On April 8th 2016, hundreds of young volunteers will have the opportunity to make a difference in Warsaw during the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) Annual General Meeting (AGM), the largest student conference of its kind in Europe focusing on the theme of mobility.
As mobility does not only consist of traveling and studying abroad, ESN has been implementing SocialErasmus since 2010: a project that involves young citizens during their mobility experience through volunteering activities that take social action and foster change in the society. SocialErasmus aims to enrich the international experience of young people abroad with volunteering activities that allow them to understand society’s problems and to work on the solutions, and provides an opportunity for international young people to get to know other realities and learn how they can contribute to improve society as citizens of the world.
During the International Infomarket, the most comprehensive study fair organised in Poland that will be held on the campus of Warsaw School of Economics on the 8th of April, SocialErasmus will be manning a stand where it will be possible to not only to learn more about the project and the great opportunities it provides to international students, but where it will be also possible to deliver postcards with words of encouragements that will later be given to hospitalized children.
The objective of this initiative is to provide AGM participants the chance to take part in SocialErasmus in Warsaw, the host city of the event, and to have a positive impact on the local community.
After AGM, on the 20th of April, ESN volunteers will gather Erasmus+ participants living in Warsaw and, with the support of Ronald McDonald House Charities, our partners for this initiative, will visit a local children’s hospital to deliver the postcards and spend some time with the kids. This group of young volunteers will organize cultural visit full of fun, including presentations about countries, colouring books with famous landmarks of their countries and other activities.
Every year, more than 3000 social activities are organised by ESN volunteers all over Europe as part of the SocialErasmus project, engaging more than 20 000 international students. This initiative in Warsaw will enable young people to experience something new and gain an all-encompassing new perspective on internationalisation and its impact on society.
About the Erasmus Student Network:
Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is the biggest student association in Europe. Present in more than 500 Higher Education Institutions from 38 countries, ESN is the key volunteer student organisation in international higher education in Europe and provides opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development under the principle of SHS - Students Helping Students.
You can find more information about ESN and SocialErasmus here:
Erasmus Student Network has an opportunity to meet only once a year. Only 3 letters, standing for 641 people, 4 days and the most important event of ESN in general. It is AGM or Annual General Meeting, which was organized already for the 25th time in the history of the organization. This year it took over the city of Milan, Italy from the 3rd to 7th of April.
This time ESN Lithuania in the event was presented by 15 members of the network, representing 10 sections and National Board of Lithuania.
While most of the participants were just packing, National Representatives and special guests were already present in the pre-CNR, which this time has resulted into the growth of network since the 37th country was accepted. From now on ESN Russia is a part of the family.
While pre-CNR was closed and NRs were counting their first days and nights without sleep, cars, busses and plains were bringing hundreds of ESNers from the various corners of Europe to Milan, which at least for 4 days has become European capital of youth.
Thursday, 3rd of April
The first official day of AGM Milano 2014 was opened by Italian minister of Education Stefania Giannini, president of ESN Italy Carlo Bitetto, head of the AGM OC Lorenzo Campini and our dear president of ESN International Stefan Jahnke with wishes to “stay hungry. Stay foolish” and reach for more international experience. After ceremony at Arena Civica was closed and wishes for the fruitful meeting was shared, streets of the city were flooded by ESN Flag Parade, where each country presented their country by dressing up in the colors of their flag. Nonetheless, marching in the streets of Milan was not the purpose, this time ESNers have set a goal for themselves, which was to hug the Duomo di Milano. Symbolizing Europe unifying at the very heart of Milan the goal was successfully achieved. Rest of the day offered a chance to better get to know each other or revive old friendships before plenaries of the AGM have started.
Friday, 4th of April
Schedule of AGM from the beginning promised tough days – waking up at 7 am and having plenaries started at 8:30 am already. Day one has started with the presentations of ESN partners. Italo trains, Generator hostels and FIAT took the stage for few hours. Afterwards the real fun began with the activity reports of the International Board, which were followed by presentation of the recent changes in Erasmus+ program given by representatives of European Commission Runa Vigdis Gudmarsdottir and Daphne Scherer.
After the lunch Flagship project for the year 2014 was presented. New initiative Mov’in Europe will promote mobility as a lifestyle, through the engagement of ambassadors in local, national and international activities. Afterwards the time came to listen to the presentations of candidates to the new IB. Stefan Jahnke and Jesús Escrivà Munyoz as the candidates for the President and Dominique Montagnese, Evagelos Tsoumas as for the Vice-President. Plenaries were closed at 8 pm and participants were invited to enjoy each other’s company and cultures at the Eurodinner in the “Karma” club.
Saturday, 5th of April
Starting from the morning presentations of the candidates to the IB continued with Jonathan Jelves for the position of Treasurer, Robert Klimacki and Cristina Gavrila for the position of Communication Manager and Adam Farnik for the position of Web Project Administrator. Afterwards Ankara and Thessaloniki presented their candidacies for organizing the upcoming AGM as well as Vilnius, Plodiv and Barcelona applying to organize the upcoming Council of National Delegates.
Second half of the day was dedicated to the infomarket with the Higher Education Institutions from 37 countries of Europe represented by ESNers themselves. Event gave a perfect chance for ESNers as well as local students to better get to know the opportunities of continuing studies in the country abroad. Workshops were organized at the same time offering the possibility to better get to know the organization and projects or initiatives related to it. As well as how to use other opportunities offered by European Union.
Saturday was coming to an end and this time ESNers had an exclusive opportunity to finish the day while relaxing in the Aquaworld together with local Erasmus students.
Sunday, 6th of April
The last day of AGM has started with the presentations of 5 international committees of ESN and numerous other projects ESN lives with these days. 5 min dedicated to the Alumni Report and 12 min for our commercial partners, followed by election of the OCs with the amazing results following, that this December ESN international will gather in our capital Vilnius, because ESN VGTU with Indrė Kasiliauskaitė in front got a chance to organize CND Vilnius 2014! While Lithuania is already preparing to host around 120 ESNers this December, Ankara is preparing to welcome more than 700 ESNers next spring while organizing AGM Ankara 2015.
After getting to know places for the future events the most exciting part of the event started with the election of the new International Board. After minutes of waiting and tension in the room huge applauses were dedicated to the new IB of Erasmus Student Network for 2014-2015:
President – Stefan Jahnke, ESN Sweden
Vice-President – Dominique Montagnese, ESN France
Treasurer – Jonathan Jelves, ESN Sweden
Communication Manager – Robert Klimacki, ESN Poland
WPA – Adam Farnik, ESN Slovakia
Official part was already over, but day still had a lot to offer with Gala dinner waiting. This time organized in the Bocconi University, dinner has offered not only 3 course Italian dinner, but also STARawards of the very best ones of the network, including ESN KTU, which were noticed for having 3rd best logo in the entire network.
After all these days, awarding the best ones and making final photos the time came to close the event. AGM Milano 2014 was over, but it will definitely stay forever in the hearts of nearly 700 hundred ESNers, who left home with passion in their eyes and huge motivation to work for the beautiful tomorrow of the organization.
by Sandra Baltkojytė, ESN LT Communication Manager
Usually it takes a long time to get there. Once you do that, there is never enough: of ESN, of people you meet and spirit you feel. Official description tells you that it is the main decision-making body of ESN International. Well, it is. And it is much more at the same time: future cooperations, knowledge transfer, gathering information, sharing experiences, developing ideas, creating personal long-lasting relations, simply having fun and believing in ideas of the network.
The idea of AGM is to gather together around 600 current and former members of ESN from international, national and local levels. 36 countries – numbers only prove how broad our organization is. And while wearing different colors and realizing slightly different projects we manage to keep unity in diversity.
ESN Lithuania also was a part of it – 12 delegates representing 9 sections of ESN Lithuania together with NB delegates and NR in front of. Great purple cloud took over the city of Maribor for 4 days starting from 11th continuing to 14th of April.
Thursday, 11th of April
While our NR Simona Patašiūtė was catching a breath after intensive and productive pre-CNR delegation of Lithuania was slowly starting to appear from different corners of Europe. The fastest ones were invited to explore Maribor – former European Capital of Culture 2012 during guided sightseeing tours, which invited to share “Brez objemov” or “Free Hugs” with the citizens. Surprised, smiling faces and a bit scared ones from too high dose of Love, but after all – socially aware ESN greeting for the city, which hosted the biggest event of the network.
Opening ceremony of the event was soon to come so after making few more circles in the city time for preparations to meet Mr. President of Slovenia Borut Pahor. After his speech even more greetings followed by ESN AISLB president Emanuel Alfranseder, partnerts of the network and even Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. Ceremony was opened and closed by Slovenian singer performing anthem of ESN SB – “Don’t You Worry Child”.
Afterwards delegations were invited to enjoy traditional Slovenian dinner together with songs and dances followed by Responsible Party where RP ambassadors were taking a great care of ESNers while providing them water and other goods.
Friday, 12th of April
From 7am in the morning participants were invited to enjoy the breakfast and so prepare for the following sessions when procedures of AGM were presented, chairs were elected, agenda approved and presentations of the candidates for 2013-2014 IB were heard.
Later the action was moved to the Technical Faculties, where local Slovenian people together with the members of ESN were invited to participate in the Uni-market which has lasted for 3 hours and has invited to get to know more than 300 universities across entire Europe.
After the market was finished ESNers were invited to attend the variety of workshops starting with the diplomacy lessons taught by Slovenian Foreign Affairs Minister ending up with project management and team building. Impressions and lessons which were learnt were shared during the National Platforms, which invited to talk about candidates for the IB, about AGM itself and to prepare for the loud and colorful flag-parade.
Parade which took for more than few hours and was captured by various media representatives ended up in Festival Hall Lent where the Eurodinner took place. Crazy night with loud music, various goods from different countries of the world leaded to the one of the most important days of AGM.
Saturday, 13th of April
The 3rd day of AGM invited to the sessions where the most important decisions were made. OCs for the future international events were elected:
• AGM Milano 2014; • CEP Košice 2014; • CND Lodz 2014.
Later on budgets were discussed and presentation about the work done by IB 2012-2013 was given. As well as standing orders were changed with the biggest innovation – bringing the chairing team to the CNR meetings, which from now one will be made of CNR Administrator, Secretary and Technical Assistant.
44Changes for the Visual Identity Manual were also introduced with a suggestion to allow the use of ESN logo in full solid ESN Colors, including ESN Pink/Cyan/Orange/Green/Dark Blue. The next day proposal was approved by AGM, so from now on we have even more colorful and flexible visual identity of the network!
AGM was continued by presentation of the Board Action Plan for 2013 – 2014 with concrete actions how to improve the structure, budget, work of secretariat and strengthen up ESN Brand. Promotion of the mobility, concentration on the projects as ESNSurvey, PRIME, Erasmus Impact Study will remain. Will be working on strengthening up the Eduk8, Alumni network, working with facilitation of international jobs, traineeships and volunteer opportunities for ESN members.
During the rest of the day international ESN projects were presented: ESNWiki, Responsible Party, where ESN Lithuania takes the first place by the number of RP parties organized! Time for the session was coming to an end so lots of discussion points were delayed to the coming day.
UV Youngle Party followed afterwards, where with the help with OC, IB and NewYorker everyone was dressed the same – T-shirts of ESN, which later on were covered by the layers of ultraviolet sensitive paints.
Sunday, 14th of April
New day, new challenges and huge amounts of information! Projects as ESN Satellite was presented with having a first look to the new version of it and promise for it soon to come. ESN Survey was analyzed, recent results of Eduk8 were presented continuing with the presentation with the rest of projects as Erasmus in Schools as a Flagship Project for this year, Social Erasmus as the latter Flagship Project of ESN, Section Quality Development, Section Cooperation, ESN Galaxy, ESN Card, Ride for Your Rights, ExchangeAbility presentations.
Reports of CNR, CND, Committees, Liaison Office and Network itself followed together with presentation of commercial, institutional partners.
Alumni were also invited to the stage to present their new work done during the recent year, attempts to gather all national Alumni coordinators to one place and to share their knowledge and possibilities between each other. More information about Alumni network might be found HERE. Also traditional Alumni grant was given. This time it was ESN Rijeka which was awarded by 500eu for the innovative trainings for ESN members of their section.
Also that day IB for the next cadency was elected:
• President – Stefan Jahnke;
• Vice-president – Dominique Montagnese;
• Treasurer – Jonathan Jelves;
• Communication Manager – Robert Klimacki;
• Web Project Administrator – Salih Odabasi.
After the reports of the auditors and vote of AGM event was officially closed. Only Gala-prom was waiting for the participants.
Gala this year was different. The idea was to have a prom date like in the times of finishing high school. That was the reason why everyone that night came by two. High heels and ties, dresses and suits – that night we’ve proved how different we can be – from dirty t-shirts to fancy look, from crazy parties to Social Erasmus. That’s what ESN is about.
15th of April
Then the sun started to appear in the morning of 15th AGM came to an end. Lots of goodbyes were told during the breakfast, many free hugs made to each other hoping to see each other again. Once more hundreds of people from different parts of Europe spread apart to work for the same ideas and values only through different projects and venues. Work for the local, national and international community. Spread responsible and socially aware ideas.
Every time we meet, something changes. In statutes, standing orders, VMI, but the wish to ESN your life always remains.
AGM – Amazing Gathering in Maribor. The main ESN event happening only once a year. Rarely known for international students we take care of, but always adored by ESNers. Usually described as the main decision-making body of ESN International, AGM always gathers together an amazing number of members of ESN from all the existing levels of the netowork.
After taking place in Granada, Spain, this time event moves a little bit more to east and invites to visit sLOVEnia. Already tomorrow 600 people working under the same star of ESN will meet each other in Maribor.
Wednesday, 11th of April will invite to:
• attend city tour;
• participate in the opening ceremony of AGMaribor 2013, where participants will be greeted by thepresident of Slovenia Borut Pahor;
• enjoy Slovenian dinner and the company of missed friends and newly met people;
• have fun in Surprise party!
ESN Lithuania this time there will be presented by 13 people from national board and local sections.
More news – already tomorrow. Keep updated, stay with us!
Annual General Meeting of ESN was just officially closed. While AGM Granada OC is still working on post-CNR delegations are slowly coming back home after one week of intense work, various decision making, researches of new partners and many other things. Yesterday the last part of Lithuanian has landed so finally we are all at home and now it is time to share skills we gained, things we experienced and news we were happy to get to know.
Officially AGM was opened at 22nd of March. It was the day then finally all Lithuanian delegation came together. Pink cloud or the so called bubble gum’s color was easily noticeable from everywhere. 10 girls (Ieva Vezbergaitė, ESN LT NR; Sandra Baltkojytė, ESN LT PR/ESN ISM; Simona Patašiūtė, ESN VGTU; Justina Krauledaitė, ESN KTU; Giedrė Gelšvartaitė, ESN KTU/ESN KuK; Kamilė Urbonavičiūtė, ESN KK; Brigita Tumakovaitė, ESN VU; Rusnė Malakauskaitė, ESN VMU; Toma Rimkevičiūtė, ESN ŠU and Viktorija Gurčinatė, ESN MRU Vilnius) represented Lithuania. This time delegation was dressed by personal clothes specially designed for AGM Granada’12 by Simona Patašiūtė (ESN VGTU President). This has helped our delegation to be seen every time and everywhere.
The opening day started then delegations met each other at registration, which was established at Hotel Nazaries***** lobby, the same hotel where our delegation has spent all those 4 nights and 5 days, everyone was invited to a city tour, which was guided by ESN volunteers and took only few hours that there would be enough time to prepare for the opening ceremony. Opening ceremony took place in a luxurious Theatre Isabel La Catolica, where about 400 people were welcomed in AGM Granada right after 10 years after the last AGM in Spain (AGM Lugo 2002). Warm words from IB by Tania, people from AGM OC and Spain education system delegates, videos dedicated to 25th anniversary of Erasmus program and a performance of the local music band playing with traditional instruments invited everyone to enjoy every moment being in Granada. After that participants were invited to have a dinner and later to continue the first day of AGM with Flag parade through the streets of beautiful Granada. From Hotel Nazaries to El Camborio with highly international atmosphere, but always with the colors of yellow, green and red, Lithuanian songs, flags and good mood we were happy to be a part of ESN. We were proud to be able to represent Lithuania – country, which might be a small one in Europe, but not in ESN, where our works are appreciated as other days have shown. So the first day finished in welcome party at El Camborio in front of shinning Alhambra’s castle – 8th miracle of the world. During the first day we have seen lots of things, but there were 3 more days to go.
Friday has invited to an info market, where our delegation has represented 6 different our universities offering a wide range programs of studies. Usually Lithuanian table welcomed people who were really interested in technical sciences more than social ones. Without offering opportunity to better get to know various universities of the Europe, AGM Informaket has invited to see the presentation of new ESN partner – NewYorker, which was offering opportunities to join their team, to use opportunities of internship and just simply discuss about the future perspectives of NewYorker and ESN. At the same time workshops were organized, where we better got to know techniques of decision making, future of Erasmus with Erasmus for All, to listen experiences of Alumnis or try to improve your visual design skills during an hour. After the dinner in the yard of the faculty of Sciences everyone gathered together for the first plenary session at this AGM, where the most exciting part was presentations of candidates to International Board. 3 potential presidents, 3 vice presidents, 3 communication managers, 2 web project administrators and 1 treasurer gave up their future vision of ESN. For more info about presentations contact us. After plenary who took far more than expected time for Eurodinner was coming. Here Lithuania presented their cuisine with white and other kinds of cheeses, candies as Fortūna and Miglė, our traditional TINGINYS. Some meat was provided as well just in usually unexpected forms for our international guests when they got to know that the thing they have just tasted is ear of pig or stomach of chicken. Some Lithuanian drinks were provided as well. That’s how already half of the AGM had passed away.
24th March, Saturday was full of serious information, presentations of the candidates for future international events. Candidacy for AGM 2013 was proposed by 3 different cities: Maribor in SLOVEnia, Vienna in Austria and Milan in Italy. CND 2012 had 3 options as well with candidacies of ESN Maleventum (Italy), ESN Orebro (Sweden) and ESN Valnecia UPV (Spain). ESN TU-Graz and ESN UNI-Graz (Graz, Austia) suggested organizing CEP 2012. At the same day results of previous Board was also presented, decisions about statutes and standing orders and much more. During all day spent under the roof in plenary session we have finally managed to accept some changes in statutes and to work out problems with voting devices that on Sunday the process of IB election would be fluent. This day ended not only with show of horses but also with a Spanish dinner where participants got opportunity to try out Spanish cuisine.
The last and the most important day of the AGM, 25th March, invited to listen about partners of ESN, reports about previous international events and finances we are disposing. Together with that presentation of ESN Alumni has happened as well when ESN Alumni project was elected. It was Erasmus Student Network Politechnika Warszawska (ESN PW / WUT) which got the award and since now they will have even better opportunities to improve their ideas. Without that participants heard about results of project Ride for your Rights, EduK8, ESN Survey, together with plans about future of ESN Card and all ESN, some ideas about corporate identity usage, but the most important part was voting this time. So there and then we have elected not what other soon countries will be filled up with ESN spirit, but also who will lead ESN in the future.
President - Emanuel Alfranseder (ESN Sweden); Vice-president - Katharina Ma (ESN Austria); Treasurer - Mario Alarcon (ESN Spain); Communication Manager - Juan Colino (ESN Spain); WPA - Fabian Bircher (ESN Switzerland).
Elections were over and the only thing what was left was beautiful Gala dinner, which took place in the restaurant of Hotel Nazaries*****. It was the time of beauty, suites and dresses and international ESN STAR awards as well. Best of the bests were announced and the results were amazingly shocking for ESN Lithuania which got an award for the STARproject (Cultural Nights by ESN VMU)!!! Other winners were:
Time of AGM was ending, time for the first goodbyes came. But it’s only for the moment because many more international events are in front of us.
By Sandra Baltkojytė
Welcomed by the Hungarian President, Pál Schmitt, 500 delegates of 370 sections of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) gathered at the National Parliament in Budapest for the opening ceremony of the Annual General Meeting of the organisation. From the 31st of March to the 4th of April 2011, the delegates of the leading European student organisation promoting international mobility met in order to enhance the development of ESN's international projects, promote student exchange programmes and elect the next International Board.
The Annual General Meeting The AGM is the main decision making body of ESN International. Every year, the ESN delegates attend the AGM hosted in a member country. This year, the event took place in Budapest, in Hungary, the country that holds the European Presidency this semester. Representatives of the local sections met in order to share experiences, develop international projects and elect this year’s International Board members. The opening ceremony was held at the National Parliament in Budapest, coupled with the traditional ESN parade which promotes the values of ESN: unity in diversity, diversity in unity.
The newly elected International Board which will take office in Brussels for one year from the 15th July 2011 is composed of:
Tania Berman (ESN France), President Katja Krohn (ESN Germany), Vice-President Damien Lamy-Preto (ESN France), Treasurer Josefin Svensson (ESN Sweden), Communication Manager Fabian Bircher (ESN Switzerland), Web Project Administrator
ESN, Leading European student organisation promoting international mobility was founded in 1989 through the joint initiative of the first returning Erasmus Students and the European Institutions. ESN is one of the biggest interdisciplinary non-profit international students’ organisations in Europe. It aims at fostering and promoting student exchanges. With a network of 370 sections located in 35 countries, ESN represents 150 000 international students and nearly 12 000 volunteers. ESN is based in Brussels and receives the support of the European Commission. Local sections provide opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development under the principle of Students Helping Students: local students helping and informing exchange students.
ESN - a main actor in the promotion of student exchange programmes
ESN supports the student mobility programmes and places a high priority on increasing the number of students benefiting from them, emphasising that high quality study conditions for exchange students are guaranteed. Therefore, ESN publishes every year the ESN Survey which highlights challenges related to international mobility. In May 2011, ESN will unveil the results of PRIME, a study that addresses the main issues of recognition of studies abroad in Europe (prime.esn.org).
ESN is involved in various projects which are aimed at involving students in a more active citizen role; projects such as ExchangeAbility, which aim at increasing participation of exchange students with disabilities and Social Erasmus which enhances the active collaboration of international students in social projects within the community.