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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Klaipeda Coffee Shop Guidebook

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One of things I am most thankful for as a student at LCC University is that we are surrounded by an abundance of coffeeshops in downtown Klaipeda. Even after three months here, I still haven’t visited them all 😂Here are our study abroad cohort’s favorite coffee shops….

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1) Coffee King

Address: H. Manto g. 13, Klaipėda 91246

Pros: Unique variety of themed coffees and teas including Marilyn Monroe and Bob Marley tea.

Cons: Because of Coffee King’s smaller size, it can get easily crowded during the weekday afternoons and prime homework time.

Recommended Drink: Elvis Presley Tea

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How to Fall in Love with Russia in 9 Days

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Amidst a confusion of colors and shapes, there are retro cafes and miles of soft Christmas lights hung around the corners of department stores, golden domes that glitter under the 4pm rain, cathedrals that stand like mountains, and quiet canals with arching red bridges and our foggy reflections staring right back.

Indian novelist, Anita Desai writes that wherever we go becomes a part of us and I’ve come to think more and more about her words these last few days after returning from Russia.

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Our fearless comrade group!

During our Fall Break, our study abroad group traveled to Moscow and St. Petersburg for a nine day journey. This included scavenging through the metro stations, munching on delicious sweet and savory blini (Russian pancakes), dressing up for fancy ballets, getting lost in gargantuan museums, and admiring centuries-old architecture with our large doe eyes.

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Aš Kalbu Lietuviškai – A Reflection by Katie

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Photo by Katie Wells

Hi guys! Its unbelievable how fast the semester moves… tomorrow morning, we’ll be on a train bound to Moscow, Russia but we’ll keep you updated on our many adventures through Instagram!

This post will feature a halfway point reflection by one of our Fall ’17 study abroad students, Katie Wells. Read the full post on her blog Kate In Klaipeda!

As everyone should know, I’m a regular at probably three different coffee shops. They all know I’m American now and so interactions go one of two ways. The first is I walk in and greet the barista, “Laba diena!”

“Oh hey! Welcome back!”

“No, gosh dang it, I’m practicing Lithuanian.” And then they laugh and ask me how classes are going.

The second goes more like this: “Laba diena, prašom maža latė” I order, feeling pleased, until the barista asks me a follow up question and I stare blankly. I reluctantly huff out a “kalbateangliškai?” and the barista smiles pleasantly and asks “for here or take away?”

“Oh, for here.”

“Okay, that’s čia in Lithuanian.” Bless your precious souls. Whenever a Lithuanian is eager to help me fill in the blanks, I always get excited

For another interaction, we started ordering in Lithuanian and the worker just cut us off completely and asked us to speak English.

Probably the funniest interaction (at least to me) was trying to order pizza for ten people and I started listing the order and the worker just smiled at my attempt at ordering in Lithuanian when she could clearly hear my accent when I said “pepperoni” and “Hawaiian”. Nevertheless, she let me do my entire order in Lithuanian and only corrected me once because of a grammatical error.

Despite some of the challenges, I’ve embraced every moment to speak Lithuanian. We did presentations in Lithuanian class on our families and I enjoyed each small sentence that was successfully constructed. I then went to the mall by myself a week or so ago and managed to do an entire transaction, even after I miscounted my change and she had to ask me for ten more cents. Even at LCC, I try to find a Lithuanian and talk about my day (although I still don’t know past or future tense and I end up asking how to translate something anyway).

In any case, I’m determined to learn as much Lithuanian as I can and get out into the world every day. Which is typically getting coffee, but it’s still good enough practice for now.

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Trying 10 random Sūrelis Bars in Lithuania!

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For me, one of the best parts about living in Lithuania is going to the grocery shop and coming back with an arm full of uniquely flavored sūrelis bars to try. I’ll admit its probably not the healthiest habit but after a stressful week filled with exams and paper deadlines, I’d say that you deserve to end the day with something sweet.

For those of you who don’t know what sūrelis bars are (first of all, you are missing out!!), they are a sweet snack made from curd cheese that taste almost like a cheesecake bar coated in a chocolate.
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At every local grocery store in Lithuania, there is an wide assortment of sūrelis bars flavors ranging from chocolate to poppy seed to jelly filled. After some intensive research and homework, five of us choose 10 random flavors to try out and here are our thoughts…

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