ESN Lithuania is growing bigger. New and already 12th family member – ESN LEU was approved on 18th National Platform which took place in Kaunas on March 15-16th. One more young and enthusiastic team, motivated for everything whatever they would be doing, which has joined ESN force of the capital Vilnius. So let’s have a look how ESN LEU section worked as a section candidate and what perspectives and projects they have for the future. 

 HelloOo ESN LEU! So how does it feel to be finally officially approved as a part of the family? 

Hello! We feel great! Some of us cannot still believe that we did it! Our big journey started last September when we became a section candidate. Half of the year we had been working very hard proving that we WANT and we CAN to be a part of ESN LT family. During this period we tried to become a strong family in our section so that we could be a part of something bigger. When we finally did it we got such a relief but not for long because big works are waiting for us  and we are waiting for them too but in a firmer, prouder and in a more confident way. We are ready to accept new challenges and to share our experience and ideas with others!

Let’s start from the beginning. Before joining ESN, did you have any clubs or committees at your university which was working with exchange students? If yes, what has changed after joining ESN?

Yes, every semester we had a few mentors who helped exchange students. Unfortunately, the aim of volunteering was just to communicate with Erasmus students and help them if necessary. It wasn’t event oriented club. Before ESN LEU we haven’t had a strong team which is probably the main difference now. Frankly talking, there weren’t any team members, who would plan exchange students’ leisure, assist in students’ welfare and organize events presentations. But when we got approved, we used to organize various social events and parties, got involved into different events organized by/with other university section. Even though our section is pretty small we focus on team building and expanding ESN LEU by inviting other students to join us and work together. 

How did you get to know about ESN? And how came the idea to join ESN Lithuania? 

In the previous summer (2013) some of the mentors and students came back home after their Erasmus fond of various emotions and experiences of ESN activity. Students usually get to know about ESN activity once they go on Erasmus and so did we. We had such a big thirst for our own ESN so we could hardly contain our excitement to create it. During our first appointments we thought of creating an official ESN team which would not only help the Erasmus students but would organize social events and cooperate with other sections. 

Your buddy section was ESN MRU Vilnius. How did you communicate and was it helpful?

It was a big pleasure that ESN MRU Vilnius asked us to be our buddy section. The first meeting was in ESN LEU team building day. After this, we were communicating all the time, they answered to all our questions which we had. It was a really good buddy section and even now then we are officially approved in ESN LT, we hope that we will continue our friendship.

How could you describe your section in three sentences?

ESN LEU: L - Lovely buddies. E - Enthusiastic. Always try to accept every challenge. U - United team. We try to help each other as much as possible.

Do you have any interesting and unique projects that other sections don’t do and is it successful?

Even though we are a young section we have some traditional events from previous years. But since we are officially accepted as an ESN section we are going to include many more interesting events which would be interesting and would involve our Erasmus students into our activity. One of our traditions is Tea party on Sundays when we bake pies or cookies and taste them with a cup of tea. Of course while pastries are baking we don’t waste our time and entertain our students by playing various games such as “brain battle”. Also, during the orientation week we organized the orientation game around the capital and called it “Erasmus meets city”. This is a very useful acquaintance with the city where they are going to spend their semester. Of course, we think that these events were very successful because we received positive feedback from Erasmus students.

How do you see your section in the future? 

We have a lot of things which are needed to be fixed. Since we are a small section, one of our biggest wishes is to become bigger and stronger step by step, that everybody would be proud of us and our works. 

What will be the first projects or events that you will organize as ESN LEU?

When we became a section candidate we already felt as a part of ESN. So we should say that we will continue our projects as ESN LEU. The first project after National Platform’18 was “Share Your Warmth” which we are organizing together with other Vilnius (ESN ISLB, ESN VU, ESN VDA) sections. It’s quite nice that we organized the project together with other sections as if we were a big and united family. Also there are other projects in our future plans which we are going to fulfil with other sections, because cooperation, communication and sharing our experience are the most important things.

Would you like to share something more – some funny moments or interesting facts? 

While we were building our team we underwent many various experiences which we hadn’t expected to encounter to. All the preparations for the national platforms required a lot of preparation which helped us to build a strong team. Also, we spent much time planning and organizing events which were successful and gave us a push to go further. It is not a secret that there were some disappointments and ridiculous failures that we didn’t succeed in but in this case we had a lesson we learnt something new. We remember the time when committee was discussing whether to accept us or not as ESN LEU section. We were so stressed about that that we couldn’t hold tears in our eyes. But our efforts were not in vain and our expectations were acknowledged by you!

Written by Audrė Chudinskaitė, proud member of ESN Lithuania Pure Committee