Saveen, could you tell us why did you decide to come to Lithuania? It is such a long way from Sri Lanka…
My study path has started once I successfully passed my exams in Sri Lanka and decided to move to China, as my family already lived there. I chose to study the Chinese language. After I graduated from Chinese studies, I started to search for a bachelor’s degree program to continue my studies in.
My interest in aviation most probably is related to my family’s background. My grandpa was an aircraft engineer and that is how I first got familiar with the aviation field, this interest to me came very naturally.
I was looking for Aviation Management studies in Europe. I found several programs and even got admitted. However, when I came across the KSU program, I compared the study subjects that were offered in KSU to other universities and realized that KSU is offering more relevant subjects. I was also happy to see that living conditions, housing costs in Lithuania are suitable for me. An educational system is well developed and it is considerably cheaper than in most of the other European countries, which is always important for a student.
Have you faced any cultural differences, what surprised you the most while living and studying in Lithuania?
Yes, the culture is indeed very different. I came to Lithuania from a country that is closely connected to the Buddhism religion, and that is one of the main cultural differences. It was easier for me to adapt here as I already had some international experience from the time I studied in China, where I spent a lot of time communicating with European students at University where we had an international students community which consisted of almost 2000 people. For me, coming to Lithuania was not problematic. However, at first, it was a bit cold for me here, I must admit.
Let’s talk about your choice to study Aviation Management. Did the course meet your expectations?
Yes, completely. I had high expectations and carefully chose a university to study in. I am very happy about my choice! I especially enjoyed the fact that in KSU I had a lot of international professors, also, we were studying in small groups and each student got a great amount of individual attention. Lecturers were truly experts in their fields. I still keep in touch with some of them. They are very nice people, always happy to help.
What did you like the most or did not like during your study period?
I honestly don’t have any dislikes. I felt that Lithuania is an open-minded country, you don’t feel any rush in here, lifestyle is not busy, you always feel surrounded by beautiful, very green nature full of trees everywhere. I even enjoyed winter, I find it quite special, as I come from a tropical country. However, the rainy weather in the spring and autumn seasons is not always a pleasure.
What is the biggest difference between studying in Lithuania and Sri Lanka?
The similarity is that in Sri Lanka, as a former British colony, we have high quality, well-developed educational system too. Universities in Sri Lanka are usually very small and students are often under a lot of pressure during their studies. Also, a bachelor’s degree studies can easily take up to 5 years, which is a lot compared to the 3.5 years that took me to complete my bachelor’s degree at KSU. It is a huge advantage. This might indicate that education in Lithuania is organized better. Also, here you are more likely to get an international study experience, meeting students and professors from various countries.
Why did you decide to stay in Lithuania after graduation? Please share your future career plans.
I decided to stay here because I wanted to continue my education and chose to study in a master’s program, also at KSU. I am currently looking for companies to apply for a full-time job after my studies. I am currently in a part-time aviation-related internship, getting more hands-on experience. I chose to study Organizational Innovation and Management master’s program, to get an even deeper understanding of the business operation and management.
If you had a chance to choose again, would you change anything in your choices?
I truly enjoy the sense of freedom and safety I feel in Lithuania. No air pollution, no rush, no traffic. I have lots of friends here, not only in the university but also in international student communities, which are very active in Lithuania. Therefore, I would not change anything about my choices.