VU Student from Tajikistan: Not Knowing a Language Fluently is not a Barrier to Studying

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Khusravi Muhammadzoda, a native of Tajikistan, who started his nursing studies at the Faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University this academic year, has been looking forward to his first exam session, which has just begun. The young man will take all his exams in Lithuanian, which he started to study independently.

The Muhammadzod family moved to Lithuania in 2018. Until then, they lived near the capital of Tajikistan. The young man’s name, Khusravi, means king in Persian. “I never felt like a king. But I’ve known since childhood that I want to connect my life with medicine. And if you want to become the real king of your profession, you first have to work very hard”, he said.

His uncle, a well-known pediatric surgeon and radiologist in his hometown, instilled in Khusravi the most critical features of a good doctor: perseverance, attentiveness, and responsibility. After graduating successfully in 2016, Khusravi started medical studies at Dushanbe Medical University and successfully studied there for several years. However, his desire to pursue his dreams in Lithuania, which seemed unattainable initially, became real one day.

After arriving in Lithuania, the Khusravi family settled in Vilnius. "I felt that Vilnius was a city where dreams come true. And that's not only because the famous Vilnius University is here, but also because I'd heard a lot about it in my homeland," the young man said. According to him, Lithuania's capital is a multicultural, multinational European center that respects various friendly nations' traditions. "This is where the biggest miracle of my life took place. I became a student at the university that I had known so well and dreamed of entering, a university that unites many cultures. I am also studying in one of the oldest and most complicated languages in the world, Lithuanian."

Before entering VU, the young man spent his free time preparing for studies and learning the Lithuanian language independently. His mother tongue is Persian. In addition to it, he also speaks Russian, English, Turkish, and German. Lithuanian seems to him to be the most beautiful but at the same time the most difficult of those languages. "My efforts paid off: beginning this autumn, I became a student in the 2-year-old medical nursing study program at the Faculty of Medicine [which is conducted only in Lithuanian]," Khusravi said.

He is learning compulsory study subjects and continuing to improve his Lithuanian language skills. Khusravi regrets that due to the specifics of distance learning and the lockdown, it is not yet possible to communicate in person with his classmates. But he feels constant support from them and his teachers, the academic staff, and his family.

According to Khursravi, education in Lithuania is fundamentally different from higher education in his home country. "Vilnius University is student-centered, its teaching methods are modern, the teachers are top-level professionals, and the students are highly motivated," he said. Khosravi is looking forward to attending his classes in anatomy, histology, physiology, and other exciting subjects. "I am in love with my future profession. I think I am attentive, empathetic, and positive, and it will help me in my future job," the young man said.

Khusravi’s motto is “everything that happens is for the best.” He always follows this when planning the next steps of his life in Lithuania. This year the plans of all people throughout the world have been changed by the threatening COVID-19 pandemic. “I’ve started paying much more attention to my health, taking care of myself and my beloved ones, and setting an example of a healthy and safe lifestyle,” the student said.

According to him, in these difficult times, humanity has been united by the desire to overcome challenges. “The health and lives of everyone depend on each of us behaving responsibly, working together, and caring for each other. I sincerely wish this for all of us. I believe that a miracle will happen if we all put forth our best efforts. We will undoubtedly succeed,” said the man who plans to dedicate his further life to Lithuania and the health of the people living here.

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