Kaunas is extremely safe city, according to KTU student from France

Photo illustrating the news item

“I wanted to finally study something that is relevant to me and that I actually enjoy,” says Mahdjouba Kettab from France, studying master’s in Public Policy and Security at KTU. Mainly studying online, Mahdjouba visited KTU just a couple of times. From Kaunas, she brought home a passion for herbal tea, new friendships, and an experience of living in a different part of Europe. The future crisis management expert says that she will come back.

While choosing a master’s, Mahdjouba Kettab did not check the location of a university, as the most important thing for her was to find the right study programme.

“When I came across KTU Public Policy and Security master’s programme, and analysed the courses, which were being taught, I immediately, without even thinking twice, applied. I was certain that I needed to be a part of it,” says Kettab, a KTU student from France.

Mahdjouba says that KTU met her expectations, as the study programme of her choice was the closest she could get to the introduction to crisis management. This is the ultimate professional goal of the student.
“I am not saying that this hasn’t been stressful or that I liked every single class in my master’s, but overall, it suited me more than anything I have done before,” says Mahdjouba.

Appreciated the hands-on studying approach

Studies at KTU made a student from France think more deeply about her career path: “I had a class about crisis management, where we had to choose one risk, to analyse it and to provide recommendations for a more effective and better crisis management protocol. I loved it so much! I remember thinking: this is exactly what I want to do.”

She thinks that crisis management is one of the essential competencies in today’s society – on a political, economic and personal level. In the future, Mahdjouba imagines herself working in an international expert group, which evaluates policies regarding certain societal crises, such as human trafficking.

KTU student from France is happy that the subjects taught in MSc Public Policy and Security were aligned with that career. Also, she enjoyed the hands-on approach, as her undergraduate studies in European political and social sciences, although very informative, focused mainly on theoretical aspects of the field.

“This time around, with the individual reports and group projects, I feel like I am finally able to be critical of a real situation, assess it and make recommendations. This feels way more tangible and that is something that I needed in a master’s program,” says Kettab.

After graduation next year, she plans to get some job experience, and later – further her education in the topic.

Raspberry tea – the richest cultural experience

With 90 per cent of her studies being online, Mahdjouba continued living at home, and visited Kaunas just twice, for her exams.

“My very first impression of Kaunas wasn’t the best, I have to admit, but I think it’s because it was my first time visiting a country that I never imagined I would. However, this time around, when I stayed two weeks for the finals, everything changed,” admits a KTU student.

Finally, she says, she started seeing her studying abroad as an adventure rather than pure work and study. She walked on her own a lot and went to a museum and the mall.

“I loved the city. It was small and felt intimate and extremely safe. It is the first time that I didn’t feel scared while being on my own at night in the streets. Also, I got to experience living in a country where the weather was dropping to minus 15 and minus 19 degrees, which was a lot of fun,” says the girl, who happened to visit Lithuania in the coldest month of the year.

However, it was not the cold that impressed the KTU student from France the most. It was the tea!

“It was raspberry tea, or, at least that is what everyone told me when I raved about it. A classmate of mine said that it was raspberry jam and water and I wanted to make it when I came back home, but I knew it wouldn’t be close to how it was in Kaunas. I think about it a lot, every day,” smiles Mahdjouba.

People make the difference

When talking about her time at KTU, Mahdjouba emphasises the importance of the international community. It was people who made her see this study abroad experience differently.

“There is a classmate from India who is studying for the same master’s as I do. We started talking more just before my coming to Kaunas and got along very well, as we are somewhat similar. After I came, she was my guide, made me a tour around the city and took care of me in social situations, such as in meeting fellow students,” says Mahjouba.

Before applying to Kaunas, Kettab, who comes from the North of France, had never been to this part of Europe. She knew nothing about Lithuania or Kaunas. Thus, she used the opportunity to travel around: “When I first flew to Kaunas, I stopped in Vienna, Austria, and enjoyed four days there. My plane back from Kaunas had a layover in Copenhagen, Denmark and so I was able to go visit for a few hours as well.”

Will she ever come back to Kaunas after graduation? She says she’d love to – as a visitor.

“The last time I was there, I didn’t have time to have the full experience because of the exams and the stress related to them. However, I absolutely loved it and felt very much at home during my stay there,” says Mahjouba, KTU MSc Public Policy and Security student from France.

Are you from Europe? Note, that Europeans and citizens from EEA countries can study for free in Lithuania. KTU offers 23 bachelor and 28 master programmes in English. Choose yours and apply today.

25 Apr 2023