Lithuania – Kaunas 2016 (research)

Research Exchange in Lithuania was one of the best things in my life. I didn’t know what I can expect from this possibility, but I was really looking forward gaining new experiences and meeting new people. At the beginning I was a little bit afraid of the way there by plane alone and if my level of English is going to be sufficient. But it was a groundless fear. My CP was waiting on me at the airport and she greeted me with a big hug. From that moment I knew that this month is going to be unforgettable. So how was the internship?

I spent my whole month in the Institute of Anatomy at the Lithuanian university of Health Sciences on a research project called “The structure and immunohistochemistry of the intrinsic cardiac nervous system”. However I wasn’t alone on the practice because one student from Malta was participating on the same project.  It wasn’t my first choice, but in the end I was happy that I had the opportunity to be a part of their team. I was surprised that the research assistants wanted us to take part on their own projects and we were doing all the preparations and studies. I have never had a possibility to work with all types of microscopes and to prepare the tissues, so for me it was a great opportunity to learn something new. They were always explaining everything in English and if we needed some additional information, they were there for us. Our team was formed mainly by young researchers and for that the atmosphere was chilled and we could talk about our countries, places we visited in Lithuania or even about Pokémon Go. (It was a big sensation when I was there and everybody played it. J )

There was around 20 students from all over the world in our exchange group and we were living in a dormitory in rooms by 2. Every two rooms shared one bathroom and we had one kitchen for all of us. The rooms were quite big and nice. We were having lunch in the hospital canteen and the food was quite similar to ours in Slovakia. Traveling in the city by bus was comfortable thanks to the month-bus ticket which everyone received. The Wi-Fi connection in the dormitory was poor but we obtained a SIM card with 3G, so we had internet access.

I really like the system that every incoming has his own contact person. All the “CPs” were great and took care of us. They showed us the city, prepared some games and events, partied with us in the bars and took us to a lot of trips. They tried to make program for us on every day. Thanks to them we got to know the Lithuanian culture. During the weekend we were traveling as a group to the most popular places in Lithuania and one weekend we even visited Estonia and Latvia.  Of course every Friday and Saturday was dedicated to a party.

Lithuanian kitchen has a lot in common with the Slovakian one, so I didn’t have any problems to find something I like. But all of us tasted their national food and drinks on the International food and drink party. It was announced to bring something traditional from our country as well, so during that one evening everybody tasted everything from all over the world. I really fell for their national food Zeppelins – potato dumplings stuffed with minced meat (pork) and drink Kvass – fermented beverage made from dark rye. Yummy! J

The Title of Lithuania is derived from the word „rain“, and yes, it was raining a lot, though they said in summertime it is less common. The average temperature was about 20°C. But the weather cannot change my mind, that this stay I will remember forever.


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