In December 2002 (during the IB meeting in Milano) it was announced that ESN Lithuania wanted to enter the network. Quite soon after joining ESN, Lithuania had an opportunity to organise its very first international event, the CNR, in the history of the entire organisation, which took place the 3rd to 5th of July 2003 in Vilnius. It was hosted by the first section in the country: ESN Vilnius University. Unfortunately, having organised CNR Vilnius 2003, ESN Lithuania went in to the period of stagnation for a quite long time.
According to documents, in 2005 there were already three sections in ESN Lithuania: ESN Vilnius, ESN Kaunas and ESN Šiauliai. ESN Vilnius was the biggest section formed by 4 universities. As the University of Vilnius received approximately 100 Erasmus students each semester, ESN activities were mostly developed in this institution. However, ESN Kaunas was the section that came up with new ideas including the process of integration of Erasmus students into the local environment in more interesting ways such as spending international weekends in nature. ESN Šiauliai was the smallest section of ESN Lithuania.
At that time, ESN focused primarily on the mentors’ programme. As there were not many Erasmus students at Šiauliai University, ESN Šiauliai actively joined and supported all the common activities and initiatives organised by the national level. However, at the end of 2006, the structure of ESN Lithuania changed and ESN Vilnius University remained as the only active section within the entire country. Nevertheless, 2009 could be referred to as a golden year for ESN Lithuania because 4 new sections (ESN ŠU, ESN VMU, ESN KTU, ESN VGTU) joined the network and at the end of the year the first official National Platform was organised by ESN Vilnius University.
On the 20th of February 2010 the 2nd NP was organised for the first time in Kaunas. Two more sections (ESN MRU Vilnius and ESN KK) were approved as the official members of the Erasmus Student Network. After this decision was made, elections took place and the National Board was finally established. The National Board at that time consisted of the President, the Vice-president, the Public Relations Officer, the Projects Coordinator and the Treasurer was supported by the two National Positions – Human Resources Coordinator and IT Coordinator.
ESN Lithuania overcame times of rapid development. Efficient relations with Education Exchanges Support Foundation (EESF) were established, which resulted in organising Mentors’ Days 2010 for mentors of all different higher education institutions. During the event, alongside the useful seminars and trainings, the 3rd NP was also organised. ESN Lithuania continued with the international event – CNR, which gathered all the National Representatives in Lithuania already for the 2nd time.
In the following years, ESN Lithuania kept on developing the principles of common work, ways of communication and team coordination, which was growing rapidly. By the end of 2011, there were already 10 sections in the country including the newly joined sections ESN ISLB and ESN KUK on the 26th of January and ESN ISM became the 10th member of the family on the 24th of September. The tradition of electing a new National Board during the September NP was set up. Starting as the newbies of the network, ESN Lithuania grew up to something bigger such much so that the international event, Summer Camp’10, was organised by ESN Kaunas for the first time.
In 2012, new and passionate members were working towards having legal recognition for the organisation under the Lithuanian legislation. The 10th National Platform, held in March 2012, was very important. All the participants had to sign hundreds of papers to establish the association. On the 8th of August 2012, after having signed all the documents, ESN Lithuania was officially established as an association under the official name “Erasmus Studentų Tinklas ESN Lietuva”. The implementation of the international projects, such as SocialErasmus and Responsible Party, became more serious with the addition of three new elected National Positions (SocialErasmus Coord., Responsible Party Coord., ESN Sea Battle Coord.). The organisation continued its fruitful cooperation with EESF and organised the 2nd Mentors’ Days in Trakai.
2013 was marked through internationalization. The ESN LT Alumni Network was created and its Head Coordinator Julius Zaburas was elected as a part of the ESN Alumni International Board. Indrė Kasiliauskaitė became the regional Responsible Party coordinator for CEP. Sandra Rimavičiūtė joined the ESNSurvey Team. The whole National Board attended the international event, CND Łódź, for the first time ever as well.
Alongside international practice, ESN Lithuania kept on growing within the country. In December 2013, ESN SMK was approved as the 11th section and on the 11th anniversary of the organisation. In April, the first national training event “ESN LT Survival KIT” took place in Kaunas. The aim of it was to strengthen the network and motivate sections to cooperate. The same year, the first member of ESN Lithuania was accepted into the international ESN Committee. The National Communication Coordinator Sandra Baltkojytė also became a part of ESN Communication Committee (PuRe Committee).
2014 was a very colourful year for ESN Lithuania. The 18th NP was held in March in Kaunas, where the 12th section, ESN LEU, became an official member of ESN. In April, the national training event “ESN Survival KIT Vol. 2” gathered ESNers again. This time the training was much more professional because 5 international trainers came to conduct workshops. Right before the training, a hard period hit when the National President Vytenis Danyla resigned causing the 19th NP to be held online.
Once these issues were solved, the National Board organised the first Gala dinner on the 31st of May for ESN members to celebrate the academic year as well as to award sections and members with national “Go Public” awards. In June, Kaunas sections united their forces and organised the 20th NP in the Kaunas Municipality Building for the first time. During the NP, the new tradition to elect the NB in summer was set in and the 2014/2015 National Board was elected. ESN VDA officially joined the network as well and became the 13th section of ESN Lithuania.
ESN Lithuania finished 2014 with 3 amazing events. In the end of November, the 3rd Mentors’ Days, supported by EESF, was organised under the Mov’in Europe sign and gathered around 100 participants. They learned about the importance of mobility and related opportunities. From the 11th to 14th of December, Vilnius was the place to be. The CND Vilnius 2014 was organised by ESN VGTU and gathered National Representatives, National Delegates and guests from all over the Europe. Moreover, just a week later ESN Lithuania held the 22nd National Platform where ESN VDK was approved as the 14th section and 2 organisations received candidate section status.
In March 2015 ESN KTU and ESN VMU were organised ESN Spring Training in Kaunas together with international trainers from Poland, Portugal and Austria. From the 23th to 26th of July ESN Lithuania together with buddy countries ESN Poland and ESN Czech Republic were organised Summer Camp in Poland. More than 40 participants from Lithuania, Poland and Czech Republic had a very productive days with a lot of workshps and small sessions.
After productive summer in 2015 we started new season! The National Platform 25th was held in Kaunas, where we gathered 26th – 27th of September. It was organized by old and new National Board and a full support of our sections candidates – ESN LSU and ESN LSMU. Unfortunately, we said “Goodbye” to one of our sections ESN VDA, they decided to quit ESN. During the 26th National Platform ESN LSU and ESN LSMU were finally approved as the 14th and 15th sections in ESN Lithuania.
In 23 April 2016 ESN Lithuania was approved as a observer of the Lithuanian National Youth Council (LiJOT).
ESN Lithuania has experienced radical changes throughout the past 12 years, but today it might be considered as one of the most promising NGOs in Lithuania. Having over 400 members, a complete and highly functioning National Board and general deep involvement in the international level of Erasmus Student Network, the organisation keeps moving on.