Where are you from and what are you doing in Vilnius?
I am from Belarus. I came to Lithuania two years ago and have been working in marketing while trying to change my career. After a year in Vilnius, I got a job at Wargaming in the Hospitality Department where I am responsible for building a community of employee spouses and creating an integration support programme for them, covering employment, language, social and cultural integration.
This job perfectly corresponds to my life mission: serving people and encouraging others to do the same. By doing good things and helping and supporting each other, we can make this world a better place.
And this is exactly what we are doing with the Wargaming spouses in Vilnius – participating in city events, learning Lithuanian, volunteering and raising money for charity projects and motivating each other to accomplish our career goals.
Do you have any hobbies?
Oh yeah. I met my “Lithuanian love” – who is a professional bowler – in Vilnius. So, I have been lucky enough to join the bowling community and hang out with professional Lithuanian bowlers. Interesting fact: bowling is not only about beer and pizza. Do you know that Lithuania won the Bowling World Championship in Dubai last year?
It’s a fun sport that helps you relax from your daily routine and release your tension and anger. However, it also requires dedication, logical thinking and lots of practice.
So together with my boyfriend we organise amateur tournaments and are successfully building a motivated bowling community in Vilnius while promoting healthy lifestyle.
How long have you been living in Vilnius?
I left Belarus two years ago with two suitcases and my six-year-old daughter. We took a one-way flight from Minsk to Vilnius and I have never regretted that.
What was your first impression as a resident of Vilnius?
The city exceeded my expectations. Living here has made me understand that I always perceived Vilnius from a tourist perspective and got the city wrong, thinking it was a small city with little in the way of opportunities.
What a shock it was to see Vilnius with its endless opportunities for personal and professional growth, active social life, lots of interesting events for adults and kids, amazing infrastructure and very open, friendly and supportive people.
How did you find out about IH Vilnius?
We have a strong community of Belarusians in Vilnius. Once I arrived, I was wondering how to start settling my life and people just advised me to visit IH Vilnius where I would get full relocation support for free. That was another part of the culture shock here.
I must admit, every time I come to IH Vilnius for a consultation, I always feel that I have come to a very supportive and cosy place.
Would you recommend living in Vilnius for other foreigners?
Vilnius has a very authentic vibe for me. If you are a proactive person, curious about life, open to asking for help and sharing your help in return, the city will support you, provide you with a basic feeling of safety and show the opportunities it holds. For these kinds of people, I would definitely recommend moving to Vilnius and challenging yourself.
Any favourite spots in the city you’d like to share with us?
My favourite spot is Cathedral Square – every time I walk by these magnificent historical buildings, I feel their energy and power, and I think of how happy Lithuanians must be to live surrounded by their preserved history.