Meet Daryl James Valdez from the Philippines

Originally from the Philippines, Daryl James Valdez came to Lithuania three months ago to pursue his studies in Social Work at Vilnius’ Mykolas Romeris University. When he first told his parents about his ambition to study in Vilnius, he was met with shock – they initially thought Lithuania could be dangerous, given the Russian war in Ukraine. However, everyone calmed down once Daryl actually came to our peaceful city and saw that there was nothing to worry about.



In a world where first impressions are everything, Vilnius never fails to deliver. And when Daryl first arrived in the capital, he was impressed by how clean and organised everything is in the city. “The public transportation system is well-developed and makes it easy to get around town, the nature and green spaces right in the heart of the city are like no other and the Old Town is simply amazing,” he says.

It wasn’t all stunning nature and UNESCO-listed architectural gems, though. Daryl ran into some frustrations as a result of the language barrier, which left him with a few unanswered questions about settling in Vilnius as a student. However, he eventually stumbled upon International House Vilnius while researching volunteer opportunities online. “The IH Vilnius website was super helpful in terms of finding all kinds of useful information about living in Vilnius as a foreigner, which made it a great resource,” he says.

Now that he’s found the answers to his questions, Daryl can continue pursuing his volunteering activities inspired by the philosophy that sparked his passion for social work in the first place – “there’s always room for someone in need.”