Choosing Vilnius University: A Student’s Journey into International and European Law
In this exclusive interview with Divya Negi, a current student from India at Vilnius University (VU) Faculty of Law, she provides insights into her experiences within the faculty and sheds light on the revamped Master of International and European Law programme, which has been a resounding success for over a decade. This programme offers three distinct tracks: International Law and Human Rights, Tech Law, and Business Law, reflecting the ever-growing relevance of international and European legal norms in our increasingly globalized world. As Divya shares her journey and perspectives, we delve into the essential role played by this programme in shaping legal experts and professionals with a profound understanding of international and European legal systems. Join us in exploring Divya’s unique insights and experiences in the dynamic world of Law studies.
What were your first impressions of the VU Law Faculty when you first started studying here?
It’s not a very simple answer because a lot was going through my mind when I initially arrived, but I think it was definitely very different from my past educational experience in India. Specifically, I think I did like the idea of where the faculty was located. I think it’s a very beautiful location, nestled between the forests. In terms of classes, I feel like right from the beginning, it was very interactive, and that was a very positive change for me as well because there was more class participation compared to my previous university. The initial subject we had was a little bit of legal philosophy, and that was very interesting for me. Every class that I attended had an impact on how I perceived European law and International law. I decided to study International law in terms of human rights because it was a subject of interest for me and also because my initial knowledge of European law wasn’t that extensive before.
Probably the most interesting question for me and for everyone is, how did you decide to study here in Vilnius of all places?
As I said, I wanted to study human rights law, and I was initially planning to go to Canada, but then I thought about the idea of also studying European law, so I decided to come to Europe. Also, it’s no secret that Lithuania is a budget-friendly option. I think it was the best choice I had in terms of the course that was being provided as well as financially. Plus, I did a lot of research on the university – so many interesting facts about the old campus, the historic buildings; it’s very intriguing.
Was it hard to get accustomed to a new place, living in a new place? What helped you get accustomed?
Actually, I was sort of lucky because I already had friends here, so taking care of accommodation and all of that was not an issue. But other than that, there was definitely a bit of culture shock for me because, coming from a warmer country, the expressions on people’s faces and how people interact are a bit different. People here are more reserved. However, most of my coursemates are international students, and that sort of helped – coming together and exchanging our experiences in our own countries. That sort of eased my way into getting accustomed to living and studying here in Lithuania.
And are you happy with your choice of studies and your choice of University now that you’ve been here for a while?
I’m definitely really happy. I didn’t have any set goals or expectations when I came here, but as the course progressed, I really enjoyed what I learned. European law was very new to me, so everything seemed very interesting. At times, it was a bit more challenging for me compared to my colleagues from European countries, but that made me even more interested in the subject. Plus, I think the course subjects that were given as options were really interesting.
And lastly, what would you say to others who are maybe considering joining the Vilnius University Law Faculty next semester?
I think I would definitely recommend coming here. First of all, the European law course is very integrated and interesting. And the experience of interacting with different nationalities has definitely been a positive one for me – getting to know more about other cultures as well as the culture of Vilnius. I now have a few Lithuanian friends, and I keep learning new things about it, and that’s very interesting. I think it’s sad that a lot of people don’t know much about Lithuania because, honestly, when I was researching universities, I didn’t know much about Lithuania either. But it’s a very beautiful place – I could walk around town for hours and not get bored of the sights. It’s such a green city with a rich history.
If you are inspired by Divya’s experience and would like to learn more about International and European Law or Vilnius University, check out VU webpage and discover all possibilities for international students.