Ervin Ramollari's Erasmus+ Mobility experience during International Week '24 at Šiauliai State Higher Education Institution


Ervin Ramollari, Head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of New York Tirana, participated in International Week '24 at Šiauliai State Higher Education Institution.

After the visit, Ervin shared his experience. “I had the pleasure of participating in the International Week '24 at Šiauliai State University of Applied Sciences (Šiaulių Valstybinė Kolegija) from May 12-17, which was truly an enriching experience. The event was well-organized by their International Relations Office, Guoda, Augustina, and Dovydas, and had an engaging agenda that provided opportunities for professional and cultural exchange.
Firstly, I must highlight the joy of meeting great participants from various countries, including Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Turkey, Germany, Latvia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. I also met some of their international Erasmus+ exchange students who shared their experiences. One of these students was Tea, a Business Administration student from my own university, the University of New York Tirana, who was attending the Spring semester at Šiaulių Valstybinė Kolegija.

The week began with a series of presentations where I introduced my country and university. This was followed by a cultural presentation session where participants shared food from their respective countries in a relaxed, informal setting. It was a fantastic way to break the ice and establish new connections with both the institution's staff and other international participants.

The second day included a visit to the Health Care Faculty, featuring a unique activity - Yoga with animals. This unconventional session was not only fun but also a great way to unwind and connect with other participants. I also learned a great deal from the visit to their partner institution, a mental health facility, where we met people of different groups with special needs. I especially enjoyed learning to play the flute synthesizer under the supervision of a remarkable patient. Later that evening, we went to degustation at the famous local brewery, Gubernija, which offered a taste of the local beers and enhanced the friendship among us.

On the third day, we visited the Faculty of Business and Technology, where I benefited immensely from professional interactions with the staff. I was introduced to practical teaching methodologies for informatics courses and observed their use of computer, electrical & electronic, and multimedia laboratories. I also learned they utilize a private cloud platform to support courses such as Operating Systems, System Administration, and Cloud Computing. I find these insights useful in enhancing our Computer Science and Software Engineering teaching methods at my university.

On the fourth day, May 16th, we went on excursions to the nearby Naisiai village and the renowned Hill of Crosses. These trips were both educational and inspiring, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the region and the Baltic states. The casual and comfortable setup allowed for deeper conversations and networking. I especially enjoyed working with clay and making a bowl with my own hands, which I had the opportunity to bring home to Albania.

On the last day, May 17th, I had a very fruitful meeting with the Department of Informatics and colleagues from other departments of the Faculty of Business and Technology. In this meeting, I had the chance to meet again three colleagues who had visited my university back in 2022 – Vaida, Renata, and Jovita. We discussed best practices and research experiences, exploring potential collaborations among our institutions. We considered possibilities for co-authored publications in impact factor journals, an opportunity for our staff to apply for paid two-week teaching visits to Šiauliai, and increasing efforts for student exchanges between our institutions.

Overall, my Erasmus+ visit to Šiaulių Valstybinė Kolegija was a rewarding experience, combining professional development with cultural immersion. The activities were well thought out, and the hospitality of the organizers was exceptional. I look forward to implementing the new practices and strengthening the connections made during this week.”