Ethnically Egyptian, Hussein her whole life lived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She has always wanted to seek a European education. As Lithuania has a fast-growing economy, the girl is convinced that there will be great demand for highly educated employees.
“I am not studying the same course in my country because I am seeking European education. My older sister is studying the same subject in Germany, but I like Lithuania much more”, says the Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) student.
By the way, she is not the only family member studying at KTU – Lian’s brother came to study at Kaunas a few years ago and suggested that she could join him.
“As I visited Kaunas before and my brother, my dad was sharing their experience, pictures and videos from here, I knew what to expect. I liked what I saw”, Lian smiles. She adds that the lifestyle in Lithuania is closer to her cultural background. She sees Lithuania as more conservative, more family and people-oriented in comparison to other European countries.
However, the girl admits she misses her parents, her cat and the variety of tasty meals, such as mahshi (stuffed vegetables), Kofta (barbequed minced lamb and beef), and many more.
“I have to admit that I didn’t try any Lithuanian dishes for many reasons: the lockdown last year, no chance to find Lithuanian friends who would introduce their cuisine to me. Also, one of the reasons is cultural background, as my food should be Halal/Kosher, and regretfully this is not available in Kaunas”, says KTU first-year student.
- Why did you choose to study Renewable Energy Engineering?
- Using fossil energy and global warming are two interrelated elements that threaten life on earth. Renewable Energy Engineering is the right path for me to help defend our life and maintain the ecosystem.
- What motivated you to choose Kaunas University of Technology?
- Firstly, the subject I am interested in is available at KTU while also the university provides the course in English. KTU has many resources available to students, advanced technology, and the lecturers are friendly. I have visited Kaunas before, and I liked it – the people are friendly and kind. Also, I enjoy the snow considering that I am coming from a country where the weather is much warmer.
Also, my older brother is already studying Mechatronics at KTU, and he recommended joining him. My older sister is studying the same subject in Germany, but Lithuania is a much more attractive country for me than Germany.
- You entered the university during the COVID-19 pandemic. How did it affect your studies and other aspects of life?
- The pandemic did not give me enough chance to form stronger relations with my classmates, but I am sure the next semester there will be more chances to communicate with them. Also, I think that young people here are easily getting in contact with international students.
However, I have a good Lithuanian friend in Kaunas. Also, my brother also lives here, and we communicate with other students from Dubai and other countries living in the dormitories.
- Your first year in the BSc Renewable Energy Engineering study programme has just ended. Are you happy with the programme, the university?
- Though it is my first year, I feel I am on the right track. KTU is coping with the global demand and this explains why it offered study and degree in this field. Right now, as the lockdown restrictions are eased, I have also started to enjoy some other aspects of university life – I have entered the gym.
- In what way, Lithuanians and Egyptians are similar?
- Lithuanian people are kind and friendly, although I didn’t have enough chances to communicate more with the younger generation. Though it is a western country, the values and manners are very close to mine, conservative.
- What do you think about our nature?
- I came from an extremely hot country to a cold – sometimes even freezing – climate, from yellow desert to green parks everywhere. People living in the Gulf dream of having a vacation in countries like yours, and I know that your people are dreaming of coming to holidays into my country.
- What are your plans? Would you like to stay in Lithuania after graduating?
- I prefer living in a small and quiet city as it is easier to socialise, however, for business, larger cities would be more convenient. So far, I love Kaunas; I had no chance to visit the rest of Lithuania, but I would like to stay here for many reasons.
First, the lifestyle is closer to my cultural background; Lithuania is more conservative, unlike other western countries you are more family and people-oriented. Second, living expenses are not high compared to other countries. Third, Lithuania has a fast-growing economy, and there will be great demand for highly educated employees. I will be one of them.