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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at Vilnius University

 

Vilnius University is the oldest and largest Lithuanian Higher Education institution. Since its establishment in the 16th century, Vilnius University has been an active participant in international scientific and academic activity, thus it has become an integral part of European science and culture embodying the concept of a classical university and the unity of studies and research.

Today, Vilnius University has over 23,000 students and over 1,500 teaching and research staff. The University has 12 faculties, 8 institutes, 3 university hospitals, 10 study and research centers as well as one of the richest libraries in Europe, an astronomical observatory, a botanical garden and a cherished Church of St. Johns’. As one of the oldest higher education establishments in Central and Eastern Europe, it has had a marked influence on the cultural life of Lithuania and its neighboring states. 

This program is best for a student that is independent.  A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus to thrive in this location. Please be aware that there may not be the same access to internet or amenities to which you may be accustomed.  Student services and especially class registration may not be at all similar to what is done at the College and may be difficult for some students to adjust.  

Learn more about Vilnius University here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Program Type

Exchange

Locations

Vilnius, Lithuania

Languages of Instruction

English, Lithuanian, German, French, Russian, Polish - 2 yrs of university-level in the desired language of instruction

Program Dates

Academic year: Late August to Late June

Fall 2018: Early September to Late January

Spring 2019: Early February to Late June

 

All dates are tentative and may change.  ISEP will alert all accepted students of final dates.

Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Language Requirement: If native English speakers wish to take courses in a foreign language, a minimum of 2 years of university-level of the desired language of instruction (e.g. Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, French, German etc.), or the equivalent must be completed prior to the start of studies at Vilnius University.
  • Students must submit ISEP language proficiency report in application, even if native speaker
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  

 

ISEP Exchange chance of placement is generally good for US students. 

Location

The Republic of Lithuania lies on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea and it is the southernmost and the largest country of the three Baltic States. The climate in Lithuania is Oceanic/continental, winters and summers are moderate, however, temperature can soar up to + 30°C in summer and drop down to -32°C in winter. Vilnius has always been a lively city with people from all the different nationalities and cultures who have lived here and have created a colorful city mosaic. It is the largest city in Lithuania with a population of 560,000 and a density of 1413 people per square kilometer. Vilnius city is full of tourist attractions that students will find interesting, some of which are the Cathedral Basilica, The President’s Palace, the Old Town, Upper Castle and Gediminas Tower, and the Church of Anne. The capital of Lithuania is one of the most beautiful cities in the Old Continent, where the heritage of the past and achievements of the present, science and culture co-exist in harmony.

Academics

Vilnius University has 18 academic divisions, among which there are 12 Faculties and three Institutes and Study centers having faculty rights and offering courses to International students.  Recommended fields include Languages, Humanities, Economics, Business Administration, Political Sciences, Life Sciences, Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Informatics, Law, Social Sciences, Communication and Information Science. Course availability may be limited in Psychology and Medical Sciences. 

Courses offered at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts are open to ISEP Exchange students provided the majority of courses are taken at Vilnius University. 

Vilnius University follows the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) as a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education.  For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded.  Lake Forest students need to earn 30 ECTS credits per semester to earn 4 Lake Forest credits.

Students typically enroll in 5-7 classes per term which average to 20-23 hours in class per week. A term runs for 16 weeks. 

For the classes at Vilnius University, please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.

Language Requirement: If native English speakers wish to take courses in a foreign language, a minimum of 2 years of university-level of the desired language of instruction (e.g. Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, French, German etc.), or the equivalent must be completed prior to the start of studies at Vilnius University.

Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.

Can review the country handbooks for ISEP here as well:

http://www.isep.org/students/Placed/country_handbooks.asp

 

ISEP Placement info: http://www.isep.org/Coordinators/us_placement_notes_english.asp

 

Please review country handbook for more information on the education system, grades, class hours, and classroom etiquette. 

 

HINTS FOR RESEARCHING COURSES

1. From the main website, choose “Studies”, click on “Studies for Exchange students”, then “Courses in Foreign Languages”. 
2. Choose the Faculty and you will see a list of all courses offered by the faculty, which degree students can attend the course, how long the course lasts, in which semester (autumn and/or spring) the course is offered and a number of credits awarded.
3. By clicking on the course you will be able to read a detailed description of the course, its aims, and objectives as well as prerequisites, examination procedure and assessment.

Course Approvals

Check to see if your department has pre-approved courses here. If not, don’t worry. You can work with your advisor.

Student Life

All exchange students are invited to participate in Orientation Week program organized upon their arrival. This program is very important for international students as they get acquainted with University academic and administrative requirements, migration requirements, safety measures in the city and country. The program includes such activities as Guided Tours in Vilnius city, at Vilnius University and Library, Museum of Genocide Victims and a trip to Trakai. Students also have a possibility to attend Survival Lithuanian course to learn the basics of the Lithuanian language as well as to meet their faculty coordinators. The program is organized by Vilnius University mentors, so exchange students have plenty of possibilities to meet and get acquainted with other international and local students by attending welcome, karaoke, national dishes, etc. parties, going to movies, participating in orientation games.

We highly recommend international students to apply for a mentor before arrival as mentors are Vilnius University students who help their fellow students to settle down in Vilnius as well as start enjoying their stay from the first minute. They usually meet international students at the airport, help them to reach the required destinations during the first days of stay and help them to integrate into student life. Usually, mentors are from the same faculty as an international student, so they will be very helpful in sorting out academic questions as well. 

Active and creative international students are welcome to join ESN Vilnius University activities organized for international exchange students. ESN VU organizes such activities as orientation week program, trips inside Lithuanian and to neighboring countries, thematic parties etc. So students get plenty of possibilities to know more about the country, city, and Lithuanian culture as well as get acquainted with local and other international students. International students coming to study at Vilnius University can join and participate in various sports activities, such as playing basketball, football, aerobics, volleyball, table tennis, chess etc. Students have to arrange attendance with the instructors of different sports at Vilnius University Sports Centre.

 

Housing and Meals

Students are housed in double rooms in one of the international students’ dormitories. Accommodation at Vilnius University international dormitories is available only for Vilnius University students. A refundable housing deposit is required. Depending on the geographical location of the faculty as well as traffic cause the trip from the dormitory to the faculties may take from 20 to 40 minutes by public transport. Dormitories are equipped with a kitchen. ISEP students will receive a stipend for their meals.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange program includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing and a stipend to cover the equivalent of 19/meals per week.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 semester:

Budget Item

Amount

Lake Forest College Tuition

$21,412

Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost

$5,100

College Deposit (credit)

($250)

Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College

$27,512

ISEP Fee due on Stage 2 Application

 $325

College Deposit due on Acceptance (non-refundable, but shows as credit on bill for off-campus term)

 $250

ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance ($90/mo estimated)

Note: Some countries require national insurance. Check ISEP

 $360

Additional Meals

 $500

Estimated Airfare

 $1,200

Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance, if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)

 $1,700

Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses

 $4,335

Total

 

$31,847 

 

Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2017. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate, nor fees to enroll in courses at partner institutions, and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

Do check your student account on My.Lakeforest for your aid awards, as much of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/admissions/tuition/fees.php

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.