replied to the thread Moving to Lithuania - Advice
on the Lithuania forum:
Hi, I'm an Englishman with a Lithuanian girlfriend and we've been discussing potentially moving to Lithuania for a period of time in the future. I've seen a few similar topics on this forum but nothing in the last year or 2, I thought perhaps conditions may have changed.
My question is: what kind of work will I be able to find and how likely am I to be able to find it? My girlfriends family is located in Jurbarkas though Kaunas, Klaipeda and Vilnius are the 3 most likely destinations.
I'm 25 and have a degree in Microbiology and experience working in Quality Assurance but I appreciate that without the language skills work in such areas would be impossible so I'm willing to do low-skilled work and learn the language as I go. Work in places such as hostels, hotels and bars would be ideal
Would it be worth it for me to get a qualification in teaching English as a foreign language? Are there opportunities in this sector?
Any info at all would be much appreciated!
Wow thanks for the response! Wasn't expecting anyone to read let alone reply! Ha!!
We are currently in the UK. We have visited many times, I have loved everything about it and coming back each time gets harder! Fortunately we would be able to stay with my inlaws whilst we got on our feet and found work etc.
I am slowly learning the language! I have looked into teaching English but obviously would need a better understanding of the native language! I also have qualifications in hairdressing and nail technology, I understand I will need the language but hoping these skill would help in the search of employment!
replied on August 22, 2015 with:
I am in the same situation as you. I moved here 4 months ago and I am very happy with my decision. The answers to your questions lay in your reasons for moving here. First of all, are you already in Europe? I moved here from the US and it has taken all this time to just get my residency card. The job market is still very tight. Even the locals will tell you that you need to know someone to get any job here. Be aware that minimum wage is 300 euros per month. That is all the stores, restaurants, and skilled labor jobs will pay. It is considered to be a living wage and there are very few of them available even for the locals. Without a good command of the Language, it would be very difficult to find work. However if your husband has family here and you already have a place to live, you could actually get by for a period of time on his salary alone. Food and utilities are very cheap compared to the US, with the exception of gas and oil. So if you are in a butas, it can cost a fortune. If you are in a sodas, or country home, with a wood stove for heating, it could be very inexpensive to live. Plan to come with some savings; we could never have made it this far without that. Many people who move here from the West do so with a plan for sustainable living. Most of my day is spent gardening, canning, and tending animals. That's a full time job in itself. It is hard work, but fulfilling. If you are looking for an American or British lifestyle in LIthuania, you may be sorely disappointed. If you want more details, feel free to email me directly.
posted life in Lithuania
on the Lithuania forum on August 19, 2015:
A reader commented on the Expat Report Moving to Vilnius, Lithuania
A reader replied most recently with:
Comfort Apartment - central Vilnius cost from 34eu per night
replied to the thread Lingua franca in Lithuania
on the Lithuania forum:
I'm a spanish engineering student who just found out that I'm going to spend the next autumn semester studying in Kaunas, and probably extend it to the spring semester. From what I've read, I know that apart from lithuanian young people learn Russian at school and old people know the language from the time their country was part of the Soviet Union. I've read as well that Lithuania is one of the slavic countries with less russians and less fraction of the population understanding russian (but still above two thirds or so). I'm obviously going to end up learning some basic Lithuanian for survival purposes, but I feel that Russian would be a much stronger language to put my efforts into learning, mainly because of its potentia future uses, as an engineer (the more widely spoken languages I can speak, the better). ¿What do you think?
If I may offer a different perspective... I am an American living permanently in Kaunas and trying to learn Lithuanian. You are correct that anyone over the age of about 40 had to learn Russian growing up. Unless they sought to learn English for some professional reason, they will not understand your English. This includes some vital contacts like the experienced electrician, plumber, etc. etc. Anyone over the age of 50 will definately know Russian and you can converse with them to practice the language. I have had a very difficult time communicating with this entire generation (which happens to be most of my husband's family). I, myself, am in my 50's, so the only people I can talk and make friends with are more my son's age. I think you will be fine not knowing Lithuanian while you are here as long as you spend your time with other students and in restaurants and shops where employees are young people. You probably won't need the plumber. LOL. As for the value of Lithuanian, although it is a fascinating and beautiful language, once you leave here, you will never use it again. Russian, on the other hand, will likely be very useful for your future. If it were me, I would study Russian. Be aware, both languages are very difficult to learn for those of us who learned latin-based languages. The structure is completely different and hard to wrap your brain around. Just my opinion....but I did ask my Lithuanian husband and he agrees. Good luck in whatever you choose to do.
replied most recently with:
From your messages (and toher replies that I've gotten so far in other forums) I now know I'll mainly learn Lithuanian (and I really wanted to before, for example for its linguistic rarity).
replied to the thread Lack of activity on this forum
on the Lithuania forum:
It is a bit sad that there is very little activity on this forum, but I understand. Like several Lithuanians have told me, the few foreigners that come here with hopes to live often get disgusted and leave. This is understandable. Lithuania has and still refuses to believe that their native language is an impediment to joining the rest of the world. Instead, they hang their hopes on begging for foreign investments and continue to make the lives of those that come here difficult and sad - just like their own people - one of the suicide kings of the world.
I teach English here, and it is sad to see what the regular Lithuanian schools do in this respect. Of course, as poorly paid and without much respect, they earn far below a normal wage and perform as such - just like the medical services provided ( can be better if you bribe them). All things considered, this small country should make more of an effort to stop begging, lying and cheating like other former Soviet states, and instead, focus on being kind and supportive, which it is does not do now. To Lithuania, I would say, Yeah, you are tiny country of less than 3 million people, but your country is beautiful and has some good resources - so use them or lose them.
And for God's sake - stop demanding that anyone who might want to live here pass language and history exams that the locals could not pass.
Oops, I meant spot on to what rkimo wrote... I'm using Mobile so not as good as a p.c.
Absolutely spot on!!
replied to the thread Medical Healthcare in Lithuania
on the Lithuania forum:
This is a warning to any expats that may find themselves ill here in Lithuania:
If you live in Vilnius or Kaunas, the medical care may be better, because these 2 cities have the best hospitals, clinics and doctors. This has been my experience here in Klaipeda. When I first became ill, I was passed back and forth from one doctor to the next – with none of them recommending anything except multiple exams and medications – and the 7-8 doctors I saw all wrote different and conflicting diagnoses in my health booklet, but none considered it serious enough or cared to do anything more. Finally I collapsed one day, bleeding internally, and was taken to the hospital, where they did a sloppy colostomy surgery and left me to die in a re-animation room. My wife came to visit me every day, and one doctor asked her why she bothered, because he said I was going to die anyway - can you believe it? After 1 month in a coma, I woke to find that my legs had been allowed to atrophy and I was covered in bedsores. While I was transferred from department to department as I recovered, I found that no one ever appeared to know much about me, and the doctors that did "rounds" seemed incredibly unconcerned and inconsiderate - if they could speak any English at all – so much for “reading a patient’s chart” or caring, and the simple fact that forgot to take out my stitches on time – and when they did, missed and forgot to take out a couple stitches, is just one example of what sloppy ignorant care they are capable of. The absolute worst thing is that no one could speak much of any English – as I am an American, and my Lithuanian and Russian are very poor – especially in trying to indicate what was wrong with me. The highest level of English was very low, and this was from only a handful of doctors and nurses. After a while, my wife and I noticed that all the relatives and patients were constantly giving “gifts” to the nurses and doctors – everything from candy to straight cash. The level of care and attention I received improved a little as soon as I started giving the medical staff “gifts”. I have been able to re-learn to walk a little, but I am still very weak and will never be as healthy as I used to be. They left me with an colostomy that doesn’t work well, and I am in constant pain and discomfort from all the complications that occurred from the poor care and attention I received. The things that happened and the situations I experienced in the Hospitals are simply too ridiculous to believe. Some of the nurses and doctors should lose their jobs or be punished for what they have done. My experience has been unbelievable and horrible in many ways, and I am lucky to be alive! I could write several pages about the completely idiotic things that happened to me, but the most important thing to understand is that Lithuanian healthcare can be very risky and is not very good at all unless you are a well-known connected person or you can bribe your way through it. Everything is “all show and no go” at most of the medical hospitals and facilities. Beware!
My God Rikmo, you poor man. It begs the question, why do you stay?
You have been thru hell and lived to tell about it ! My wife "has NOT been diagnosed" seeing Drs. for 10 yrs, and we have been to 4 hospitals in Chicago, downtown, and Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. She has an neurological/derm. rheum. problem systemic. She told me one had to bring tips and brandy in the
replied to the thread car insurance
on the Lithuania forum:
Hy I have been driving for around 35 years in the uk and my insurance is low in cost at fully comp if I take out an insurance for car in Lt what sort of charge might i be looking just a ball park figue would be helpful many thanks from the egg.
Did you have any luck finding out about Insurance easterjegg? I will potentially be keeping a car in Vilnius from about December time and it would be good to know. My understanding is that you insure the car, not the person.