Humans of IIRPS VU

Eglė Zarankaitė

“I wish you to remain exceptional, to do what you think is right. Everything comes naturally, you just have to work hard and not get tired of looking for the right path.”

Marat Iliyasov

"Lithuania and the Baltic States have unique experiences and can be a great laboratory for understanding many burning issues in international relations"

Denis Ivanov

"From my view as an outsider, VU TSPMI is very influential and well-known within Lithuania, fully engrained in its political life with its alumni in leading positions in public sphere"

Kevin Kotsak

"The location of Vilnius definitely had an impact on my decision to come here. Lithuania is a very unique country in my opinion. Lithuania has a strong national identity, but also has many people who don’t mind speaking in English or Russian to tourists or foreign students"

Justas Valantinas

"For the last decade, our country has taken the front foot approach in the region’s politics, the political leaders have tried to highlight the problems being faced in the region. I think students need to learn about the region from within it, they need to be close to the events. I am certain that that the programme is popular because the students have a chance to work closely with the region’s academics and they can learn about our region’s history and culture."

Vilius Mickūnas

"I would like to wish the students of the Institute to be independent, enterprising and try to take advantage of all the opportunities: actively participate in study activities, events organized by the Institute, discussions, join student organizations, go abroad for part-time studies, in the activities of sports teams."

Faustas Norvaiša

"I selected this institute to continue my studies because it was the only place in Lithuania that had good programs both academically and career-wise."

Anna Vinkele

"I was interested to see how I could combine my knowledge of the arts with politics, and whether I could find a more tangible way of creating political change with art."

Arūnas Valinskas

"Traveling and living abroad is one of the best schools of life, which not only allows to vividly experience daily routines of people living elsewhere or the reality that shapes them, but also helps to reveal the traveler himself."

Anne Fukatsu

"As a food enthusiast with a fondness for culinary diversity, I was also delighted to see the variety of cuisines available in such an arguably small city. I also had the great pleasure of partaking in a traditional Lithuanian Christmas with a fantastic Lithuanian family who never made me feel out of place."

Misha Johanna

"Your university life won’t just be about studying, so make sure that you like the country or city where you’ll live and make the most of your time by engaging in interesting activities!"

David Cuadra

"The academic setting is a safe place to share your perspectives, have them challenged by the classmates and teachers, and in this way get prepared for the real-world scenarios."

Ketevani Tatikiani

"Most of the professors and administration of TSPMI tried to make our stay in Lithuania productive, useful and pleasant. I like that our opinion about studying process is taken into account - we are asked about what we like or not and how things can be improved."

Benita Striukytė

"I think that IIRPS has something for every student who comes here because the course programs have a huge variety and there are many events."

Anastasiia Tkachuk

"I have experienced friendly and accepting attitude from classmates and lecturers here at IIRPS VU."

Craig Thomson

"By being involved in local politics you are making a difference where you are, you are helping to make decisions that have a direct impact on the community in which you live and this has a direct impact on your friends, family, and neighbours."

Mariam Tsitskishvili

"As for my experience in Vilnius – it was fantastic."

Maksimas Milta

"IIRPS makes you a part of the top-tier league of political sciences and international relations in Lithuania and region-wide."

Shiyu Li

"We are encouraged to express our opinions here and the lecturers never criticize you."

Matthew Vincent

"For me, I see no better way to study Eastern Europe but in the region itself. In this sense, I chose to study EERS at Vilnius because the Lithuanian experience is as a crossroads between North, Central, and Eastern European."

Laurynas Jonavičius

"When you sit at the class as a lecturer and see the first-year students, it’s so funny, because you remember yourself during the first year and you can easily tell what these students are going to say. The process of transformation is really funny. When you are taking your first exam, you are all scared, you just think about what would happen, if you didn’t pass, what would happen if you got an 8, etc."

Ian Diaz

"I have definitely grown after this process, not only academically, but also personally."

Jake Jones

"The aspect of the University I enjoyed the most was the practical nature of the discussion."

Ieva Miklaševskaja

"It was strange coming back to the university and realizing that I am not a student anymore, but the whole team welcomed me warmly."

Lukas Andriukaitis

"After first months in VU IIRPS you will find that there are a lot of talented people around you and if you want to succeed and be competitive, you need to walk that extra mile or sometimes two.“

Vilius Mačkinis

"Well, I think the specialty of the programme is that it combines on-hand experience and local research. There’s no better way to understand Eastern Europe than to experience it through spending time in the area and analysing that experience with knowledge gained in classes."

Lina Strupinskienė

"In the Hague, lawyers, historians, political scientists, soldiers, even rocket scientists and SFX specialists worked with me as well. Majority of them were forced to flee from war and decided to sacrifice their careers for justice and brighter future of their country. They inspired me to focus on the transitional justice field."

Malin Stute

"So far IIRPS VU challenged me more than expected but I can only benefit from it."

Giorgi Gatenashvili

"My interest in Eastern Europe and Russia is not surprising as my country is part of this region. One of the main reasons is to see and understand, how some countries, which share, more or less, similar Soviet past and started from almost the same point during the 90’s, are now in different positions."

Morgana Daniele

"The major weakness of academia is its tendency to stagnate. <...> VU IIRPS is different in that sense – it's inquisitive and lively. This is where the spark of science lies."

Esther van Oorschot

"What I like about the program is that it starts with the region’s political, economic and cultural history, creating a deep and comprehensive understanding."

Mariam Tsitskishvili

"Vilnius University has one of the best graduate programs in this sphere, plus, it is in Eastern Europe and studying here helps us - students to deeply analyze and compare the theoretical knowledge to everyday life."


"It is a lovely university full of international students and plentiful academic possibilities."

Oğuz Cemre Uytun

"IIRPS VU and my Eastern European and Russian master studies here help me widen my horizons."

Ramūnas Vilpišauskas

"University is a place for new discoveries and creativity as well as questioning doubts and heated discussions. Most importantly, a place to understand your own limits." - says the director of VU IIRPS."

Gabrielius Landsbergis

"I always designate three main directions one should work in order to achieve something: perseverance, ideas and hard work."