Following the news since 1972

The North Star

Following the news since 1972

The North Star

Following the news since 1972

The North Star

Meet foreign exchange student Emilijus Daubaras from Lithuania

Mr. Cummings
Foreign exchange student Emilijus Daubaras presents to class about his home country.

Most Oshkosh North students have lived in Oshkosh for the majority of their lives and are only exposed to American culture. Oshkosh North welcomes students from all over the world and encourages the exploration of culture.

One of the students the school has welcomed this year is Emilijus Daubaras, an exchange student from Lithuania.
“I am a participant of the Future Leaders of America Exchange Program, which is run by American councils. The program’s main focus is spreading culture. So, people from Europe come to America to spread their culture, and Americans teach Europeans about their culture.”

While the customs in America are very different from those in Lithuania, Daubaras doesn’t have to adjust much pop culture-wise.
“I grew up with a lot of Western media at my disposal, with American cartoons and shows. Because I grew up with a lot of American culture, I did know a lot about America as a whole, but you can’t learn everything just from media.”

There are a lot of things that you can’t learn from the media about the US, and even less of it involves Wisconsin no matter where you are.
“Since I am placed in the Midwest, the main culture shock I’ve had is the people themselves, the attitude of people. You walk around the street and see people smiling. If you’re, let’s say, on a hike, people will greet you, talk to you. If you enter a store, people will make small talk with you and be friendly.”

Story continues below advertisement

In addition to the friendly people, Daubaras has also been surprised by the products in stores.
“My favorite thing about America is the variety of snacks. I am a very snacky person, so being here and seeing two full aisles of different snacks is definitely something.”

In Lithuania, there are a lot of small towns and villages, and only about 14 cities have populations over 20,000. Daubaras lives in one of those cities.
“I live in the fourth largest city, which is called Šiauliai [Pronounced she-ow-lay].”

Despite being across the globe, Lithuania shares interests common in the United States.
“Some people joke that basketball is a Lithuanian’s second religion because we are very passionate about basketball. It is very popular for kids to play, but it is not usually played at school. I don’t play basketball because I’m a swimmer, and not very good at basketball.”

As a country near the geographical center of Europe, there are many different languages within and surrounding the country.“We start off with our national language, which is Lithuanian. Then, most schools at grade two require you to learn a secondary language, so if it is just a regular public school, you do English,” said Daubaras. “Private schools might teach French or Italian. When you reach grade six, you have to learn a third language, which is usually French, Russian, or German.”

Daubaras is very passionate about his language.
“I find it very freeing to use it. Many people think that French is the language of love because of the way it sounds, but I would argue that Lithuanian could be that. Not because of the way it sounds—it sounds quite aggressive—but there are always six or seven synonyms for a word you would like to use. So poetry and novels are often very beautifully written and it is very nice to hear Lithuanian singers or artists using it in their craft.”

Although Daubaras loves his language and culture, he is enjoying the differences (especially the snacks) that America has to offer.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The North Star Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *