Where are you from and what is your background?
I am from Naples, Southern Italy, and I have both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering.
What were the main reasons for you choosing Lithuania?
I studied in Lithuania for five months with the Erasmus program, and during this time I met my girlfriend. We were not sure whether to live in Lithuania or Italy. But then I got the chance to work at Festo, a large and well known company, and after this I didn’t have any doubts about where to move.
What has surprised you most since you moved here?
I wouldn’t say there have been many surprises, because I had already visited Lithuania quite a few times before I moved here. However, I have been really impressed by the organisational and planning skills that locals have.
Has the quality of your life changed since moving here?
It has definitely improved. Economically, not that much, because the balance of earnings and costs in Italy is fairly similar to the one in Lithuania. But now I have the opportunity to live in a growing, forward-thinking country, and to work in a strong international company – so things are really good.
So, what is your current job position?
I am a Technical Support Engineer. Along with another Italian guy who is working here, I provided support for Italian customers and Italian sales engineers on how to solve issues related to products and applications.
What recent achievement or project are you most proud of?
I have not been working here for very long, and my training took quite a while because I had to change the direction and specialisation of my work a bit. Still, I am proud of the two-week work trip that we took in September – we went to the Festo branch in Italy, which was a particularly interesting and useful experience.
How did you find your current job?
I found it quite easily – just by visiting the Work In Lithuania website.
And what are the biggest work-related differences between Italy and Lithuania?
In Italy, very often two or three professionals have to do the work of ten people. This means things get very chaotic, there’s lots of overtime, and you get lots of deadlines all falling at the same time. In Lithuania, on the other hand, the systems for organising and planning work are very effective, so there is a lot less work-related stress.
That’s good to hear! And what about leisure time? What are Lithuania’s strengths?
Beautiful nature, of course. I like how green and full of parks the cities of Vilnius and Kaunas are. In the summer, it is a great country to be outdoors, and during wintertime, there are loads of pubs and bars that deserve a visit. Great nightlife.
Which common stereotypes about Lithuanians are not true?
Someone might still think that this is just a small, old-fashioned country, but they would be wrong – it is a contemporary and fast-growing place. And Lithuanians are not as cold as they are sometimes portrayed. Once you get to know them well, they open up to you, and there are thousands of nice, funny people here.
“I don’t know whether I should go to Lithuania.” What would you say to someone in doubt?
I would say it is definitely worth a try, even for a short while. Lithuania has many companies and all of them have an international environment. Plus, you can be sure that you will have many opportunities to spend quality leisure time here.
If a friend was about to move to Kaunas or Vilnius, what advice would you share with them?
Take a lot of warm clothes! [laughs] And if you are moving to a bigger city, don’t rush to get a car. Public transport works very well here – at least much better than it does in Italy.