Hello all IFMSA members!
Our small, green and beautiful country in North Europe is waiting for all of you, exchange potatoes, to come and visit! Discover your path through our universities, meet new cultures, friends and spend your best moment here in Lithuania!
LiMSA - Lithuanian Medical Students' Association
LiMSA has been established in 1989. Since 1991, LiMSA has been a member of IFMSA and SCOPE active.LiMSA mission is to unite Lithuanian medical students, help them gain ethical and humanistic skills, acquire ultimate professional knowledge in order to become good specialists, active citizens and members of the national and global society. LiMSA has 6 active standing committees, which work in local, national and international levels.
About the country
Lithuania is situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea and covers an area of about 65,200 square kilometres. It is a country of forests, hills, rivers and lakes. The whole west fringe of the country (approximately 100 km) is occupied by a coastline with marvellous beaches of white sand.
There are only approximately 3 million people in our country.
Lithuania's climate, which ranges between maritime and continental, is relatively mild. Lithuania has four seasons of the year - Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. The weather is changeable, with mild, wet summers and cold winters. In the summer temperature can reach +30°C or more, in winter - -25°C. Lithuanian weather tends to be unpredictable even in summer so especially for students coming from hot climates we recommend taking a few sweaters to keep you warm. Lithuanian weather tends to be unpredictable even in summer so especially for students coming from hot climate countries we recommend bringing some warmer clothes with you.
Lithuania is the only Baltic country with nearly eight hundred years of statehood tradition. Its name was first mentioned more than one thousand years ago, in 1009. Wedged at the dividing line of Western and Eastern civilizations, Lithuania battled dramatically for its independence and survival.
Lithuania, first formed in the middle of the 13th century, was a huge feudal country stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea in the middle ages and in 1569 entered into a union with Poland to form a commonwealth. Lithuania was part of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth until the Polish Partitions in the 18th century when it became part of the Russian Empire until the 20th century. On February 16, 1918, Lithuania was re-established as a democratic state. It remained independent until the outset of World war II, when it was occupied by the Soviet Union. Following a brief occupation by Nazi Germany after the Nazis waged war on the Soviet Union, Lithuania was again absorbed into the Soviet Union for nearly 50 years. In 1990–91, Lithuania restored its sovereignty with the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania.
Check these links:
- Information about Tourism in Lithuania - Lithuania. Real is beautiful
- City of Vilnius - Go Vilnius
- City of Kaunas - It's Kaunastic
- Lithuanian Government
Lithuania's health care system is primarily regulated by the Ministry of Health. They implement policies, give out licenses to the medical and pharmaceutical industries, control the State Patient Funds (SPF) and Territorial Patient Funds (TPF).
Lithuania provides state-funded health care to citizens and registered long-term residents. Health care is free for minors and students. Employers must register their employees with the health insurance fund when a new employee starts work. Dependent family members are covered by the contributions paid by employed family members. If you are self-employed, you need to make your own contributions. The unemployed, pensioners and people on long-term sickness benefit or maternity leave do not have to pay health care contributions.
Lithuania has both a private and public health sectors. The public sector has three tiers, with first-tier being local clinic GP’s, whom patients with none urgent complaints usually first make appointments with. Patients also have the right to consult other first-tier specialists like gynaecologists, odontologists and psychologists. If the GP decides that further consultation is needed, they give referrals to second-tier doctors such as dermatologists, cardiologists and so on. In serious cases, patients might be sent by their GP’s to large third-tier hospitals. Admittance to a hospital can also occur through the emergency department.You could find more information about health statistics in Lithuania here.
We have two universities that provide medical studies - Vilnius University in Vilnius and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences in Kaunas. You can enter the university after high school that takes 12 years.
Studies to get a master's degree takes 6 years. During the first 3 years, the subjects of fundamental and preclinical medicine are studied. During the second part of the studies, students gain clinical knowledge on the causes of diseases, their mechanisms, disease symptoms, diagnostic methods and general treatment principles. The required practical skills are acquired when students complete the core clinical internship rotations during the sixth year.
After graduation students can work in various biomedical areas or undertake further residency studies leading to a qualification of a specialist physician, or study for a PhD. Residency studies take 3-6 years in Lithuania.
Medicine studies are not the only ones to be carried out in faculties of medicine. There are study programs of physiotherapy, public health, etc. as well.
There are airports at Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga. You can find many cheap flights to Lithuania provided by low-cost airlines – Ryan Air, Wizz Air and other airline companies.
There is a good network of roads within the country. Modern motorways connect Vilnius with Klaipeda, Kaunas and Panevezys. There is a lot of bus companies providing direct routes to the cities within the country.
You can buy tickets here.
Lithuanian Railways provide a good connection from Vilnius to Kaunas, Klaipeda and Siauliai.
You can buy tickets here.
Public transport in urban districts include buses and trolleybusses which usually run from 06:00 to 23:00
A monthly ticket is 28 Eur (Kaunas) and 29 Eur (Vilnius). If you have an ISIC and you are a EU citizen, the price is around 7 Eur in both cities for one month.
We have a lot of apps for moving around the city, we recommend downloading them before you get to Lithuania! These are the most common:
- Vilnius and Kaunas bicycle sharing systems - Kaunas, Vilnius.
- Public electric scooters - Bolt.
- Car-sharing apps give you an option to rent a car with an app from 1min to a couple of days, easy to use and register: Citybee, Spark.
- Also, Lithuanian developers introduced a great app which combines all the possible means of transport as well as an opportunity to buy the tickets through the app. It will be a great help to you while being in Lithuania - Trafi.
If you want to travel around other countries in Europe by bus you could do that with these companies*:
*Make sure to bring your ISIC. If you are a EU citizen, you will get great discounts on transportation.
All the incoming students will be picked up from an airport, bus or train station by a contact person!
Old Town of Vilnius
Situated at the confluence of the rivers Neris and Vilnia, the capital of Lithuania is one of the most visited cities in Eastern Europe. The Vilnius Old Town – a Baroque masterpiece as they say – was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. Vilnius has long been called Little Rome, North Athens or North Jerusalem. Approximately 40 churches of various architectural styles stand here, and some authentic buildings with Gothic, Renaissance or Classical features have survived. The Old Town of Vilnius is small and cosy. Narrow streets and passages will have you disappear into a world of flower-decorated courtyards, churches and museums in no time.
Located in the lake district of the picturesque landscape, Trakai was the administrative, economic and defensive centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at the beginning of the 14th century. The majestic Gothic castle on an island of Galve lake is the only castle surrounded by water in Eastern and Central Europe. Inside the castle, there is Trakai Historic Museum where visitors can see some interesting old armament collections as well as other historic exhibits. The remains found on the peninsula keep memory of the second castle located in the region. On the territories of the castles the Annual Festival of Medieval Fightings is held by warrior clubs every June.
Curonian Spit (Kursiu nerija) is a long and narrow sand peninsula that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. This natural wonder, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, still exists today solely due to human efforts to counter the natural erosion process. The Neringa landscape is truly unique, dominated by picturesque sand dunes and pristine beaches. The area has a distinct ethnographic flavour, characterised by wooden fishermen cottages and the local speciality of smoked fish. Those looking for a quiet seaside vacation in picturesque surroundings will most definitely be not disappointed.
The Hill of Crosses
The Hill of Crosses near Siauliai city is the world’s unique historic site where people have been continuously building crosses since the 19th century asking for celestial help for it. Nowadays, there are over 200,000 crosses that have been counted on the site including fine artefacts by local folk artists as well as plain wooden crosses. At the Hill of Crosses, one can also see pope John Paul’s II cross made by a Lithuanian folk artist and built during the pope’s visit to Lithuania in 1993.
Grutas Park - Exhibition of Soviet Culture
At the gate to Grutas Park you will be met by Soviet militiamen and soldiers: you will see them every-where in the park. While looking at the Soviet monuments in the open air, you will feel as if you are in a Siberian concentration camp the territory is surrounded by a moat and a barbed wire fence with watch-towers. The atmosphere of a Soviet canteen permeates the park cafe: the food is served in metal bowls, while the aluminium cutlery has for some time been an unusual souvenir.
Park of Europe - Geographical Centre of Europe
Europos Parkas was founded in 1991 by Lithuanian sculptor Gintaras Karosas. The exhibition spans an area of 55 hectares and is visited by over 60,000 people annually. The goal of the museum is to give an artistic significance to the geographic centre (as determined by the French National Geographic Institute in 1989) of the European continent and to present the best of Lithuanian and international modern art achievements. While enjoying the treasured landscape of the park, you will at the same time discover the admirable world of art.
Folk Life Museum
The Open Air Museum of Lithuania in Rumsiskes is an exposition in the open air. The core exhibits of this museum include dwelling houses, farmstead buildings and folk art monuments transferred from all ethnographic regions of Lithuania and reassembled in a 175 ha area, in a beautiful location near the Kaunas Man-made Sea and Praviena rivulet. Some of the buildings were constructed 200 years ago and earlier. They acquaint visitors with the mode of life as well as housing construction and equipment techniques of people during various periods. 140 buildings are exposed as farmsteads and villages while town’s buildings are grouped around a square. The majority of interior expositions display restored household articles and furniture, cloths, kitchen utensils and tools typical to one or other period.
Lithuania is a small but extremely proud nation with a rich history and unique traditions. One of the things that Lithuanians are highly proud of is basketball. Ever since the country won gold in the 1937 EuroBasket, it became Lithuania’s number one sport and even more than a game for a nation - it is considered as the second religion of the country. Even though Lithuania has a population of less than three million people, it is constantly winning medals in major events such as the FIBA World Championship and the Olympic Games, therefore people all over the world identify Lithuania as one of the strongest basketball nations.
Another unique phenomenon is Lithuanian language, which is the oldest surviving Indo-European language and is related to Sanskrit, Latin and Ancient Greek. Words such as vyras (man), šuo (dog), avis (sheep), dūmas (smoke) and other are over 5,000 years old. Even though due to historical reasons a common mistake is to classify Lithuanian as a Slavic language, the language has survived through all the occupations and as a result Lithuania is the only country in the world which has erected a monument for book smugglers. Some other interesting facts include that many popular Lithuanian names are linked with nature, such as Eglė (fir-tree), Rasa (dew), Aušra (dawn), Gintaras (amber), and that you can tell the marital state according to your surname.
Our exchange team suggests the Incomings free additional educational program. You will be able to learn surgical knot tying and suturing techniques, tracheal intubation (on moulage), resuscitation of a child, wound dressing and bandaging techniques.
Please note that public consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited. Also, as of the 1st January 2018, the minimum age for the purchase of alcohol has been increased to 20, and the hours of selling alcohol have been shortened (10 am - 8 pm Mondays-Saturdays and 10 am - 3 pm on Sundays)
Smoking is not allowed in public squares, bus stops and cafes (if not noted otherwise).
Consumption and possession of all drugs is illegal.