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Living in Lithuania
A practical guide to the way of life in Lithuania
Lithuania is still somewhat of an undiscovered European gem, with a beautiful coastline, lovely architecture, and stunning landscapes. If you’re planning on living in Lithuania, read on and get informed about education, healthcare, and transportation in Lithuania.
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Life in Lithuania
Education in Lithuania
Lithuania has a free, compulsory education system for children between the ages of six and 16. The first five years are spent in a Primary School, and the final five in ‘Basic Education’, from which students graduate with a ‘Basic Education’ certificate.
As the public system is taught in Lithuanian, and the language is notoriously difficult to learn, many expatriates living in Lithuania send their children to an international school, where they will be taught in English and can take internationally recognized qualifications.
These are mainly concentrated in Vilnius, the capital city, including Vilnius International School and The American International School of Vilnius. However, as in recent years more expatriates have been drawn to Lithuania by its low taxes and growing economy, more international schools are opening throughout the country.
Lithuania also has a number of well-regarded universities, including Mykolas Romeris University, the Kaunas University of Technology, and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University.
Healthcare in Lithuania
The public healthcare system in Lithuania is funded by a mandatory health insurance scheme, and is overseen by the Ministry of Health. As an expatriate living in Lithuania you will have access to the free system, providing that you are a long term foreign resident and are paying your health insurance contributions.
However, the public system is underfunded and the facilities are lacking behind other EU states, particularly in rural areas. Also be aware that many doctors will not speak English, again particularly in rural areas, and so be prepared for some difficulties in communication.
As such, many expatriates living in Lithuania take out private health insurance as there are a number of private healthcare facilities located throughout the country, or travel to nearby countries with better healthcare facilities for serious treatments.
Transportation in Lithuania
Lithuania has around 22,000 km of road, almost 13,000 km of which are paved. If you wish to drive whilst living in Lithuania then you can do so legally using an international driving license.
However, expatriates staying in Lithuania for an extended period of time are advised to get their driving license exchanged for the Lithuanian equivalent. Driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Lithuania, and can result in incarceration.
The availability and quality of public transport varies between cities, but most major urban areas will have at least a bus network in place.
For long distance travel, you can use the Lithuanian train network, which runs 1749 km across the country and has direct links to nearby Russia, Latvia, Poland, and Belarus. You can also travel by boat from any of Lithuania’s ports on the Baltic Sea at Klaipėda, Šventoji, and Būtingė.
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