KTU student on her studies: it was everything I wished for

Important | 2023-10-30

Future language specialists, who are studying at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) today, have an exclusive opportunity to study at three universities in different countries at once. Gaining intercultural knowledge and entering the international job market was never easier.

Goda Skaisgirytė, who will graduate this year, is studying New Media Language, which is a part of the Applied European Languages (AEL) network. As a result, in addition to KTU, Goda has been studying at Aix-Marseille (France) and Granada (Spain) universities.

According to the fourth-year student, the ability to blend into different cultures, where different languages are spoken, and not being afraid to step out of one’s comfort zone helps to acquire exceptional competences which can be applied not only at work, but also in daily life.

A student of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at KTU says that she knew from a young age that she would like to spend part of her study years abroad.

“I discovered the New Media Language study programme almost at the last minute. It caught my eye because of the opportunity to study in two different countries. Now, I am very happy with this spontaneous decision because I have gained the experience I dreamt of,” says Goda, who will graduate with three documents certifying her achievements at KTU and at the universities abroad.

New Media Language_KTU
Goda Skaisgirytė, KTU New Media Language student

Overcame fear and pursued her dream

However, the student remembers that she had had some hesitations regarding her chosen study path: “Until then, I spent my whole in Kaunas at home with my family and friends. So, it was strange to imagine that I would have to leave all that behind and go on a journey where everything would be completely new.”

Marseille, France. Thanks to participation in AEL network, KTU New Media Language Students can study in France and Spain.

Goda also doubted whether she could financially afford to study abroad. However, it was the language barrier that frightened her the most.

“Even though learning a foreign language was not a new thing for me, I still had a lot of doubts about my skills, because Spanish and French are not the languages that I would often encounter in my daily life,” says the fourth-year New Media Language student.

However, none of the fears was strong enough to stop her from pursuing her dream.

In the end, everything worked out: her home, family and friends did not disappear – she just started to appreciate them more; financial doubts also went away, because in the first year, she managed to live on a scholarship and personal savings, and in the second year – to combine work and education.

“As for the language, although the first months were really difficult, among other things, I gained the ability to understand the meaning of a sentence from the context, without having to necessarily understand every single word,” says Goda.

Studying abroad added to her personal development

According to Skaisgirytė, the content of the studies differed from country to country. At KTU, there were more courses on creating text, which was not the case abroad. Moreover, in Lithuania, the focus was on English.

“Both in Granada and in Marseille, the studies were more focused on translations from or into Spanish and French. We also studied history, grammar, and had optional modules in economics, marketing, and project management,” says the New Media Language student.

Alongside academic knowledge, the future language specialist feels that her language learning skills have gained muscle in a multilingual and multicultural environment.

New Media Language_KTU
Granada University, Spain

During her studies in Spain and France, she also learned about the cultures of these countries and their reflection in their languages, the characteristics of the spoken language, dialects, and the Romance language group in general.

“These studies have helped me to overcome myself and have contributed to building my confidence and independence. I met people from different countries, and heard multitude of new stories and opinions, so I have broadened my horizons a lot and got to know myself even more,” says Goda about her personal development.

New Media Language, KTU
A street in Granada, Spain

The student believes that traditional studies have their advantages compared to the AEL programme, but for her, it was both necessary and useful not to be “stuck” in one place.

“Not only travelling but also living in a completely different environment helped me learn, because I was often in unfamiliar situations,” says the fourth-year student of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

A supportive community and new people

The student is happy that the understanding and supportive academic community of the universities abroad has helped her to adapt and overcome the challenges.

“I was able to find people who were willing to help me when I had difficulties with the language or integrating into city life. Lecturers were also understanding towards foreign students, speaking more slowly if necessary or explaining a few times if we didn’t understand something,” remembers Skaisgirytė.

She says that it was the easiest to interact with the international students because they were all in the same situation – in a new country, without friends or family, open to making new connections.

“This was especially true in Granada, where the international student community is very large and close-knit, and there are active organisations which organise trips or get-togethers, so it’s a lot easier to meet new people,” says Goda about making new friends while studying abroad.

After two years of studying abroad, the KTU New Media Language fourth year student says that she is planning to challenge herself and travel even more. However, first she will try to put her experience together.

"Travelling helped me grow," says Goda Skaisgirytė, KTU New Media Language student

Goda understands students who are hesitant to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity. However, she is convinced that the benefits outweigh the fears.

“In the beginning, I was uncertain myself, but the most important thing is to not be afraid: all challenges are doable and thus very rewarding. And besides, if you have any questions, you can always ask for help,” says Skaisgirytė, who, while studying at KTU, used the opportunity provided by her study programme to travel to France and Spain.


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