• Klaipeda University
  • 20 November 2023

International Students' Day Code: Sibling Duos at KU

Every year on 17 November, International Students' Day, the public gaze turns to students – a young, energetic, and creative segment of society, which is related to expectations of a better future. "Here you are visible" is the KU motto. And it is not just words. In the close-knit community of KU students, this year's siblings and twins who have chosen the University by the sea have become visible.

Duos, it turns out, can be found in all categories of students, even in the classrooms of KU's biggest project to reduce social exclusion, the University of the Third Age. It is a pity that not everyone was able to take part in the photoshoot which has become a tradition, however, the three duos who participated in it revealed some interesting stories.

The twins from Kupiškis Districts got used to storms

Elija and Julija Abromenko, 18-year-old sisters from Kupiškis area, smile mischievously. They started their studies of Nursing at KU this year. The sisters look like two drops of water, they wear the same kind of clothes, even the cheerful top-knots on their heads are identical, and they speak almost as a duo, or one of them starts a sentence and the other finishes it... How did they end up in Klaipėda? They say that their mother also studied Nursing here, and they have relatives here, so they chose a place that was already somewhat familiar to them. Klaipėda is beautiful city, near the sea, yet it had sone surprises up its sleeve. It was here, the sisters recount over each other, that for the first time in their lives they received warnings on their phones about dangerously strong winds. 

"It felt uncomfortable at first. Now we got  used to it", they say. They talk about themselves in a cheerful way: they always spend time together, they share the same friends, the same hobbies, the same understanding of the world. They have only been separated for a long time once, when one of them suffered a broken bone and had to undergo treatment, followed by rehabilitation. "It was hard and sad", Elija admits. What next? The twins say they never get tired of being together and hope to keep it that way, maybe even work together. When asked if they have already used some trickery or  taken advantage of their similarity during their studies, they answer in the negative, because "there have been very few tests"...

The sisters from Kretinga  unanimously chose economics

Twin sisters Ugnė and Agnė Viliušytė study Economics at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of KU. After leaving Jurgis Pabrėža Gymnazium at Kretinga, they chose to study in Klaipėda. Did they consider studying different subjects? – "No," says Ugnė. – We've been together from the very beginning – previously at school, and presently at lectures and at home. We are interested in the same things, our friends are the same." Don't they get bored of each other? Ugnė says there are moments when she wants to be alone, but when Agnė went abroad to work last summer, Ugnė  admits it was both hard and boring without her sister.


The twins say that people react to them in various ways. "For some we are like two drops of water, for others we are not. I guess it depends on the people," she reflects. How do the teaching staff react to the twins? According to the girls, there have been no signs of special attention so far. And the further they go, the better they feel at the University, because after hearing stories about strict teachers, they had all sorts of fears about how their studies would turn out here. And they are also still shy about the future. "They say that twins go separate ways after studies. Different careers, different needs and desires...", one of the sisters reflected on her still undecided vision of the future.

A brother-and-sister duo were attracted by Klaipėda

From among other young people studying at KU, the Okenwa brothers from Nigeria were invited to the photoshoot. The three of them study in Klaipėda and, as one of the three, Daniel, an IT student, said in his letter, the support of family members was an important thing for them when they chose to study in distant, completely unknown Lithuania, where it can be rather cold... The brothers were not able to take part in the photoshoot; however, for the Ukrainian siblings Rodion and Kateryna Synelnykov, who are smiling warmly from the photos, the Lithuanian seaside climate was not a surprise. They came from the Ukrainian city of Kherson, having chosen KU for their studies before the war. Rodion studies Maritime Transport Engineering and already has a job here, while his younger sister is a Business Management student.

"Artyom Petryk, a Ukrainian historian working at KU, told us about KU. I liked the idea of studying at a European university with English as the language of instruction.  My brother, who had been interested in the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, was tempted by the career prospects," says Kateryna. The fact that they are still together now is important to both of them, she says, because "there is always a person around to consult, to exchange the news with - we are both in the same position".


A few more details for the picture of the KU student community. The University has 2,500 students; the youngest ones are 17 years old (these are students from Ukraine, who leave secondary school a year earlier than in Lithuania), and the oldest are 63 years old, studying a module in Pedagogy at the KU Centre for Continuing Studies. In terms of gender, the Lithuanian students are predominantly female, while students who come from abroad are mostly male.


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