International Students

2020-02-22 00:00:01

German Student Grew to Love Pink Beet Soup & Learned to Make It

German Law student Matthias Knoll from Stuttgart knew very little about Lithuania before coming. The 22-year-old exchange student from Groningen University in the Netherlands spent an exchange semester at Mykolas Romeris University.

He learned to love Lithuania's black bread with garlic and the famous pink beet soup. In fact, he liked ths soup so much he learned to make it, he told Lietuvos Rytas in an interview published Feb. 19th, 2020.

Knoll noticed that students are in general less political.than his counterparts in Germany. He said politics is seen as corrupt and problematic, which is why many young people would rather leave than improve their country. Also, he disliked immensely Lithuania's gloomy weather.

- Why did you decide to come to an unknown city like Vilnius?

- I study European and International Law at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in English. I choose to come to Vilnius to study at Mykolas Romeris University because I thought it would be interesting. MRU was the only option for me in Vilnius. As a post-Soviet country that is still struggling with adaption to the new socio-economic and political environment of the EU/West, it is very different environment for me than that in Germany.

- What kind of differences did you notice in Lithuania?

-Lithuanian people have a colder approach to interaction when meeting others or among themselves. There is no fake enthusiasm, no unnecessary gestures, laughter and words, when speaking with strangers. In general, intereaction is at a minimum when they are not with friends or at parties. Society is more conservative here. Sexuality is almost a non-topic. Cannabis is heavily penalised. Gender roles are more traditional. Most young people want to marry earlier in Lithuania than in Germany.

– What do you think of Lithuanian foods? Did you try the pink beet soup?

- I loved the pink soup and the fried bread with garlic. I learned how to make the pink soup and fried bread with garlic. The cepelinai were ok, but it it was not so remarkable. The beer was great.

- What did you most like or enjoy in Vilnius?

- The beautiful green Vingio Park. Kablys and Loftas for parties and the climbing gyms.

- What did you most dislike in Vilnius?

- The gloomy weather.

- What will you do after you complete law studies and graduate?

- When I get my diploma, I would like to acquire more practical skills in the world and possibly work in another area, not necessarily law. I would like to work in an area that is related to climate change or human rights.