A small European country, Lithuania is home to nearly 50 higher education institutions. The literacy rate of the Lithuanian population is 100%, and school attendance is higher than the European Union average. Lithuania has one of the fastest growing economies of the Baltic countries over the last two decades. Despite its rapid modernisation and economic growth, Lithuania provides international students an opportunity to study in one of the best preserved Medieval countries. There are over 2000 buildings representing the characteristics of early Eastern Europe. With both a comfortable climate and a perfect balance between cities and rolling landscapes, Lithuania is a treasure among Eastern European countries.
As part of the European Union, universities in Lithuania follow the Bologna system. Study programmes are evaluated using the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), which is common in European countries. There are three levels of study at Lithuanian universities, bachelor’s degree, masters degree and doctoral degree. There are also integrated programmes available, which combine bachelor’s and master’s level to create one degree.
There are two types of higher education institutions in Lithuania. These are colleges (Kolegija) and universities. Colleges tend to offer programmes in practical training, in preparation for certain professions. Universities tend to offer more research focused programmes. You will find public and private colleges and universities. The tradition of education in Lithuania is one of the oldest in Eastern Europe, dating back to 1579.
There are 4 of Lithuania’s universities in the 2023 QS World University Rankings. The highest ranked is Vilnius University, which is placed at =400th. The next highest ranked is Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, which is placed in the 701-751st group. Also featured in the rankings is Kaunas University of Technology, and Vytautas Magnus University.
Officially the Republic of Lithuania, the country is home to over 2.8 million people. Since its independence, it has been referred to as a Baltic state. Lithuania is a former Communist country, but has rapidly Westernised since the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and Soviet Russia. The country joined the United Nations in 1991, the World Trade Organisation in 2001, and then the European Union in 2004. Its economic growth and opening up to the global market has led to it being called the ‘Baltic Tiger’.
Lithuania boasts some of the most architecturally rich cities and towns in Europe. There is an obvious contrast between the country’s modernisation and its traditional features, but the contrast only makes Lithuania more fascinating. It benefits from a mild and continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. It is common for snow to fall during winter, especially in the coastal and eastern parts of the country. Lithuania’s terrain is dominated by meadows, forests and crop fields, with very few large mountains. There is an abundance of hill forts found in the country, most being linked to the ancient Lithuanian rituals of pagan worship, as well as being utilised for defence when necessary.
Lithuania uses the Euro (€) as its currency.
The tuition fees you will pay at a Lithuanian institution will depend on where you are from, as well as where you study and at what level. Students from EU countries tend to have lower fees. On average, you should expect to pay between €1,000 and €5,500 per year for a bachelor’s degree. For a masters degree, you should expect to pay between €2,200 and €6,500, and for a doctoral degree between €7,000 and €10,000 per year. There are some state scholarships available to help students who wish to study in Lithuania. Contact your institution to find out about eligibility and the application process.
Costs of living will depend on where you choose to live. Bigger cities will be more expensive than smaller cities and towns. On average, you should budget for between €400 and €1,000 per month. This accounts for your accommodation, groceries, travel, and any other necessities. Another cost that students need to consider is health insurance. If you are an EHIC card holder, you will be able to access state healthcare services for free, but this does not cover any healthcare provided by the private sector. If you are from an EU country, you may be eligible for state provided insurance, giving you access to free healthcare. For more information about this, contact your institution. If you are not an EHIC card holder and do not come from an EU/EEA country, you will need to have valid health insurance cover for the duration of your studies.
Depending on where you are from, you may need to obtain a student visa to study in Lithuania. If you are from an EU/EEA country, you will not need a visa to study in Lithuania. You also are not required to obtain a residence permit, but will need to register with the Lithuanian Migration Department and declare your place of residence at a local district authority within seven days of your arrival. If you are from certain other countries, you do not need a visa to enter Lithuania, but you will need to apply for one once you have arrived. More information about which countries are included in this can be found on the Consular of Lithuania website. If your country is not on this list, you will need a visa to enter Lithuania. Any students who are not from an EU/EEA country will also need to apply for a temporary residence permit, which is usually valid for a year, and can be renewed. If you need to obtain a visa prior to your arrival in Lithuania, this can be done at the Lithuanian embassy or consulate in your home country.
The official language of Lithuania is Lithuanian.
Degrees at Lithuanian institutions are offered in Lithuanian and English. It is more common to find postgraduate degrees taught in English. If you choose to study in a non-native language, you will probably need to provide evidence of your language proficiency. If you do not meet the required standard, your institution may offer language courses to help you improve.
Even if you are able to study in English, you should make an effort to learn as much Lithuanian as possible. Communicating with locals and other students is the perfect way to practice. This is a skill that will look great on your CV/resume!
The capital city of Lithuania, Vilnius is home to over 547,000 people. The city is the seat of government in Lithuania, and is classified as a Gamma global city. Prior to World War II, Vilnius was one of the largest Jewish centres in Europe, giving it the nickname ‘Jerusalem of Lithuania’. The city is known for its architecture, and its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Located in the city are many higher education institutions. Included in these is Vilnius University, which is the oldest university in the Baltic states, as well as being the largest university in Lithuania. The University was founded in 1579, and experienced a brief closing from 1831-1919. It now operates as a public university, offering lots of courses in a wide variety of subject areas.
Find out more about Universities in Vilnius.
The second largest city in Lithuania, Kaunas is considered the historical economic, academic and cultural centre of the country. The city is home to more than 328,000 people, and boasts many green spaces and recognisable Art Deco architecture. It has been selected as one of the European Capitals of Culture for 2022.
Referred to as a ‘city of students’, there are 11 higher education institutions located in Kaunas. These include Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuanian Sports University, and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. The student demographic for institutions in Kaunas is highly diverse. Of the 37 thousand students studying in Kaunas in 2016, more than 17 thousand of them were international students.
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