How long were you living abroad and what did you do there?
I spent a year in Florence, Italy studying economics with the Erasmus exchange programme. I also lived in London to improve my English, and then I did an internship in Lithuania before returning home to Spain. After that, I moved to Lithuania to work, and I have been living here ever since.
What was the main reason why you chose to move to Lithuania?
First, when I was doing my internship here, I wasn’t looking for a job. I returned to Spain, but then some of my local friends, and foreign friends as well, mentioned that companies in Lithuania wanted to hire people who can speak different languages. I speak Spanish, Italian, and English, so I decided to give it a chance. So my decision was based entirely on work opportunities.
What surprised you the most after moving here?
The people, definitely. Everyone I met was so helpful and kind, even when I could not speak a word of Lithuanian. They helped me settle in and I just felt so welcome.
How did the quality of your life change after coming to Lithuania?
It really improved. Now I have a flat in a nice area close to the office, I have a car and a bicycle. I am enjoying many other things here that I probably would not be able to enjoy in Spain.
What do you do in your current job position?
I am the supervisor of a team of fourteen people who investigate and report suspicious activities. It is interesting and challenging work.
What recent project or other achievement are you most proud of?
I was awarded by my company twice for my efforts in supporting foreigners who want to work in Lithuania, and also for my work handling various events and projects dedicated to diversity.
Was it hard for you to find a job here?
Actually, it was not hard at all. I posted a message on LinkedIn saying that I was looking for work in Vilnius, and the next day a person from Western Union contacted me with a proposal.
What are the biggest work-related differences between the two countries?
I admire the fact that companies in Lithuania are well organised. People in Spain tend to jump right into an issue and forget everything else, whereas here you have all these purposeful procedures and strategies that help organisations to be more productive. In Lithuania, I have met many knowledgeable professionals that I can learn a lot from.
Leisure time in Lithuania and in Spain. What are the strengths of Lithuania?
It is amazing how people can enjoy every single sunny day here to the maximum. My home city is super sunny, so everyone tends to forget to appreciate the good weather. But not here. Lithuanians go out into nature, do sports, go to all kinds of events and so on. Vilnius is a city that is quite well set up for outdoor activities.
Which common stereotype about Lithuania is not true?
There is this opinion out there that Lithuanians are basically Russians and they speak the same language as them. But this is not true at all. I have also heard that Lithuanians are somewhat closed – maybe they don’t appear as open as people in Spain, but they smile and welcome you sincerely.
“I don’t know whether I should go to Lithuania.” What would you say to someone in doubt?
I would say come and try Vilnius! I fell in love with this city, and I am still in love after six years of living here. Vilnius offers many opportunities for finding a solid job, and for improving the quality of your life. It is also very easy to move around and find interesting things.
If a friend was about to move to Vilnius, what advice would you share?
That is a good question. I would probably just say “take some warm clothes,” and I am absolutely sure that the nice people here would help and support my friend.