One the 12th-13th of March, 15 sections came together as the 27th National Platform of ESN Lithuania began. Organized cooperatively by ESN KK and ESN VU KHF. With the plenaries and workshops being held in VU Kaunas Faculty of Humanities. Among other things, this NP was focused upon the reports of the National Board members, National Coordinators, National Committees and of the sections themselves.

   On the first day of the Platform they saw the reports of Eduk8 Starter participants, "Colours of Lithuania", CNR Jyvaskyla and the National Board.

   The day came to a energetic end as ESN ISM and then ESN ŠU presented their candidacies for the OC of NP'28. And finally the evening was a part where all faces began to fade, as the night brought on the Masquarade. An evening part with many games and a wonderful performance by the OC.

   On the second day of the Platform. For the second time at a Platform of ESN Lithuania an infomarket was held to present the sections, where everyone got a chance to get up and personal, meet face to face and learn all they could want about other sections and share gadgets with eachother.

   The votings decided ESN ŠU as the OC for the next platform and "Go Xtreme" as a National Event.

 

Written by Tautvydas Utyra

 

Daphne Scherer is another example of a person who has used her volunteer work for ESN to her benefit. Today, she works for the European Commission.

Born in Genova, Daphne is Italian by nationality but has enjoyed a life in an international context, both through studying and working as a volunteer. Already in 2003, Daphne had her first experience abroad, when she attended a high school cultural exchange. After one year in the US, Daphne started her undergraduate degree in Italy.

However, she still wanted to be a part of an international community. Even before enrolling at the university, she joined the local ESN section. For three years, she was responsible for the Tandem project and organising language cafés. Like many ESNers, she also used the opportunity to practice her foreign language skills while volunteering.

Even after several years working for ESN locally, Daphne wasn’t satisfied with her international experiences. So, for her Master’s, Daphne moved to Denmark where she attended the University of Aalborg and graduated with a degree in Culture, Communication and Globalisation. ESN Denmark was a big part of her time in Aalborg. After graduating, she moved to Paris for the European Voluntary Service.  

During her EVS, Daphne got even more involved in ESN. First, through the PRIME project in 2009 where she worked on the continuous challenges concerning recognition procedures for outgoing exchange students. Daphne also worked on preparing the PRIME project in 2010, andoperated as a National Representative for ESN Italy and Vice-Chair for the newly established International Committee for Education. Through her work in ESN, she got the possibility to attend the Bulgarian Education Summer Training II in Bulgaria and was part of setting up the Eduk8 project.

Her volunteer work in ESN helped her achieve her goals. More than anything, her previous experience with the PRIME project helped her gain a position at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture. In her position, Daphne is working with higher education and Erasmus.

For Daphne, having always dreamt about working in the field of higher education, the dream has come true. She has no doubt about what helped her achieve this:

“This was always my dream and ESN gave me the opportunity to seize it!”

#myESNcareer

Written by: Jesús Escrivá Muñoz, Sara Panis, Stefan Jahnke
Edited by: Olav Mydland

 

Every success story begins with a first step forward and things following naturally. As a volunteer experience, ESN has been a stepping stone for many, now successful, individuals. This was also the case for Damien Lamy-Preto, who works for Education First in France as a Business Developer.

After his Erasmus exchange, Damien decided to join ESN in addition to his studies and work in architecture, but ESN completely changed his career. He has been involved in ESN for almost ten years, starting from a section member, to the section President of ESN Nancy. Later, he continued his journey as the National Treasurer of ESN France and lastly he became the Treasurer of ESN International.

Through his experience in ESN, Damien developed an entrepreneurial spirit. He believed that developing himself as much as he did was only possible due to the love he has for the mission and vision of ESN. So much of what he achieved was due to the effort he put forth and his belief that ESN could be great.

His hard work and involvement was rewarded with trust from the network, which allowed him to further learn and develop as he was working to keep that trust. After years of experience, on all levels, he is still convinced that ESN can always do better if the belief and trust in ESN, and its members, continue to grow.

Thanks to his volunteer experience in ESN, Damien pursued a career that was very different from his studies. He compares his choice with other students who followed an MBA path to build up their careers and now when he looks back he believes he made a good choice. In his own words:

“In ESN, nothing is impossible. The work fields of ESN are really broad: Education, Management, Finances, IT and so on. I found a real possibility to grow personally and professionally and thanks to the size of the Network this was a long and fruitful adventure.”

In ESN, he had the chance to work with many different institutions and companies which helped him build extensive personal relations and networks. He developed numerous skills in finance, languages, education management, and leadership, but above all, he values his friendship skills, which he believes will be essential in his future.

He is convinced that if it hadn’t been for ESN he wouldn’t have had these vast opportunities to improve himself at the level he did and he would have also never gotten in touch with Education First, where he works now.

Damien’s experience is a great example for every volunteer in ESN. From time to time, your volunteering work might not always seem important to you, or be relevant to your field, but you are learning a lot and developing competences you do not even realise at the time. All of this self-improvement will be helpful in your near future.

ESN is so much more than meets the eye. Search no more for what is relevant. By adding value to the network, you will also be adding value to yourself. ESN itself might not be the reason a company will employ you, but the skills and experiences you acquire from volunteering in ESN will. 

#myESNcareer

Written by: Jesús Escrivá Muñoz, Sara Panis, Stefan Jahnke
Edited by: Cüneyt Akso

 

A unicorn. The synonym of success in the professional world. After all, the term itself was coined for the most successful startup companies in the world. But this article is not about Silicon Valley or startups. This article is about you.

It’s not easy to spot a unicorn - especially the mythical one - and yet becoming ‘a unicorn’ seems to be a universally applicable goal. Stand out in the crowd and shine. Don’t we all want this? Sadly, there’s no universal recipe, but we can all work on understanding ourselves and selling our assets in the best possible way. This article is the first in a series on how to become a unicorn yourself - in the job market.

If you’re sitting in a classroom, look around you. These people are just a tiny fraction of all students of your age. Students that will enter the job market at the same time as you will. In fact, around 20 million students graduated in 2015. Now look around the class again. These people will enter the job market having the same education as you.

Our generation is constantly told we’re special. And we are, when it comes to our families. Out in the wild we’ve got to show something extra to stand out if we want to succeed.

It’s easy to say “something extra”, but what exactly should it be? Well, let’s actually take a step back and start from the very beginning. Ask yourself a question: “What am I bringing to the table?” Let’s take the example of Lucy. Lucy is applying for a job to become a nurse. Lucy gave the question a thought and came up with the following answer: “I know how to handle medical equipment, I have an excellent overview of pharmaceutics and I am a gentle yet firm person.” Sounds simple enough, right? Let’s take a close look at Lucy’s answer.

Skills

The first thing mentioned by Lucy - “I know how to handle medical equipment” - is a skill. Skills are simply the ability to perform a certain task. Do you know how to cook scrambled eggs? Congratulations, that’s a skill - and very valuable one for having a delicious breakfast.

However, not all skills are relevant for all tasks. Cooking eggs might not be the core skill for being a nurse; that’s why it’s important that we know which skills are the ones we can proudly present to the world. Knowing your skillset well is a must - and knowing which of those skills to show at the right time, that’s what makes you stand out. Don’t worry, we will show you how later on.

Knowledge

Skills are closely tied with knowledge - a good example is Lucy’s 'excellent overview of pharmaceutics'. Knowledge is usually associated with what you learn during your time at the university, but having knowledge itself doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good or useful.

What you’re looking for is pairing the knowledge with the relevant skills, that’s where the sweet spot is. On top of that, in today’s fast-paced world, it’s the ability to acquire knowledge quickly, the ability to jump into an issue without knowledge and learning along the way, the ability to go 80% using the resources we have, that makes for an A-player.

That concept sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it?

Attitude

What would skills and knowledge be without the third to the Triforce. Being 'a gentle yet firm person' is Lucy’s secret sauce. You’ve probably heard the words 'soft skills' already. Being a team player, being resilient, being persistent on one hand and patient on the other. These are what binds the whole A-player together.

Skills and knowledge on their own are simply not enough today; it’s the extra mile, expressed by the attitudes we are showing to the outer world, that makes a difference in the end. And of course - as you have probably guessed it already - they are the hardest ones to obtain. The soft skills and attitude are completely up to you, to your personal growth.

There we go, the three categories we should focus on to become a unicorn in the job market.So, do you have the right skills, knowledge, attitude? We will look into how to acquire these in the next article.

#myESNcareer

     

 

If society is a damsel in distress, then volunteers are superheroes who are on call 24 hours a day. Why? Because it is rewarding in so many different ways! If you are wondering whether it’s worth the time then keep reading to find some of the benefits volunteering can offer you.

1. We develop new skills.

Through our work as volunteers we develop soft skills such as adaptability and problem solving, as well as hard skills such as proficiency in a foreign language and networking. Both sets of skills boost our employability and make us competitive in the labour market.

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2. We travel.

Thanks to our activities, we can travel all across Europe, discover new places and meet new people. As much as travelling is a fun experience in itself, it also allows us to develop a sense of wonder, foster new values, and helps us realise what it truly means to identify yourself as a European citizen.

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3. We learn informally.

Volunteering serves as a reflection of who you are―it shows that you have been active during your student years, that you took initiative, and that you performed in high, decision-making positions which helped you foster entrepreneurial and leadership skills. That is enough to set you apart from other candidates.

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4. We work on improving ourselves.

Social interaction is a key component of life. Volunteering makes you open your door to strangers who soon become your family. It pushes you out of your shell and motivates you to work on improving yourself. Soon enough, you become a master of social and communication skills, and presenting yourself to new people brings you joy, not sweaty palms.

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5. We learn languages.

Volunteering in an international environment does wonders for your language skills. It helps you improve the language you already know, practise speaking a language you have only started learning or get you into learning one you never thought about before. Plus, it looks amazing on your CV!

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6. We celebrate differences.

For a continent with as rich a history as Europe, it is important to get a better understanding of other cultures, something we as volunteers have first-hand access to. Understanding leads to respect and respect leads to knowledge. Learning and participating in other people’s traditions, exploring their cuisines and discovering their differences is not only fun, but also rewarding.

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7. We make friends.

The amount of people you meet through volunteering is one of its greatest advantages―you make a network so big, making sure you always have someone to turn to. We do not only meet potential employees, we make friends all over Europe which means that as volunteers we can offer you any piece of information you might need.

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8. We inspire.

Volunteering can be a stepping stone for you. It is a source of motivation and inspiration—through various volunteering activities you can discover your career path.

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9. We help people.

Volunteering is like asking yourself “Would you still do your job, even if you did not get paid for it?” Volunteers are people who are willing to invest their free time into helping others not because they have to do it, but because they want to do it. No matter what you are doing—helping international students find their place in a new surrounding or helping your local community—you matter. And is there a better way to end your day other than hearing a warm thank you?

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10. We make a difference.

Interacting with people from other cultures can make you more open-minded, tolerant, and understanding. Volunteering can change your point-of-view, educate you and help you break stereotypes. You find yourself in situations you never thought you would be in, doing things you never thought you would be doing. You acquire knowledge and skills that can become your lifeline. Volunteering opens a whole new window of possibilities and experiences. You stop wanting to become better than other people and you start wanting to outgrow yourself. You become your own superhero.

Do you want to join our squad?

 

Written by Tajana Mohnacki

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!

More pictures can be found here.

Mykolas Romeris University

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!

Registration is available here

Date: 
21/03/2015 - 10:00 to 22/03/2015 - 18:00
Price: 
5 €
Contact details: 
Head OC - Mamerta Ralytė, [email protected]

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