Hello and a little bit about myself!

Hello everyone, I am a new blogger for the Surrey Blog website representing my country – Lithuania!

Since I am a complete “newbie” in this whole blogging thing, talking about myself, and writing articles about “hot” topics, I thought it would be good as a warm-up to have a little introduction article where I can outline my background, what interesting things I’ve done so far and how I ended up at the Surrey University.

I come from a little town in the middle of Lithuania called Kedainiai, which is near Kaunas, the second biggest city in the country. After finishing my secondary education at one of the better schools in the country – Kedainiai Light Gymnasium, I chose to do two gap years in Holland and the United Kingdom by doing some casual restaurant work and making ultimate decisions about my career and future. A bachelors’ degree in International Relations at University of Essex was the decision I made and went forward with, where I spent three great years of my life. Essex taught me numerous things about my subject, student life, and allowed me to personally grow as an individual. However, most importantly, it pushed me forward into learning more, not to be afraid of a challenge, and be the best I can. Hence, these were the reasons which affected my determination in continuing the postgraduate studies of Social Research Methods at University of Surrey.

When deciding the institution of my further studies – money matters, quality of a course, and whether university is a campus based or not, were the most important factors affecting the choice. Surrey had them all.

Its lovely campus with a beautiful lake and all the student “buzz” going on attracted me from the outset. One of the great benefits you get on a campus university is that it is so easy to meet, “bump” into people, and make connections while just getting out of your class or walking into a coffee shop on campus. It makes you feel like you are part of the community family, which I don’t think you would sense in a city-based university. Also, I was lucky enough to get student accommodation very close to all university facilities and have a great bunch of flatmates with whom we always cook together and share our cultural experiences.

In terms of the course quality, Surrey with its high overall ranking of top 10 and with its Sociology department taking 6th place in the league tables was a definite priority choice for the masters’ degree. Before coming, I researched on the internet the feedback of previous and current students who praised the university for its friendly atmosphere, engaging lecturers, and various career opportunities in the industry. In regards to the Sociology department, there are also several worldwide known research study centres, such as, CAQDAS (Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis), which enhanced the department’s reputation.

Currently, I have a few jobs around campus (about which I probably will talk in my later blogs) and I am involved in few societies and clubs. Specifically, I am a member of 2nd Men’s Basketball Team and I am part of Salsa & Bachata and TEDx socities. Again, I will probably talk more about these involvements in my further blogs!

For now, that will be it from me and I just want to say that I am glad to have this opportunity to blog and represent the “Surrey meets Lithuania” blog.

Klaudijus X