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.
Last weekend, on the 6th of April National training of ESN Lithuania was held in Kaunas Univeristy of Applied Sciences with the help of ESN KK - ESN Lithuania section which voluntarily organized the event with the support of their international office.
One of ESN visions is to provide quality training for all ESN members. This time ESN Lithuania tried to fulfill that by organizing one day event. From early Saturday current president of JCI (Junior Chamber International) Kaunas and coaching trainer Patrikas Pilybas started their workshop for cooperation strengthening and teamwork. Justina Pluktaitė from VGTU (Vilnius Gediminas technical university) International Office provided all ESN members with ideas howto recruit new members for the network, develop new ways how to contribute better for them, how to integrate into ESN activities incoming and outgoing Lithuanian students. Representatives of ESN LT Alumni were telling about the history of ESN LT and later organized a game which managed to reveal different capabilities of participators. At the end of the day two workshops were held by ESN Athens past section president Stefanos Antypas – ESN Job or Fun. Tomas Tamulevičius has shared his Eduk8 experience during the workshop for Communication and Teamwork.
Even the official part of the event took only one day but therefore an additional program was organized – attendants of training were invited to visit the Museum of War, located in the very heart of Kaunas.
Later on reviews about the event have appeared. For example Stefanos Antypas was telling us that „after two and a half months spent in Lithuania, and after I’ve already proved everyone that I am a crazy Greek who under no circumstances cannot be taken seriously, the kindness of ESN Lithuania shows no boundaries, since they invite me for a second time to attend one more of their national meetings. The first one was nothing else than their National Platform and the second one was the ESN LT Survival Kit.
I arrived at Kauno Kolegija at 14:00 o’clock. Even though the training was going on from early morning, instead of finding a group of tired, hungry people, I was welcomed by smiling ESNrs who couldn’t wait to see the next presentation/workshop. My Lithuanian is not good, so I couldn’t understand what most of the presentations were about, but I could easily understand faces full of excitement, and laughs and jokes they were making all the time. So if this event was organized in order to strengthen the bonding between ESN sections in Lithuania, I think it got a ten out of ten.
Also I was happy to have participants in my workshop “ESN Job or Fun?, who with their motivated attitude and their fresh ideas managed to create four unique events in less than forty five minutes.
All the event was abound in positiveness and excitement. I am grateful that I got the chance to participate in this training and I am looking forward for the next ESN Lithuania event. I believe that they have a bright future in front of them. But then again, what does a crazy Greek know“.
ESN Lithuania wants to thank Modesta, Audre, all the ESN KK and Kaunas Univeristy of Applied Sciences International Office, Tomas and for others who helped to organize this event! Your effort and will always remain in the hearts of ESNers.
ESN Lithuania invites to join goodness campaign „Nebūk daiktistas“ (“Don’t be a Thingist”) organized by our friends pagalbadaiktais.lt!
Project encourages you to give away things you do not need any more in change of gratitude of people, who need these things more.
All and each of you who read this are more than welcome to join campaign of sharing and helping each other!
Check your cupboard and think - maybe there are things you don‘t need or don‘t like anymore?
It could be: – clothes – shoes – utensils – stationery – books – toys/board games – many other things.
By participating in the campaign “Nebūk daiktistas” (“Don’t be a Thingist”) you will not only help others with things they need, but also you will help to built a proper image of international students as energetic, creative, mobile, tolerant and socially responsible people. At the same time you will help to increase the visibility of ESN in home institutions and local community.
Campaign will be held from 1st to 16th of March. Soon more information will appear and each participating ESN section will indicate places where things can be left. All the given things will be registered in pagalbadaiktais.lt system. Each participator will be able to see its profile. (e. g.: Profile of ESN Vilnius University, http://www.pagalbadaiktais.lt/dovanotojas/2313)
By pressing on your ESN sections's name below you will get more information about the project:
• ESN Vilnius University • ESN VGTU • ESN ŠU • ESN KK • ESN ISLB • ESN VMU
If you belong to the section which is not mentioned above then you can contact to any other section in the city!
Go social with ESN! Reach highier! Go further! Go social! SE national coordinator: [email protected]
SocialErasmus is a project where with minimal expenses we can implement the most beautiful ideas, so this time our SocialErasmus coordinators team agreed with the idea that international wind could take over Lithuanian schools by sending them postcards. Project “Erasmus Postcards“ is easy to realize: before going to Lithuania Erasmus exchange students are asked to brought few cards with them. Each ESN section chooses the most convenient time them to collect and during certain event students are asked to fill their cards by writing few phrases in their native language, few sentences about first impression being in Lithuania (in English), the favorite phrase in Lithuanian and other things they want.
After collecting postcards, ESNers will divide them in equal parts and send to the selected schools of Lithuania, where postcards will be exposed (how – it depends on agreement). ESNers need creativity there: each section has to present ESN Lithuania and themselves as well, ERASMUS exchange program, tell schools about the flows of international students each semester and traditional activities that ESN offer to them. Also we are glad that our expired SocialErasmus projects as video "Erasmus Unites", telling what Erasmus exchange program is and "Erasmus Letters" are beneficial there – they let us explain better the essence of ESN activities and SocialErasmus goals.
What is more, most of ESN Lithuania sections for the first time joins “Anti-bullying Week“, which will last from 18th to 24th of March where the main goal will be to implement activities that stimulate tolerance and empathy at an early age children in kindergartens, schools, social centers, children homes. By sending Erasmus postcards, information about ESN and our activities to Lithuanian pupils, we will try to break stereotypes, to emphasize the need of understanding of cultural differences, encourage discussions about Lithuanians‘ tolerance.
Realization of the project also aims to reveal that ESNers are active, social and open-minded youth and that Erasmus exchange program is direct connection with European youth and that it lets us become more tolerant!
“Erasmus post cards“ + “Anti-bullying Week” = Powerful “Erasmus in Schools” project
This is the way how soon Lithuanian ESNers are going to reach Lithuanian schools!
For more information you can write to National SocialErasmus coordinator Kristina Selezniova: [email protected]