August 7, 2013

Azerbaijani student shares her experience in Lithuania

We are posting an article written by Aysel Sultan, a former student at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania. If you are an international student studying in Lithuania, do not hesitate to email us your reflections!

For many reasons, living in Lithuania and studying at the Vytautas Magnus University is one of the greatest experiences of my life. Primarily, because of the completely new style of living – independent and with more responsibility. But, it wouldn’t be possible to enjoy it, if the conditions, atmosphere and people around were not suitable for turning the experience into enjoyable and colorful years.

I will never forget the first day I arrived to VMU. The staff of International Office was with no exaggerations HAPPY to have Azerbaijani students at the University! The hospitality, care and kindness I have been receiving during the 2 years of study period at VMU, was constant and sincere. I am very lucky to meet such people, and be a student of social sciences faculty. With no doubts, I want to emphasize that, the crew of this faculty is like no others! Everybody, and I mean everybody, is understanding, accurate, responsive and professional.

You can evaluate this by considering the fact even the teachers become your friends! VMU has absolutely the right atmosphere to motivate a student for higher achievements in their study periods, researches and hard times of thesis writing. Libraries have a wide range of books in Lithuanian, English, Russian, German and other European languages, computers and cozy conditions to dive into the world of science! Studying becomes an enjoyment at VMU!

I have studied social work as my master degree at VMU and during the study years, we have opportunities to have experiences off the class. Since my major focus was on substance abuse and HIV/AIDS related stigma and discrimination issues, I got the chance to visit organizations like “Teen Challenge”, Migration Centers, HIV/AIDS center and conduct interviews as well as track the ongoing process of meetings with the patients. Those empirical data, of course, became in handy lately, while writing a master thesis. Gratefully to VMU I got the chance to study two semesters in Germany, and get even broader experience and knowledge on social work.

Certain subjects, professors and conferences had their role in reforming my perception to many sensitive issues such as disability, human trafficking, prostitution and so on. And, it became clear for me now, that during my upcoming research experience I will be tackling these issues, trying to continue investigation from cross-cultural aspects. As a social worker, I feel, that such actual problems should remain in the focus of attention and victims of such social injustices must always be helped out and supported in every part of the world. One of my greatest desires is to integrate social work to Azerbaijan by turning it into an honorable profession and making social assistance easily accessible service to every person in need.

Thank you Lithuania for gifting me friends for a lifetime, incredible experiences and best education I have had until today. I will always remain grateful ☺