“I can choose any country for living, but I haven’t made my final decision yet. I think that everyone of us, working towards their future abroad, would like to live at home if they had the same conditions”, says Edgaras Šmigelskis, Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) alumni. At the moment young engineer is working at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics – the work place earned by successful internship.
Edgaras, who has lived not only in Germany, but also spent almost a year living in a faraway Japan, says that travelling is necessary in order to understand what you wish from life. Knowledge of different cultures proves that there are a lot of things we can learn from each other.
Šmigelskis was one of a few Lithuanians who has won the internship in Japan through the programme Vulcanus in Japan open for all KTU students.
“Japan impressed me by its culture and traditions; Japanese people are very meticulous, all the environment is particularly clean and tidy. Also, Japan is very safe. If, for example, you forget a bag, valet or even some money in a train, there is a 95 percent possibility that you will find your things in a lost-and-found office”, says Edgaras. For him Japan is a country of always punctual transport, hardworking people, and incredible food.
“In Japan you can feel at home from the very first minute, as the country is extremely well-organised and people are always willing to help. However, there you will always stay gaijin (short for gaikokujin, which means foreigner in Japanese)”, says Šmigelskis.
Still, he agrees that the experience depends on the attitude and communication from both sides. Edgaras thinks that Japanese could learn some joy of living from Lithuanians, who are well aware that there is more to life than work.
“They could learn spontaneity, how to express feelings and emotions, how to be more open to possibilities. Japanese lack understanding that one is free to choose their own path, and that you don’t need to follow the path designed by your parents”, says young engineer, who, after internships in Germany and Japan, ended up working at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Munich.
He is convinced that travelling is very important for getting to know not only the world, but also self. Today travelling is very easy – one can literally reach another side of the world after a day’s flight; thus valuable experience of expanding one’s outlook towards life comes relatively cheap.
When asked, if he has already chosen the place where to say, Edgaras smiles: “I know I want to be happy. It is not important in which country I will live”.