Academic year 2010-2011

EVENTS IN ERASMUS STUDENT LIFE, SPRING 2011

TRIP TO THE OPEN AIR MUSEUM OF LITHUANIA IN RUMŠIŠKĖS

On the 6 th of March, 2011 International Exchange Unit together with ESN MRU Vilnius organized a trip to the Open Air museum of Lithuania in Rumšiškės for exchange students to participate in the celebration of Užgavėnės.

Elena Česnaitė (student-mentor) wrote a short article about the trip:

"Lithuania was the last country in Europe, which accepted Christianity in the year of 1387. So, we were the last pagans and we still have some celebrations and traditions left from that time. One of the biggest and well - known is Užgavėnės.

Užgavėnės generally is being celebrated at the end of February or at the beginning of March. It is the day, when people expel winter out of their yards using songs, dances, games, imitating fighting and, in the conclusion, putting Morė into the fire. Morė is the big doll, or a statue, made of paper, clothes or other material, which can be burned. This doll symbolizes winter and putting it into a fire is the conclusion of this celebration, which means that this cold period will leave us soon. But Morė is not the only attribute of this celebration. Also, Užgavėnės can’t be celebrated without scary masks, which were believed to scare winter off.

As all Erasmus students were expecting winter to leave soon, we suggested going to see and celebrate Užgavėnės at the Open Air Museum of Lithuania in Rumšiškės, were this celebration is being held for 30 years. So, at the day of the 6th of March, a group of Erasmus students with few mentors, left to celebrate this occasion. It was a great opportunity for foreign students to try some ancient Lithuanian games, meals and to expel winter by their own. Some students tried horse riding and other games, while others were more keen on trying meals or buying some souvenirs at the fair. After these activities, we all came together to have some tea and warm up.

The time spent there flew fast, but I believe, we managed to expel winter and the spring will come soon".

INTERNATIONAL DINNER

February the 11th, 2011 International Exchange Unit with the help of ESN MRU Vilnius organized the event “International Dinner” at the canteen of Mykolas Romeris University. During the event all incoming exchange students, student mentors, guests and the representatives of the University could enjoy traditional meals and sweats of different countires from all over the world. It was an opportunity to try Lithuanian meals, like “cepelinai” (Zeppelin), “kugelis” (Potatoes cake), ham, cheese, “skruzdėlynas” (Ant cake) also.

The culmination of the evening became the performance of the Folk Dancing Group "Skalsa" of Mykolas Romeris University. All participants of the event had a possibility to see traditional Lithuanian dances, to hear the traditional music and songs. The guests of the evening were involved to the dances also.

Imantė Šakalytė (student-mentor) expressed her impressions about this event:

"International Dinner, which was held on February 11th, is something special at Mykolas Romeris university. Allowing students of different nationalities to share a bit of their culture, International Dinner is always a huge hit with the student body and faculty. This event took place in the canteen of MRU. Countries from almost every continent are represented, and include Nigeria, Germany, Ghana and other 17 countries. Traditional, well-known meals are served alongside many exotic dishes that tease the eye with their unfamiliar looks and unusual names.

For Mykolas Romeris university, International Dinner is something that will always be a part of its traditions. International dinner is a traditional way to represent different country through its cuisine. Lithuania as a host country was presented by MRU university who prepared traditional Lithuanian food. The evening is usually accompanied by different activities: country dancing and folklore singers. All Erasmus students had an opportunity to learn a few traditional country dances. This program gives students the great opportunity to experience various cultures in an informal setting. It is also a chance for students to enjoy some homecooking and having good time".

International Exchange Unit

INTRODUCTORY WEEK

The last week of January has finally come and the new foreigners have arrived in Lithuania in order to become the exchange students in Mykolas Romeris University.

The arrival day turned out to be quite freezing, but nevertheless, the weather didn’t scare the freshmen away. Both Tuesday and Wednesday were the days when they got acquainted with the university, its rules and officials. Lots of students were amazed by the modernity of our university, its classrooms, services and cozy atmosphere. On Thursday they have started exploring Vilnius as the city excursion with guide has been organized by the university. It appeared to be quite interesting as the tour gave them the basic information about the country where they will spend 5 months of their life. It is essential to mention that the vast array of students was surprised by our beautiful architecture, especially by the big amount of churches and by the variety of styles concentrated in rather small area of the Old Town. The history lesson has continued on Friday on the trip to Trakai, the ex-capital of Lithuania. It seemed to be a small journey to the past as the atmosphere of the medieval castle in the middle of the lake made us feel the story of this place. In addition, the students got an opportunity to taste the national Karaim food, ‘kibinai’, in a small café on the bank of the lake. However, it wasn’t the only trip as the introduction week culmination took place on Saturday. Firstly, Erasmus students together with some mentors visited the Grūtas Park, where you can see the soviet heritage left from the times when Lithuania was part of the USSR. It turned out to be an interesting attraction, especially for students from Western Europe. Secondly as well as eventually, we got to Druskininkai on Saturday evening in order to celebrate the end of the introduction week as well as to know each other closer. The students were asked to prepare the presentations of their countries and I should admit that they were pretty successful in fulfilling this task. We have seen the national dances of France, Italy, found out a lot of interesting facts about Slovakia, Check Republic, and Germany and simply got a spiritual contentment from the process of communication with each other.

To sum up, it turned out to be a nice beginning of exchange students’ life in our country.

Olga Nesterovič, Erasmus students mentor


EVENTS IN ERASMUS STUDENT LIFE, AUTUMN 2010

ERASMUS GOT TALENT

Erasmus Got talent is a nice tradition, cause this event is organizing every year by ESN MRU Vilnius and University’s Directorate for International Relations and Studies. This year wasn‘t an exception. The evening on the 12th of November was really spacial. EGT show rally a lot of erasmus students from all over the world as well as the comunity from Mykolas Romeris university.

EGT is a worderful opportunity for erasmus students to show their talents. The variety of talents was incredible. Erasmus students, were singing different songs - traditional songs or songs created by their own, dancing salsa and other dances, playing piano, showing their videos – fire show, picture collections. Erasmus talents were valued by three commitee members - Justin Timberlake, Shaggy and Paris Hilton. Audience had very important role as well, because audience reactions is like reflection of talents performance. Moreover, audience voted for their favourite talent. To make the atmosphere warmer and in order to encourage Erasmus talents mentors were singing international ESN hymn – „On our way“, which is famous all over the world. All students had lyrics and were able to sing together. Also during the event mentors were dancing a dance for Erasmus students and guests. There were established six nominations – multi-talent, the best group performance, funny legs, nightingale, the most original and audience favourite, so at the end of the event six students were nominated and got traditional Lithuaniamn cookies. Everyone got honourable mentions. Next step for the five best talents is attending Vilnius talent show, where all Erasmus students from the whole Vilnius will show their talents.

EGT was very successful and gorgeous, the atmosphere was warm, the mood was amazing and great, all talents and commetee were awesome and audience was very supportive.

Here are some opinions of Erasmus about the event:

„I didn‘t expect that this event can be so interesting and so crowded. Talents were absolutelly amazing, I liked it so much“.

„The commetee was so funny and they were playing their roles very well. I had funny and great time there. The event was really cool“.

Ugnė Arlauskaitė, Erasmus students mentor

CITY QUIZ

Sunny day, perfect mood, curiosity about Vilnius and desire for new adventures – the main reasons why on the 19th of September so many MRU Erasmus students participated in City Quiz game organized by ESN MRU Vilnius and University’s Directorate for International Relations and Studies.
For a wonder, all Erasmus students were really active and wanted to have as much entertainment as they can, despite the fact that most of tasks were difficult, but at the same moment unforgettable. Students were divided into eight different groups to know better each other and of course to show how good they are at the coordination of the capital. Everybody had to find eight the most important and visitable places in the heart of Vilnius, the Old Town: The love bridge to other republic called Uzupis, Castle street of musicians, hill of Three Crosses, the main squares, Green bridge, etc.

Finding the places was the easiest part of the tasks: Erasmus students had not only to discover these objects, but also to be inventive, ingenious, creative, courage and to crowd together as a team. For instance, they had to take photos with different appearance people who just passed by, to collect 2,22 litas in the Castle street by playing with special equipment, singing, dancing, acting or even hugging people around, to create a poem about Lithuania or just to answer for various questions related to our traditions. For our surprise, everybody could feel rising spirit of the team, they tried to do the best performing tasks and to win a victory. Finally, teams which finished the first, which were most creative and brave were awarded with special presents from University.

Here are some opinions of Erasmus about the event:

“City quiz was a great opportunity to see Vilnius with all its beauties in a funny, entertaining way. But finally, it was not the city that was most important- it was the tasks, friends and the general Erasmus and competition spirit!” said Tomas

“It was really fun! We discovered the whole downtown through the funny tasks. Especially the acting on the street and on the Green Bridge were funny.” explained Tamas

“The city quiz was a cool event, well organized. Our mentors have a very good imagination to torture us with some strange tasks. I hope the next time they will run with us through all the city!” told Marion

Gytautė Šereikytė, Erasmus students mentor

INTERNATIONAL DINNER

Why September the 10th is a special day? If you are Erasmus student at Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) or at least if you take part in ESN activities as a mentor, you will not forget this lovely Friday evening for sure. On Friday evening MRU canteen was full of nice and exotic smell. Erasmus students were gathering with pots and pans full of traditional meals and sweats.

International Dinner is a very successful and magnetizing event which is organized by MRU ESN members. During the evening Erasmus students share their traditional dishes and have a great opportunity to try Lithuanian meals, like ‘cepelinai’ (Zeppelin), ‘kugelis’ (Potatoes cake), ham, cheese, ‘skruzdėlynas ‘ (Ant cake) and other. But participants were not just eating. To create cosy evening helped Folk Dancing Group ‘Skalsa’. Dancers showed spectacular performance and taught Erasmus students some traditional Lithuanian dances. At the very end mentors together with international guests played national games.

The best what international dinner gives is cooperation, team-work and culture exchange. That is what Erasmus is all about. Sharing and exchanging meals, thoughts, experiences with new friends who you will never forget.



INTRODUCTORY WEEK


Frightening feeling of being in totally new place, new country, unknown environment and, for sure, friendly tutors around – the first impression which made new exchange students feel relaxed, comfortable, not scared or confused.
For the last ten years there are more and more new foreign students who arrive under the Erasmus exchange program and bilateral agreements for studying at Mykolas Romeris University. As always, they are embarrassed and need a help from University. For this reason, through the last days of August International Relations Office together with support of ESN MRU Vilnius have already organized Introductory week, during which students could familiarize with the University, Vilnius, Lithuania, also meet with academic community and, of course, get to know more about each other and the main characters of students’ life in Lithuania.
Usually, introductory week we can call as orientational guide for those who have never heard anything about the place they came in. To begin with, they had a possibility to visit the Old Town of Vilnius on a purpose to see and to know about the most famous, historical and beautiful places. Furthermore, during this short period new students from abroad were able to participate in cultural and cognitive program in Trakai and Druskininkai, where they spent more than three days both. These two excursions with lots of activities were traditional events for exchange students. The main idea of these trips were to invite international students to present their countries’ traditions, most important and interesting event and facts. During cozy evenings students not only showed their countries’ presentations, but also tried to catch Lithuanian spirit, enjoyed delicious food, moreover, they were involved in entertaining evening program with karaoke songs, traditional Lithuanian dances and games. Everybody lovely shared information about their life abroad and how they felt in a new place. After a long week of actions students could choose how to finish their last day: just to relax in Druskininkai Aqua Park with all water procedures, to choose an opportunity to go to One.lt Entertainment Park for extreme climbing, or to do both things. On our surprise, most of students tried everything we offered.
As one girl of international students told “I am really happy of being Erasmus here, in Lithuania. During all this week I experienced more than through all the year in my native country”. This Introductory week was really useful and necessary for everybody, for our gladness, new generation of the autumn semester is open for new minds, impressions and experience and want to get to know about Lithuania and its’ people as much as they can.