Gabrielė Aputytė, a student in the Faculty of Philology at Vilnius University, has won this year’s Baltic Rectors’ Scholarship Competition. She was awarded a €2,000 scholarship.
The aim of the Competition is to encourage us to get together like we did 30 years ago for the Baltic Way, by learning the languages of our neighbouring countries and learning about the culture of the Baltic States. The Rectors’ Scholarship Competition takes place every year, with winners awarded from three Baltic universities – Vilnius, Latvia and Tartu. The candidates compete in three stages of the competition: written and oral tasks at their home university, followed by the final stage at the host university. This year’s competition, as has become a tradition, took place at Vilnius University.
The competition winner, G. Aputytė, is a third-year student in the Lithuanian Philology and Latvian Language Programme. She explained that she has been studying the Latvian language since the beginning of her first year, and Estonian since the second year, so she did not need to prepare for the competition overnight. Instead, it was a long learning process.
“I am currently studying at the University of Latvia under the Erasmus+ exchange programme, so I have had a lot of practice speaking Latvian. However, I rarely get to study Estonian, so I had to revise a number of things on my own. Instead of spending time analysing grammar, I decided to come up with some essay topics and figure out what else I could say regarding these questions (in all the languages). This method of preparation turned out to be a good form of self-reflection, because I needed to think about my hobbies, future plans, etc., as well as our relations, and the similarities and differences between the three Baltic states,” said the winner, discussing her practice method before the competition.
G. Aputytė explained that “the competition is fascinating, in that you meet like-minded people, have a chance to share ideas and feel united.”
“Especially at the current time, having a sense of unity and friendship between neighbours is extremely important. I must admit that, while I’m not from Suvalkija, I do like to save money. I do not yet have a precise plan for how I will spend the scholarship I have received, but I would like to use it for a meaningful purpose. Perhaps it’s time for a trip?” the scholarship winner said.
Next year, the Baltic Rectors’ Scholarship Competition will again take place at Vilnius University. The competition is open to full-time students (including students from abroad) studying in any programme at the University of Vilnius, Latvia or Tartu and speaking one of the Baltic languages (Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian) at the C1 level (or having it as their mother tongue), as well as two other languages at least at levels A1 to A2.