William Dyer is an Australian who finished high school in Kazakhstan and moved to Lithuania to study Contemporary Communication at LCC International University. A unique childhood and moving between various countries were supposed to prepare Will for everything when he first arrived in Klaipėda. However, going to the beach in winter and studying in a place that broadens horizons and empowers students has changed Will and his worldview.
Australia – being the only Australian here is a blessing and a curse. I do not really feel any pressure to conform. I am my own person, and I am very interesting to people. It does get lonely being the only one, but I think I have found my identity as an Australian being away from the country, which is interesting. I am more connected with the sports that Australia is playing, and since I am away, I just crave that. I use a lot more Australian colloquialisms, just because I am away from my home country and I want to get back there. I think there is a certain attraction that you get only when you leave your home country.
Values - I like that LCC is a Christian university, but it is not forced on students. I was looking at other Christian universities and there were ones with various rules that I did not really like. LCC stands by its values, but it does not push them on students.
Relationships – one amazing blessing that I have found since being here is how close you become with professors. Most of them always have time for you, they are always willing to talk about what is going on in the course process, and what is going on with you. They are very relational, they will invite you to their houses sometimes, and that is always a treat. If I have questions I can go to them and it is a really good way of doing teacher-student relationships.
Thinking outside the box - I think LCC encourages this just because it has so many dynamic assignments. Of course, we write research papers, but there are also a lot of professors that just say “The parameters of your assignment are to educate people about some topic that relates to a class and from there you have all the freedom in the world to do whatever you like”. Maybe it is about teaching people how to dance or developing a new language or doing a case study on some corporate company, but a lot of the times the assignments are what I love the most. It is so broad that we are able to challenge ourselves and think outside of the box.
Family – I am lucky to have my parents so close. They moved to Riga because they love it so much there. I have also found my own family here and I have some really good people that I can be really good friends with, but also get really mad with. I think this is what families are for.
Stranger – it is a skill that people will not recognize until they leave LCC – their ability to network. Turning strangers into friends, into opportunities even. I have gotten really good Lithuanian friends here and without them I would not know half of what I know now. I would not have seen Klaipėda that much, and I would not have been to many places. It is a really important skill that you walk away with after LCC, and you get to move from being a stranger to being a part of a place.