Study on 'wanderlust'

ESN Germany News - Sun, 16/09/2018 - 20:35

We at ESN Germany are dedicated to offering you the best ERASMUS experience we can. To continuously improve our program – evaluation is key. Therefore, this year we have partnered with social scientists from the University of Cambridge, UK for a joint online assessment to better understand how you experience your time in Germany.

To provide us with some feedback on your well-being and cultural adjustment you will be answering a short battery of questions at four times ranging from shortly before you arrive to a few weeks after you will have returned to your home country.

 

Please click on the link below to get started with the first assessment and help us to help you and those who follow you to have an unforgettable time abroad. After all, that’s what the spirit of ERASMUS is all about.

Start the survey

PS: Whichever of the 35 participating ESN Germany sections gets the most students to complete all four assessments is in for a 500€ reward. So go out there and make your ERASMUS friends and hosts proud!

The ErasmusUpgrade Manifesto

ESN Germany News - Wed, 12/09/2018 - 16:23
Following over 2 years of consultations, on the 27th of April, the Erasmus Student Network released the #ErasmusUpgrade Manifesto which contains 13 recommendations to improve the successor of the Erasmus+ Programme. The manifesto targets all involved in the conceptualisation and implementation of the Erasmus+ programme, specifically the European Institutions, National Authorities, higher education institutions, and the participants in the programme. Its results are the base of ESN’s stands on the international and national level in the context of upcoming discussions on the funding and shape of the Erasmus+ successor programme. ESN wishes to see the OUTREACH of the programme increased, both in Europe and throughout the world through the use of mass media and new digital tools. We recommend implementing reinforced and inclusive SUPPORT SERVICES to face societal challenges and equip participants with the skills they need to face the challenges of the 21st century. The IMPLEMENTATION AND MANAGEMENT of the programme should be improved by standardising mobility processes and introducing digital tools to counter bureaucracy and reduce paperwork. We demand full RECOGNITION OF MOBILITY OUTCOMES through better communication, implementing mobility windows and an “integrated Erasmus+ approach” to study and work. Finally, ESN asks for an INCREASED BUDGET FOR MORE QUALITY, OUTREACH, AND TRANSPARENCY to improve the inclusion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, national support towards mobility, and monitoring and levelling incoming and outgoing students. “The Erasmus+ programme is one the greatest successes of the European Union. The participants of the programme feel more European, understand better their place in society, and develop better skills than their peers. All this combined makes them great ambassadors of the EU and its values. It is having this in mind, and wishing to see an increase in the success of the programme, that has led ESN to present these recommendations in the form of a manifesto.”   - João Pinto, President of the Erasmus Student Network #ErasmusUpgrade is an Erasmus+ KA3 Dialogue with Decision-makers project with input gathered through an online questionnaire with over 1,000 answers, face-to-face consultations with volunteers from across ESN’s 40 member-countries and contributions from International Relations Offices. Results of the consultation were discussed with decision-makers involved in the revision of the Erasmus+ programme during an event which gathered representatives from 25 European countries, including non-EU member states. The project has been organised together with ESN Belgium and funded by JINT. Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is the biggest student association in Europe. Present at over 1000 Higher Education Institutions, it unites over 500 local associations in 40 countries. More than 15,000 volunteers take care of international colleagues under the motto “Students helping students”. ESN works for the creation of a more mobile and flexible education environment by supporting and developing the student exchange from different levels, and providing an intercultural experience. For more information contact Kacper Olczyk at communication@esn.org and visit www.esn.org. Attachment Files:  Erasmus_Upgrade_Manifesto_DE_final.pdf

Section in the Spotlight, June 2018: ESN Lund!

ESN International news - Thu, 31/05/2018 - 10:31

 

During this summer heat, which arrived earlier than usual this year, let’s travel to the cold of the North where diversity truly means unity. Here comes our Section in the Spotlight for June - ESN Lund!

ESN Lund was established in 2005. Since then, they have achieved many successes, such as contracts with Akademiska Föreningen (Academic Association in Lund) and travel agency Timetravels. In addition, theirs was the first section where the position of a local Education Officer was established.

The section is led by six Board members and eighteen ambassadors, including ambassadors for trips, parties, sports, SocialErasmus coordinators, ExchangeAbility coordinators, PR managers, Media managers, Partnership managers and Education officers. Furthermore, there is an Activity Committee composed of enthusiastic members who help during the events organised by the section. They cooperate with other student organisations in Lund and share resources to organise events, as well as keep good relationships with Lund University.

If you want to become a member of this great Swedish section, you can join in their “fika”, an event which takes place every semester where potential members can get information about ESN and specifically about activities held by ESN Lund. One of the specialities of the section lies in its internationality. Out of 24 members, only one is Swedish.

Regarding events they organise, they have established a strong position among other organisations in Lund. For instance, they have a cottage weekend for members to get to know each other and create long lasting bonds through some challenges and games. Also, member meetings are followed by social events like board games, movie watching or informal socialising in a pub. To reward council members, they organise events such as potluck dinner or bowling night.

On the other hand, they never forget about their international students and devote most of their time organising activities for them to make sure their stay in Lund will become an unforgettable experience. There are, for instance, canoe and hiking trips, Skane highlight trip, Helsingor day trip or cottage weekend prepared.

Members of the section also spread their knowledge of social issues through events within the scope of SocialErasmus and ExchangeAbility activities. Regarding SocialErasmus, there are events like Clothing Drive, LGBTQ awareness events or Earth Hour celebrations.

Once per semester, they organise "Internationen" - a dinner where non-students (mainly refugees) have a chance to familiarise themselves with Swedish student lifestyle. In order to raise awareness of the issues in the scope of ExchangeAbility project, they organise a 'blind' Valentine dinner in collaboration with the Lund University. They are also working on mapping the university to make it more accessible for students with disabilities. In addition, sports fans can enjoy wall-climbing, a running club or different sports tournaments. ESN Lund cares about the well-being of international students and provides them with stress relief workshops.

Flagship activity of the section is ESN Tuesdays. This weekly event consists of activities starting from the running club, sauna or yoga classes to movie and board game nights. Open mic nights are extremely popular and unite talents from all over the world.

You can meet ESN Lund members on many national events, especially their National Platforms. They regularly attend Eduk8 events, AGM, and other international events. Thanks to section cooperation between nearby sections such as ESN Malmö, ESN Copenhagen, ESN Odense etc. they organise Cooper8 - one of their training events.

“Collaboration is the key.”

Despite the strong competition, ESN Lund maintains a powerful position among student associations and provides high quality and unique events for international and local students. There are definitely some points we can learn from them.

Categories: ESN International

Section in the Spotlight, May 2018: ESN UCM Madrid

ESN International news - Wed, 02/05/2018 - 11:14

With summer rapidly approaching, it’s only natural we move towards the warmer parts of Europe. However, the section in question isn’t only in our sights because it’s in Spain, but because it’s the oldest section in the country! Meet our Section in the Spotlight for May: ESN UCM Madrid.

ESN UCM Madrid was founded in 1991, which makes them the section ESN Spain built its foundations on. They are constantly growing and improving, as well as adjusting their structure according to the needs of their ever-changing environment.

Currently, they work in teams. They have 12 teams - Tandem, Salsa, Cultural, ComCom, Legal, Partners, Tutor, Merchandising, Sports, Projects, IT and Parties. Each team has a Head, chosen by the team itself, who is responsible for creating the Action Plan and ensuring that the team meets its goals and objectives. They also have local coordinators of international projects such as Mov’in Europe, SocialErasmus and ExchangeAbility who cooperate with local coordinators of the other five other sections in the city.

Nowadays, they have more than 40 active members!

“The sense of belonging that unites us provides material for great teamwork.”

All of their members can receive proper education and training at Local and Regional Platforms. Local Platforms are crucial for the understanding of local, national and international level for newer members, while Regional Platforms are organised in cooperation with other sections from Madrid. Team building activities are also a regular occurrence in their section! All of this is possible thanks to the funds they receive from ESNcards, as well as local, regional and national grants and partners. This year, they have sold 2000 ESNcards!

They organise, on average, around 15 trips per year, and around 5 project activities per month for their international students. When organising these activities, they often cooperate with other sections from Madrid. Monday evenings are reserved for tandems, Tuesdays for sports, Wednesdays for salsa and Thursdays for parties. Additionally, they organise two cultural events per week: a cycle of fine arts and the Royal Palace. Weekends are reserved for the exploration of the Spanish countryside!

“Today we co-exist with 5 other sections in our city and we have achieved harmony and a unique joint force throughout our country.”

ESN UCM Madrid is an eco-friendly section, proven by their flagship project EcoWeekend, a two day trip to the mountains of Madrid. There they spent the weekend learning about environmental issues, having workshops, eating non-processed food, and recycling. The workshops were on the following: removal of rubbish in the mountains; a hiking tour; a soap making workshop; a t-shirt dyeing workshop; and a tour of sense, an ExchangeAbility activity. They have managed to educate and entertain their exchange students, as well as have an impact on the local community.

They are also killing it with their Buddy Programme - this academic year they have managed to pair up more than 1000 exchange students to 270 tutors! The university helps them in their approach to local students by offering them ECTS points for this activity.

Their members are active on both the national and international levels. Several of their members are on the national level, and they regularly host Spanish National Platforms as well as other national events. Their members are in the OC of KINESI, a national training event which will take place this summer.

Being the oldest section in the country, and one of the oldest ones in the whole of Europe, can’t be easy. However, ESN UCM Madrid has mastered this task, and this award proves it!

Categories: ESN International

Section in the Spotlight: ESN Barcelona UPF, ESN Spain

ESN International news - Fri, 30/03/2018 - 14:14

Spring is already here, and so is our Section in the Spotlight of this month. Ready? Drum roll, please, for a Spanish powerhouse - ESN Barcelona UPF.

ESN Barcelona UPF, otherwise known as UPFamily, was born in 2009 when several curious ex-Erasmus individuals started communicating with their International Relations Offices. Since then, generations of newbies called by different names - ranging from animals of the year, to places connected to the President’s last name - have been contributing to the expansion of the section. This year belongs to the generation of Ballenas!

Get your Welcome Pack! from ESN Barcelona UPF on Vimeo.

The section consists of 40 members, including 6 Board members and 5 Committee Chairs - Culture, Sports, Projects, Buddy Programme, and Website and ComCom. Furthermore, over the year, they often create Working Groups in order to deal with specific tasks and support some of the functions of the Local Board. If you are a former Erasmus student, you can apply for membership by filling out a form and participating in a meeting focused on ESN and internal work. Only after that can you help the section to coordinate countless activities.

Other the constant care they provide their exchange students with, they celebrate the international spirit by having dinner in a Chinese restaurant after every meeting. This opportunity is most suitable for newbies because they can become acquainted with experienced members through improvised speed friending. It is obvious they appreciate their members since, twice a year, they organise a training event meant for new members. The main goal of the event is maintaining good relations within their UPFamily.

Speaking of events, they spend most of their time with their exchange students. They hold dozens of events for them, starting with Integration Weekend, which seems to be their number one activity. However, the most intense days are Welcome Days when volunteers work endlessly to help integrate exchange students into their local community. Furthermore, cooking classes are also popular - is there a better way to get to know the region than by tasting it? As well as these, sports activities are popular, too.

They put a lot of effort into activities organised within the frame of international projects of ESN where they collaborate with coordinators from 3 Barcelona universities. They actively work on implementing Erasmus in Schools, while nowadays they are working hard to improve the aforementioned activity in combination with Mov’in Europe aimed at high school students. They also care about the cause of ExchangeAbility and plan to map their university in the near future. They are not behind with grants either. They have received a grant from the Government of Catalonia to organise the pre-AGM CNR Barcelona 2018 and an ESAA grant to organise an educational event.

It is worth mentioning that members of ESN Barcelona UPF are involved in social causes as well. Their current flagship project is a Gender Working Group which wrote a protocol against gender violence in cooperation with Gender Department of UPF University. It is aimed at informing and preventing gender violence within the section which applies to their activities and students.

The involvement of local students is an integral part of the section. By creating a project "Mov'in Your Buddy", they intend to match local students going on exchange with international students coming from their future universities.

“There’s no doubt this year is the year of our members.”

We shouldn’t forget section cooperation; not only do they cooperate with other three universities in Barcelona, they have section cooperation with ESN Unicatt Milano as well. They cooperated on the organisation of SWEP Milano 2018, and very recently on the largest network event, AGM, which took place in Costa Brava.

“All these events can only motivate new members to keep leaving the mark of our section on every level.”

The uniqueness of ESN Barcelona UPF lies in the quality of its members. They have an incredible amount of respect for each other, they like to share the kindness and happiness which makes for a positive impact on the teamwork, as well as on the high-quality experiences of international students. They are creating one UPFamily that can’t be stopped from making changes while still improving the section and themselves.

Integration Weekend 2T 2016-2017 from ESN Barcelona UPF on Vimeo.

Categories: ESN International

Section in the spotlight: ISC VUT Brno, ESN Czech Republic

ESN International news - Tue, 27/02/2018 - 11:16

The temperatures may be under 0 degrees, however, our sections are working hard to stay on fire! Make yourself a cup of hot beverage, wrap yourself in a blankie and prepare to be amazed by our Section in the Spotlight for March: ISC VUT Brno!

International Students Club of University of Technology in Brno or ISC VUT Brno was officially founded in 2007, however, they have a history much longer than that. Back in 2003, when the section wasn’t formally recognised, it had only one member - the section founder - taking care of 20-30 exchange students.

ISC VUT Brno is managed by its Local Board consisting of seven members who make all the major decisions and lead the section according to specific internal rules. Each Board member is responsible for one or more specific teams consisting of various number of people who help them handle their workload in their respective fields. Currently, there are more than 30 active members in the section alongside 120 buddies who take care for more than 600 exchange students at the University of Technology in Brno. Wondering how to become a member or a buddy? Well, all of them are chosen by the HR, after filling an application form and doing an interview which aims to check the applicants' communication skills and their possible contribution to the section. They also have a unique position in the section, Knowledge Manager, who’s responsible for transferring knowledge between old and new members.

It’s obvious that ISC VUT Brno takes care of its members, so it’s no surprise they organise team buildings, workshops and other activities for their members regularly. They have three days team buildings for all of their members, as well as Board team buildings. Alumni usually hold workshops for new members in order to educate them about the structure, projects and everything else related to ESN. With regular section meetings, they also organise Buddy meetings where they educate new members about the Buddy programme and how to easily solve typical situations or problems exchange students have.

When it comes to activities organised for exchange students, they rock at various sports activities such as ice skating, skiing, tennis and volleyball, as well as cultural activities such as movie nights, board games and karaoke. Every Tuesday they organise Presentation of Nations where 2-3 groups of exchange students present the countries they come from. Afterwards, they organise a thematic party. Quiz Nights are a regular occurrence at ISC VUT Brno as well, where they test the participants' knowledge in various thematic areas.

“These events promote team spirit, closer acquaintance, but also to deepen knowledge.”

They also organise lots of events and trips, some of them even on regular basis. They divide them into two categories, small or one-day trips and large trips which can last up to several days. Small trips include travel to the nearby locations, while large trips include cross-country travel.

They organise some trips and events in cooperation with other sections from Brno, better known under the name ESN Brno United cooperation. The cooperation includes events such as International Ball, Erasmus Cup, Flag Parade and interesting themed parties. All these events and activities are possible due to the section’s good relations with University and Municipality, as well as an extremely successful distribution of ESNcards.

They’re also very into the projects of ESN International. They organise activities such as Dinner in the Dark and Sign Language as a part of ExchangeAbility project, and they often organise Erasmus in Schools under SocialErasmus. They organise one unique activity called “Drink Beer, Save Cats” where they collect returnable bottles from exchange students and from the money they receive in return, they buy food for cats from Cat Shelter in Brno.

Although the section supports all international projects of ESN, they have especially fuzzy feelings towards Mov’in Europe.

“Main goals are to show the local students that studying in a foreign country is not as hard as they might think, to increase the interest for mobility and to entice cultural understanding by organising meetings for local and exchange students.”

By attending the events, local students have a chance to hear lectures from university employees, former exchange students and find internship opportunities abroad. This year, their plan is to organise the same event together with all sections from Brno, meant for all university and high school students from Brno. Talking about aiming high, huh?

However, this isn’t the only way for them to include local community in their activities. Twice a week, they organise an event called “Run for Friendship” which aims to create a bond between local and international students through sports. Also, they organise a BBQ for approximately 400 local students twice a year, during the summer and before the winter semester.

They also cooperate with other student organisations at their university such as BEST Brno, IAESTE LC Brno and Studenti pro studenti.

ISC VUT Brno is very active on the national and international level of the network - they find it’s very important for their members to stay aware of what’s going on in the world of ESN.

When asked what makes their section unique, they answer: team spirit! After every meeting, they go to a pub where they chat about everything related and not related to ESN.

Well, there’s definitely a thing or two all of us can learn from this lively section!

Written by Tajana Mohnacki

 

Categories: ESN International

Section in the Spotlight: ESN ASE Bucharest

ESN International news - Fri, 02/02/2018 - 13:09

2018 may have only just begun, but this section has already achieved a major breakthrough! Although it will turn only four this May, its members’ impressive achievements ooze effort, experience, commitment and excellence. And that is why the Section in the Spotlight for February 2018 is – ESN ASE Bucharest!

ESN ASE Bucharest was officially registered on the 24th of May 2014 at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies after it was formally approved as a section, which is when they celebrate their birthday. Ever since, it has grown to have ninety volunteers, forty active members and fifty buddies in their Buddy Team. Their activities are coordinated by the Local Board, comprised of a President, Local Representative, Vice-President, Vice-President for Marketing and PR, Treasurer, and Secretary, who are supported by two members each: ESNbuddy Coordinator and Alumni Coordinator, who support the VP; Copywriter and Visuals Responsible, who support the VP for Marketing and PR; ESNcard Coordinator and Partnership Manager, who support the Treasurer; two Events-planning Coordinators, who are supervised by the Secretary; two Project-management Coordinators, who are supervised by the LR and who take care of the implementation of SocialErasmus, Mov’in Europe and ExchangeAbility.

ESN ASE Bucharest has two recruitment processes each year, one in August and another one in February. Their last recruitment proved to be particularly successful, following an extensive online campaign, resulting in 65 applications and 32 new members. The section cultivates their team spirit carefully:

“If there’s something we have learned from the previous years, it’s that volunteers play a major role in the development of the section. Therefore, we try to motivate them by constantly organising events for them.” - say members of the section.

The most important event happens during the induction days which are usually held two weeks after recruitment. Over a period of two days, volunteers get better acquainted with the section and ESN in general by attending presentations on topics relevant to ESN ASE Bucharest, such as their identity, activities, events, projects, opportunities within the organisation and so on. This is also a good opportunity for them to get to know other volunteers and moreover, the ‘family’ they are going to be part of.

They usually have two meetings per month with all the volunteers and a couple of team building sessions throughout the semester – social games, board games, cooking, etc. They also award the volunteer of the month for his or her activity during the past month - they give them a certificate and a small gift for their involvement.  They work very hard to enable their volunteers with opportunities to develop their skills, so sometimes they bring speakers to teach their members, for example, how to speak in front of big crowds or perform first aid.

This big family is always open to making new friends from other sections in their city - they organise team buildings for volunteers not only from their section but also for the ones from other sections in Bucharest. They often organise joint events for Erasmus students in their city which sometimes requires they have regular informal meetings in cafes, pubs or other places.

ESN ASE Bucharest also organises a wide range of events for their international students.

“Since most of our section members already went on an Erasmus+ mobility, we are aware of how important it is to organise as many interesting activities as possible for our incoming students.“

They organise different types of events, such as: Welcome Weeks, which usually include: an introductory session; Buddy meetings; Traditional Dinners; parties each Thursday or Friday together with ESN UniBuc and the candidate section ESN Politehnica Bucharest; entertainment events, such as Laser Tag, Escape Rooms, Urban Pool, bowling, board games, treasure hunt etc.; and trips, for example the trip to Mogosoaia each semester, Halloween in Transylvania (their National Event), Winter Trip, Ski Trip, and Escape to Vama Veche (another one of their National Events). In the past year, they have managed to organise over ninety-five events.

Among those, there are events not so strictly related to either ESN or Erasmus but aimed at other students and the local community. They organise meetings at different faculties where students who would like to go abroad can meet former Erasmus students and find out about their experiences in a different country and ask them for advice. This is also a good opportunity for them to find out about ESN ASE Bucharest since many of them want to join the section once they come back from their mobility period.

Thanks to their work, dedication and creativity, they have managed to attract several very valuable partners and sponsors. They have a strong partnership with their municipality in terms of promotion materials – printed bags, booklets, t-shirts, badges and other materials – for the Welcome Days and for other events such as National Platforms, Local Board Meetings, etc.

When it comes to sponsorships, Accenture has been helping them financially in the past years, especially for their ‘GoInternational’ project (Mov’in Europe), dedicated to outgoing Erasmus students. In June 2016, the section applied for the ‘Go Social with ESAA’ grants and received €700 for the project called ‘Go Green! Go Clean!’. Moreover, in 2017 they had a lot of sponsors such as Red Bull, LovePlus, Lipton, Corso and others which offered them materials for national and internal events.

Their ideas don’t end there. What’s next for them is the implementation of a brand new original flagship project, ESN Romania’s new national event - Erasmus LAN Party. The aim of this event is to offer Erasmus students from all over the country the opportunity to satisfy their need for playing video games on PC, PlayStation and board games. Erasmus students can challenge their friends to play games outside the competition as well, just for fun.

ESN ASE Bucharest has members in every Committee except for the IT Committee and has sent many of them to ESN international events. Some of them have also been part of the OC of two of the biggest international events in their country, Escape to Vama Veche and Halloween in Transylvania, and will participate in the organisation of the national event ESN LAN Party.

What makes ESN ASE Bucharest unique?

“Someone who all other sections are always interested in, especially during national and international events: Parizaki – our mascot! Parizaki comes from far far away, from a distant Erasmus land, with a purpose to protect Erasmus students. He comes with us to all major events. When we take Parizaki to events we have to pay attention because he’s a very desirable mascot and he has already been kidnapped a couple of times – he always finds his way back to us, though.”

Every Erasmus+ student in Bucharest knows Parizaki, as he has his own Facebook profile and can get friend requests. You can add him too, he is always happy to make new friends!

Their hard work, dedication and imaginative nature, especially when it comes to organising events, has rightfully deserved ESN ASE Bucharest the title of the Section in the Spotlight. Behind that success hides a team that is strong, open-minded and open-hearted. Do you feel like joining them on Escape to Vama Veche or Halloween in Transylvania yet?

All photo credits: ESN ASE Bucharest

 
Categories: ESN International

Section in the Spotlight: ESN Unicatt Milano !

ESN International news - Thu, 04/01/2018 - 14:43

Five former Erasmus students, full of freshly gained experiences acquired during their studies abroad, have decided to immerse themselves in a new adventure and introduce ESN to their local university - the section was founded in 2011 at Cattolica University in Milano. Only a year after the section was established, it becomes known inside the Italian network thanks to the quantity and quality of the organized events. Let us introduce you to the very first Section in the Spotlight of this year - ESN Unicatt Milano!

The section counts around 50 active members including 5 Board members, 3 guarantors and some Board supporters who work on the specific projects or activities. The section is divided into 6 working groups - Partnerships, Communication, ESN Projects, Tandem, Culture, and Sports. In order to ensure proper integration of members, meetings are organized by each working group, focussing on plans for the future and certain skills needed.

New members of the network come from two groups: "the returnees" and the international students. "The returnees" are the students returning from studying abroad. Every 2 or 3 months the “Welcome Back” activity is organized by the section in collaboration with the International Office, which is aimed at "the returnees" and their inclusion in the ESN activities. Since Cattolica University is an international university, the section is composed of international students, as well. To ensure successful integration, each new member is assigned one experienced member to mentor them. The section members also integrate newbies into the ESN community by allowing them to join groups and mailing lists in order to show them how ESN works and what kind of work the network does. To become an active member, newbies have to participate in the section meetings or become a person responsible for a certain activity.

Integration Weekend September 2016 | Official Aftermovie from ESN Unicatt Milano on Vimeo.

Other than that, they organise ESN School at least twice a year to ensure proper training of new members and their introduction to the ESN structure, its projects, and more. In addition, members can participate in Lombard Coordination organised by all the sections from the Lombardy region. Members dedicate most of their time to ensure the best experience for their exchange students, which is evident from their full calendar composed of diverse activities. They also offer help to exchange students in their academic life and provide a housing service. “ESN Tuesday” is an important day for their activities, during which there are karaoke nights or tandem nights, which consist of teaching Italian in an informal manner by playing fun linguistic games. Apart from that, there are also international dinners, cultural visits, sport-events, and trips. The most popular party is definitely a "Tram Party" held in a historical tram that goes around the city.

In 2015, ESN Unicatt Milano organised "Integration Weekend" - the main event during the "Welcome Days". It’s an event where participants spend 24 hours together in a country house doing activities which help them to get to know each other. The section is very proud of their "ESN Swim Break | Milano Pool Party" - a section's flagship project. The event takes place at the biggest Italian indoor waterpark and it is nationally recognized since it has more than 1,000 participants every semester.

The section cooperates with the other five Milanese sections under the name of "ESN Milano United" which allowed them to win an award for "Best Section Cooperation" at AGM Warsaw. The section's cooperation mentality goes beyond the Italian borders and ESN Unicatt Milano collaborates with ESN Barcelona UPF and ESN Budapest Corvinus.

The uniqueness of the section lies in its diversity and the capability of its members. Since the university offers a large variety of courses, members have the backgrounds suitable for their positions. ESN Unicatt Milano is a really close group of friends; they call themselves a family and are very proud of that. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this magical section?

Categories: ESN International

Section in the Spotlight: ESN Porto

ESN International news - Fri, 01/12/2017 - 15:56

This month's Section in the Spotlight is a true representation of the spirit of the Erasmus Student Network. It was founded all the way back in 1991, but it has not lost any of its enthusiasm, motivation and drive. After all these years, they are still keeping their spot under the lights. The Section in the Spotlight for November 2017 is – ESN Porto!

ESN Porto was established in 1991 at the University of Porto and is the oldest ESN section in Portugal. At this very moment, the section has around 45 members, which include: a Local Board of five people (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, LR, and Event Manager); the coordinators of seven departments (HR, Communication, IT, Projects, Partnership, Activities, and Parties); and two supporting positions (Education Officer and Secretary).

Each semester, ESN Porto welcomes new members into their group. In order to make sure the quality of the section is maintained, they have a special system of selecting newbies:

“We do the first screening and invite them to a session where we explain ESN on the international, national and local levels. To be accepted, they need to have more than one academic year left of their university course and be free every Monday night. After choosing the candidates, they join ESN and are called ‘Parachutes’ – because they fall from the sky. They have the welcome month to show us how they work - which is then evaluated by HR with the help of all the members. If they pass,  they are called ‘New Members’ and have a maximum period of one year to be nominated by an existing member to receive full membership” - 

ESN Porto is famous for their events. They have their own ESN Porto Academy, which organises training sessions, workshops and team building exercises. In international ESN circles, they've hosted numerous major events: the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in 1995; the South-Eastern European Platform (SEEP) in 2006; the Council of National Representatives (CNR) in 2009 and 2014; and the International Erasmus Games (IEG) in 2017. They will also host the South-Western European Platform (SWEP) in 2018.

“We organise all kinds of activities, from cultural to educational. We host a trip every weekend (!), mainly within Portugal and sometimes to Spain. During the Welcome Month, we have events every day, such as a boat trip on the  Douro River with Porto wine cellars visit, Surf Day, Portuguese night (our most famous event), City Rally, Night Walk and many others. During the rest of the semester, we organise at least one cultural activity per week, for example, a World Dinner. Every Wednesday and Saturday, we have themed parties and on weekends, as said before, we run trips. Last year, we organised 80 activities, 25 trips and 38 parties” - 

ESN Porto’s flagship project is their own brainchild – the Portuguese Night. This is an event they do every semester, during the Welcome Month in a big house in front of the river, decorated with all the symbols and figures of Portugal. Their Erasmus students have the opportunity to try all the traditional Portuguese dishes and assist in the performance of academic tunas – the people that dress as Harry Potter in Portugal – fado groups and Rancho Folclórico – all traditional music.

 

 

ESN Porto collaborates with universities and companies involved in education and employability events. In collaboration with the University of Porto. “We believe that we can only improve if we have all of our members on the same level of knowledge or at least work on acquiring that knowledge. ESN Porto has always had a problem trying to plan workshops and training sessions for our members because we are extremely busy with events for our Erasmus students, so now we do it in the first hour of our weekly meeting” - 

The section also implements the ESN projects ExchangeAbility, Social Erasmus and Mov’in Europe. The members regularly travel to other ESN countries’ events and are involved in the activities of the Committees, the Audit Teams and the Secretariat.

What makes ESN Porto unique? In their own words:

“We work with 15 universities and 30 local partners for 3,500 Erasmus students; we organise two Welcome Months, 80 activities, 25 trips, 38 parties, and 20 international projects activities; we sell 3,000 ESNcards; we have 2 recruitment drives, 12 team building activities, 2 weekend retreats, and 15 training sessions per year. This is what makes us unique – we work hard” -

For their 20th birthday, in 2011, ESN Porto created their own brand: t-shirts which said either “Please, send me back to Porto” or “Erasmus Addicted”. Their impressive history really proves that their members are still Erasmus Addicted and that this addiction is not fading away. Parabéns!

Photo credits: ESN Porto
Categories: ESN International

Spree Break 2017

ESN Germany News - Tue, 14/11/2017 - 19:39
 The Second Round of our National Event Starts Soon! 

The biggest Erasmus Event in Germany will take place from November 17th till November 19th. Around 800 participants are expected in the capital city on the upcoming weekend. 

 

 

Focus of this event is getting to know Berlin as part of the #CityExplorer. While competing in a scavenger hunt, the Erasmus students will explore all different facades of the city. Again top of the list is the Bundestag, which required a huge amount of preparation for such a big group. On Friday evening, the networking starts in the Club Spindler & Matt. Participants wearing an event ribbon will have free entry but, from 11 pm on, the club will open its doors for everyone.

A special highlight will be the flag parade on Saturday, which gives participants the chance to walk along the streets while carrying the flags of their countries, international flags and being accompanied by music. The topic of this year’s parade is #30JahreErasmus, since we are celebrating 30 years of European education programmes. The parade is going to end at the Mauerpark, where the group will be hedged, symbolising the borders exciting in our world. After a speech of our Education Officer, the fences will be torn down to symbolise the unity of Europe without borders.

This day ends in the Club E4, where interculturality can be celebrated with a Berliner Weiße. Again there will be no entry fee for participants.

Find more information on Spree Break Facebook Page or the official Instagram Account (@esnspreebreak). 

 


 

Section in the Spotlight: ESN Trnava!

ESN International news - Tue, 31/10/2017 - 12:35

This small section located in western Slovakia was founded in March 2016 and is currently working under two universities - University of St. Cyril and Methodius and Trnava's University. ESN Trnava is mainly managed by the President, Vice-President, Local Representative and Partnership Manager. Among local coordinators are Mov’in Europe coordinator, SocialErasmus coordinator, ExchangeAbility coordinator, HR and Buddy coordinator. Buddy coordinator is responsible for connections between local and exchange students. The structure of the section is very inclusive and all active members are welcomed to participate in the meetings between Board members and local coordinators.

Since the section is young, there are no foreigners as members of the team. At the moment the section is focused on the recruitment of new members which is conducted by the HR team who makes campaigns at universities and manages social media campaigns. All potential members always go through the personal interviews with the board members.

ESN Trnava is active in organising many events both for ESN members and exchange students. Events for ESN members include teambuilding activities when members share the experiences that they have outside of ESN life. They also include special meetings with insights of the section's work. In April 2017 ESN Trnava held first ever "Meet Your Colleagues" meeting where Slovakian ESN members could share their experiences. To empower relationships with thirty exchange students the section organised a special event called “Weekend in the Forest”.

ESN Trnava places a big emphasis on showing the Slovak culture to exchange students by organising trips around Slovakia and Slovak Nights with traditional food and dances. During national dinners, exchange students can present their countries through food, culture, quizzes, traditional clothes and dances.

ESN Trnava is also actively involved in international ESN projects. For example, SocialErasmus which includes volunteering help to the local community. Exchange students and ESN members help to locals with dog walking, clothes donation and many other activities. They also organise Erasmus in Schools, where exchange students talk about their home countries and mobility experiences with local pupils at secondary schools. On top of that, exchange students can join “Books, Children & Erasmus” campaign when students visit elementary schools and read books together. Furthermore, ESN Trnava is involved in work with ExchangeAbility and Mov’in Europe projects. 

Members of ESN Trnava do not stand back when it comes to the participation in national and international events. Not only can you meet them at National and mini-National Platforms of ESN Slovakia, they also participate in Czechoslovak Platforms, National Platforms held with their neighbours, ESN Czech Republic and Meet Your Colleagues meetings. When it comes to international events, they are presented at AGM and CEP. All of this helps them stay motivated and gives them new ideas.

“We want to ensure the best time for our exchange students and leave a mark on their memories with our work. Smiles and happiness of our Erasmus students are the most valuable reward which we can get.”

- Stanislava Vojteková, Local Representative of ESN Trnava

Although ESN Trnava is a relatively small and young section, it is capable of big things and we can expect that they will continue their growth and success. As they stated, they are not afraid of leaving their comfort zone to make revolutionary things!

Categories: ESN International

N26

Partner ESN Germany - Mon, 16/10/2017 - 17:32
N26 is The Mobile Bank

N26 is one of Europe’s first and fastest growing mobile banks that allow you to do everything you can do with a traditional bank except easier, and directly from your phone. Get your account now!


 


We created N26 to bring personal banking into the modern world. We put all the features and services that a traditional bank offers into a single, simple, seamless mobile app experience. At its core, N26 is a bank account for your phone. But it’s also your Mastercard, your credit provider, your investment portfolio, your savings plan, your insurance broker and much more. If you join N26, you’re essentially putting the power of your bank inside your pocket.

What it means to be The Mobile Bank

We’re living in a world where we can book a vacation instantly, listen to practically any song any time, and share pictures and videos with anyone we know anywhere in the world. All of that’s happening directly from our phones. We had to ask ourselves why it’s not just as easy to bank on our phones. N26 is The Mobile Bank because it finally is possible to run your entire financial life from your phone. It’s truly mobile banking.

How it works

N26 is a completely paperless bank with no physical locations. You sign up and create your bank account directly from your phone. You get a new IBAN immediately, and a Mastercard debit card in the mail less than a week later. Once you activate your card and transfer money into your account, you can make online and offline purchases like you normally would, and withdraw cash from any ATM in the world that accepts Mastercard. You’ll get a push notification after every transaction so you’ll always be up to date. This simplicity applies to all N26 products including investment, credit, savings, insurance and overdraft. Everything is possible from just the single N26 app, and you can contact customer service via phone, chat or email if you get stuck.

How to sign up

This is the simplest part of all. You can download the N26 app in the App Store or Play Store, or just click here to get started. There are a few steps to take care of — provide your basic information including your mailing address, select between our basic, Business, or Black premium accounts, and verify your ID over a short video call. You only need your passport. We handle everything else in the background. You can sign up for an N26 bank account in your pyjamas on a remote beach as long as you have a wireless connection and your passport.

N26 is a natural next step in personal banking as we move into a mobile-first world. Try N26 for yourself and see how it might benefit your financial life.

Section in the Spotlight: ESN PW Warsaw

ESN International news - Fri, 29/09/2017 - 17:58

October marks the beginning of a new semester. It is a time when all sections of the Erasmus Student Network start their engines and get ready for another ten months of action and excitement. Some of them have already got the ball rolling and thus have earned the right to contend for the prestigious Section in the Spotlight award. But there can only be one winner, and this time it is – ESN PW Warsaw!

ESN PW started off back in 2005 as the initiative called Mentor for foreign students at the Warsaw University of Technology. Over the course of time, the members of Mentor noticed they needed more activities than their initial organisation could provide, so they founded an ESN section, which was officially registered in 2007. The section celebrated their tenth birthday this January.

ESN PW Warsaw consists of several levels of members: freshers, the newbies; regular members; honorary members, ‘ESN PW’s Hall of Fame and Glory’; supporters, who do not attend university; the Audit Commission; and the Board. The Board is composed of the President, the Vice President, the Treasurer and two HR Members. Their work is facilitated by the team coordinators within the section.

Like all the sections of ESN Poland, ESN PW Warsaw is well-known for putting together all sorts of fun projects aimed at both its members and exchange students. They have organised numerous workshops, training sessions, social activities such as ice-skating and bowling, city games, visits to museums and sites of cultural importance, and so on.

The section also created several very special and distinctive projects which include Creative, which “focuses on the cultural side of Warsaw’s life”; Travel, which is their flagship project; and Polish-themed parties. Perhaps the most interesting ones is ESNband, a musical group that gathers ESNers and exchange students who play musical instruments, sing or simply have a passion for music.

ESN PW supports the international projects SocialErasmus, ExchangeAbility, Erasmus in Schools, MapAbility, Mov’in Europe, and Responsible Party. Many of its members are involved in ESN affairs on the national and international levels. ESN PW organised several meetings of ESN Poland, and most importantly, co-organised pre-AGM CNR and AGM Warsaw.

When asked what made their section unique, they said:

“It may sound a bit cliche, but it’s the team. ESN PW consist of many different personalities, people with different talents who just get along. We are one big family, ready to act. Thanks to having such a great team, we are not afraid of organising big events like CNR, NP, CLR or Polish Wedding party for one hundred people. Other sections can definitely look up to us, when it comes to integrating members & training them.”

 

The team spirit among the section’s members and their dedication have made ESN PW Warsaw the deserving winner of this month’s Section in the Spotlight. If they have managed to do all this in just ten years, who knows what will happen in another ten? Their work should serve as an inspiration, encouragement and motivating force to us all.

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Photo credits: ESN PW Warsaw

Categories: ESN International

Ryanair

Partner ESN Germany - Fri, 18/08/2017 - 13:44
 

 

Ryanair is Europe's largest airline company carrying 130 million customers a year on more than 1,800 daily flights from 86 bases, connecting over 200 destinations in 33 countries. Based on a low-cost business model, Ryanair makes travelling across Europe easier, faster, and more affordable.

Ryanair, along with Erasmus Student Network, has committed to improving Erasmus experience for all European students. That is why, from September on, when flying with Ryanair, all ESNcard holders will be able to enjoy 15% discount on up to 8 single (or 4 return) flightsfree 15kg checked-in bag, and tailored travel offers, among many others. 

Find out more via ESNcard.org.

For the discount to apply, you have to be in possession of an active ESNcard.
Don't have one yet?  Learn how to get it right away!

Website:  https://www.esncard.org/ryanair

HotelsCombined

Partner ESN Germany - Wed, 05/07/2017 - 00:18

HotelsCombined is the world's leading accommodation comparison site. We help travelers to find the best possible hotel deals by comparing all the top travel sites in one simple search.

Our technology cuts through availability and prices from all the leading online travel websites from around the world. In one quick and easy search, we show you only the information you want to know and need to know. You'll find just what you're after and can be sure you get the most out of your booking.

We guarantee to find you the best price on a hostel, hotel or apartment. It's our promise to you. 

Click here to get a 10% off in all your bookings with your ESNcard!

 

 

 

Website:  http://esncard.org/hotelscombined

Dr. Walter

Partner ESN Germany - Wed, 05/07/2017 - 00:11
 

 

 

Insurance for Erasmus+ students

Dr. Walter is a leading expert for worldwide student insurance. Dr. Walter and ESN have partnered to provide PROTRIP-WORLD, a special tailored insurance plan for Erasmus-Plus students. As Erasmus+ student you should travel with adequate insurance:

PROTRIP-WORLD is an insurance combination:

  • Unlimited travel health insurance; coverage for all kinds of high risk sports in medical insurance and pre-existing conditions
  • Liability insurance
  • Accident insurance
  • Baggage insurance

PROTRIP-WORLD provides all Erasmus+ students with its MY-SAFETY-ASSISTANT app. The app gives relevant information in real time such as travel safety warnings, country information and news concerning the traveler’s current whereabouts.

Erasmus interns also definitely need liability insurance.

PROTRIP-WOLRD-H is a liability insurance with comprehensive cover specially developed for Erasmus interns. 

Website:  https://esncard.org/drwalter

 

Homestay.com

Partner ESN Germany - Wed, 05/07/2017 - 00:07

Homestay.com

Want an unforgettable travel experience this summer? This is your chance to mix it up in an amazing way, staying with a local in their home. Experience a homestay from as low as €20 per room per night.

On Homestay.com you get a private room, breakfast is included and often there’s other perks too like airport pick-up, laundry, shared dinners, luggage storage, and more.  A homestay is the perfect way to learn a new language too, chatting with a local every day.

ESNcard holders get a 50% discount on their booking deposit. Choose from over 50,000 homestays in 160 countries.

 

 

   

 

Website:  https://esncard.org/homestaycom

 

Hostelling International

Partner ESN Germany - Wed, 05/07/2017 - 00:03
 

 

Hostelling International is the only global network of Youth Hostel Associations. Located in some of world’s most inspiring locations, the HI network offers 4,000 unique hostels in 91 countries worldwide. All their hostels meet assured standards, which guarantee a range of good quality safe accommodation, in friendly surroundings at affordable prices.

ESNcard holders have access to a free one-year long Hostelling International membership. With the membership students can get a 10% discount in over 4.000 unique hostels as well as thousands of other local and national discounts around the world. From Paris to Berlin, Shanghai to New York, Sydney to Buenos Aires, Brussels to Stockholm.... Everywhere!

 

 

Website:  https://esncard.org/hostelling-international   Hostel Search  

Accenture

Partner ESN Germany - Tue, 04/07/2017 - 23:53
 

 

Accenture, global professional services company providing strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services, has partnered with Erasmus Student Network to bring to our members and other international students a bridge to high quality job positions.

Accenture is looking for the best international talent: young graduates without previous professional experience as well as for experienced specialists, to join their team. ESN helps Accenture to reach out to young graduates and workers to bring to them different positions to which you can apply directly via Accenture's career site.

In Accenture you will...



 

Erasmus Student Network is committed to improve the information flow between renown companies' job offers and international students to guarantee that every student has the same opportunities to access the labour market.

 

Website:  http://www.accentureceecareers.com/

Holidaycars

Partner ESN Germany - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 20:29

Cheap car rental at HolidayCars.com
Everyone has a different reason for renting a car. Some of us use a rental car for a roadtrip in Italy, others use it for a daytrip to a city nearby. It doesn't matter what your reason is, a rentalcar has a lot of benefits. Think about the independency you have: no longer waiting for a crowded bus or an available taxi. You can go whenever you want to wherever you want to go.
HolidayCars.com is the worlds largest car rental comparator with an offer of 800+ rental companies and more than 30.000 locations worldwide. Perfect when you are looking for a cheap car that fits best to your wishes.

Profit from discount on car rental
As a student life is expensive enough, that’s why HolidayCars.com is offering a 15% discount for students that are connected to ESN Germany. This way renting a car gets even more appealing!

Tips and tricks for a perfect car rental experience
Renting a cheap car is perfect for students. You don’t have the costs of having your own car, but you can still enjoy the benefits. Especially for you we created a short list with tips to help benefit from your car rental in Germany. These tips will make your rental experience perfect:
•        Don’t drink when you have to drive! Remember that if you have your drivers license less than 2 years or when you are younger than 21 years, drinking alcohol is illegal in Germany when you have to drive.
•        We recommend you to book your rental car 6 weeks before pickup to ensure yourself the best deal.
•        Always remember that you need a creditcard when you pick up your rental car. The local rental company is using this to reserve a deposit. Extra tip: A debit card or prepaid creditcard will not be accepted.

Website:

Holidaycars car rental

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