“I might have a rather strange request”, – the email received by KTU International Studies Office began. Its author, Marie Hühne, Kaunas University of Technology Erasmus+ exchange student was aiming to contact one of her teachers at KTU. “I had one course called Environmental Management and it was fantastic”, explained Marie. Now, a fresh graduate from HTWK Leipzig (Germany), she’s on her first job and is applying good practices learned here, at KTU.
“I always wanted to do something useful with my work and have a positive impact on the world. Making packaging more sustainable and environment-friendly was always my first interest, and I got tools for that in my studies”, explains Marie Hühne, who studied at KTU in spring 2019.
According to a young professional, even in Germany, there are not a lot of people aware that her major exists.
“As my study path is not that common, the possibilities on where to go for an Erasmus semester are more limited than for others. I wanted to explore something new, a country I’ve never been to and couldn’t picture in my head. While doing my research, I discovered Kaunas University of Technology and I thought it would match all my requirements perfectly”, says Marie.
Among the aspects that helped her choose KTU was also an interesting and informative University website in English.
Environmental management system know-how plus soft skills
Was her choice of the university right? Marie is positive – yes! Especially, if we talk about the course of Environmental Management, taught by Professor Visvaldas Varžinskas, Head of the KTU Centre of Packing Innovations and Research.
“It would have been possible to pick a similar course at my home university, but most people who’d had it described the course as a kind of dry. So I started the class at KTU with some doubts but experienced the opposite. The professor managed to deliver the information to us in a really practical and easily understandable way, providing examples from his own experience. For me, it was a lot of fun!”, says Marie.
Currently, Marie is trying to implement an environmental management system in her job; she says it’s the real proof that the course she took at KTU was really helpful.
Presentational skills are among other competencies that Marie was able to improve while studying here: “At KTU, I took a course about computer-aided design. This was a topic we were never able to deepen at my home university but which is known to be very useful in future jobs. Taking that course was very helpful. This also applies to Sketch, another course I took which gave me the tools to clearly deliver first impressions of my ideas in a comprehensive way even outside of the work environment.”
Want to get to know Lithuanians? Enrol into a sports class
Kaunas, according to Marie is beautiful, but she had to get used to people being a lot different than in Germany.
“It’s not easy to get to know Lithuanians and that is coming from a German who is always told it’s hard to make friends here! On the streets and in shops, Lithuanians seem very distant and might even be described as cold since I rarely saw them smile”, remembers Marie her first impressions about living in Lithuania.
Her breakthrough came after Marie enrolled in a boxing class – in the mainly Lithuanian environment, she learned that the first impression is just the outside.
“People were extremely nice and welcoming – even though I was the only not native they tried to translate everything into English since my Lithuanian was very limited and I got the chance to get to know them a bit better”, says Marie.
Would she recommend KTU for her friends? Absolutely, but prepare yourself if you come in winter.
“Make sure to bring some warm clothes and prepare for a lot of snow! Also, don’t be scared to book a shared dormitory. It’s a great part of the experience to get a better understanding of the Lithuanian student life and you will always have great people around you”, encourages Marie those considering KTU as their study destination.
Marie has already shown Kaunas for a couple of friends from home. She’d definitely want to come back in 2022 when Kaunas becomes a European Capital of Culture.
In the pictures selected by Marie, you will see her first impression of the dorm, final sketches for project, her friend sticking her head in the sculpture in the botanical garden she believes on a very nice trip they took there. There is also last group picture of Erasmus students, a picture from a dinner with food from the market in Kaunas, and Marie donating blood with ESN and her with her friend delivering a presentation on sustainability.
“I also attached one of a street advertisement which I guess is about recycling. I actually thought it was really cool to educate everybody on waste separation and back in Germany, I learned that Lithuania is the European recycling champion (which is quite devastating for a German to admit of course)”, says Marie.
Thinking about Kaunas University of Technology as your study destination? Admissions to Spring 2021 are now open. Choose your programme and apply today.