Lithuania is a European Union country and member of NATO that is located across the Baltic Sea from Sweden and Denmark. It makes for a fascinating education destination because of its deep cultural and historical roots and its post-World War II history. Lithuania is the largest of the Baltic countries and its history begins with the first written mention of its name in a medieval German manuscript in 1009. It grew to be one of the largest countries in Europe during the 14th century covering most of the territory that includes present-day Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia. It suffered under Nazi and Soviet occupation during WWII, and was eventually annexed by the Soviet Union in 1944. It declared its independence from the Soviets in March of 1990, becoming the first Soviet republic to do so after the fall of the Berlin Wall. During the years since its declaration of independence, its legal system has experienced vast development in an effort to transition from the Soviet period. Lithuania joined the European Union in 2004, and European Union law has since grown to become an integral part of the Lithuania legal system. This history provides students with an incredible opportunity to study how political and legal transitions take place and provides for valuable comparative law studies taught by English-speaking Lithuanian scholars who have experienced these transitions first-hand. The country boasts pleasant summer weather and a low cost of living that make it an excellent location in which to study, and a wonderful base from which to explore Europe.
Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) in Kaunas, Lithuania will host Texas Tech University School of Law’s Lithuania Summer Program in 2014. The two schools began collaborating with each other to broaden the experience of faculty and students as far back as 2009. They signed a formal academic and student exchange program in 2010, and a consortium agreement in 2013, in which they agreed to develop and operate this joint Summer Law Program. Participants in the Summer Law Program can take between 3 and 5 credit hours of courses in European Union Law, the Legal Environment of Transitional Economies, Public International Law, and International Environmental Law. All courses will be taught in English. This, together with VMU’s modern facilities, talented professors, and friendly student body, make Lithuania and VMU an appealing study-abroad location. We anticipate having three one-week externship placements available for an additional hour of credit. These placements may be with local and national courts, and non-governmental organizations, such as agencies of Transparency International and NATO. Participants will also have the opportunity to visit unique and intriguing sites both in Lithuania and Europe.
May 24 to June 20 in Kaunas (Session I is May 24 to June 9; Session II is June 10 to June 20); Optional Externship in Kaunas or Vilnius from June 23 to 27.