Moving to Lithuania

The river Neris runs through the centre of Lithuania's capital city of VilniusExpats moving to Lithuania – the first former Soviet state to declare independence from the USSR – will find a beer- and sport-loving culture, conservative Catholic viewpoints mixed with a quirky, bohemian youth culture, solid infrastructure and a beautiful countryside. 

The Baltic country is a Schengen state with a population of just under 3 million. As of January 2015, Lithuania has adopted the Euro, becoming an official member of the Eurozone. 
 
Lithuania had the fastest-growing economy in Europe before the 2008 to 2010 financial crisis, when it saw a dramatic decline in GDP and skyrocketing unemployment. The economy and unemployment levels are slowly improving as it shifts to a knowledge-based economy.

The eclectic capital, Vilnius, is a tiny city with a unique blend of baroque and Soviet architecture, a vibrant art and culture scene as well as a growing business infrastructure.

What football is to the English or rugby is to the Australians, basketball is to Lithuanians. It's the national sport and an extremely popular pastime with several world-champion players calling Lithuania home. Outdoor sports are also common, and sport-loving expats will have no problem finding friends and clubs to join in Lithuania.

Any EU national can work and live in Lithuania. However, residence permits must be obtained and employers must prove a lack of competent workers in Lithuania for the job, which can be difficult.

English is not widely spoken – Lithuanian law dictates that all business be conducted in the local language – and expats will find they’ll need to learn at least basic Lithuanian to get by conversationally. The language is notoriously difficult to learn, and locals are often charmed by attempts to use it. Lithuanians have a reputation as a somewhat depressed and unfriendly nation, but in many cases, expats will find this stereotype to be unfair and untrue.

The climate is maritime and continental, with harsh, wet winters and hot summers.

The country has a long and distinguished history in education and has a diverse range of cathedral, vocational, public, private and homeschooling options. There are also a number of international schools in the country and their popularity is on the rise. Healthcare is free to residents and citizens, but as it is still recovering from Soviet control, it may not meet expat standards.

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