Mykolas Romeris University exchange student Sergey An from Uzbekistan said he never went to the library in his home town of Tashkent. Upon arriving at MRU on February 22nd for an exchange semester his habits changed. He started becoming a regular at MRU’s Library and was surprised by the number of books in English as well as Russian. “At my University, Tashkent Financial University, students don’t go to the library because there are not many books on needed subjects and it lacks the right books,” said the 21-year-old Finance major. He agreed to answer a few questions about studies at MRU and his experiences in Vilnius, where he recently visited the St. Casimir’s Fair.
-Why did you come to MRU?
At my University – Tashkent Financial Univesity we have different types of exchange programmes. I have already been to Italy to undertake an exchange semester at Sapienza University in Rome. I chose Lithuania for my exchange semester because it is something new. The culture and the country are different and it is something interesting for me.
-What did you know about Lithuania before coming here?
Almost nothing. I knew that Vilnius is the capital and that it is very cold here.
-You are very curious about Vilnius, its history, culture, cuisine and even birds native to this part of the world. What differences have you noticed between Tashkent and Vilnius?
I find that Vilnius is a very European city. Sometimes, for example, the architecture is a mix of European and post-Soviet buildings. But overall, I feel that I am in a European city. I feel that it’s Europe.
-Why do you say that you feel that you are in Europe?
First of all, the behavior of people differs from my country. People in Lithuania, even the students, don’t break the rules. At a crosswalk, they wait for a green light before crossing the street. They don’t cross, if the light is red. Like I said, people don’t break the rules. Also, I have found that the locals in Vilnius are very friendly and always willing to help.
Well, I am surprised at the price of food and groceries. It’s a little bit expensive here in Vilnius compared to the average salary of people. The cost of food, as I said, is expensive.
-You visited Vilnius’ St. Casimir’s Fair (Kaziuko mugė) the first weekend in March. What were your impressions?
I very much enjoyed the fair. As I mentioned, I have spent a semester studying in Rome and had the opportunity last year to travel to Venice. The St. Casimir’s Fair, especially the procession with the huge statue of the saint and then the singers and people dressed in local costumes seemed similar to the Venice Carnival. I was not in Venice during Mardi Gras carnival, but saw some pictures on the Internet. When I saw the procession Friday at the start of the Fair, it reminded me of Venice. I understand that this St. Casimir’s Fair has been continuing every year for more than 400 years.
-What do you plan to do after you complete your Bachelor’s Degree studies in Tashkent?
I plan to apply to study in a Master’s Degree programme in Sapienza University in Rome. I would like to study Economics, Finance and Brand marketing.