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Lithuania

                           Climate:
With four distinct seasons, the climate is humid continental, with a moderating maritime influence from the Baltic Sea. January temperatures average -5oC (23oF); July, 17oC (63oF). Annual precipitation averages 62 centimeters (24.4 in.). Transitional, between maritime and continental; wet, moderate winters and summers. .

Population: 3 435 600 (2004) (similar to Ireland, Albania, Norway or New Zealand).
•    Urban: 2 289 400.
•    Rural: 1 146 200.
•    Ethnic Composition: Lithuanian 83.4%, Poles 6.7%, Russians 6.3%.
Religion: Roman Catholics accounted for 79% of Lithuania’s population, Orthodox (4.1%), Protestant (1.9%).

Vilnius: (Pop. 541,278); Ethnic Composition: 52.8% Lithuanians, 19.2% Poles, 19.2% Russians, 4.8% Belarusians, 4% others.
Kaunas (364,059); Klaipeda- (188,767); Siauliai- (130,020) (January 2004).

Languages: Lithuanian; a minority speaks Russian (8%) and Polish (5.6%).

Education: Years compulsory-10 (until the age of 16). Literacy-99.6%.

Health: Infant mortality rate-67.8/1,000. Life expectancy-66.48 yrs. male, 77.85 yrs. female.

Work Force (2005 est.): 1.61 million: services 56%; industry and construction 20%; agriculture 16%.

Geography: Territory- 65 200 km2, Lithuania is the largest of the three Baltic countries, twice the size of Belgium (30513 km2) and a wee bit smaller than Ireland (70283 km2).

Geographic Coordinates: 56 00 N, 24 00 E.
Borders: Inland borders with Latvia, Belarus, Poland and Russia (Kaliningrad) total 1,747 km. The Belarusian border is the longest, at 724 km. Coastline totals 99 km.

Map References: Europe

Land Boundaries:
•    Total- 1,273 km.
•    Border Countries- Belarus 502 km, Latvia 453 km, Poland 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad) 227 km.
Coastline: 90 km.

Maritime Claims: Territorial sea- 12 NM.

Terrain: Lowland, many scattered small lakes, fertile soil.

Elevation Extremes:
•    Lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
•    Highest Hill: Juozapine, at 293.6m.
Natural Resources: Peat, Arable Land.

 

History
Since its establishment as an independent state in 1236, Lithuania has had a turbulent political history. Formally one of the largest and most powerful countries in 13th century Europe, Lithuania was subsequently involved in a constant struggle to retain its independence and unique identity. More recently, in 1990, Lithuania's independence was regained and in 2004, Lithuania became a member state of the EU. Lithuania is currently enjoying rapid economic growth and is more successful than other former USSR economies.

Pre-History of Lithuania
The first settlers of Lithuania arrived in approximately 10, 000 B.C. (Paleolithic period), when the climate warmed up and glaciers started receding from the territory of Lithuania to Scandinavia. This period marks the beginning of Lithuania’s history which counts twelve thousand years now. Peaceful life on the eastern Baltic coast came to an end about 2, 500 B.C., when newcomers from the south began to migrate to the territories inhabited by hunters and fishermen. It took several centuries for the Baltic tribes to emerge in approximately 2, 000 B.C. It was sometime between the fifth and the sixth centuries that the major Baltic tribes recognizable today took shape: Corrosions, Sellonians, Samogitians (lowlanders), Lithuanians, Aukštaiciai (highlanders) and Seminarians.

Monarchy & Tolerance
In the Middle Ages, Lithuania, unlike other Baltic countries (Latvia and Estonia), had already had its state: the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Magnus Ducatus Lithuania). It is generally accepted that the state of Lithuania found its way into the world maps, following the coronation of Mindaugas, ruler of the consolidated Lithuania, on 6 July 1253. The Papal Bull granted the State with the highest title of the monarchy, which meant that Lithuania was recognized by and accepted into the family of the Western Europe as an equal member of the political system.

The Grand Duchy of Lithuania stretched from the Baltic to the Black seas, covering nearly all the territory of current Lithuania and entire Belarus as of the mid-14th century, and a better part of the Ukraine as of the second-half of the 14th century, thus emerging as an important political power in Eastern and Central Europe. The success of the expansion of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was essentially based on ethnic and religious tolerance towards those who were traditionally considered potential enemies. First written Constitution

 

Sports
You will often hear Lithuanians jokingly say that Basketball is their no.2 religion. Basketball is extremely popular in Lithuania and the team have even enjoyed Olympic success in 1992, 1996 and 2000 with bronze medals. However, many leisure and sporting opportunities are available in Lithuania besides basketball. In the winter you can go cross-country skiing, ice-skating and tobogganing and in the summer, water sports such as windsurfing, sailing or canoe polo are very popular.

Culture
Lithuania has a rich cultural scene. The cities and towns are a melting pot of various architectural styles from including baroque, gothic and renaissance. Vilnius is home to numerous historical sites of interest including Gedimas Castle built in the 13th Century, the Church of St. Anne with its stunning gothic architecture and the Cathedral built in classic Greek and Roman style. Lithuania celebrates its cultural heritage with a vast array of museums and collections; most of these are located in the Old Town of Vilnius and in the second largest city in Lithuania, Kaunas. From the extraordinary Devil’s Museum in the centre of Kaunas to the poignant Museum of Genocide Victims in Vilnius, Lithuania has something for everyone.

Money & Costs
The Lithuanian litas (Lt) will remain firmly in place until at least 2007 when Lithuania could possibly trade in its litas for the euro. Some hotels and restaurants already list prices in Euros as well as litu, but payment is still in litu only. The litas (plural: litu or litai) is divided into 100 contain (singular: cents). It comes in note denominations of 10Lt, 20Lt, 50Lt, 100Lt, 200Lt and 500Lt and coins of 1Lt, 2Lt and 5Lt alongside the virtually worthless contain coins. Since 2002 the litas has been pegged to the euro at a fixed rate of 3.45Lt. For seven years previously, the US dollar served as the peg.

EU & NATO Membership
Following its EU and NATO membership in 2004, Lithuania again reunited with the European family. Once an EU member, Lithuania has become an official donor country and has been giving aid to Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, South Caucasus, Afghanistan and Iraq; it has also been fulfilling multilateral obligations within the EU framework.
Higher Education in Lithuania
In general, there are two types of higher education institutions in Lithuania: universities (where university studies prevail) and colleges (where non-university studies prevail).

University studies are organized in three cycles: first cycle (undergraduate, Bachelor) studies, second cycle (graduate, Master’s, specialized professional) studies, third cycle (post-graduate, residency, doctoral and post-graduate-art) studies.

There are 48 institutions of higher education in total but these can be broken down as the following: 15 state universities, 9 non-state universities, 16 state colleges and 11 non-state colleges.

First European Ministry of Education
A complete system of formal education in Lithuania was created back at the end of the 16th century: the primary education (stage 1), the pre-higher education (stage 2) and higher/university education. The year 1773 saw the establishment of the Education Commission – the first education institution of the Lithuanian-Polish state, which served as the very first European Ministry of Education. It created a new education management system. The school network was headed by Vilnius University (major school of the Grand Duchy as of 1781).

Studies
Studies at higher education institutions in Lithuania can be of two types: non-university and university studies.

Non-university studies are one-level (undergraduate) professional studies intended for preparation for a professional activity. 120-160 credits are required in order to complete non-university studies. These studies provide opportunities to acquire professional qualifications on the basis of applied research activities. Beginning from January 1, 2007 some colleges acquired the right to confer a professions bakalauras (Professional Bachelor's) degree.

University Studies are organized in Three Cycles:
•    1st Cycle (Undergraduate) Studies lead to a bakalauras (Bachelor) degree and/or professional qualification and give access to 2nd cycle studies. 140-180 credits are required in order to complete 1st cycle studies.
•    2nd Cycle (Graduate) Studies lead to a magistracy (Master) degree or to megastars (Master) degree combined with and a professional qualification and give access to 3rd cycle studies. In order to complete 2nd cycle studies 60 - 80 credits are required.
After full completion of another type of graduate studies - specialized professional studies - a professional qualification is obtained without the right to enter university 3rd cycle studies. In order to complete these studies, 40 - 80 credits are required.
•    3rd Cycle (Postgraduate) Studies are available: doktorantura (doctoral studies) - studies leading to a research degree (not more than 4 years nominal duration); rezidentura (residency) - studies of Medicine, Deontology, and Veterinary Medicine to prepare specialists for practical activities and leading to a professional qualification (3-6 years nominal duration); memo aspirantura (art studies) - studies devoted to the training and specialization of artists and leading to a memo licentiates’ degree (80 credits required).
There are also vientisosios (integrated) university studies (combining 1st and 2nd cycle). After successful completion of integrated studies, Master's degree and/or professional qualification is awarded and access to 3rd cycle (postgraduate) studies is granted. Traditionally, this type of studies is given in the fields of medicine, engineering, law and religious studies. Workload in credits of these studies varies: no less than 180 national credits are required for professional qualification and/ or 200-240 credits for Master's degree. Studies in the field of Medicine, Odontology ant Veterinary Medicine could be more extensive, but in any case do not require more than 280 credits.

Educational System Today
The system of education in Lithuania is based on European cultural values. It has been undergoing a gradual overhaul ever since 1992, when the education reform was launched. Pre-school education follows pre-school curriculum and is provided for the children from one to five (or six) years of age. Preparatory education is provided from six years of age, or even earlier at parents’ request (and where the child is sufficiently mature for this level of education), but not before the child is five. The duration is one year.

General education follows the curricula of primary, basic and secondary education and lasts for 12 years. Primary education is provided from seven years of age, or earlier at parents’ request, provided the child is prepared. The duration of the curriculum is four years. Upon completion, children acquire primary education. Basic (lower-secondary) education lasts six years. Upon completion of 10th grade curriculum, students acquire basic (lower-secondary) education. As next stage in general education, students may opt for secondary or vocational education curricula. Secondary education lasts two years. Upon the completion of the curriculum of secondary education and having passed maturity examinations, students acquire secondary education. Schooling until 16 years of age is compulsory. There is no academic achievement evaluation at primary level. 5-12 grade achievements fall within the grade scale 1-10.

Lithuania has 1415 Schools of General Education Providing Education for 464906 Children.
Vocational training is designed to acquire qualification and lasts from one to three years. Vocational schools follow vocational training curricula. Schools of general education are also entitled to provide training following vocational training modules. Oldest university in Eastern Europe
The history of higher education in Lithuania goes back to the times when Vilnius Academy-University (Alma academia et universities Vileness societatis Issue) was opened up under the new privilege by King Stephan us Bathrobes, issued on April 1, 1579 and confirmed by a papal bull issued by Pope Gregory XIII on October 29 of the same year. It turned out to be the first higher education establishment in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Eastern Europe to that matter.

Education System
The country has a well-developed system of universities and colleges. Scientific research potential is centred in 31 public establishment of higher education (15 universities and 16 colleges) and 20 private higher education establishments (8 universities and 12 colleges), 17 state research institutes, 18 university research institutes and 8 state research establishments. Different public and state agencies as well as businesses also participate in R&D activities. The total number of institutions involved in R&D is over a hundred and fifty. The largest number of researchers (66 %) falls to the sector of higher education. Public sector accounts for 29 %, while business for 5%.

Lithuania has a binary higher education system – non-university studies and university type studies. Non-university studies are one cycle (undergraduate) professional studies intended for the preparation (training) for professional activity. After the professional studies are completed a diploma of higher education testifying the obtained professional qualification is awarded. Duration of daytime non-university studies is from 3 till 4 years. This type of studies is provided by colleges. Non-university higher education studies can be transferred as an appropriate part of university first cycle or integrated studies on a course-by-course evaluation basis. University studies are organized in three cycles: first cycle (undergraduate Bachelor) studies; second cycle (graduate Master’s or specialized professional) studies; third cycle (post-graduate residency, doctoral or post-graduate art) studies. University studies can be integrated when the first and the second cycles are combined. University higher education is provided by universities.

IT
Lithuania has over a thousand IT companies with a steady rise in outputs and GDP share. Now, dozens of companies have contracts concluded with foreign clients and continue developing products for the global market. Some of these are joint foreign-Lithuanian ventures. The largest research potential is in Kaunas University of Technology, Vilnius University, the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. The research carried out also includes new software development methods and hardware design technologies.

According to foreign experts, Lithuania has a number of research groups well operating under international standards and capable of doing business with global research leaders and hi-tech companies.

Courses / Academics
The course offerings are posted on our website by semester. Our largest academic majors are Business, English, Psychology and Theology. We offer a wide variety Sociology and Conflict Studies courses as well. There are a wide range of courses that could meet general education (core) requirements or requirements for your major.
•    General Lithuanian Language Course - for beginners to advanced levels.
•    Course of Spoken Lithuanian.
•    Summer / Winter Courses.
•    Short Course of Basic Lithuanian.
•    Lithuanian Language Courses Abroad.
•    Individual Course of Lithuanian.
•    Course for children.
Included in Your Semester
•    15 semester hours (5 courses)
•    Housing shared room with 3 European roommates.
•    Monthly stipend (cash) for food and entertainment.
•    Orientation week travel throughout Lithuania.
•    Weekend trip to Riga and Tallinn.
•    One week semester break trip to St. Petersburg and Moscow.
•    Lithuanian student visa.
•    Use of textbooks from the LCC library (you don’t have to buy them).
Flights
En route to Lithuania you will change planes in Western Europe (London, Amsterdam, etc.). You can book a stopover there for a few days or weeks before or after your semester - highly recommended since you’ll be there anyway. You need to land in Vilnius (VNO), since that’s where the Study Abroad staff will pick you up and that’s where the Orientation will begin.

Bachelor's Degree
3 years (180 ECTS credits) towards a professional bachelor or an academic bachelor. Offers students core teaching in the chosen discipline, as well as a broad general education. The academic bachelor gives access to master's studies.

Master's Degree
1 or 2 years (60 or 120 ECTS credits). Provides specialized content whilst allowing for further development of the scientific research process.

After obtaining a Master's degree, students can choose to pursue research projects leading to a Doctorate degree (PhD). PhD's are only awarded by Universities.

The Bologna System also uses the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) to measure higher education credits.

Admission
Students apply directly to the educational institution of their choice. Applications for Bachelor education generally need to have completed secondary education. To be admitted to a Master program, the applicant generally must have completed a Bachelor Degree.

Visa
Foreign students from outside of the EU coming to Lithuania to study for one or two semesters need a residence permit. They can obtain one prior to departure at the Lithuanian embassy in their home country. You can find your closest embassy through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania.
Student visa requirements:
Documents Required:
1.    Completed and signed application in the prescribed form.
2.    2 recent passport photos 35×45 colorful, with white background.
3.    A valid travel document (its period of validity must exceed the validity period of the requested visa by at least six months).
4.    Valid health insurance, covering the duration of stay, and its copy. The amount of medical insurance coverage – EUR 30,000.
5.    A return ticket reservation.
6.    Mediation letter from the higher scholastic institution in Lithuania.
7.    Registration certificate of the scholastic institution in Lithuania.
8.    Study agreement from the scholastic institution in Lithuania.
9.    Means of subsistence in the Republic of Lithuania. It means student has to show bank statement of minimum 8-10 lakhs.
10.    Consular fee.- INR 4000
The Lithuanian Embassy reserves the right to ask for additional documents!
IMPORTANT NOTES:
1.    Visa application and supporting documents shall be presented by the applicant personally. Visa applications received by post, fax or courier will not be considered by the consular officer.
2.    All documents shall be submitted along with its' copies. No copying services will be provided at the Visa Section.
3.    All documents shall be submitted in the same order as per the list of requirements given above.
4.    Please prepare carefully your visa application and supporting documents. Any missing information may lead to visa application decline, deny or process delay. Any missing or incomplete documentation will require you to come another time to the Visa Section.
5.    During interview, applicants should be able to motivate their intentions to study in Lithuania
6.    Visa application processing time- 10 days.
More information on visas: www.urm.lt, www.migracija.lt
Link- http://in.mfa.lt/
Useful Links
1.    www.educations.com
2.    www.europa.eu
3.    www.studyabroad.com

Embassy of Republic of Lithuania in New Delhi   
     D-129, Anand Niketan
New Delhi - 110021
Tel. +91-11-43132200
E-mail : amb.in@urm.lt
Website: http://in.mfa.lt/


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