We are all in the Milky Way... Maybe it is time to have some changes? Let's change galaxies for the 28th time!
BETWEEN GALAXIES - that is what ESN Šiauliai is planing to show us this time!

Date: 
11/06/2016 - 10:00 to 12/06/2016 - 18:00
Price: 
5 €

   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

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!  

Vilnius Gediminas Technical University

Erasmus in Schools(EiS) is the flagship project 2013 of ESN and is the main activity within the education pillar of SocialErasmus. The project aims to promote mobility at an early age. 

Our ESN VGTU section organise visits to schools so that our exchange students would be able to do various activities. It usually includes few parts: country and culture presentation, traditional music and dances, ESN and mentors programme presentation, international possibilities and university presentation, trivia challenge game and open discussion time.

This year, we have visited 5 schools: Pabradė Rytas gymnasium, Alytus Putinai gymnasium, Rokiskis Obeliu gymnasium, Vilniaus Mykalojaus Daukšos high school and Juodšilių Šilo gymnasium. We have met about 150 pupils from all of Lithuania and about 40 Erasmus students got the possibility to participate in this project while visiting schools of Lithuania. 

On the 11th of April, we had final EiS event in VGTU. We have invited about 70 pupils to visit the university. Our special programme was not only about Erasmus students but also about study possibilities. During this event, pupils got an opportunity to participate in Admission and Information centre’s acitivities, visit laboratories and meet our section’s ESNers during workshops. 

Participants about Erasmus in Schools:

“Erasmus in Schools project by ESN VGTU was one of the best. It is related with children and they are really important to me. They are the purest part of the world. And if I can create smiles on their faces, personally, it is one of the most meaningful things for me. When we met them for the first time, they looked at us, but then humbly looked away. They showed interest in us but at the same time, they were a bit shy. I have played lots of important matches as a goalkeeper and I had lots of practice with public speaking which, to be honest, I am not so excited about. But I was really enthusiastic in front of the pupils. I was proud to introduce my country to all amazing school children. We spent good time together. I tried to say some Lithuanian words to make them smile. There was a quiz part for them in our programme. They tried to find answers .Seeing their effort to find correct answer and also seeing their happiness when they have found the correct answer was spectacular .” – Ramazan Esen from Turkey.           

“It was an amazing project for all of our students. I think it was a great opportunity to meet new people, to become more tolerant and more open minded. Erasmus students from your university made a good impression to all pupils because they were really friendly and wanted to communicate, and to know more about education system in Lithuania. Thank you ESN VGTU for this wonderful event it was really special for all of us!” – teacher.

What was the best moment of EiS project?

“I really enjoyed Turkish dances and music. There are cultural differences between people but they can still communicate and be friends, it’s really cute.”

“The best moment was when I met students from Taiwan and we have even shared our Facebook contacts so we could communicate after this project.”

“It was really interesting to meet people from all over the world. They are so friendly and polite. Also, I really liked Lithuanian students from ESN VGTU. I think they are doing great job for taking care of all exchange students.”

“I think it was very important for me because I am planning to choose studies in VGTU. So all of the excursions in laboratories were very interesting. Also it was nice to meet all these people from other countries.”

“I don’t know... I like to meet new people all the time. Also, it was nice to improve my English knowledge. I met really friendly people from ESN and I am planning to join this organization when I will be in a university.”

You can see more photos HERE

by Erika Jankevičiūtė, ESN VGTU

Already two years in the position, which requires deep knowledge of ESN Lithuania, best features of it or simply how to make them look so. Always having an answer and knowing how to convince you to get whatever he needs. Simas Ivanauskas is the first and so far the only Partnership Manager of ESN Lithuania, who is pushing the organization forward by the amount of new partnerships and their support he has acquired recently. Let’s talk with him to see what it means to be in the position, which is an essential part of the National Board and entire ESN Lithuania.

Hello Simas! It‘s your second year in the National Position as a Partnership Manager. How is it going?

Perfect as always. As some of you may know that when I was in this position for the first time as well... when I could say I was just warming up my feets. Now everything is much better. I have acquired some experience and now I know how to do this job and what to do here.

Tell us more about your ESN journey. How did you get to know about ESN? How did you become a part of LT NB?

Some time ago I used to be very lazy. I don’t say that I am not lazy at the moment but I am trying to cope with that. So story begins in one of my sunny lazy spring mornings. One my neighbor from dormitory (former ESN’er) comes to my room and says: Simas, you have to go to ESN. Of course I didn’t apply for the mentor position. I missed the deadline. When there was another selection he came to me one more time and told me to register for mentors’ program. The journey began in my home section ESN VGTU. After that Simona (our NR) pushed me to apply for ESN VGTU board. After that she made me to apply for the national board position. And now I am here. Of course it is just a short version of everything that happened within this period. There were much more adventures.

What are the biggest challenges in your position?

There are lots of them. I think that if you are doing something then you will face challenges all the time. Maybe the biggest challenge is communicating with other people. You have to grasp them and sometimes it is quite difficult. Sometimes you can hear from them negative opinions about yourself but you have to “install a firewall” into yourself and just ignore all those negative words or emotions.

Which personal features are necessary for being partnership manager?

For me most important is to be confident (sometimes even opinionated), polite, honest and to have the sense of humor. If you have these characteristics then you are prepared for this position. Of course there are different people who are using different techniques so the characteristics may differ.

How does the process of making the partnership look like?

It is a secret. Just kidding. It depends. Sometimes you are communicating only in virtual reality, sometimes by phone, sometimes just in real life and all these processes need long description and I wouldn’t like to tell everything here. If you want to know more just come to my trainings. More information is coming soon!

What partnership you are mostly proud of?

What a question. All of them! It is the same as to ask parents which of their kids they love the most. Of course there are some bigger companies who can help you more and there are some smaller who wants to work with you but they don’t have opportunities. You feel better when you raise bigger amount of support but I can’t exclude the only one.

How do you keep up your motivation?

It is hard to say. Sometimes I feel so demotivated and I think that I do not want to work for ESN anymore but I have found a way to change. When I feel demotivated I just call to one of my ESN colleagues for a talk or I just arrange a meeting with them. And after I see those different and interesting people from ESN I just don’t want to leave this team.

But for me the biggest motivation is getting experience and getting some benefit just for myself. You can be very good person and say that you are working for other people but in fact you are working just to fulfill your needs. And all of us are really selfish.

What have you learned from working in ESN?

A lot! I just don’t know where from I should start enumerating things I have learned here. I have improved my English skills, I can fluently talk in front of the audience, I know how to communicate with different people from different countries and so on and so forth.

When you come to ESN you have opportunities to learn anything you want. It just depends how much effort you put in it. Nobody can do your job for you and you have to do it on your own!

How do you see yourself after 5 years? With or without ESN?

I am living today not tomorrow. So I really can’t answer to you what I will be doing in 5 years. ESN it is just an investment into my future. I don’t know where I will be in 5 years and if there will be ESN in my life but I can say for sure that ESN made a huge impact to me and my future life and I won’t forget it.

Anything else you would like to share with the network?

Be confident, reach for more and believe in what you are doing.

By Audrė Chudinskaitė, proud member of PuRe Committee, [email protected]

 

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