The project “Erasmus in Schools” was not new for the ESN Lithuania but this year we decided to make it more visible and massive. The team’s aim was to visit schools from all over Lithuania, especially in small cities and villages. As a result, almost 60 schools have been visited in one academic year. What is more, the members of Erasmus Student Network were enthusiastic about spreading mobility for the youth communities of schools.
All the preparations for making these visits more useful united SocialErasmus coordinators of local sections, ESN members and incoming Erasmus students from different countries. This beautiful team made the project unforgettable and useful for every young people as they were well informed about the program.
Some impressions from different sections of the ESN Lithuania:
ESN KTU: The pupils raised their awareness of ERASMUS+ program and its opportunities. They had a chance to ask questions about studying in KTU, scholarships and which countries are the best for ERASMUS studies. Students and pupils gathered to listen to the international students’ experience of studying and living here in Lithuania, cultural differences and many other interesting issues. Foreigners together with pupils were communicating in an informal environment.
ESN LEU: This project gave students a wonderful chance to represent their country and its most interesting facts. All their presentations were different in some way: some showed a video about their country or town, some taught some words in their native language, some presented the most famous people who are known worldwide, some listed scientists' inventions and some even performed their traditional dances and practiced them with the children. In the end of the event we presented foreign students' postcards filled with greetings and wishes to Lithuanian pupils.
ESN MRU Vilnius: We are really happy and grateful for the schools which welcomed ESN MRU Vilnius members and Erasmus students in a really warm and pleasant way as well as for every single person who participated in the project! Hopefully, the friendship which was established between Lithuanian pupils and MRU Erasmus students will continue further.
ESN ŠU: On the sunny day of 2nd of October Erasmus students joined the volleyball match with pupils of 8th form of “Jovaras” pro-gymnasium. Participating in such events hopefully has increased tolerance between students and children and helped foreigners to easily integrate into our society. Children were so happy that they could take some pictures with foreign students and talk about the differences of their countries and Lithuania and learn some basic phrases in their foreign languages.
ESN Vilnius University: These visits were organized with a specific purpose: to educate high school kids about Erasmus+ exchange program and its giving possibilities. During the stay students and pupils had an opportunity to write a greeting or paint on their t-shirts. After doing so they exchanged those t-shirts as a form of gratitude. The international students accepted this challenge with their heads up and did it well.
ESN ISLB: We were discussing why it is so amazing to be a part of ESN and what the ESN means in general? Also Erasmus+ students talked about their countries, cultures, customs and why their countries are so unique. After listening to those stories there is a big possibility that pupils after finishing their secondary school will be going to study abroad on Erasmus program. We enjoyed our time with pupils who were interested in our program and its mobility. Our Erasmus students made a quiz for everybody, so everyone had a chance to win some amazing ESN prizes.
Most importantly, these visits were not only of presentation type. Gladly, ESN members made those gatherings more interesting by organising various sports events, games, and other activities that helped to promote mobility.
After two semesters of those activities, ESN Lithuania decided to share the experience with other students and organisations of active pupils organisations in order to find out what else we can initiate or change in this project. Discussions were productive, informative, thus we came up with new ideas how organisations can help one another to make this project more useful for community and especially for pupils.
We hope that this project will get better and better each year and young people will not be afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Then our task of project will be done.
It’s a wonderful time of the year. Easter holiday comes to our country and welcomes the spring! Playing Easter games and eating traditional dishes brings families together. But not all the people can share their joy and happiness with beloved ones. That’s why sections of ESN Lithuania together with SocialErasmus Coordinator decided to do a good deed and unite international students with the children and elders to celebrate it together. The sections visited children day centers, orphanages and elderly homes and spread the Easter spirit all over the place. They decorated eggs, played traditional games and even prepared musical performances. Let’s have a look what kind of activities some sections had during past two weeks.
On 24th of March ESN KK have celebrated Easter in a very traditional way. They taught international students how to decorate Easter eggs in all kinds of different ways. After that they all together have visited elderly house and shared their countries Easter traditions with elders.
On 25th of March ESN VMU together with international students went to Child Care Center and spent time with children by helping them to prepare for Easter. They played games and decorated Easter eggs as well. After the meeting VMU students shared their impressions - “We spent there unforgettable afternoon and brought Easter joy to the children!”
On 26th of March ESN ISLB team together with international students went to Čižiūnai Orphanage and spent a memorable time with children. Students played games, balloon fight, and football match with their new little friends. The day was summed up with the Easter dinner where they presented musical performance.
On 27th of March ESN KUK with Erasmus students went to a child day care centre. They were introduced with all children’s activities, decorated eggs, played games, learned several Lithuanian words and had an amazing time together.
On 30th of March ESN VGTU organized a visit to one pension in Vilnius, where students learnt old traditions of painting eggs with wax and Easter games, as well. They were really kindly welcomed there by livers of the pension and even given some handmade presents. After the big job while decorating eggs, they had coffee and cake time and SURPRISINGLY, the barrier of language differences didn’t cause any discomfort. We also had the most beautiful egg election and the “Rolling eggs game”, which was really funny.
On 3rd of April ESN LEU members and their exchange students together with ESN MRU Vilnius exchange students spent some time with children at the children’s day center. The children were happy to have visitors from all around the world.
All together international students and local communities built the bridges between different cultures and traditions. The ESN Lithuania team hopes that the warmth sections have shared with children and elders were appreciated and made them happier and that it was unforgettable experiences for international students as well.
Happy Easter everyone!
Last weekend, 21st-22nd of March, ESN Lithuania once again brought more than 100 participants together to the 23rd National Platform which was held in Vilnius. The national event named “United Edition” was organized by two sections ESN LEU and ESN MRU Vilnius. The plenaries and workshops took place at those two universities. As it was set some time ago, Spring NP was dedicated to the reports of sections, National Board members, National Coordinators, Committees, and Alumni Club.
The first day of NP’23 was hosted by ESN LEU at the University of Educational Sciences. Highlight of the day was definitely the presentation of the new brochure “NP Shortcuts“ initiated and created by ESN LT Alumni and a PuRe Committee member Mikas Macijauskas. Each participant got one copy of it in order to be better informed about the terminology of National Platform as well as to get some general information of what this event is about. One more excited piece of news reached the audience – the brand new ESN Lithuania‘s website and the web shop were officially launched. Moreover, for the first time ever National Platform was available online for ESN members who couldn’t attend the event. The idea to stream it online via live.esn.org was initiated by the IT committee.
The second day of NP’23 was hosted by ESN MRU Vilnius at Mykolas Romeris University. Not to mention the NB’s and National Coordinators’ reports, updates of the international event “ESN Spring Training Kaunas” were given by the OC ESN VMU and ESN KTU. Important topics as ND role, International Board Candidates and budget changes were also presented. At the end, the sections had a voting session and approved the OC for upcoming NP – ESN KUK together with ESN SMK.
A National Platform wouldn’t be a National Platform without any guests. This time representatives of State Department of Tourism and ISIC suggested their partnership possibilities. As it became a tradition, 5 international guests took part in it as well. The first intern of ESN Lithuania, Thebault Pean, said “Hello” to the network. His main task will be to help ESN Lithuania implement the ExchangeAbility project. Also, representatives from ESN Poland and ESN Turkey presented their countries and the main activities of their sections.
Overall, smiles, applause, positive emotions and best practices made this National Platform a great success. The last weekend, ESN LEU and ESN MRU Vilnius showed us the beauty of cooperation in ESN. Let them inspire us to continue showing the spirit of the network and collaborate with each other to achieve greater results for ESN Lithuania!
The first National Platform of the year is getting closer. This time organized by two sections – ESN LEU and ESN MRU Vilnius, it will take place in two different universities. UNITED EDITION – the official theme of the NP will encourage sections to cooperate and be more friendly to each other. So let‘s all meet together for the 23rd time! Register below!
Over the weekend of 12-13th of April, delegates from all 12 ESN Lithuania sections, as well as representatives from ESN Alumni, gathered within the welcoming walls of Mykolas Romeris University in the capital Vilnius to attend already the second edition of ESN Lithuania’s National training programme – Survival KIT Vol. 2.
ESN is all about improving, motivating and aiming higher. That is why the second piece of training cake had to be bigger, better and with an international taste. ESN Lithuania HRC Tomas, who was nurturing the idea of National trainings for quite some time, remarks: “I was very happy to see such activeness among the sections: the number of applicants was increasing each day and every spot was taken”. Four ESN Eduk8 trainers from Austria, Switzerland, Poland and Czech Republic shared their knowledge on time planning, leadership, constructive feedback and conflict management. Let’s take a short look back over the things that inspired members of ESN Lithuania this past weekend.
Day 1, Saturday
After a short opening word, trainers took the initiative into their hands leading a series of vibrant and dynamic energizers and teambuilding activities that allowed us learn a thing or two about each other and feel more comfortable working together. Later on, for workshops to be more effective and productive, participants were divided into three smaller teams and from that very moment members of ESN Lithuania are better known as cherries, strawberries and watermelons. Three out of four fields were covered during the first day of trainings, involving a lot of practical assignments, role playing and discussion.
In leadership and time planning workshop, instructed by Ludo “the Lazy Lizard” Coudray from ESN Switzerland, participants learned how to recognize different types of leaders, what strategies to apply in order to ensure effective section-work and progress; how to prioritize and plan your schedule. Communication expert Robert Banet from ESN Poland performed valuable workshop on delivering and receiving constructive feedback, which is an essential part in maintaining an operative ESN work from local to international levels. Members were taught some methods of positively delivering criticism. At the end, everyone were only left craving for more.
The day was not over yet as OC from Mykolas Romeris University had prepared a challenging surprise. ESN’ers and trainers participated in a scavenger hunt and discovered the secrets of Vilnius. Afterwards everyone met up to have some refreshments.
Day 2, Sunday
Starting off the last day with some powerful energizers, participants headed to their last workshops. Working side by side, Lukas Oppermann from ESN Austria and Stanislav Stanek from ESN Czech Republic delivered crucially beneficial session on conflict management. Before starting, participants were asked to share their expectations on the upcoming workshop. Two hours of strategic actions, performances and analysis of real-life conflict situations both in daily and ESN life caused great discussions in the room. For most, expectations raised at the beginning were fulfilled or even exceeded as from now on everyone will keep in mind that avoiding conflicts is not an option.
It did not take long for the trainings to prove being worthy as towards the end of day 2, motivated, eager and fruitful with fresh ideas, ESNers brainstormed about the future projects of ESN Lithuania. Hoping that planted ideas will soon harvest into prosperous and large projects participants reviewed this notably productive weekend after which Eduk8 trainer Stanislav Stanek had this to say: “It was very inspiring to see how motivated the participants are after the Survival Kit training. As a trainer it is a best reward you can get. I hope that we encouraged them to be hungry for new knowledge and they will spread their enthusiasm in every section!”
And spread they will. There are already some new ideas pursued throughout the network. It is safe to say that everyone left with bigger baggage than they came with: knowledge of new fields, motivation, inspiration and promising new acquaintances once again ignited the spirit of ESN!
Huge thanks on behalf of ESN Lithuania to Živilė and the whole MRU team who courageously stepped up in organizing and hosting the Survival KIT Vol.2 National trainings!
P.S. People say, all of them took a good selfie...
The biggest... First time with guests from 4 universities of Vilnius and Kaunas. Great event took place in Mykolas Romeris university on 19th of April – traditional, already 8th time – „Erasmus Got Talent“, which was organized by ESN MRU Vilnius together with International Exchange Unit. It was also the last step of project Erasmus for Schools, which connected Erasmus students with a lot of pupils from three schools – Telšiai Žemaitės gymnasium, Jonas Basanavičius gymnasium from Vilnius and Kėdainiai Šviesioji gymnasium. During this project Erasmus students went to schools and became „one day teachers“, so in the end children arrived to our university to participate together with exchange students in Erasmus Got Talent.
In the begining the mix of moderators – Erasmus student and mentor introduced our beloved judges – Rihanna, Adele and Enrique Iglesias, who also made their own shows. Then Coordinator of incoming students Ieva Tondrykaitė of International Exchange Unit welcomed everyone and our superb event got speed. What was interesting enough – this time we had quite many mixed shows – Erasmus students invited their mentors to join. We were absolutelly amazed with dance show of ESN MRU Vilnius mentors and their mentees, who worth to point out were awarded even in two categories – got sympathies of audience in „Public Vote“ and „Judges favorite“.
Most of the performances we had were connected with songs, dances and playing instruments. But it is worth to mention great comedy guy from Greece – Stefanos Antypas, who got a lot of applause and made all audience to die from laughing. He was so into attending our show that after performance he just ran straight to the airport, such a high desire to participate everywhere!
Our great guests from Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) – duet Emil and Gintarė were singing few songs and made their own mini concert, which was really worth to get „The best duet“ nomination. We also welcomed two piano players from ISM (International school of management) and Vilnius university (VU). This time we had quite many dance shows, but one of them was really exclusive - two salsa dancers from Vilnius university (VU) and Vilnius Gediminas Technical university (VGTU) made excited everyone with such a passionate and energetic dance show – of course it was clear – they were the best in category of „The best dance“.
During the event everyone was highly surprised we have so many talented Erasmus students. They were playing guitars, piano, violin, drums even self-made instruments. Two erasmus students – Peter and Camille together with their mentor Gabrielė created really nice band and performed two different shows – classical and modern one, for their perfect musicians skills they were nominated as „The best band“ of Erasmus Got Talent. One more band sang few their own created songs and won in the category of „The most creative“.
On the same participants‘ rights were competing children from Erasmus for Schools project. One music band with charming girl ahead from Telšiai Žemaitės gymnasium sang really cheerful song and won in category of „The best song“. Big team of dancers from Jonas Basanavičius gymnasium performed two dances – classical and modern – and proved that they deserved to win Erasmus Got Talents and got „The best of the bests“ nomination.
All audience had a pleasure to watch, applause and support all participants, everyone had really great time. We want to say thank you to everyone who performed and showed their talents, creativity, amazing dancing and singing skills, it was really nice show! You proved once again – Erasmus really got talents!
ESN MRU Vilnius
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.
Although it‘s already spring time and you can see just cold and frozen things through the window, it‘s always possible to find some people who are moving, creating and keeping themself in action in order not to be frozen like that Lithuanian never-ending-winter, called spring. These always moving people can be easily found here – in ESN MRU Vilnius. Our section met spring with full month of activities, so we didn‘t have time to complain about cold temperature outside.
First days of spring were welcomed by City Quiz – orientation game in Vilnius city center. It took place during Casimir‘s fair, so it was like double celebration for our students. Even it was so so so cold outside and we don‘t remember if we have ever had such a freezing City Quiz, but all Erasmus students were still full of energy, positive mood and seeking to beat another competitors during the game. So in conclusion – even we had the coldest City Quiz ever, Erasmus students were so happy and excited that despite wind, snow and coldness everyone was talking what a great day they had! And it was just the begining of month...
On the same weekend we started Erasmus for Schools project in spring semester. During the March we already had two visits to lithuanian schools – in Telšiai and Kėdainiai. Erasmus students from Greece, Germany, South Korea, Turkey, Slovenia, France, Poland were theachers of subjects like history, language lessons, religion, ethics, biology, music. They represented history and traditions of their countries, explained differences between religions, teached some their national language sentences and even sang their national anthems together with lithuanian pupils. After lessons children said thank you with some really nice performances of dances and songs and later on all together with Erasmus students participated in Brain Battle game. Of course, children from schools were excited and admired by possibility to meet and know another cultures and foreign students, so all together they had some great conversations, got to know each other, made an excursions in their school towns and promised to come and show up in our another event Erasmus got talent in April.
And it‘s not the end! In the evening of International Women’s day our section organized one more funny and full of laughs matching event “Dare to date me”. Since the event was dedicated for International Women’s day, so the main idea was to let the girl to choose a boy for the date. Even it didn’t have the purpose to make a real couple, everyone had great time watching funny performances of competitors.
Later on one more weekend of March was filled with local ESN Olympics elimination and Mentor’s day events. We already chose our teams for ESN Olympics national tournament and next day all together we had great Mentor’s day, when our lovely Erasmus people said thank you to their helpful mentors and organized private evening at Universiteto pub with a lot of games, best wishes and nice performances.
To sum up, when you have so much things to do and always can enjoy your Erasmus friends and mentors company, there is no time to be sad about cold weather outside. Full of activities March just cheered up everyone and rumours are already about starting to organize big projects like Erasmus Got Talent, ESN Olympics national tournament, National Platform and many other smaller events, so it seems that we are going to continue our “be-always-in-action” tradition.
by ESN MRU Vilnius
On 10th January Vilnius sections of ESN Lithuania wellcomed all ERASMUS students by organizing them a huge Welcome party. According to organizators, there should have been around 450 ERASMUS students from Vilnius, Vilnius Gediminas Technical and Mykolas Romeris universities, International School of Business and Law as well as mentors and their friends. The party took place in Pramogų Bankas, Vilnius.
The topic of the event was BLING BLING, so girls had to wear cocktail dresses while guys were in their suits and shirts. Despite the bad weather and Lithuanian cold, there were lots of people who prepared and shined all night long. The party lasted until 6 am.
This welcome party was one of the first events organized by several sections of ESN in Vilnius. After success like this there will certainly be more unforgettable events organized so follow the news!