Lithuania is at the crossroads between west and east Europe, and despite its complicated history, has developed a unique culture, which encompasses both deep respect for traditions and a robust wish to learn and innovate. From cities and towns full of historic monuments to wonderful retreats in a pristine natural environment, Lithuania has places to go and see for everyone.
Why study in Lithuania?
1. Study at the centre of Europe
Lithuania is the largest of the three Baltic States and a country slightly bigger than Denmark, Switzerland or the Netherlands. Officially recognized as the geographical centre of Europe and connected by numerous routes to major European cities, Lithuania can be easily reached by land, water or air. Lithuania is bound by the Baltic Sea, Latvia, Poland, Belarus and the Kaliningrad Region of Russia.
2. Learn one of the oldest languages in the world
Lithuania has a population of slightly less than 3 million people and the official language is Lithuanian, which is one of the oldest languages in the world, studied in many prestigious universities around the world.
3. The cost of living is lower than many other European countries
Lithuanian is member of the EU and NATO, and is among the most bilingual and educated nations in Europe, however the cost of living here is much lower than in western countries, which makes Lithuania ideal for aspiring students. Currently there are students from 95 different countries of the world studying in Lithuania!
4. It’s highly recommended by foreign students
Although the overall numbers of students in Lithuania is decreasing, the population of foreign students keeps rising – in 2013, 12% more students came to study in Lithuania (4152 in total). Another few thousand students come to study under various student Exchange programmes, such as Erasmus. According to surveys, 94.2% of foreign students recommend studying in Lithuania to their friends.
The higher education system
In Lithuania, higher educational institutions are of two types: universities and colleges (non-university higher educational institutions, sometimes also called universities of applied sciences). University studies provide universal academic education, theoretical training and the highest level of professional excellence, while studies in colleges are oriented towards training for professional activities - practical training covers at least one third of the study programme.
There are 47 higher education institutions in Lithuania, and all 350+ English-taught study programmes in Lithuania are evaluated according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Studies are organised in three cycles:
• The 1st cycle: undergraduate studies leading to a Professional Bachelor’s degree (in colleges) or a Bachelor’s degree (in university). The duration of full-time studies in colleges is usually three years, while undergraduate studies leading to a Bachelor’s degree at universities usually takes four years.
• The 2nd cycle: graduate studies leading to a Master’s (Magistras) degree. The duration of Master studies is 1.5 to two years. University degree study programmes can be integrated, when studies of the first and second cycles are combined (e.g. in law, medical studies, etc.).
• The 3rd cycle: postgraduate studies leading to a Doctor’s degree in science or art can be conducted by universities or universities together with research institutions. Non-degree studies (residency, teacher training) can be conducted by universities and/or colleges.
Medical studies continue to be the most popular subject in Lithuania among foreign students. 10% of new students chose to study medicine in 2013. Among other popular subjects apart from biomedical sciences are engineering, art, media and communication studies. Through partnerships among Universities, Lithuania is being discovered in Asia, and has begun attracting students from countries like Korea and Japan, for example. Vilnius University has 34 Koreans and 10 Japanese students, Vytautas Magnus University – 22 Koreans, 6 Japanese and 4 Chinese students, with many others in different Universities across the country.
Tuition fees and monthly expenses
On average, the cost of studies at higher education institutions is approximately between 1.000 – 5.300 EUR per year for Bachelor studies, from 2.200-6.500 EUR per year for Master studies and from 7.100 to 8.500 EUR per year for postgraduate studies. Most foreign students say that 350-400 EUR is enough to live off for a month (minus the tuition fees). It really depends on how much you want to travel and go out, but our night clubs, pubs, museums and other attractions are less expensive than the ones found elsewhere in Europe. A two-course lunch deal at most restaurants will cost – from 3 to 5 EUR, cinema ticket – up to 5-6 EUR, ten minutes at the local carting track – 10-12 EUR. With higher education being notoriously expensive in most parts of the world, more than ¾ of international students in Lithuania agree they are getting a bang for their buck – with tuition fees starting from 1,000 EUR and generous scholarship schemes for top quality education.
Education Exchanges Support Foundation, the institution authorised by the Ministry of Education and Science of Lithuania to administrate the state scholarships programme, offers scholarships within the framework of bilateral agreements. Candidates can apply for scholarships for Lithuanian and (or) Baltic studies at various higher education institutions of Lithuania. These scholarships can be granted for a semester or two (up to 10 months) of Lithuanian (Baltic) studies, also - for Lithuanian language and culture summer courses (3-4 weeks) in the higher education institutions of Lithuania. Lithuanian also offers state scholarships for full-time Master degree studies. However, this possibility is secured to the nationals of a limited number of countries.
National information portal on studies in Lithuania: www.studyinlithuania.lt
Education Exchanges Support Foundation: www.smpf.lt/en/statescholarships