Good question. There are many reasons behind that. First of all, as I study History, and exactly the period when my homeland country and Poland were united, it was natural to choose the other part of the so called Commonwealth. Secondly, History studies and research in Poland is quite strong, especially in such centers such as Warsaw of Krakow, therefore I thought I would also learn from this and get more experience. Thirdly, for communication and for my studies, it is essential to know Polish language - so where it is better place to study Polish, than in Poland? And the last but not the least thing - I really like here, like the country, the people, food, drinks, etc., so no regrets at all of coming here.
Do you remember the first days of studying in Poland? Describe the struggles you went through:
Well, obviously there were some difficulties, but I think it is natural. Of course the main thing is to know what classes you will be going, so for the first week I was just checking the classes that I would like to come, and only after that choosing them for the whole study period here. Then the second problematic thing, was to actually find the rooms for those classes, but with the help of the students and personal, I managed to find almost all classes at the first time. Of course there was time, when I was looking for a room to study my Russian language course, and it took so much time that I was late for like 1 hour - I decided not to come at all that time. And the strongest struggle was and already is my courses that are thought in Polish - it is a real challenge for the person, who has mainly basic skills of the Polish language, but after almost 2 months I at least see some improvement.
Tell us about the differences between studies in Poland and studies in Lithuania:
There are no major difference between my studies at home and here. But there are some strange things that I still can't understand. For example obligatory attendance in courses - I've never had this, but usually if the course was good, intelligent and challenging in my country, I would never miss it anyway. But here you are forced to do that - and as I have different view on that, it is really hard. The other strange thing is how University attaches ECTS credits - there are some courses that you go 2 times a week, study really a lot and get 2 credits for that, while there are courses that you can go 1 time a week, sign that you attend and get 7 or more credits. I really don't see the point here.
What do you like about studying in Poland?
What I definitely like is the availability of learning material - which is far better that in my home country. It makes the learning process (mostly individual) much more productive. Also it is possible to find various informal educational activities, which also are very great and useful.
Do you know any famous people from Poland?
Probably not : ), but some Polish people said that I look like one of the actors in Polish Cinema : ).
Describe the places in Poland, that have a positive influence on you:
Hmm, I think all the places that I've been here had positive impact - it's all the big cities, the small villages. In Warsaw it is Main Campus and the Library, Praga, party places, and so on and on.
Tell us about the country you've always wanted to visit, but still haven't:
Yeah, it has to be Portugal. But I will come there one day definitely - I hope it will be soon.
Are you a member of any student's club or organization? Tell us something about it:
Here no, cause I have a lot of things to do anyway, but in Lithuania yes - I was for a long time an active member of student council of our university in Vilnius, ESN member as well, participant in various associations too. I still get involved in those activities - but maybe in not such a big scale.
Would you like to come back to Poland in the future? Why?
Yeah, I liked that and I definitely will. Why? Well firstly, if you want to go anywhere to west from Lithuania you must pass Poland : ). On the more serious note - I have here long term friends, which I would be happy visiting as often as I possibly can.
If you run your own business or work anywhere, please tell us something about it (what is it, how many hours weekly do you work, etc.)
It is kind of both: I work as a company analyst, but I don't have any working hours, as I can do it anytime I want with the short thing of occasional deadlines. Also sometimes I act as an entrepreneur and compile and implement projects for the EU funding.