Erasmus Student Network to receive the Médaille Charlemagne 2019

ESN Germany News - Thu, 11/04/2019 - 13:37

The Erasmus Student Network has been awarded the Charlemagne Medal for European Media (Médaille Charlemagne pour les Médias Européens). This medal has been awarded since 2000 in the run-up to the Charlemagne prize ceremonies to a European personality or institution, who or which has or have particularly served the process of European unity and the formation of a European identity in the field of the media. The award ceremony will take place on 23rd May in Aachen.
 

Curious young people open to the world

By awarding this 19th Charlemagne Medal, the board of trustees of the “Médaille Charlemagne” is honouring the network’s services as trans-European. ESN, as a student association, not only supports students in completing a semester abroad but also basically pursues the goal of bringing together people from different cultural backgrounds. In its justification, the board of trustees accordingly states that a united Europe can only function when people start to think of themselves as European (although without losing their national identities). “It is essential that we get to know other countries, their cultures and mentalities for this purpose. Relationships are built up and resentment reduced by studying and living in a different country, by meeting and exchanging views with foreigners. We need curious young people who are open to the world. As supporters of a united Europe, they must stand up for its values. In an age when the voices against a common Europe are growing ever louder, the ESN publicly stands up for a united Europe”.   
 
The Erasmus Student Network is one of the largest, interdisciplinary student organisations in Europe. It looks after exchange students, who usually have a place on the Erasmus programme, and helps them become integrated in the locality. The network is made up of 529 sections in 39 countries throughout the world, which support a total of 350,000 students on Erasmus scholarships.
 

Bringing people together

“Europe is in a deep crisis. It is frightening if you see how negligent we are with the achievements of the last seventy years. I sometimes ask myself the question of how long this Europe will survive and whether, at some time, will lose the basis for awarding the Médaille Charlemagne“, wonders Michael Kayser, chairman of the “Médaille Charlemagne” association, today on the announcement of the current prize winner in Aachen. What is missing is emotions. Many people know Europe nowadays that mainly places the accent on economic aspects, “in contrast, the Erasmus Student Network brings people together and awakes these emotions that are so important to identify with Europe.”

 

Symbol for the future of the European project

The Lord Mayor of Aachen, Marcel Philipp, reminds us that a longer period abroad spent learning and working is a whole lot more than just a subject-related part of your education. Associated with this is immersion in another culture, living and thinking in a foreign language and getting to know other points of view. Above all, however, it is encounters with people from different countries that often create life-long friendships and build up professional networks. In his own words: “The Erasmus programme has ensured that precisely this is possible for millions of young Europeans for 32 years now. Particularly in the current difficult times, in which Europe is under pressure, Erasmus is a symbol of hope, one that stands for the future of the European project, for tolerance and acceptance, for cross-border contacts and cooperation, for variety and, at the same time, for European unity.”

 

Europe as an opportunity

Dr. Jürgen Linden, chairman of the Charlemagne Prize directorate, emphasised that inter-state resentment within Europe is becoming ever larger against a united Europe and that the calls for national demarcation are becoming ever louder. According to Dr. Linden, “the best ambassadors for such a Europe are the young people who know Europe not just from the papers or from the news, but who have experienced Europe themselves, who know what it is like to move across a Europe without borders and have gotten to know foreign people and cultures.” He believes that the Erasmus Student Network starts its work precisely at this point: “Exploring the variety of Europe, getting to know other cultures is a major component of this work. Europe is without exception understood as an opportunity. Receptiveness and curiosity toward other people and cultures are decisive factors, which all students should fulfil.“
 

The prize

The prize is donated by the “Médaille Charlemagne pour les Médias Européens” association, to which the following institutions belong: the City of Aachen, the City of Maastricht, the German-language society of Belgium, the NRW State Institute for Media  Film- und Medienstiftung NRW GmbH, Arte - the European cultural broadcaster, BBC World News, Deutsche Welle, EOS Entertainment GmbH, Euronews, Discovery Networks Deutschland, Zeitungsverlegerverband Nordrhein-Westfalen e. V. and Gesellschaft für die Verleihung des Internationalen Karlspreises zu Aachen e. V. The association was founded in 2006 on the initiative of the NRW State Institute for Media and the City of Aachen.

Among the long list of prize winners of the Médaille Charlemagne we can find well-know initiatives as the Eurovision Contest (2016) or the European Film Academy (2014), as well as personalities of the world of arts and letter as the publicist Lord George Weidenfeld, the producer Jan Mojto or the director Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Check more about the Médaille Charlemagne pour les Médias Européens at www.medaille-charlemagne.eu .

Section in the Spotlight, April 2019: ESN AGH Kraków!

ESN International news - Fri, 05/04/2019 - 10:30

This month’s edition of Section in the Spotlight will take us to central Europe. To the section which organises countless events, shows the culture of the city, and cooperates with other sections to bring unique experiences to incoming and also, local students. Read more about the inspirational members of the section ESN AGH Kraków!

ESN AGH Kraków was founded in 2006 by two members of the Students’ Council of AGH University of Science and Technology as an answer to the need of taking care of international students. Nowadays, the section consists of 72 regular members who do an amazing job every day.

There are many reasons for this. The first one being the carefully organised recruitment that takes place twice a year and consists of a couple of phases. Firstly, there is the promotion of the section consisting of public stands around the university with the introduction of the section and its function. Then, the students who are interested - both local and international - can fill in the application form and are invited to an assessment center. The last phase is a personal interview with potential candidates.

Also, there are many events organised for members. The most important one is the Newbies Camp. This event is a perfect way for newbies to get to know other members, boost their motivation, and pair with more experienced members as their buddies who are there to show them the ESN world in detail. Apart from this event, there are regular meetings such as ‘Workshops Weekends’ and ‘Saturday with ESN’ which three other sections from Kraków join and there are internal and external trainers invited, too. Finally, it is vital for ESN AGH Krakow to keep the family atmosphere so they usually organise celebrations of Easter and Christmas for all their members.

International students are fully involved in the section’s work. They attend the recruitment events, help to organise the flagship project of the section and also help the university’s Office of Foreign Affairs with leaflets, videos, etc. ESN AGH Krakow even has its own band run by international students!

To welcome international students there is the Orientation Week prepared for them every semester. Karaoke Party, City Game, visit to Weliczka the Salt Mine and weekend trips are not missing. Also, ESN AGH Kraków does their best to organise cultural events such as visiting local museums, going to philharmonic concerts, celebrating Christmas in a traditional way or planning cooking classes where international students can learn how to cook traditional Polish meals. A great weekly event which should be mentioned is the Tandem organised in cooperation with ESN Kraków United. During the event international students and also ESNers have a chance to try to talk to each other in several languages.

The flagship project of the section is Exchange Zone. It is a cyclical event which promotes mobility and culture among Polish students. The main idea is sharing experiences of students who have been on mobility in a chosen country and show its culture with the help of an international student from the same country.

The section also promotes events leading to inclusiveness. In the frame of ExchangeAbility the event called ‘You don’t need eyes to see’ takes place. During this event, attendees experienced what it's like to visit a museum as a blind person. The section also works on video episodes of ABLE TO MOVie where Kraków is shown as an accessible city and mobility is promoted among people with disabilities. For the SocialErasmus project the section is involved in the Noble Box Projects where they collect money and prepare Christmas presents for people and families who struggle financially. Also leaving international students can give their stuff they don’t need anymore to incoming students and help them to save some money. For all of this ESN AGH Krakoów within the ESN Kraków United was awarded as The Most Inclusive Section in Poland.

The section also promotes projects such as ErasmusIntern, ESN Survey where their alumni are the international coordinator, and ESNcard. Regarding ESNcard there is an ESNcard party held where partners and activities are promoted. Last but not least, ESN AGH Kraków contributed to the origin of International Erasmus Games in 2015.

The members of ESN AGH Kraków are not only visible within the section. Thanks to the promotion of the national and international level of ESN to the members, they are very active there. They even got the title as the best within the ESN Poland Association and the section with the biggest involvement. They eagerly implement new projects and best practices from both levels. There are regular meetings to discuss current projects and everything happening in the network.

The sentence which describes ESN AGH Kraków the best is: ‘We never give up’. They eagerly work to bring the best experience to the incoming students, to involve local students and help the whole network. Their biggest success was the organisation of this year’s CNR. Apart from their own events and activities planned every day they are also proud of the section cooperation which exists since 2012: ESN Uni Wien, ESN BME, ESN BFI, ESN BOKU, and ESN Usti. One can say that ESN AGH Kraków are unicorns among the ESN network - by the way, this thought is also proven by their choice of the mascot!

Categories: ESN International

ESNsurvey 2019

ESN Germany News - Sun, 17/03/2019 - 13:02

ESNsurvey 2019 is the 13th edition of the traditional surveys that has started since 2005 made by the ESNsurvey team in order to explore current issues connected to academic and non-academic mobility and education.

 

It is supported by the European Commission and is disseminated in collaboration with 39 countries of the Erasmus Student Network, whose sections are present at more than 1000 Higher Education Institutions around Europe.

This edition covers the topics of Erasmus students and their sense of citizenship in political, civil and social actions. How changed are the lives of these students after their exchanges? What is the impact of Erasmus+ in students who through the programme have the opportunity to meet new cultures, new friends, live in an international environment?

With the questionnaire we aim at understanding the difference between these students and those who never had the opportunity to participate in the Erasmus+ Programme. Our research is going to focus on the impact of the abroad experience in the participation of international students in society. Does going abroad make students more engaged at a political, civil, and social level? What are the particular aspects of active citizenship gained through the abroad experience? Does this have an impact on their opinion about the European Union, as the entity that finances the Erasmus+ Programme? And on their voting behaviour? How do these elements interact with each other? The findings obtained through the Questionnaire are published and will be used as recommendations to all stakeholders involved in student mobility. The previous ESNsurvey Reports can be found at www.esn.org/research  and we invite you to read the key findings.

YOU CAN FIND THE SURVEY HERE

>>> esn.org/survey2019 <<<

Section in the Spotlight, March 2019: ESN Cluj-Napoca!

ESN International news - Fri, 01/03/2019 - 16:27

Trips to the heart of Romania, plenty of socially inclusive events, World Cafes, and a determined team of volunteers - all of this combined describes our March edition of section in the spotlight!
 
ESN Cluj-Napoca, the first section of ESN Romania, was founded in 2004, and now welcomes the biggest number of Erasmus+ students in the country, from all four of the universities in the city.
 
A good team doesn’t come unprepared
 
Having a large number of students requires great care and knowledge from the members. For this reason, ESN Cluj-Napoca recruits newbies twice a year. To keep the members educated, they hold General Meetings - regular departmental meetings, that include monthly workshops based on previous National Platforms or international events.
Before the semester kicks off, they organise a day dedicated specifically to newbies where they are taught the basics of ESN, ESN causes, and the way the section works. It is easier to memorise all of that information in a pleasant atmosphere, and for that reason the newbies take part in team-building games, followed by a dinner to get to know each other and connect with one another.


 
Now that they are all set to go…
 
After all these preparations, it is time to kick off the semester with daily activities running on for two weeks, which include buddy-student meetups, a professional city tour, visits to museums, a treasure hunt, speed friending, board games evenings, quiz nights on various topics, and many more. Erasmus Sports Competition, a local edition of International Erasmus Games, follows not long after, to keep the young muscles fit for the upcoming semester.


To show that Erasmus is not only about partying and sports, ESN Cluj-Napoca organises a rich programme promoting inclusiveness, not only during the Social Inclusion Days. They focus on the integration of the incoming students in the community and organise all kinds of events, such as: World Cafes, where they debate how they can fight discrimination; photo exhibitions based on the ESN causes; social thematic oriented Movie Nights, Blind Dates where participants are blindfolded; Erasmus in Schools to talk about stereotypes; Share a Smile Day in parks to spread hugs and smiles; and of course, visits to dog shelters to raise awareness of animal well-being. 

 

Nothing beats good old Dracula
 
But the activities that they believe are their flagship ones, are their trips. Romania is a large country with amazing landscapes and captivating folklore and legends, so it is no wonder that the trips are very successful. ESN Cluj-Napoca organises a one-day trip to Turda Salt Mine - a historical salt mine that after restoration became one of the most popular underground attractions of the area; a trip to Maramures, the heart of folkloric medieval Romania, and a trip to Moldova - the land of monasteries.
 
Furthermore, they participate in all national events: Escape to Vama Veche, a trip that marks the beginning of summer by heading off to the sandy beaches of the Black Sea’s Vama Veche; and Halloween in Transylvania - an adventure through Dracula’s realm.


 
Sharing (your culture) is caring

To show that Erasmus isn’t an exclusive community, ESN Cluj-Napoca tries hard to involve local students in their activities, make them meet the incoming students, and learn about their diverse cultures. Therefore, they have original events such as Travelling Evening, during which local students can learn how to travel on a budget, an international flag parade, or Intercultural Evenings where the students represent their countries through facts, traditional dishes and specific activities. At the same time, close connections with other NGOs and student organisations help to integrate incoming students into the community by organising activities and trainings (such as the one of Red Cross for first aid).

ESN Cluj-Napoca doesn’t stay local
 
The hard work of ESN Cluj-Napoca’s members isn’t only visible on the local level – on the contrary, they also actively take part in the work on the National and International levels, so in the past year alone they have had three of their members in the National Board, three members in the Communication Committee, and three members in the Network Committee.
The section’s oldest members encourage their volunteers to get involved on the other levels by telling their own experiences and stories, as well as trying to support them financially in their travel costs, with the help of universities.


 
All it takes is...

As a section that has been around for 15 years, they have had their ups and downs, but the determination and motivation of its members has kept it going all this time.
What are the reasons behind it? As they say, good knowledge transfer between generations, constant cooperation with the biggest university in Romania, and involvement in the higher levels of ESN.
At the same time, they never forget their roots and always represent them with pride. No wonder Erasmus students love coming there!

 

Categories: ESN International

Europa gehört auf den besten Sendeplatz!

ESN Germany News - Wed, 27/02/2019 - 18:20

In einem offenen Brief und starken proeuropäisch-überparteilichen Schulterschluss wenden sich die Jungen Europäischen Föderalisten Deutschland, die Europa-Union Deutschland, die Europäische Bewegung Deutschland, der Deutsche Bundesjugendring sowie die Parteijugenden Junge Union, Jusos, Grüne Jugend sowie die Jungen Liberalen an ARD und ZDF. Sie fordern die Übertragung des europäischen Spitzenkandidaten-Duells zur Europawahl 2019 in ARD und ZDF zur Primetime. Noch immer haben sich die Sendeanstalten zu dieser wichtigen Frage europäischer Demokratie nicht eindeutig geäußert. Die JEF Deutschland hat diesen Brief im Rahmen ihrer Europawahlkampagne initiiert.

Textlaut des Offenen Briefes:

Sehr geehrter Herr ARD-Vorsitzender Wilhelm,

Sehr geehrter Herr Intendant des ZDF Bellut,        

am 26. Mai 2019 ist Europawahl. Die europäischen Parteifamilien und Parteien haben mittlerweile ihre Spitzenkandidatinnen und Spitzenkandidaten für diese Wahl gekürt. Es kommt jetzt darauf an, für Bürgerinnen und Bürger die Möglichkeit der Information über die unterschiedlichen Personen und Positionen zur Europawahl zu schaffen.

Medien spielen hier eine zentrale Rolle. Wir begrüßen Ihre bereits gemachten Zusagen zu einer ausführlichen europäischen Berichterstattung in 2019. Bei anderen Wahlen in Europa, Bundestags- und Landtagswahlen haben sich allerdings zu Recht TV-Duelle der Spitzenkandidatinnen und Spitzenkandidaten etabliert. 2014 übertrug bereits Phoenix das TV-Duell zur Europawahl. Bereits 2014 forderten aber fast 30.000 Menschen die Übertragung in der ARD und dem ZDF zur Primetime.

Gerade vor der anstehenden Europawahl, die bereits jetzt ungleich mehr Beachtung findet als die Europawahl 2014, muss es 2019 deshalb endlich das TV-Duell der Spitzenkandidatinnen und -kandidaten zur Primetime in ARD oder ZDF geben!

Vor allem mit Hinblick auf Europa ist es wichtig, die demokratische Meinungsbildung zu fördern. Auf diese Weise werden Wählerinnen und Wähler über die verschiedenen Positionen der Kandidatinnen und Kandidaten informiert. Das ist entscheidend für eine funktionierende Demokratie. Gerade in Zeiten, in denen der politische Dialog zunehmend polarisiert ist und ein Austausch zwischen gegensätzlichen Meinungen nur noch sehr selten stattfindet, hilft ein TV-Duell aller Kandidatinnen und Kandidaten, fundierte Entscheidung zu treffen.

Nur zur Primetime in den beiden größten öffentlich-rechtlichen Sendern wird ein, der Bedeutung des Europäischen Parlaments angemessenes, ausreichend großes Publikum erreicht. Sollte ein Kandidat oder eine Kandidatin das TV-Duell nicht in deutscher Sprache bestreiten können, hilft eine Simultanübersetzung. Wir sind uns sicher, dass eine Simultanübersetzung auch bei den Zuschauerinnen und Zuschauern akzeptiert wäre – wie die Ausstrahlung des Eurovision Song Contest zur Primetime zeigt. Die Bedeutung europäischer Demokratie darf nicht von der Sprache ihrer Spitzenkandidatinnen und -kandidaten abhängig gemacht werden!

Als öffentlich-rechtliche Sender haben Sie im Vorfeld der Europawahl 2019 die Chance, aber auch die besondere Verantwortung, mit einem solchen Fernsehduell europäische Geschichte zu schreiben. Wir zählen auf Ihr Mitwirken, die europäische Demokratie zu stärken!

Eine Liste mit allen Unterzeichnern findet ihr auf der Website der Jungen Europäischen Föderalisten Deutschlands

ESN Deutschland nun Teil des VDSI (Verband Deutscher Studierendeninitiativen)

ESN Germany News - Tue, 26/02/2019 - 16:20

Am vergangenen Wochenende fand der 9. VDSI-Kongress in Hofgeismar bei Kassel statt. Anwesend waren insgesamt 14 Initiativen, darunter auch ESN Deutschland. Wie schon bei vorherigen Nationalen Plattformen in Köln und Halle angekündigt wurde, hat sich ESN nach einem Jahr Beobachterstatus darum bemüht, volles Mitglied zu werden. Bei der offiziellen Mitgliederversammlung des VDSI am Samstag, den 23.02.2019, wurden wir dann durch die anderen Mitgliedsinititativen offiziell in den Dachverband aufgenommen.

Eine kurze Auffrischung: Was ist der VDSI eigentlich? Der VDSI ist ein 2014 gegründeter Dachverband, der seit letztem Samstag insgesamt 13 studentische Initiativen umfasst, die in den verschiedensten Gebieten des studentischen Ehrenamtes angesiedelt sind. Der Leitsatz des VDSI ist, die gemeinsame, gelebte und gehörte Stimme des deutschen studentischen Ehrenamtes zu sein. Die verschiedenen Initiativen haben die Möglichkeit sich zu vernetzen durch sogenannte Lokalrunden, einen gemeinsamen Trainerpool und natürlich die Kongresse, die zweimal jährlich stattfinden. Auch Interessenvertretung gegenüber verschiedenen Hochschulakteuren spielt hier eine Rolle sowie die Möglichkeit auf seine eigene Initiative in der Zeitschrift "Engagier Dich" (in Kooperation mit Campushunter) aufmerksam zu machen.

Wir freuen uns Teil dieses neuen Netzwerks zu sein und erhoffen uns für die Zukunft eine produktive Zusammenarbeit, um gemeinsam das studentische Ehrenamt weiterentwickeln und vor allem sichtbarer für die Gesellschaft machen zu können.

An dieser Stelle möchten wir natürlich dem Vorstand des VDSI danken, der uns in unserem Jahr als Beobachter so tatkräftig unterstützt hat und vor allem auch den anderen Initiativen, die uns so herzlich aufgenommen haben. Wir sind voller Vorfreude auf zukünftige Kooperationen und die Zusammenarbeit an Projekten und gemeinsamen Zielen.

Unsere Vertreter Natalie Simon (2. von links) und Julia Bauer (2. von rechts) zusammen mit dem Vorstand des VDSI, (von links nach rechts) Adrian Schmidt, Jonas Stein, Eric Heide, Mathis Engelbart.

Section in the Spotlight, February 2019: ESN-EYE Lodz!

ESN International news - Fri, 01/02/2019 - 13:04

Eager to know who Section in the Spotlight is this month? The section comes from the third biggest city in Poland, their members can be met basically at every ESN event and it is also a home section for one of the IB members. Sit down with a cup of coffee and give a round of applause to ESN-EYE Łódź.

ESN-EYE originated in 1999 and was first a part of former organisation European Youth Exchange Poland. After the organisation stopped running, ESN-EYE didn’t give up and joined ESN. Currently, the section is managed by 5 board members working together with 14 project groups including Social Inclusion, Erasmus Games, and many more.

The section is unique in many ways. One of which is their recruitment process. First of all, there are promotional events at each faculty and special meetings where the activities of the section are presented. Candidates then get a buddy to help them to get involved. After a semester of work, they are invited to an interview and the most motivated people are accepted. This process ensures high quality of section members. 

Then it is very well cared for by section members. Not only are there informal meetings for new members with their buddies, a 3-day training and an integration event take place twice a year. Eduk8ers, Alumni and section trainers are invited to hold workshops for participants. Apart from this, there are informal events such as bowling nights or visits to escape rooms every month.
 

Regarding the international students, the members of ESN-EYE try to make them get the most out of Polish culture. The biggest event is “Murals Trips” when Erasmus students discover the street art around Łódź.

“In our opinion, it is important to provide Erasmus students with unusual, extraordinary experiences, to make their stay in Poland unforgettable - to throw themselves into things they wouldn’t experience back home or on their own”, says Dominika Jastrzębowska, President of ESN-EYE.

They also organise Canoe Trip and Integration Weekend. Regarding Canoe trip, it is a one day trip by bus, all day spent canoeing and finished off with a barbecue. Integration Weekend is aimed at international students, ESN Members and Mentors (the ones that aren’t ESN Members) and is considered as the most successful event of the section. The event is held at the beginning of every semester with almost 180 participants getting out of town. Through different games and sporting activities, participants get to know each other.

The biggest section event annually organised is the Academic Job Fair. This event is organised only by students from ESN-EYE and other four student organisations focusing on students and their familiarisation with companies. The companies come from fields such as IT and management. During AGM Costa Brava 2018, the event got an award for careerSTAR.

Furthermore, the section can be proud of their collaboration with the university. Thanks to the fact that some ESNers work in the Student Assistance Office, they directly help Erasmus students with documents. This ultimately helps to strengthen the relationship between section members and Erasmus students. Also, together with the university’s International Office, they prepare Mobility Week. During this event, mobility is promoted in every possible way. The event includes workshops, appraising with the recruitment process and impact of mobility on people’s lives.

It is hard to believe but apart from the activities mentioned above, ESN-EYE is not behind with other ESN projects. Regarding the ExchangeAbility programme, there are events like Mouth Painting and a Dinner in the Dark in cooperation with ESN UŁ. They also arrange a Charity Collection for the Orphanage, Shelter Dogs Walking and also took part in ESN Poland’s event “100 for 100” campaign, organising SocialErasmus events for 10 years of SocialErasmus in Poland.

ESN-EYE has had its representation in the National Board and even in the International Board. Current Communication Manager from the IB, Kacper Olczyk, comes from this section. In addition, the members attend many ESN events on the national and international levels such as CEP (Central European Platform), AGM, Eduk8 and National Platforms and workshops. And around 20 members are present in ESN international committees. It is also the first Polish section offering internships for international interns.

To keep members updated and acquaint them more with how ESN works, there are ESNdays prepared, where the role of national and international committees is presented. Every Tuesday there are Wtorki z Wiki” (“Tuesdays with Wiki”) which are emails with information from ESN Wiki.

All in all, ESN-EYE organises countless events and activities for its members, ESNers and international students. Furthermore, they try to implement activities based on the Causes of ESN and promote them. Every semester they have between 80 and 115 newbies because they put an emphasis on the recruitment process. As you can see ESN-EYE is unstoppable and its members do their best in every aspect of their work. 

Written by Lucie Vachova

Categories: ESN International

In 2018, Eurosender helped Erasmus students save 100.000 EUR!

ESN Germany News - Sun, 27/01/2019 - 17:45
Eurosender, the leading platform for shipping services in Europe, has helped Erasmus students to save 100.000 EUR in shipping costs last year, reaching the milestone for the first time. The company currently partners with 54 national and local Erasmus Student Network (ESN) sections from 19 different European countries. Eurosender enables ESN members to redeem exclusive discounts on all shipping services, including package and luggage delivery. “Being an Erasmus student myself I have seen first-hand how indispensable ESN organizations are for international students. I am, therefore, personally excited that Eurosender has become part of the community by making student exchanges even more enjoyable and affordable,” says Tim Potocnik, CEO and cofounder. He also reaffirms commitment to support ESNs activities in the future. “We will continue sponsoring projects and events wherever we can,” Potocnik adds. Eurosender intermediates the shipping of any item, from 2kg packages to furniture and van delivery. The company contracts the world’s most respected courier providers (among which DHL, Kuehne+Nagel, DPD…) and boasts of 70 percent lower prices compared to standard courier rates while offering support in 16 languages. The team acknowledged the 100.000 EUR target by preparing a short report on student shipping habits, based on the shipping requests to Eurosender’s customer support and sales departments*.   See the below infographic for more details. Please note that Eurosender does not recommend shipping liquids and food.    

In 2018, Eurosender helped Erasmus students save 100.000 EUR!

ESN Germany News - Sun, 27/01/2019 - 17:45
Eurosender, the leading platform for shipping services in Europe, has helped Erasmus students to save 100.000 EUR in shipping costs last year, reaching the milestone for the first time. The company currently partners with 54 national and local Erasmus Student Network (ESN) sections from 19 different European countries. Eurosender enables ESN members to redeem exclusive discounts on all shipping services, including package and luggage delivery. “Being an Erasmus student myself I have seen first-hand how indispensable ESN organizations are for international students. I am, therefore, personally excited that Eurosender has become part of the community by making student exchanges even more enjoyable and affordable,” says Tim Potocnik, CEO and cofounder. He also reaffirms commitment to support ESNs activities in the future. “We will continue sponsoring projects and events wherever we can,” Potocnik adds. Eurosender intermediates the shipping of any item, from 2kg packages to furniture and van delivery. The company contracts the world’s most respected courier providers (among which DHL, Kuehne+Nagel, DPD…) and boasts of 70 percent lower prices compared to standard courier rates while offering support in 16 languages. The team acknowledged the 100.000 EUR target by preparing a short report on student shipping habits, based on the shipping requests to Eurosender’s customer support and sales departments*.   See the below infographic for more details. Please note that Eurosender does not recommend shipping liquids and food.    

Section in the Spotlight, January 2019: ESN Porto!

ESN International news - Tue, 15/01/2019 - 11:34

Our network consists of sections and volunteers who work hard to provide an amazing time for their exchange students, but every now and then, one takes the spotlight with their outstanding work. This time, the section that shines the most is ESN Porto!

ESN Porto is the oldest section in Portugal and was founded in 1991. Throughout its long history, the section has organised numerous national and international events. It all started in 1995 with the organisation of an AGM - this also happened to be the year in which the President of ESN AISBL was from the University of Porto. In more recent times, ESN Porto is proud to have organised a Council of National Representatives (CNR) in 2009, another CNR in 2014 and the International Erasmus Games in 2016. Last year they had the opportunity to organise the Portuguese National Platform of March 2018 and, last but not least, SWEP Porto 2018, an event that received great feedback regarding the OC, logistics, and Social Programme.

Considering the number of ESN events held by the section, one would assume that ESN Porto is a large team, but in fact, they currently have only 45 members. The board consists of five members - President, VP, Treasurer, LR and Events Manager. Also, there are coordinators for HR, Communication, Projects, Partnerships, Activities, and Parties departments. Each department has a board supervisor. They also have 2 support positions - Education Officer and Secretary, and two working webzine groups - ESN Porto Green and IT Taskforce. 

All members are encouraged to participate in national and international events, which is supported by the board and results in a large number of volunteers going all around Europe to receive training and connect with the rest of the network.

“Motivating the members to experience the national and international level is something we really put a lot of effort into”, says Eduardo Ribeiro, the Local Representative, and it really shows. ESN Porto members went to all the national and a number of international events, including the NEC Winter Meeting and the Eduk8 Autumn training in Vienna. 
Such active participation in events motivates the members to take part in the work of ESN on the national and international levels too. As far as the national level goes, this year one of ESN Porto’s members is in the National Board as the VP, and they also have a member in the Audit team, an Education Officer for Community Development and a member of the National ComCom. On the International level, ESN Porto has three members in NEC and one in ITcom.

ESN Porto is a dream come true not only for ESNers but for exchange students too! Every weekend, ESN Porto organises a trip, usually in Portugal but also to Spain. On top of that, at least one cultural activity is held every week, while Wednesdays and weekends are reserved for parties. Each semester starts with a bang, as in 2016 ESN Porto decided to upgrade their welcome period game and turn Welcome Week into a Welcome Month, with events organised almost every day for the whole month!  No wonder ESN Porto students are #ErasmusAddicted - the section’s motto that was created in 2011 and which features on the section’s t-shirts which say “Erasmus Addicted/Please send me back to Porto”.

ESN Porto takes care that the Erasmus experience isn’t only about partying and travelling, but also investing in the future - the section collaborates with universities and companies in the field of education and promotes employability events, thus providing a good opportunity for their Erasmus students to find a job and stay in Portugal.

There is no lack of socially sensitive events either, as ESN Porto regularly cooperates with various associations and provides Erasmus students with all kinds of opportunities to make the world a little better. Spending time with the elderly at the daycare centre; helping the homeless by distributing food once per week; volunteering with children with cancer or drug addicts - the choice is up to you.

As you can see, in ESN Porto, everyone can find their own perfect event. However, the event that proved to be the most popular and is their flagship event, the “Portuguese night”! During this night, students spend time in a house decorated with symbols and figures of Portugal, while trying all the Portuguese dishes and enjoying musical and other performances. This event won the Portuguese StarAwards (Lobos d’ouro) as the best event of the year, and other sections aim to organise it as well in the future.

With such a huge range of activities, you may wonder how the members keep themselves motivated.
The answer is: with lots of team-building, learning about ESN together, creating bonds with the newbies, and trainings! Their own ESN Porto Academy happens every week and serves to polish their members’ skills in event planning, communication, and their ESN knowledge.

Does ESN Porto sound like a great team to you? There are a couple of ways to join them! Apart from becoming a regular member, you can join as an Erasmus intern or an EVS volunteer. So far, ESN Porto has received three Erasmus interns (office administrator, photographer and videographer), and has also been accredited as a coordinating, sending, and receiving EVS organization, which means it is able to send and take in volunteers funded by the Erasmus+ programme for a certain period of time.

If all of this hasn’t convinced you that ESN Porto is a team of hard workers, take a look at some numbers: each year, they work with 15 universities and 30 local partners for 3500 Erasmus students, organise 2 Welcome Months, 80 activities, 25 trips, 38 parties, 20 international projects activities, sell 3000 ESNcards, have 2 recruitment periods, 12 teambuilding activities, 2 weekend retreats, and 15 trainings. 

It is very easy to say that each ESN Porto member is #ErasmusAddicted.

Categories: ESN International

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!

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

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

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