Higher Education in Lithuania
Before considering enrolling in one of the universities here, understand the educational system present. The very first school here dates back to 1387. Most of the early schools here had a Christian influence, and in some ways, this is still present in today's more modern schools of higher education. Though once only for nobility, citizens have sought after higher education opportunities since 1579, when Vilnius University was initially established. Vytautas Magnus University was also founded early, during a time when locals sought after other countries for improved education.
Today's population has a high literacy rate. Additionally, it has a high rate of adults who have advanced education compared to other European countries. Many people speak a second language, of which English is common. Because of the lack of strong jobs in many emerging fields, many students emigrate to areas where employment is available, including throughout Europe. Some do this prior to receiving their formal training, too.
The country has about 15 public universities. It also has several public colleges, and both public and private colleges and universities. Consider a few of the largest.
- Vilnius University is the oldest of all universities in Northern Europe and is a public university. It is also the largest university in Lithuania.
- Kaunas University of Technology, a very modern school, is the largest school with a technical focus in all of the Baltic States. It is also the second largest school in the country.
- Kaunas University of Medicine
- Lithuanian University of Agriculture
- Vytautas Magnus University
- Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater
- Lithuanian Academy of Physical education
- The General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania
- Siaulii University
Each of these schools offers a different focus, though some of them offer a more comprehensive course of study for students who want a more thorough education. However, it is common for colleges and universities here to have a strong focus on one area of education.
What to Study
Both local and international students study a range of areas. However, the country is in need of advanced health care and medicine. It also has strong science and mathematics programs. The schools here are seeing an upgrade to more technologically advanced features, too. In fact, this is one of the largest areas of focus in the country's educational programs.
Undergraduate studies is the focus of the student's post-secondary education career. This generally lasts between three and four years. From there, the student will move into a professional Masters degree program. These programs last between one and two years as well. These are available at the various universities in the country. In some cases, students remain in school and complete their doctoral course of study, which can take up to four additional years of education.
Within the system, students will earn 1600 working hours per academic year. The earning of one credit equals 40 hours of student work within that field. Options are available for flexible learning, including full-time daytime and part-time evening courses. Most courses run from September through June.
Student Visa Requirements
In some cases, students may not need a visa. Lithuania is a part of the European Union, which makes travel far easier for those living in neighboring countries. However, most will still need a visa to remain in the country long-term. The student must first turn to the International Relations Office within the selected university for help in obtaining this document. This office will then prepare the documents necessary and offer a Temporary Residence Permit application. Then, the student must visit a Lithuanian embassy to complete his or her application. There are fees for these visas. A visa allows a student to remain in the country for up to a year for study.
Why Study in Lithuania?
Most people have plenty of choices to choose from when it comes to international study, but Lithuania's education system is ideal for most. Additionally, the country has opportunities in some developing sectors, including in areas of technology and medicine. Though many people emigrate rather than stay, international students will have the ability to embrace a strong culture and a diverse community when arriving here. This may make it the ideal place for individuals to visit and study for several years.