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]

 

About SocialErasmus Coordinators Meeting in few minutes together with SocialErasmus Lithuania coordinator OnutėBumbulytė!

What? 

SECM –  SocialErasmus Coordinators Meeting. This time National and Local SocialErasmus coordinators decided to meet in Prague, Czech Republic.

When?
Me as a National SocialErasmus Coordinator and Agnė Babelytė as a Local Coordinator departed from Lithuania on 24th of October. SECM started on 25th of October. This meeting lasted for 4 days, till 28th of October. So, we had the most interesting all four days to discuss about SocialErasmus, share our experiences, solve the biggest problems. 
 
What SECM is for?
SECM  is for all Local and National SocialErasmus coordinators. All SE coordinators from  entire Europe and every single section of ESN are invited. This is a great opportunity to understand the concept of SocialErasmus better, think about responsibilities of SE coordinators for once more. During this meeting you can share your experiences, cover both - positive and negative - sides of it. Also it’s a great meeting for problems solving, searching for solutions together. Sharing ideas is a proper way to be more social, to organise more activities, implement something new in your country, just to be inspired by other coordinators and then realise something you have only been dreaming about. 

What was decided?
During SECM we were speaking about many things. We were trying to figure out, what should the national team look like in the future, what should we do to motivate coordinators and students to contribute in our social activities. We decided that all, National and Local SocialErasmus coordinators, have to register social activities in SE website. If we will cooperate on that, it will be easier for Europe to see what each country is doing and that all together we are doing a lot. This is the best way to share material and let the Europe to know about us. 
 
What is the most important thing you have learned about SocialErasmus there?
SocialErasmus in not only going to schools as you might think. It’s much more. It’s help for old people to go out from the room, speak with them or even clean forest together. After this meeting SocialErasmus is something more for me. It is all activities which can be useful for society, all things which changes things in a good way. SocialErasmus – being social, feeling better.

What new have you learned?
After this meeting I came back home full of ideas, what I should be changed to make SocialErasmus in Lithuania even better. If you want to change something – just do it, don’t sit in one place and just speak about it.

Did you enjoy being there? 
Yes, a lot. It was great opportunity to meet new people, hear, what others are doing, understand, what should I actually do. For this opportunity to go there I’m saying thanks for my university, International Relations department at Šiauliai university.
 
Anything more to share?
Reach higher! Go further! Go social!
 
Thank you, Onute, very much for the ideas shared and wish you to have a fruitful cadency!

If National Platform one day would decide to limit National Board to one person it would be this position remaining. Position taken by the same lady two years in a row. She has seen, done and experience a lot during these years – from the presentation of her candidacy online to becoming the president of ESN Lithuania, reviving ties with Education Exchanges Support Foundation, organizing Mentors’ Days 2012 and establishing ESN in Lithuania as an official organization. What does it take for Gintarė Vaiginytė to keep organization moving and what does it mean to be responsible for the great part of that? Let’s hear Gintarė answering to all of these questions.

Hello, Ms. President! How does it feel to know that it is your last month as a head of ESN Lithuania at least for now? 
 
I have never thought about that before. Hmmm. I am happy, I got a lot and I gave a lot to ESN in Lithuania. I am sad at the same time too, it`s hard to leave the “family” and it`s doesn’t matter how many hard, complicated moments I had. I feel like a student during the last night before an exam. I know that I did as much as I could, but at the same time I had a feeling that something is still not perfect enough. Maybe my mark will be the best at the end. 
 
Are you planning to stay in ESN for longer? What do you think about our ESN LT Alumni network and former members joining it? Are you planning to become one of them?
 
At this moment I don’t have any plans with ESN, but I don’t what God plans for me. As my friend from Czech Republic repeated me all the time: never say never.
Well, my opinion about ESN LT Alumni… The idea is sweet and I wish all the best for this project. As I said, at this moment I don’t have any plans with ESN, but I don`t know about tomorrow.
 
What thing within two recent years as ESN Lithuania’s president you are mostly proud of?
 
I am proud of my colleagues. Without all of them, anything would never have happened. I am proud of how big and strong ESN Lithuania grew up in general. I am proud of ESN LT being a lead by many aspects for the other ESN countries or sections. 
 
How does it feel to take your position? What features should have perfect president?
 
For the first second it feels just awesome, for the next second OMG! What have I done? And for all the rest of years – come to this position and you will see how many feelings at the same time it gives.
The perfect president: The leader by nature. Complete extrovert. The realist and of course a friendly person.
 
Has the time in the National Board helped you to improve personally? How much?
 
Absolutely YES. It did a lot.

How would you describe typical ESNer?
 
Look at yourself, are you typical ESNer? It`s impossible to describe, for ex. I could ask you to describe typical human being, could you? Of course no, human could be a girl or a boy, with long hair or bold and so on… It`s impossible to do it, everyone is the one and the only. Being a Volunteer – only one unifying feature of all of them, this is a typical ESNer for me.
 
How you would improve that image? What ESN Lithuania you would love to see in the future?
 
You should ask the new ESN LT President. All answers coming in the future. 
 
What are things you would love to do if you would start ESN career from the very beginning? Is there something what every ESNer should seek to try? 
 
I did or even I tried to do everything what I have planned in the beginning. Every ESNer should go for Erasmus studies and internship.

Maybe some more thoughts left?
 
Thank you very much to my board: Sandrai, Kristinai, Sandrutei, Simui, Simonai, Vydūnui, Laurynui, sections, Augustei, Orintai, Vytenui ir Justinui, Ievai, Giedrei and VGTU URD. 

Thank you very much!
 
You have just read an interview with our present ESN Lithuania President Gintarė Vaiginytė. We hope, you have enjoyed it!

It is hard to leave ESN after everything you went through together. Even you are already graduated, having a full-time job and organizing your free time more carefully than ever before. Probably there is no other ESN Lithuania’s member who could prove it more than Julius Zaburas – the one who did not only create a shelter for graduated ESNers in Lithuania, but also less than a week before was elected as the Head Coordinator of ESN LT Alumni Network for the second time in a row. Let’s talk, why ESN and why for so long.

Hello, Julius! How the summer is going? Does even this period have something in common with ESN?

Hello, Sandra. Firstly I would like to thank you for being interested in our activity, it means a lot for us. And now about ESN - this summer is very important for the club, because we still have to do many "black work" like creating strategies, visions, mission, some promo... Plus everything must be coordinated along with international Alumni. But now when we have new board we are able to work 100% and I believe that during the next national platform you will see many good changes in ESN LT Alumni.

Which experience or memory from ESN experience you cherish the most? For how long you are in the organization already?

I am in the organisation for almost 2 years and from the very beginning I was working with the social projects. This is why as the best memory is having two Spanish students gathering charity for children with cancer while it was snowing outside and the temperature was below zero. :-) Showing to the people that ERASMUS is not only partying is the biggest reward for me.

What makes you stay? Were these years while being a member of ESN VGTU not enough?

ESN changed my life because I fulfilled many dreams there, using ESN I improved as a person. Now it is time to give something back - my main goal is using my personal experience (together with other Alumni) show how cool ESN is. It is not the secret that we have some problems with the motivation of some sections and hope that our help, support can fix this. Plus in Lithuania volunteering among the young people is not so popular but doing it is awesome, right? Why not to come together and prove it!

How did you get attracted to join the organization?

Hmm, the first idea was to party with ERASMUS students :-) But after few weeks I felt that I can successfully represent my country, that I can CREATE projects which can make other people happy. So this is why I still try to do all of this, even the stupidest ideas in ESN can become true. 

How do you try to attract former members of ESN LT to join Alumni network now?

If to say the true I do not try to attract former members of ESN LT at the moment. Now I just want to find out how many former ESN members are really motivated to work because they naturally need for it. Nobody are forced or pushed to be the member of the Alumni. They must have it in their heart. But as I said before during the summer we are working hard and planning to make it much more attractive by presenting ourselves during the next national platform..

Does the tactic work? How big you are today?

I think yes. Today we have 4 - 5 desired ESN LT Alumni members, totally we have 9 official members. 

What future would you like to see for Alumnies in ESN Lithuania?

Now one of the main goals is to get involved in international arena. This year we must present the national coordinator for ESN Alumni International. Talking about the Lithuania, the club is planning to start working on job vacations for former ESN members which will cover many EU countries. We have many ideas which will be revealed during next NP. :-)

What is the message for all ESNers, who just graduated or planning to do in coming years?

Do not hurry up to become an adult. Think of your dream and follow it. And remember - if you were volunteering in ESN, you are special already - use it! If you still want to feel ESN spirit, we are waiting for you. If not - just remember your friends and colleagues and help them when they need it.

Thank you very much!

3 month ago 12 exchange students with a help of ESN Lithuania in cooperation with “Invest Lithuania”  and ESN VGTU started their new adventure in a totally different role – they decide to become their native language teachers. Except one brave Lithuanian student who decided to teach not his native language, but Russian.

The others were teaching German, Chinese, French, Croatian, Spanish and Turkish languages.  It was a big challenge for them, because almost nobody had experience in teaching, but still it didn‘t scared them!

At the begining of this project some languages (Spanish, Russian, Chinese, German) gained a huge interest and it was even impossible to teach everyone, that‘s why registration were made and just 25 lucky students had opportunity to learn these languages. The other languages were less popular, but for their students it was a big advantage, because each of them got more attention and even became friends with their teachers.

Here teachers of Turkish, Russian, French, Spanish and Chinese languages shared their opinions about this project:

Why you decided to take a part in this project and become a teacher?

Romain (French): Because I wanted to share my knowledge and my culture and have a new experience (teaching).

Andrius (Russian): I think answer is in the question: “to become a teacher”. Isn’t this a wish of every student? To be that person who finally gives homework and not does it. Of course, it is not the most important point. I decided to participate in this project to prove myself that I can do this; that I can be that person who can help others to improve their language skills or learn something new.

Eva (Chinese): I wanted to get more experience and share my language, and the most important is meet the new friends.

Serkan and Celilsemi (Turkish): There was a big opportunity to introduce our language and culture to foreigners. Also, this kind of project makes us more sociable. That's why we decided to take a part in this project.

Alejandro (Spanish): I decided to join this programm for improving my English, learning from my students and not to be scared of talking in public in the future.

How was it to be in the teacher's role? Did you like it?

Romain (French): It was a very great experience, I loved it !

Andrius (Russian): This is a question for my students. I hope, I wasn‘t a horrible teacher. However, I liked teaching. It is a wonderful feeling to help others and even better feeling is seeing how my students are improving themselves.

Eva (Chinese): Being a teacher is really good, because you can share your knowledge and get more experience. I like this project and like to be a teacher.

Serkan and Celilsemi (Turkish): We liked it. We enjoyed it so much with our dear students.

Alejandro (Spanish): I liked to be a teacher, of course :)

What kind of experience did you gain in this project?

Romain (French): I gained oral presentation practice, preparation of  presentation (PPT).

Andrius (Russian): Firstly, with every next lesson I became more self-confident. I lost my fear which was over me in the first lesson when I had to stand up in front of almost 30 students who were sitting and looking at me with their wide eyes. Secondly, this project made me more organized because I had to prepare all material for students. And of course, I made a lot of new friends. It was strange, but sweet when someone saw me and said to me: „Hey, I am your student. What are we going to learn next week?“ :)

Serkan and Celilsemi (Turkish): We got some experience from this project such as teaching, searching information, leadership, leading and managing our studentassss:), teamwork etc.

What is your opinion about this project? Do you think it's useful?

Romain (French): Very nice project, useful for "teacher" and "students".

Andrius (Russian): I think that project “Multilingual Lithuania” is a successful idea. There are a lot of students who really want to learn foreign languages and this project is the best solution, because you are being thought by students from countries which language you want to learn. I admire all teachers and students who participated in this project and gave their time for teaching and learning. Great job! You made this project awesome!

Serkan and Celilsemi (Turkish): It is definately useful for improving language and teaching skills. It is making easier to understand other cultures.

Alejandro (Spanish): I think this programm is a really good idea.

Tell about your teaching methods

Romain (French): We prepared presentation at home firstly, then we presented it to students. All presentations are divide in 2 part: a lecture part and cultural part. We also made a quiz about what we just learned and sometimes about what we have learned previously.

Andrius (Russian): I’ve tried to make an informal atmosphere as much as I could by talking with my students and letting them to speak (in Russian, of course). I wrote on blackboard that students could improve their writing and reading skills. Sometimes I asked them to come to blackboard to write. Moreover, after all lessons we all together reviewed past lessons. I was just walking around students asking them some random words or sentences and they were answering in Russian.

Serkan and Celilsemi (Turkish): We used almost everything we can use, PowerPoint presentations, blackboard, music, pictures, example sheets from some other resources.

Alejandro (Spanish): I used a PDF for self learning, and I tried to get as more feedback as possible. I think it‘s better to listen and speak a language instead of learning only grammar.
The most memorable lesson?

Romain (French): The most memorable lesson was maybe the lesson about French cuisine (talking about eating snails and frog legs).

Andrius (Russian): I will never forget my first lesson when I introduced myself in Russian and I saw how confused my students were. Unforgettable…

Alejandro (Spanish): The best lecture: that day just two students came. I was teaching some grammar and later a lot of funny expressions, we were laughing a lot during that lecture.

Your wishes or suggestions to future teachers.

Romain (French): Don't be scared everybody can do it. Enjoy this moment!

Andrius (Russian): Have patience and believe in yourself.

Serkan and Celilsemi (Turkish): Before starting lectures, they should advertise their lessons to get more students then don‘t forget to keep students till the end of the semester. If they find a book to give papers for students, it will be more useful and easier for them and their students. We wish they will enjoy time with their students.

Alejandro (Spanish): Be patient.

All in all, “Multilingual Lithuania“ project was beneficial for both - students and teachers - teachers have gained a new experience and students got an opportunity to learn new languages totally for free!

We approve this project and really hope that it will last for a long time!

Thank you Kathleen, Eva, Romain, Hugues, Kenny, Brian, Marina, Iva, Andrius, Alejandro, Serkan, Celilsemi and Ozan – you are the best!

On Friday afternoon, everyone is eager to forget all the hard work of the week and to experience the joy of spring. Some of us prefer going out of town, the others are searching for peace in the blossoming parks. However, on the 17th of May all of the 25 benches in 
 
P. Cvirka square had notions saying “WARNING. FRESHLY PAINTED.” next to them. At the beginning, many passers-by were unsatisfied for they had to change their plans and search for another park to sit. After a moment, they saw a group of students, who were painting the benches with smiles and enthusiasm in their faces. Curiosity was unbearable and so people sat on stairs and lawn to observe the process, catching the positive vibes of students and gradually, starting to smile themselves. The bravest and most curious came closer and started asking for more information about the initiative they were witnessing.

Finally, it turned out that the benches were painted by volunteers from Erasmus Student Network Lithuania (ESN Lithuania): there were Lithuanians from Vilnius University, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University with the exchange program Erasmus students from USA, Croatia, Spain and Czech Republic as well as students of International School of Law and Business from India and Belarus. Many were surprised by the fact that students had no sponsors: all the money for benches renovation was gathered by previously mentioned high schools and University of Applied Social Sciences. The members of ESN in these institutions united to attain one goal: to motivate both Lithuanian and Erasmus students to collect white coins and prove that even students, who are just in the process of building their future careers, can be socially responsible. The members of ESN were happy with their job and emphasized, that it may only seem that it was very difficult to gather money for the renovation of 25 benches: a single white coin seems to be meaningless, but when people pool their coins, they unite and are able to make significant changes. The administration of “Vilnius Parks” were also pleased with students’ job and allowed ESN members to pain the logo of the organization on the renovated benches.

After painting all of the benches, students involved in the initiative were joking that 
P. Cvirka square will become their favourite park and an ‘own’ place in Vilnius.
 
National SocialErasmus coordinator says huge thanks to exchange students - Chris Stowell (USA), Marina Garić (Croatia), Jeník Janata (Czech Republic), Alejandro Aguilar (Spain), Himanshu Singh Rana (India), Barys Kliuchnikau (Belarus); also for Lithuanians - Kornelija Ramanauskaitė, Renata Citrinavičiūtė, Monika Draučiūnaitė, Justina Prunskaitė, Agnė Babelytė, Dainius Vasiliauskas

SocialErasmus project “Erasmus fairy-tale” for the first time was realized in December 2010. ESN VGTU (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University) wanted to do something special, something they had never done before, so their vicepresident Gintarė Vaiginytė and VGTU International Relations manager Jelena Mazaj came up with an idea of a new social project: they have suggested to prepare a fairy-tale before Christmas: to teach Erasmus students a fairy-tale in Lithuanian and perform it in the kindergarten, and… this project is continuing until these days!

While volunteers are still preparing for new performance, called “Pagrandukas” (English -  “Round bun”), we are curious to know more details how ESN VGTU is implementing this project. Today we speak with Sigita Pociūtė - current ESN VGTU SocialErasmus project coordinator and Justina Prunskaitė, who is responsible for „Erasmus Tale“ implementation this semester. 
 
How you choose tales and actors?

 
We are thinking about it all together during our Social Committee meetings. Members of committee wrote down all the nice fairytales they know, but still it is difficult to choose the best one, but somehow we make decision. For example this semester we have chosen already mentioned “Round bun”, because one of committee members saw this tale, performed by her relative and she noticed that children were impressed.
 
Concerning actors, we invite volunteers by announcing the first audition on our facebook page.  Those who come and, after seeing what kind of activity it is, still stay, these people are our actors. Then, we divide roles by discussing among each other… always in friendly way.
 
How much time you need to prepare the performance?
 
Practice makes it perfect, so almost whole semester. Making decorations for the performance also takes some time, as most of them we do by ourselves, some of them we get with a little help of our friends. 
To create decoration we organize workshops. For example, last semester we were preparing for the fairytale ,,The sky is falling“ : Spanish guys made a house from cardboard; Other actors created domino masks decorating them with the features of different animals. After the performance in the kindergarten we gave the masks to children, because we thought it was the last performance. But then we decided to make more children smile, so we arranged one more performance and we had to create new masks. 

Where you usually show these performances? 
 
In kindergarten and children hospital. But this year we also want to have one performance at Bernardinai Children centre (social center). Mentioned institutions are always waiting for us, welcomes us warmly - they have already seen previous performances and know how amazing this project is.
 
And what is the feedback from Erasmus exchange students? Do they enjoy participating in this project?
 
The feedback is always positive. Our actors are very artistic and creative, also the enjoy learning fairy-tale in Lithuanian:  some words for them look funny, and some learnt words they can even use outside rehearsals, so - it is useful and fun. 
 
What is the main challenge implementing this project?
 
The most difficult part is gathering actors to rehearsals. Everybody is very busy, it is hard for students to find some time for rehearsals and not to be late. 

These are the main ideas ESN VGTU social committee wanted to share with you about the project  ”Erasmus fairy-tale”. And while waiting photos and video of “Round bun”, which will be perfomed in May, have a look on previous tales:

2012 video

2011 video

 

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