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A Commemorative Photo: Three Cohorts of KU Students and their Stories

Klaipėda University students of three generations were invited to the photo session dedicated to the International Student Day. The photo, codenamed “Here, You are Visible,” captured a beautiful combination of personalities, sharing their rich life stories.

Here we see Sotira Lukia Nikolaou, a young freshman in Chemical Engineering from Cyprus, still in the process of shaping her future. Sotira says she chose Klaipėda University by chance, just looking for the best conditions to study chemical engineering. Lithuania was not a completely foreign country for her; her mother, who graduated from studies in London a good twenty years ago, met Sotira’s father and went to Cyprus with him. Sotira, the eldest daughter in the family, came to the mother’s native country without fear and so far is happy with her choice.  “I really like the city being so close to the sea and close to the forest. The weather may be too cold for me, but I will get used to it,” jokes the freshman, who attends the lectures given in both  English and Lithuanian languages.

Next to her is Dainius Zviedrys, teacher at Klaipėda Baltijos Gymnasium. He has already got established in the  professional life, still he gladly accepted the proposal of the head of his school to study and acquire a pedagogical qualification. In September of this year, he started his one-year pedagogical studies at Klaipėda University. Dainius comes from Panevėžys and has obtained his master’s degree from Kaunas Technology University. He says that he does not like routine in his life and, before starting his career as a teacher, he held  a wide range of jobs – from a radio station hardware manager and a programme host to a programmer. Now he works with schoolchildren, and he thinks he has found his place in the world. “I enjoy working with young people and seeing their enthusiasm, their attempts to find themselves and not to fail. Working at Baltijos Gymnasium is very interesting. We have a lot of projects with schoolchildren, we visit different companies. Students have the opportunity to go abroad and see how their peers study there, ” says Dainius, a teacher who became a student for a year’s time.

Probably the most impressive hero of the photo is Vincas Trilikauskas, a student of Klaipėda University of the Third Age. He keeps joking, but once, as he says, he felt very angry and unhappy. Formerly a construction worker and a crane operator, after his company had closed down, he was left without both a job and a source of income. “I did not know where to go, left or right. And I couldn’t walk very well on my two crutches. I decided to go where the wind blew,” Vincas remembers the difficult stage in his life. He can no longer recall who told him about the University of the Third Age at the time. He registered there and attended the lectures on health and different events, listened to presentations by acclaimed scientists at conferences, and found answers on how to solve his health problems and help others. Vincas says he does not even count how many courses he has taken. “It was very interesting. Now the number of attendees has decreased due to the pandemic, while previously the classrooms were full – but I can say that the people became more cultured; they no longer comment from their places and do not disturb lecturers,” Vincas Trilikauskas goes on enthusiastically.

The feature that unites all the three heroes of the photo is the status of a student at Klaipėda University, which they sincerely cherish. All three compliment on the professionalism of their teachers.

Today, on the International Student Day, KU Rector prof. dr. A. Razbadauskas invited representatives of the student community for an informal talk in the 10 tiltų Cafe “Students are a very important part of our university community. They are the life and future of a higher education institution. We are glad that the young people have returned to the classrooms, acquiring knowledge together, working in laboratories, conducting research, and competing for knowledge and skills. We congratulate all our students on the International Student Day and wish them the best of luck and discoveries on the path of science,” KU Rector said.

KU currently has close to three thousand students, and 10% of them are foreign nationals. During the 30 years of its existence, KU can boast about 38 thousand of alumni having graduated from it.