Vilnius, Lithuania Report of what it's like to live there - 02/02/21

Personal Experiences from Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania 02/02/21

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No, this is not our first experience. We have previously lived in Ljublijana, Slovenia

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Nashville, Tennessee. It was a long flight! It wasn't hard, and we did it with three children under the age of six, too!

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3. What years did you live here?

2019-2021.

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4. How long have you lived here?

20 months.

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5. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Diplomatic Mission.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

We are a family of five and are living in a house not far from Vingis Park. Most families that have four family members should expect to live in an apartment.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Very affordable.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Nothing really...you can get almost anything here.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

So many different delivery services (WOLT (Take away service), Barbora (grocery delivery) IKEA delivers, Last Mile app). Literally if you can think about it, it can be delivered (BIG thanks to COVID for that!)

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

No, but in the woods, ticks are a huge problem here.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO through the embassy.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

We pay about 1000 Euro a month for a full-time nanny.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Very nice gyms, indoor swimming pools, very similar to the States.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Yes, all our credit cards are accepted here

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

I believe there's 2-3 churches here that have English services.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You don't really need any...English is basically the new second language.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

It depends on your disability. However the roads are not even, sidewalks can be an issue, and some buildings don't have handicap access.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Yes, very safe and affordable.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

We have a big SUV and are fine! I suggest 4x4 as Vilnius can get a lot of snow!

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Internet is the best I've ever had!

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Mobile phones are great and very affordable.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

Vet care is super affordable! Quarantine is not required coming from the States, kenneling services are great and very affordable too.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

You can work in the city!

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Business casual.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

No.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

COVID but that's a world problem.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Air quality is great!

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

Yes, people do tend to have normal allergies in the spring/summer.

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5. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?

It does stay very dark in the winter and that can affect your mode. Remember to start taking vitamin D wayyyy before you move here.

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6. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Mild summer with a TON of sun, long, cold, dark winter, with a lot of snow.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

American International School Vilnius is the best! You also have the brand new British International School, however it only goes up to grade 6

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2. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Yes, private and public. Some private daycares offer English-only classes! Public daycare is very affordable at only 30 Euro a month plus food.

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3. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes a lot! A quick Google/Facebook will bring up a lot of information.

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Expat Life:

1. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

GREAT FOR EVERYONE! Lots to do with families, nightlife, and great travel opportunities (Hello Ryan Air!)

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2. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?

Yes, Lithuanians will not be the first ones to talk to you. However, if you start talking they warm up very quickly and are very helpful.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Absolutely!

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