DON@: International Students Embrace “Sharing is Caring” Event

Tarptautiniai studentai

On August 24th, Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) hosted “Sharing is Caring” Donation Day for the first time, a heartfelt event that brought together newcomers and international students to embrace the spirit of giving back.

During the event, almost 100 exchange and full-time students were invited to find kitchen essentials, items for cleaning, and things for studies and sports to start their new academic year and study journey in Kaunas.

The event was organized as part of the DON@ Donation Opportunities for Newcomers project aimed to facilitate the integration and improvement of living conditions of students with fewer opportunities by promoting mutual support, inclusion, and sustainable development. We extend our gratitude to the Student Affairs Department, the Baltija Dormitory administration, and our dedicated volunteers for their invaluable support in organizing this event.

Tarptautiniai studentai

Rocco, an exchange student from Italy: “Thanks to the DON@ event, I managed to get a kitchen kit, which will be helpful for me. And during the event, I also managed to get this ladle to cook some sauce for my pasta. Thank you so much!”

Mariia, a full-time student from Ukraine: “I think it’s a really good project that saves our planet and our environmental system. Also, we don’t overuse new products, we don’t buy the items and new things”.

Yana, an exchange student from Ukraine: “I’ve joined this event, and I’ve got a wooden cutting board so that all tables will be saved now. Thank you for this event and for the donations!”

Also, all registered students could win unique electronic things left by previous students via lottery, such as a sandwich maker, garment steamer, hand blender and smoothie maker kit, and electric lint remover for clothes.

Tarptautiniai studentai

The “Sharing is Caring” event within the Orientation Day’s programme was not only for sharing things but also offered a unique opportunity for new international students to connect, share experiences, and make friends.

Anastasiia, a full-time student from Ukraine: “We are very glad to be a part of this donation event because it’s a great opportunity to make new connections, to meet more people, and to get some devices for free which we will really use!”

The “Sharing is Caring” Event was made possible by the donations of the previous cohort of exchange students, recent graduates, and volunteers. At the end of last semester, 35 students left gently used or new things they no longer needed (kitchen stuff, electronics, items for cleaning, hobbies, and studies).

Many VMU students expressed their wish to help with the project implementation at the end of the previous academic year.

Shaurya, a full-time student from India, shares his impressions: “I decided to help the DON@ team in their item collection from departing students. The events were set to coincide with the students leaving after finishing the semester to ensure maximum collection and minimum waste generation. I helped the team during their collection events in Baltija dormitory, where different students came forward and donated their stuff for the future students”.

Roman, a full-time student from Azerbaijan, joined a volunteer team too: “I volunteered for the DON@ project that promotes sustainable development as it saves stuff and passes to the next generation from the previous students. It helps with plastic emissions, reduces waste, and helps students with fewer opportunities. They don’t need to go and buy the stuff; they arrive and get it. I was very glad to participate in this project and remember caring”.

Tarptautiniai studentai

Moreover, many items left by foreign students (clothes, footwear, bedding) were donated to people experiencing homelessness at the Kaunas Archidiocese Caritas (Ateik Caritas).

Quote from Day center manager Rosita Mikėnienė, who accepted donated items:

“Ateik” day center at the Kaunas Archdiocese Caritas is for people experiencing homelessness and loneliness to spend time, warm up, drink a cup of coffee or tea, and be in a safe environment. About 30-40 people visit here daily, even more in winter. Most of them receive very little or no income, so they need various assistance in the form of clothes, food, and other items. Thanks to the students for their help and this donation initiative.”

Apply now: Erasmus+ Traineeship Competition

Erasmus+ Traineeship Competition

A competition is open for Erasmus+ student and rencent graduate traineeship grants. Application deadline is the 30th of September, 2023.

The placement period is from 2 to 6 months.


All VMU fulltime degree students who have not used more than 10 months of their Erasmus mobility (study / traineeship) period are eligible for the Erasmus grant.

Selection documents

For student traineeship (traineeship during student’s year of studies)

For recent graduate traineeship (application must be submitted during the last year of studies)

The priority in the selection is given to

  • students whom traineeship is an obligatory part of their study programme;
  • students who have never been Erasmus traineeship students before.

Selection criteria

  • student’s motivation;
  • good knowledge of the language which will be used during the traineeship;
  • student’s work, study, traineeship, participation in the international / academic projects, social activities experience in Lithuania and abroad;
  • conformability between the chosen traineeship and student’s study programme;
  • study results (first year MA students should attach transcript of records of their BA/MA degree to the application form).

The competition results will be sent to every participant via e-mail.

Competitions for Erasmus+ traineeships are taking place each month.

More information

Traineeship programme coordinator Tomas Mickevičius

Study Exchange and Internship Opportunities for Students

Study Exchange and Internship Opportunities for Students

International Cooperation Department invites all VMU students to take an opportunity and apply for studies, traineeship or short-term courses abroad.

These are enriching possibilities that strengthen self-improvement while expanding study knowledge and skills of foreign languages, facing the differences in the study systems, improving professional skills, exploring new cultures, finding new interests, making new friends and bringing unforgettable memories that build the foundation for the future career.

We offer four different options for international mobility:

More information

On September 19–21, VMU International Cooperation Department will organise Erasmus Days’23 where all students will be invited to learn more about mobility opportunities and join various interesting and meaningful initiatives.

More information about Erasmus Days

New Academic Year with Kaunas Universities

Vytautas Magnus University will greet the new academic year together with Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences and Lithuanian Sports University. On September 1st, Friday, you are welcome to attend joint festive events.

This year, the event will start at 12 p.m. with Holy Mass at the Kaunas Cathedral Basilica of the Apostles St. Peter and Paul (Vilniaus g. 1), followed by a joint oath-taking ceremony in the courtyard of the Historical Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania (Vilniaus str. 33) at 2 p.m.

Later, the students will march towards Independence Square, led by the KTU brass band The BrassBees. The main event of the celebration will take place here and will be crowned by a festive concert featuring the joint university choir and the singer GJan. At 3.30 p.m., VMU community is invited to enjoy a glass of wine in the lobby of the Great Hall.

Detailed program of the celebration:

  • 12 p.m. Holy Mass at the Kaunas Cathedral Basilica of the Apostles St. Peter and Paul (Vilniaus g. 1)
  • 2 p.m. Participants of the festive procession gather in the courtyard of the Historical Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania (Vilniaus g. 33)
  • 2–2.15 p.m. Students’ speech/oath.
  • 2.15 p.m. Procession of the universities’ community (we depart from the courtyard of the Historical Presidential Palace, walking down Laisvės Alėja to Nepriklausomybės Square).
  • 3 p.m. Festive concert at Nepriklausomybės Square featuring the joint choir of the universities and GJan!
  • At 3.30 p.m., VMU community is invited to enjoy a glass of wine in the lobby of the Great Hall (S. Daukanto g. 28)

The event will be photographed and/or filmed; therefore, please note that you might be featured in photos or videos which can be published in various media.

More information

Student Registration into Study Subjects for Autumn Semester 2023


The first stage of the autumn semester 2023/2024 registration for lectures, seminars and laboratory works is on 25-29 August. At this stage, the registration is open:

  • For full-time and part-time students of bachelor and integrated studies (excluding 1st year students)
  • For full-time and part-time students of master studies
  • For full-time students of professional studies
  • For part-time free-movers
  • For part-time exchange students

Registration of first-year undergraduate and full-time students will take place on 31 August.

Enrolment will be performed online only, having connected to VMU Students’ Self-service Portal at:

A username is: name.surname (lowercase, Latin alphabet letters only) and a password.

If a student has forgotten the password, he/she can set up a new one at the site: Instructions are available here.



Barakat Smoqi: My Exciting University Experience

nuotraukoje greta Barakato – VDU Socialinio darbo katedros profesorius Jonas Ruškus

While in Iraq, I was always searching for an opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in social work outside my country. I had a particular interest in Lithuanian universities due to their significant number of international students. One night in a displacement camp, as I was browsing Facebook, I came across a post announcing a vacant position to study a master’s degree in Social Work at VDU University. Without hesitation, I immediately filled out the application form. VDU had been my dream destination, and I was ready to seize this valuable opportunity.

After about a month had passed, I received an email congratulating me on my acceptance to VDU University. It was an indescribable moment of joy. I felt overwhelming happiness as if I were about to fulfill my dream. However, the road to reaching the university was not easy. I traveled to Turkey for an interview to obtain a Lithuanian visa since there is no Lithuanian embassy in Iraq. Unfortunately, my initial application was rejected. I felt a great sense of disappointment as I had left two jobs behind in Iraq and depleted my savings for this aspiration. But thanks to the university’s support and cooperation, they extended the attendance and document submission deadline, which helped me in attempting to reapply for the visa. After another 35 days, I finally obtained the visa.

Now, let me share a little about my experience at the university. Today, it has been almost fifteen days since I graduated from the university, obtaining a master’s degree in social work. Despite the remarkable academic system and organization, what truly enriched my experience was the kind and immensely helpful university community.

While at the university, I felt as if I were living among my family members. They greatly assisted me in facing the challenges I encountered and played a significant role in my personal and professional development. In fact, I felt such strong support that I unintentionally referred to it as “my university” in my defense letter instead of its actual name. For this reason, I am indebted to this university and feel deep gratitude towards it.

Based on my personal experience, I highly recommend this esteemed university, especially the Department of Social Work, to anyone seeking an excellent educational system and a strong academic background. The university provides exceptional education that meets the needs of the modern job market, and personally, I have benefited greatly in developing my practical skills and critical thinking.

Aside from the high-quality education, the university’s community is what really sets it apart. The social experience there was great, interacting with students of different nationalities and friendly and helpful faculty. They were always willing to help me in any way they could. It’s a really friendly university.

VMU to Hold Graduation Ceremonies



2.30 p.m. Graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Social Sciences


The events will be photographed and/or filmed; therefore, please note that you might be featured in photos or videos which can be published in various media outlets.

Social Work – Vocation and Profession Vital to the Country

Socialinis darbas

“Social work is going through a period of upswing. COVID-19 has shown that the profession is essential to the vital functions of the state – there is not a single person left who doubts this. In the past, we used to talk only about teachers and doctors, and almost never about social workers. I think the situation is changing now. I would like as many people as possible to choose this profession – not just because you need to enrol somewhere, but to make it both a respectable profession and a profession that is strongly driven by vocation,” emphasising the importance of social work studies says the Minister of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania Monika Navickenė, who during her visit to Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) discussed the changes in social policy in Lithuania.

Social work is an activity that aims to help people, families, and communities to solve social problems, cope with difficulties, build resilience to challenges, and develop their independence and responsibility. Members of this profession contribute to solving pressing societal problems such as domestic violence, social exclusion, poverty, addiction, and other difficulties faced by people in difficult life situations. Recognising the importance of this profession, VMU offers a unique first-cycle study programme and the only one of its kind in Lithuania – “Social Work and Psychosocial Counselling.”

Contributes to a stronger society

According to Assoc. Prof. Rasa Naujanienė, Head of the VMU Department of Social Work, social workers, together with other specialists, provide psychosocial support – they help those who are going through various crises and who have experienced emotional trauma due to illness, loss, divorce, and other events. It is a broad profession, encompassing both psychosocial support for people at social risk, people with addictions, families fostering children, people serving sentences, people with disabilities, and others, as well as human rights practices.

“It is important for social workers to motivate people to accept help from psychologists, psychiatrists, and other professionals, to empower them to change. Social work also promotes personal responsibility and independence, helping people to become self-reliant and build stronger, more sustainable societies. This is why this profession is very important for the well-being and development of the Lithuanian society”, says Assoc. Prof. Naujanienė.

According to her, social work should be a career choice for those for whom it is also a vocation. “Being a social worker means having strong interpersonal relationships, empathy, patience, and a desire to help others. It is a highly responsible profession that requires continuous learning and development. Like any profession that involves helping people, social work is also a vocation. Most importantly, it must be chosen by a person who wants to help others and who is not alien to social sensitivity and human rights,” she explains.

Listening is key

Marius Rišys, who works at the child welfare centre Pastogė, graduated from Vytautas Magnus University with a master’s degree in Social Work. He says the most important skill for people in this field is the ability to listen. “Social work is not just about paperwork, filling in formalities or pointing people in one direction or another. It is first and foremost about listening to people, helping them to deal with the emotions that are weighing them down at the moment, helping them to understand how they got to where they are and that they need help,” he says.

Rišys notes that the ability to listen has been one of the greatest benefits he has gained from his studies. Internationality has been equally beneficial: he had the opportunity to attend lectures by lecturers from the USA, Sweden, and other countries, to interact with foreign students, and to broaden his horizons about phenomena that at first glance appear to be simple, but which in fact have complex and serious causes.

“What we are seeing now is only the result. If we want to understand what happened to a person, why he or she is in trouble, we need to listen to their story and see things from another angle. My studies gave me just that – the ability to listen, consult, and see the bigger picture,” says Rišys, who at the beginning of his work at the Pastogė centre had a very challenging task of working with families at social risk and helping them recover their children and deal with problems such as addiction, violence, and other issues.

“There have been some very successful stories. Sometimes, five years later, clients find you and say, “Thank you for helping me out of my addiction,” but you’ve already forgotten about that case. Such events used to make me really happy,” VMU graduate recalls the brighter side of his work.

He currently works with people who foster children, consulting foster carers and the children they care for, and helping them through the fostering process – he has to act as an emotional mediator and help avoid misunderstandings. Another one of his responsibilities is to provide training for people who are applying to become foster carers. “It’s truly an interesting job because you delve into a person’s life story, their relationship with their environment, their parents, their childhood. Based on this, you have to assess and draw conclusions whether a person will be able to take care of a child and be an adoptive parent,” says an employee of the child welfare centre Pastogė.

Situations need to be responded to quickly

Gerda Laurinavičienė, a graduate of VMU with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Social Work, currently has a similar responsibility at the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service, where she meets with individuals and families expressing their desire to become foster carers or adoptive parents.

“The dynamic nature of the work of the Child Rights Protection Service is what attracted me to this career path. I also chose this work because I am studying for a PhD in Social Work at the University of Lapland and my thesis topic is related to children in the Lithuanian foster care system. The foster care system is interesting to me, and my experience gives me the opportunity to analyse it from different perspectives,” says Laurinavičienė, who graduated from Vytautas Magnus University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work.

According to her, her studies at VMU have been rich in every sense – both in terms of the content of the subjects taught and the teachers, who are professionals in their field. “I remember a lot of discussions in which Loyola University Chicago students directly participated, a lot of practical experience that gave me the opportunity to see social work up close, and also collaboration with various institutions. The studies allowed me to develop both as a social work professional and as a person,” says Laurinavičienė, adding that during her studies she broadened her view of social problems and acquired skills that are very useful in her current work.

“My job requires quick reactions to situations, structured and responsible work, constant interest in and analysis of changes in the foster care system, and cooperation with other professionals and colleagues. It also requires empathy, critical thinking, curiosity, and often courage,” the social worker notes.

The only studies of this kind in Lithuania

The first-cycle study programme “Social Work and Psychosocial Counselling” offered at Vytautas Magnus University combines the latest theories and knowledge of social work and other disciplines, as well as counselling methods and practices. It develops a professional and responsible approach to psychosocial support, with the aim of ensuring human rights and critically assessing organisational, legal, political, and economic contexts. According to Assoc. Prof. Rasa Naujanienė, the focus on psychosocial counselling is the greatest strength and uniqueness of this study programme, which is unmatched by any other programme offered in Lithuania.

“Psychosocial counselling is about counselling on interpersonal relationships, crisis situations or events, mourning or loss. It’s also about providing education on opportunities and helping individuals identify their needs, make appropriate decisions, and access available resources,” explains the Head of VMU Department of Social Work.

The updated “Social Work and Psychosocial Counselling” programme includes courses in the field of psychology, focusing on personality development, the foundations of psychology in social work, coaching methods, and law, as well as updated courses related to psychosocial counselling and other areas to strengthen the competences of social work practice. The programme offers the opportunity to undertake up to three internships in public and non-governmental organisations of one’s choice and to develop practical skills through a range of practical courses and group supervision.

Graduates of these studies can be successfully employed in social work and other professional fields. They are able to carry out psychosocial assessments, conduct counselling interviews in a purposeful manner, use motivational interviewing techniques, alternative counselling tools, and more. After graduating and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, graduates can work as social workers or managers in governmental and non-governmental organisations operating in the fields of social security, health, education, law enforcement, employment, and national defense.

Graduates are qualified to provide psychosocial support and counselling to a wide range of groups, including children, adolescents, young people, families, the elderly, individuals with mental health or addiction problems, migrants, the unemployed, and others. Students can continue their studies in Social Work, Social Anthropology, Integrated Communication, and other second-cycle study programmes in the fields of Social Sciences or Education.

About VMU study programme “Social Work and Psychosocial Counselling” (in Lithuanian)

A gift for university graduates – VMU Alumni ID

Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) in commemoration of the 34th anniversary of its restoration (founded in 1922, restored in 1989) presents a new interactive platform called “VMU alumni ID”, which is integrated on website and invites graduates to “Join”.

The purpose of this platform is to return to the university and establish and maintain a more flexible or strengthened mutual connection both between the university and the graduates, as well as among the alumni themselves, who are scattered all over the world.

The interactive space on the website allows graduates to add or update information about themselves held by the university and generate a virtual university alumni ID card based on this information. By signing into their alumni ID account, alumni will be able to access university services more easily and get exclusive benefits. Also, there is an awesome opportunity to remember your groupmates with whom you graduated from the university and start communicating with them, thus renewing old and establishing new professional and social connections.

Our alumni community is the face of the university, which demonstrates the success and impact of the higher education institution on society. Therefore, we are very happy that on the occasion of VMU Restoration Day, as a gift to graduates, we can present this completely new, innovative tool “VMU alumni ID”, which has no corresponding analogs in Lithuania, to the alumni of our university in Lithuanian and English languages. We believe that a large community of university graduates will join and use this platform, which will become a medium that will allow them to communicate and cooperate directly with each other, creating an even greater synergy between the activities of graduates and the university and the value being created in Lithuania and the world, said VMU Vice-Rector for communication Ph.D. Vilma Bijeikiene.

Those who register on the “VMU alumni ID” platform will not only generate a virtual graduate certificate but will also be able to use offers and additional benefits exclusively for them: receive discounts for studies and learning foreign languages, improve professional competencies, do sports at the Sports Centre, get career counseling at the Career Centre, and try more graduate-only or graduate-oriented university services.

Using the “VMU alumni ID” platform, alumni will be able to propose and develop their own initiatives for both other alumni and the entire university community. The interactive alumni space will constantly improve, new services and functions will appear that will facilitate the use of the platform, and alumni will be able to express their opinions and feedback.

Every year, more than 2,000 university graduates graduate from various levels of studies at the university.

We invite all VMU alumni to join the alumni community and thus create traditions and strengthen the connection with Alma Mater!

Final Erasmus+ Traineeship Competition


A final competition for this academic year is open for Erasmus+ student or recent graduate traineeship grants for traineeships in any country in the world. Application deadline is the 31st  of May, 2023.

The placement period is from 2 to 6 months. Recent graduate traineeship must end – in a year after graduation.


All VMU full-time degree students who have not used more than 10 months of their Erasmus mobility (study/traineeship) period are eligible for the Erasmus grant.

Selection documents

For student traineeship (traineeship during student’s year of studies):

Documents must be submitted online.

For recent graduate traineeship (application must be submitted during the last year of studies):

The priority in the selection is given to:

  • students whom traineeship is an obligatory part of their study programme;
  • students who have never been Erasmus traineeship students before.

Selection criteria:

  • student’s motivation;
  • good knowledge of the language which will be used during the traineeship;
  • student’s work, study, traineeship, participation in the international/academic projects, social activities experience in Lithuania and abroad;
  • conformability between the chosen traineeship and student’s study programme;
  • study results (first year MA students should attach transcript of records of their BA/MA degree to the application form).

Traineeship grants:

For EU and EEA countries:

Country group Country Monthly scholarship size
Group I Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Sweden, United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, Norway 750,00 Eur
Group II Austria, Belgium, ,Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Netherlands, Malta, Portugal 750,00 Eur
Group III Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Turkey 690,00 Eur
Group IV Switzerland 700,00 Eur

For Non-EU/EEA countries:

Scholarship is 700,00 Eur/month.

Travel grant (depends on the distance between sending and receiving institutions):

  • 100-499 km – 180,00 Eur
  • 500-1999 km – 275,00 Eur
  • 2000-2999 km – 360,00 Eur
  • 3000-3999 km – 530,00 Eur
  • 4000-7999 km – 820,00 Eur
  • More than 8000 km – 1500,00 Eur

Additional travel grants for green travelling options.

The competition results will be sent to every participant via e-mail.

More information:

Traineeships programme coordinator Tomas Mickevičius

Address: V. Putvinskio st. 23, 218 room.

Phone: +370 37 327987