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Visitors entering the country must have valid passports. Over 50 countries have visa-free travel agreements with Lithuania. To date, these include Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the U.S., plus the EU and Nordic countries. All visitors planning to stay for more than 90 days must apply for either a residence or work permit.
If you are a citizen of a country requiring a visa, please contact the Lithuanian Embassy or Consulate in your country for further details. A visa cannot be obtained at the border.
Lithuania's traditional currency, the litas (= 100 centas), was reintroduced in June, 1993. In February, 2002 the litas was pegged from the U.S. dollar (currently 2.50:1) to the Euro (currently 3.45:1). Most places of any note in Vilnius accept major credit cards, and ATMs willingly dispense crisp bills to any foreigner with a solvent account. However, do take some cash along to the countryside as rural areas may still lag behind in some regards.
Economical housing will be available in single or shared rooms in a dormitory. In 2010, the cost for a single room was $400 for the month (for a place in a double room - $250).
The program staff will gladly assist participants in finding pleasant, modern apartments near the university, and will match participants who wish to share an apartment. If you would like to find the apartment by yourself please visit http://www.inyourpocket.com/lithuania/vilnius/hotels/category/61915-shorttermrental.html. In 2010, rent for the month was from $500 to $1,500, depending on size and precise location (the inclusion of utilities into the mentioned amount is subject to agreement in each separate case). Kitchenware, bed linens, towels, a TV, and washing machine are regularly included.
Owing to the heavy demand for summer accommodations in Vilnius, we shall most likely be unable to finalize all housing arrangements before June-July. Still, please make your wishes known much earlier so that you can be housed to your satisfaction.
The Vilnius Yiddish Summer Program provides no meal plan. Participants usually take their meals in one of many Vilnius restaurants. Whatever your likes and budget, there are many options for eating out. A plentiful lunch in a café should cost some 15 -20 litas (U.S. $6.00 - $8.00) on average.
You will find a kosher food section in the supermarket Maxima at 11 Mindaugo. We recommend to bring some food with you because the product assortment is poor. The Chabad Lubavitch Center (at 12 Saltiniu) serves kosher meals and offers a takeout lunch.
You will find vegetarian dishes in most Vilnius cafes, restaurants, or pubs. There are three vegetarian restaurants in the city:
The climate of Lithuania lies midway between maritime and continental. The average temperature in July is 17.2º C /63º F, though the mercury may climb as high as 33º C / 91º F. August is the sunniest month; the average rainfall is 71.1 mm / 2.80 in., compared to 78.7 mm / 3.10 in. in July. The average high temperature is 22º C / 72º F, and 11º C / 52º F is the average low, while the mean is 16º C / 61º F.
Although August is sunny, summer here is unlike California or Southern Europe; the temperature can drop to some 14º C / 57º F. Bring a sweater along with your rainwear, then! But bring light clothing, too, as the summer heat might just rise into the mid-30s C / mid-80s F. And be sure to bring firm, comfortable footwear for walking tours and excursions, and also a bathing suit (and a robe or large towel) for swimming on a group excursion at one of Lithuania’s countless lakes.
Formal attire is unnecessary, but in the past students have chosen to pack something a bit more dressy for the Friday evening celebration or the graduation ceremony.
All domestic electricity is 220v, AC 50Hz, and nearly all sockets are of the 2-pin European variety. Some thinner Russian sockets still exist. UK travelers should bring an adapter as these are scarce in Lithuania.
To phone Lithuania, dial the International Access Code, then 370 for Lithuania, then 5 for Vilnius, followed by the local phone number. Example: Local number = 268-7187 (from abroad [e.g., U.S.A.], dial 011 3705 268- 7187). When dialing a local cell phone number, skip the Vilnius area code number 5.
Calling abroad from Lithuania: Unless you have phone service in your apartment (unlikely) or a cell phone, you will have to use a public phone (card only!). You can buy a phone card in one of several denominations at newspaper kiosks or post offices. (International phone cards such as AT&T are useless.) Dial destination country code, then area code, then destination phone number.
You should provide your relatives and friends with our office phone number +3705 268-7187, so that in case of an emergency they can leave a message.
Internet access is unavailable on campus, but you will easily find an internet cafe just five minutes by foot from your classes. For instance, Collegium, 22 Pilies Street, (open 8.00 - 24.00), and there are several others a bit further. For a fee of 6 to 8 litas ($2.00 to $2.70; E 1.75 - 2.30) per hour you will have a fast internet connection and be able to reach your family and friends and share your news from Vilna with them.
In case of health problems, you can use your American or any other internationally valid health insurance at the Baltic-American Clinic (54a Nemencines Road, tel.: +3705 234-2020).
A broad range of medications are available in Lithuania. However, you should bring with you all prescription medicines you require and also those over-the-counter items you normally use. — Locally produced cosmetics are inexpensive; western brands, likewise readily available, will cost a good deal more than you are probably used to paying.
Visitors find that much of Vilnius offers the kind of peaceful ambience associated with small communities. However, walking on dark empty streets late at night, especially in such areas as the train or bus station, will increase your risk of being robbed—particularly if you are taken for a "rich Westerner." The police patrol tourist areas, but taking commonsense precautions (e.g., avoiding conspicuous behavior, guarding your wallet or purse and other valuables) should suffice to ensure your well-being.
|2005 VILNIUS YIDDISH INSTITUTE. Solution: Neosymmetria|