Study abroad opportunity at Alytus College, Lithuania

Visiting faculty from Alytus College in Lithuania spoke with students Wednesday Nov. 28 about a new study abroad program to be offered July 2013.

Alytus College President Danute Remeikiene and Head of International Office Rozalija Radlinskaite visited Geneseo to meet with students who expressed interest in a summer study abroad program in Lithuania set to be held July 1 to 24.

Geneseo associate professor of communication Joseph Bulsys and professor of education Donald Marozas collaborated with their Lithuanian counterparts to create a program that will immerse students in another culture and, as Radlinskaite said, will “open your eyes on different aspects of life.”

“You [will] see the world in other eyes and realize things you’ve never thought about,” Radlinskaite said, adding that the program is an opportunity for “learning about different culture, different nature [and] different people.”

Alytus College is situated in a pine-wooded area of Lithuania bisected by a river. The country itself is the geographic center of Europe, yielding access to the Baltic Sea and three world heritage sites within its borders.

Remeikiene described the area as a land of lakes, including a medieval castle on an island that students could visit.

According to Remeikiene, summer festivals are frequent and highlight Lithuanian culture through food and music. Students can see live performances every evening, and can take advantage of horseback riding lessons, an indoor ski resort and mineral water spas.

Bulsys said there are “different ways we can [create] great interaction and connection among young people,” regardless of which country they were born in.

“It is very interesting for you to feel that [new culture], to taste it,” Radlinskaite said. Remeikiene and Radlinskaite said they aim to offer American students a taste of Lithuanian culture.

Interested students can find further information on the Geneseo Study Abroad website. Bulsys said he estimates an all-inclusive cost for the program to be approximately $4,700. This amount includes airfare, food and lodging.

Alytus College will host Geneseo visitors in its student hostel over the three-week program. Students will travel by bus to and from local events and festivals that will comprise a large portion of the course.

Radlinskaite and Remeikiene are “the most caring, giving people I’ve ever met,” Marozas said. Any student exploring Lithuanian culture through the program, he said, “would be welcomed with open arms.”