Lithuania’s 100 Years of Independence

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Lithuania goes all out for the 100 years of Independence.

 

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Big smiles for bright lights throughout Klaipeda.

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Enjoying the night out with other exchange students.

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Thankful for celebrating with friends in Old Town!

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McKenna loves closing her eyes for pictures 🙂

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Lithuania’s flag colors

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Lietuva (Lithuania in Lithuanian)

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Its LIT in LIThuania!

Today, February 16, 2018, is Lithuania’s 100th year of Independence! In 1918, Lithuania declared its independence from German occupation, and declared Vilnius as Lietuva’s capital. The entire country has been celebrating with festivities, lights, and food of course. Klaipeda had the most beautiful light display throughout Old Town, for thousands of Lithuanians to enjoy. What a time to be in Lithuania, and get to celebrate with the locals!

Spring 2018 SALT Social Media Interns

Introducing our Spring 2018 SALT Social Media Interns, Taylor Emmersen and Cinthia Huizar! Both interns are students from Azusa Pacific University in Southern California. Taylor Emmersen is a Marketing major, who is on the hip hop dance team at APU and on LCC’s campus. Cinthia Huizar is an International Business major with a minor in Leadership. Cinthia was also involved in APU’s Mexico Outreach program where she led groups to volunteer for children’s ministry. Taylor and Cinthia are both incredibly eager to show you what a unique opportunity Study Abroad Lithuania is. Also make sure to check out our Instagram! @studyabroadlithuania

Final Reflections from Fall 2017

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Our final family dinner 😦

All good things come to an end but we are so thankful for these four months here. There are so many words and thoughts to describe this semester in Lithuania. 💖

This semester has been an absolutely life-changing one. I can honestly say that I am entirely different person than I was at the beginning of the semester. Now, I am also part of a larger family–my SALT family! I have grown, and I have learned so much more about the world and cultures surrounding me, and I can’t wait to see all of you guys again!” – Kestrel Ray

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(Pictured:  Taylor and Ellen) 

“My experience this semester has been one full of adventure, new relationships, and personal growth. This trip may not be for everyone, but for those who feel a passion for travel and want to do something life-changing, Lithuania is a hidden gem in Europe that should not be missed.” – Taylor Plummer

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(Pictured: Jason, Ellen, Talor, Jameson, Kestrel, Azelin, & Nysha) 

“Absolutely breath taking experience that exceeded all of my expectations! Met great people and made great memories!!!” – Jameson Iiams

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(Pictured: Kinzie, Stephanie, Angela, & Katie) Pictured by Katie

“The most important thing to say about this semester was how much God blessed it. I am so thankful for the grace He gave us as we stumbled through a new country, language, and culture, the incredible leadership in the SA office who were so generous with us as we asked thousands of questions, the family He built between the SALT gang, and the great adventure. The Lord showed His faithfulness time and time again this semester and I can’t brag enough on how breathtaking the whole adventure was” – Kinzie Callahan

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(Pictured: Angela & Jemi) Photo by Angela

” In one word: unforgettable. I met so many new people, I traveled the world, I got to have a very internationally influenced education, I became more independent, I grew in my faith, and I was challenged to step out of my comfort zone. My study abroad experience has definitely contributed to who I am as a person today. I loved every bit of my time in Lithuania and hope to come back soon!” – Jemi Lui

The Best Parts about December in Klaipeda

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“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
― Edith Sitwell

As Christmas approaches, there are some things I’m starting to miss about home like fireplaces with homemade cookies and my grandma’s laughter on an early Christmas morning. Its an almost conflicting feeling because I don’t want my time here in Lithuania to end too – there are so many things I’m going to miss so if possible, could I trade my final exams in for last minute coffee dates with friends and another walk to the Baltic Sea? 🙏🙏🙏

Its December 15th today and I don’t know where the beginning of the month went but here are some of the things I’ll remember the most about winter in Klaipeda 💖
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The first snowfall of the season ❄️

There’s something about the first snowfall of winter that gets to me each time – waking up in the morning and looking out the window and seeing nothing but white against a blue sky, coated rooftops, and the faded footprints of wild animals left behind in the snow.

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 The Christmas decorations in Klaipeda’s old town 🎄

In the first weekend of December, Klaipeda set up a gigantic christmas tree (or as some of us call it, the “fish tree”) in the middle of town along with little concession stands selling fresh apple juice and iced gingerbread cookies. At night, old town comes to life with its christmas lights and decorations – golden ornament shaped bushes flickering along with the city lights.

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The Real Reason to Travel – A Reflection by Landon

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Hi guys! There’s only two weeks left before the end of the semester and our return to the States Loudly Crying Face We are trying to get our last coffee dates in amidst the busyness of exams prep and final papers.

This post will feature an end of the semester reflection by one of our Fall ’17 study abroad students, Landon Hacker. Read the full post on his blog Landon’s Travels!

I have traveled quite a lot this semester so far. I am actually leaving again tonight to go to Oslo, Norway. The original purpose to all my travels was to see as much of the world as I can with this unique opportunity. The real question is why did I want to do this? Was it to just simply say I’ve been to all these cool places? Or was it to grow personally or spiritually in some way?

I believe that I wanted to grow personally from the extra travels I have been able to embark on. However, this desire quickly morphed into a vain attempt to simply say I’ve done things and been places. This is no good. There is no point to this endeavor. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes these fleeting desires are simply a chasing of the wind. I have realized that despite my travels thus far, I am still not satisfied. I am not happy where I am, I always want more.

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Photo by Landon

1 John 2:16 says ” For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life- comes not from the Father but from the world”. The pride of life is something that I think I am guilty of. It is simply having pride for things you have or have done. Whether it be Rome, Norway, or Russia, taking pride in these travels simply for the fact that I have been to these places is not a gift from God. It is something that will drive me further from him. This kind of pride is meaningless.

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Artsy Journey into Vilnius

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Literatų Street

Whether its the charming basement art studio you’ll find by the train tracks serving homemade ginger kombucha or the hidden blue street decorated in art paying homage  to historical writers and poets, you will be bound to stumble across something extraordinary in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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Window shopping in August

A lot of students in our study abroad group have gotten the chance to take weekend trips to cities such as Oslo, London, Prague, and Rome. But there was something about Vilnius that drew me back for a second trip. Especially if your short on money and time, Vilnius makes for the perfect weekend trip from our university in Klaipeda. Its a four to five hour journey by bus and with your ISIC card, you can receive student discounts for transportation.

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Thanksgiving Away From Home

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Fall ’17 Study Abroad Family 

Happy Thanksgiving weekend friends! 🦃🎉🦃🎉🦃

Even though we are over 5,000 miles away from home, we’ve still found a way to celebrate in Lithuania with homemade dishes – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, spiced apple cider, deviled eggs, mac & cheese and many warm desserts.

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Standing in line for food 😋

After long weekends of away traveling, and an endless stream of exams and papers, I think Thanksgiving Dinner is what a lot of us needed.

The food disappeared fast … what can we say though – we’re great cooks 😎✌️

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