“I was impressed by the Lithuanian national pride. The decorated and illuminated city centre on the two independence days was really enjoyable”, says Erik Schake from Trier, Germany. He chose Kaunas University of Technology to study Master’s in Informatics as the programme focuses on Artificial Intelligence.
Erik, being an EU citizen, studies at KTU in a state-funded place. State funding is available to all the citizens of the European Union and all the prospective students of Lithuanian descent. It is just a question of your entrance score – the higher the better.
The latter aspect was not a problem to Erik – he is not only an avid learner but is overall passionate about knowledge: to get to know Lithuania better, he watched documentaries and followed our news in English. Although he entered KTU in the heat of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Erik chose to come here. After spending half a year in Kaunas, he is now at home looking forward to returning to normal study life.
“I hope to return to Lithuania this fall and enjoy at least one almost normal year in Kaunas, getting to know people – internationals and locals – and travelling through the Baltics and further to the north”, says Erik.
How did you choose to study at Kaunas University of Technology? What was the main motivating factor?
For my first degree, I studied Business Information Systems at the University of Trier, which I graduated with the degree of BSc. I looked for opportunities to study abroad in Europe with a focus on Artificial Intelligence. KTU was one of the options I found and which I ultimately selected. I chose it due to its focus on practical methods and the application of Artificial Intelligence technologies.
Did you travel to Kaunas, or were studying mainly remotely?
I stayed in Kaunas between October and March and only recently returned home as no imminent improvement is in sight. In the beginning, I stayed in a dorm where I got to know a few people (mainly Erasmus students who left after the first semester). I then moved to a private flat in Kaunas.
Everything I knew about KTU was taken from its website and social media accounts. It seemed to be quite organised and also caring about new incoming students. I knew a lot less about Kaunas and Lithuania in general. I used the time in self-isolation to watch documentaries and read articles and commentaries. I also started to follow Lithuanian news in English.
Given the necessary restrictions at the time, I bought a camera and started to explore the beautiful country of Lithuania as far as it was possible.
What surprised you most?
I was and still am delighted with the Lithuanian national pride. On several occasions (mainly on the two independence days), I enjoyed the decorated and illuminated city centre.
What do you appreciate most in your studies?
I do like that there is only a small group of students in my study subject and year. This makes it easier in this situation to at least know some people and keep in contact. Also, I do like that lectures are recorded so that they can be (re-)watched to your liking. Participation in ECIU classes is also great.
However, although I like that the classes focus on practical applications, I would still like to see more details in the theoretical parts. Laboratory works and examinations could be more challenging too.
For learning the Lithuanian language, I highly recommend spending some money on a language class.
Did you have a chance to explore other aspects of university life?
Unfortunately, none currently. I plan to participate in sports clubs/groups, but that is not happening since I came here. However, I hope to return to Lithuania this fall and at least enjoy one almost normal year in Kaunas, getting to know people – internationals and locals – and travelling through the Baltics and further to the north.