I hadn’t planned to go to Lithuania a long time before. This opportunity opened to me as an alternant for a last minute. Nevertheless I can say it was incredibly challenging and adventurous month across my medical studies. On face of this Baltic state it can look like a country very close to ours. There are many similarities. Briefly it’s a pocked-sized republic with a temperate climate and a history marked by Soviet Union. But after my one month internship in Lithuania it’s much more than that.
Firstly I arranged my travel. I could choose a flight from Vienna, but I preferred travelling on roads since I wanted to visit some places in Poland, too. The way to Kaunas I combined travelling by train and by bus. The way back I went by car.
I spent the whole month at the department of Paediatrics-Surgery, which was my first choice. I preferred surgical departments mainly because of the language barrier. Although Lithuanian is similarly like Slovak language from Slavic group of languages, it’s closer to Finish. It took us some time to learn even few simple phrases. Luckily, the most of the people speaks English, especially in the hospital. Paediatrics-Surgery was very interesting. There were very bride surgical plans so I could see a new surgical case almost every day. My tutor let me follow her and I spent some hours in her urological ambulance. She was willing to answer all of my questions and some physical examinations and sonography I also could practice. Moreover, our CPs organised for us surgical course in the hospital to practise tying surgical nodes and the sewing techniques on a pig skin.
There were 15 international students in our town. We lived together in a dormitory, with common kitchen on the floor. We got the tickets for lunch in a hospital. A month-bus ticket was only for 5 euro. The social program was rich, I can say. Accept Kaunas we looked around the capital Vilnius, we visited famous castle Trakai in a lake, Hill of Crosses and also The Museum of Genocide. Every weekend we spent in a different place and in surrounding countries, too. We attended free walking tours in Riga and Tallin, where we could try the well-known chocolate and black balsam (special Estonian alcohol). The last weekend we went to the seaside. I wouldn’t expect the Curonian split is such beautiful. White sand, green grass growing from it, surrounding mixes forests, bike lines we enjoyed in Smiltyne beach.
When I told my friends and family that I’m going to spend the August in Kaunas, first thing they asked me was, what the weather like there is. Well, the temperatures were average 15-25 degrees and I must admit its English-like weather. You need to have the umbrella with you, although you don’t expect a rain, because you can’t believe the weather forecast. On the other hand a land of wood and water, proud, independent Lithuania (Lietuva) I fast recognised as one of Europe’s gems and I could only wish this stay lasted more than a month. In that one month, I simply fell in love with Lithuania.