News and Events

2018-12-17 00:00:01

Slovak Erasmus Trainee Iva: Great to Meet People @ MRU & Live in Green Vilnius

slovakijaturkija-2790 Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) Erasmus trainee Iva Remkova from Slovakia loves not only living in Vilnius, but also working in the International Office where she meets interesting professors from abroad. She said the MRU International Office team led by Audra Dargytė-Burokienė is great.

"It's different for me to live in a capital city," said the Slovak native from Trstena, a small town about 100-km east of Žilina.

The ever-smiling Iva said the only problem is that middle-aged and older Lithuanians, upon hearing that she is from Slovakia, begin to speak to her in Russian. "I don't speak Russian," said the Erasmus trainee, but her English is impeccable. Almost daily she gets questioned about why she doesn't speak Russian.

There was one professor from Kazakhstan on campus, who was surprised that I don't speak Russian.

There is also surprise by Slovaks in her native country, when she announced she was leaving for Vilnius. When I told people that I was going to Lithuania, they asked why I would want to go there?

But for youth and especially students "it's better to go to Eastern Europe to study because it's cheap," she said and Vilnius is a great city.

"I love Mykolas Romeris University because here I met many wonderful colleagues and got to meet many new people. I love working with Audra Dargytė-Burokienė and International Office Senior Manager for Incoming Students Inesa Cvetkova, she said.

In addition, she said it is interesting to be able to meet professors and academics from Bulgaria, Malaysia and other countries who lecture at MRU.

Remkova said she finds some similarities to Slovakia here including the weather and mentality of people.

She has never lived in a capital city such as Vilnius before and said she likes to be able to go to the city centre and walk around, find some nice bookshops. She hails from a small town in Slovakia, which she described as boring, but with great nature.

Remkova said she also marvels at how green Vilnius truly is. By far it is the greenest city and  you have lots of forests everywhere, she said. Already she has managed to visit not only Milan, Venice, Verona Paris, Berlin, but also Warsaw and Riga as well as Prague.

But, she said in Slovakia students travel free on trains within the country. "Yes, I think it should be everywhere. That is awesome. It allows young people to start to explore and see Slovakia."

Remkova plans to spend Christmas in Vilnius with friends. She looks forward to the traditional Lithuanian Christmas Eve dinner, Kūčios, celebrated Dec. 24th.

"I'm so happy to be here," said Remkova. "I will remember the time at Mykolas Romeris University more than Vilnius. I will miss Vilnius, but I will miss MRU so much more," said the English and American studies major who has a Bachelor's Degree from Slovakia's Catholic University in Ružemberok.

Her traineeship ends in mid-February when she must return to Slovakia and decide whether to pursue a Master's or get a job.

Photos: Vidūnas Gelumbauskas