International Students

2019-06-26 00:00:02

Polyglot Student From France: Be Thankful for All You Have

imgp9056 History buff, polyglot student Fabien Peris, 31, from France had "no expectations" before coming to Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) Vilnius to undertake an internship at the Communication Institute.

"What is happening for the first month I'm here is a lot of good surprises," said the La Rochelle University Master's Degree student.

Although Lithuania's work culture differs from France's, the student said he is learning lots and his knowledge of Russian helps him get around Vilnius and while shopping.

"I had some problems in fitting in with the Lithuanian working culture," said the ever-smiling student. "I found it more difficult to adapt to the local culture here than in Malaysia - especially the working culture and strict deadlines," he said. "It was a big shock," he added.

Peris, who has Spanish roots, said people were more "easy-going" in Malaysia and this "fits in with my Spanish background. We don't pay attention to the protocol questions as much."

He said that it's completely different in Lithuania. "You have got tasks to do and you have to do it properly. It was a big, big cultural shock. I'm realising it's for the better. I'm learning a lot," said the student, who speaks English, Spanish and some Portuguese and Russian. He has also studied Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and Malay languages.

Asked why he came to MRU and Vilnius, Peris said he was always "fascinated by Russia and Eastern Europe. It makes sense to me to study Russian. I like history. I used to be in a multicultural family," he said referring to his Father - a Spaniard and mother - from France.

He said overall he feels "less pressure" living in Lithuania and "it's easier" to live here than in France. He said he is delighted that many cafes, bars and eateries are open 24/7 in Vilnius, unlike his native France where they can close at 2 a.m. or earlier.

When not helping  with tasks at the Communication Institute or aiding Turkish students at MRU adapt to University life, he is working on his Master's thesis, "The Visibility and the Limits of Australian Soft Power in the Malay World and Melanesia."

"It's cool" to welcome Turkish students to MRU, he said. "I do like humans and interactions," he added.

Peris is undertaking a 3-month internship and will be helping out at the July 1-7th MRU International Erasmus Staff Training Week.

He had praise for Communication Institute Vice-Dean Assoc. Prof. Gintarė Žemaitaitienė, who has been supervising his work. "The way she is supervising helps me to change," Peris said. "That's real interesting.

Already Peris said he has learned to be grateful for all that he has. "Life taught me that what we have, life can take away from us, so we must be grateful."

"You know what you have a lot of people will be craving for it. And, it's all related to education. When you are educated, you can have a proper job," he said.