ESN Sea Battle happens twice a year and every time gets more and more attention. Few years ago Lithuanian delegation used to gather around 50 people and 2 Group Leaders. In Sea Battle 2013 Fall between 2000 students from all over the Europe Lithuania was already presented by nearly 200 exchange students and even 9 Group Leaders. Growing numbers only can approve the slogan of these years ESN SB which was inviting to “discover the Erasmus legend”.

M/S Baltic Queen for two nights actually became a boat that rocked with all the activities, organized by ESN, and all the enthusiasm brought there by exchange students. Karaoke evenings, hangout area for board games, classes for dance and languages – everyone could find his own and special way of having fun. Besides that 2 dance floors were always welcoming for students who wanted to stay dancing until the dawn.

Event for two nights from 17 to 19th of November participants had an opportunity to be a part of one of the greatest celebrations of exchange students life in Northern Europe. Organized by ESN Sweden as the main responsible together with ESN Denmark, ESN Norway and all Baltic States event already for the 9th year gathers thousands of students for the cruise between Tallinn and Stockholm. Following ESN Sea Battle will invite already this spring, so be ready and do not miss the chance to become a small part of the legend!

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!

Central European Platform is a unique chance for close friends to meet. Definitely closer by distance, frequently by ways of working and attitude towards daily ESN matters. Those are reasons why CEP is the best time to exchange best practices and start partnerships with sections you share similar ESN vision with. President of the oldest section of ESN Lithuania Darija Kupstaitė only proves that by telling that “ESN VU seized the chance and found friends for section. It is ESN-EYE Lodz whom with we are already working on common future plans”. National delegate Tomas Tamulevičius adds that these are not all the news concerning partnerships between sections and much more information about Section Buddies program is soon to be presented during the next meeting of NB.

While participants were not working on partnerships they were invited to listen to presentations of the latest news and changes of the network. Coming upgrade of ESN Galaxy was presented by IT Committee Chair with the special attention to distribution of roles and coming personalization of the system. President of ESN International introduced sections with the upcoming STORY, which will aim at quality of learning mobility, placements and internships and is planned to be one of the biggest research projects conducted by volunteers. Moreover the importance of ExchangAbility was stressed out as for the project which has recently receiver grant from European Commission for the realization of MapAbility. From presentations of international projects to discussions about image of the sections in the public sphere and sharing experiences realized among all CEP countries. Delegates of ESN Lithuania were really excited to hear success stories of all 8 countries of the region. All like one proves that it gave a lot of ideas for what can be done within they sections and what only need to do is to wait a bit for those ideas being realized in practice! 

Every single ESN event would not be as unforgettable as they are without the evening part. At the first night CEP Košice has invited participants to the Slovak Night, where everyone could enjoy national traditional dances. Second evening has gathered 8 different cultures and their cuisines under one roof in the Kulturpark, where no one could simply miss yellow green red army all over the place! The last evening gave an exclusive opportunity to dress up and show the best you have since participants were invited to the Gala dinner. Boys in suits and girls in dresses is the time to prove that ESN can have many different faces: from colorful youth to solid representatives.

Event which has started on 10th and was closed on 13th of October – only 3 days, but which means a lot for our 11 representatives of ESN Lithuania. “It was a fruitful meeting, which gave a lot for me personally and lots of useful information for the sections as well. Starting from Eduk8 trainings for skills development for better management or taking under control some issues, to future plans among friends from different parts of Europe” they claim. So it was: useful, motivating, encouraging to seek for more.

So can you feel the vibe of central Europe?
 
 

On 14th - 16th of June ESN Lithuania Alumni Club stepped forward into the international arena because two delegates - Julius Zaburas and Faustina Ziberkaitė - participated in ESN Alumni Medley which took place in Kraków. During the tree days of the stay many thing happened and the main aim of presenting Lithuania as active ESN Alumni country was reached.

Lithuanian delegation left Vilnius late Thursday evening and after really long trip has finally reached Kraków on Friday midday. After great welcoming and a shower delegates full of energy started Alumni Medley with the guided tour throughout the city. While walking they have enjoyed not only amazing panorama of the city, but also friendly conversations with Alumnies from all over ESN network. However it the dinner at the end of the day was the part which brought everyone together and allowed to feel spirit of one strong group!

Saturday was more official as not only the sightseeing was included in the plan, but some plenaries also took place. Participant had a 3 hours lasting discussion about the most important things happening not only in ESN International but of course in Alumni Network as well. Board has presented a report with the updates during the period after the last Alumni Medley Meeting in Groningen, covering the images of the future of the network and ideas concerning 25th Anniversary of ESN and possible Alumni participation in it were discussed.

Evening part of the event was proudly opened by tasting traditional Lithuanian drinks and leaving some of them as a present for OC team and Board of Alumni. It is not a surprise that afterwards Lithuania became a desired country for the following Alumni Medley. So maybe Vilnius will be the next meeting point for the most experienced from ESN?

It was not just an unforgettable weekend with absolutely new people, but also very important move towards the development of ESN Alumni Network in Lithuania. Basis are build (and so weak), but as former vice - president of ESN International 2010/2011 Joachim Wyssling said "I saw how you are partying, but now I want to see how are you working". So do not disappoint him! 

written by Julius Zaburas

Traditionally, as spring progresses ESN Sweden invites to the legendary battle in the sea, for the international ESN community  better known as ESN Sea Battle. Thousands of participants, over night ceasing dance floors, two historical capitals of Europe and nearly one thousand booths for ESN members and for ESN countries visting exchange students. Huge event annually attracting more and more attention this year has awaited for a delegation of 150 international students delegation, supervised by 7 Group Leaders and a national ESN Sea Battle coordinator Karol Sakalauskas.

This time to share her experience with us agreed ESN Lithuania‘s Project Coordinator Sandra Rimavičiūtė, who is attending ESN Sea Battle not for the first time:

Every time while coming from the Sea Battle I bring lots of positive emotions together. First of all we were really lucky with the weather both in Tallinn and Stockholm, where we could enjoy the sunlight, so it wouldn’t make sense to complain about the weather. Probably this time one of the greatest our merits was a big Lithuanian delegation, which this time was tree times bigger than the last time, so we didn’t feel that little anymore between other Baltic sections and the possibility to meet your exchange student in the corridors of the cruise was definitely bigger. This time we have managed to avoid any big problems.

    

Program as always was involving and interesting; I’ve also managed to attend two hours lasting salsa workshop, which I wasn’t bad in though. 

Also what I could tell is that at the first night Ibiza night club was took over by the members of ESN MRU Vilnius and we stayed there till the very morning and then we met the sun on the deck. Half of the day in Stockholm also didn’t take too long since we had a guide, which leaded us trough the city for the few hours and then we had few hours more to explore city ourselves. 

At the second night we had a Responsible Party and Write on Me – White T-Shirts Party. Both clubs were crowded with people. The ones who wanted to improve their Latino skills at that time were invited to the Latino Party in Tango Lounge.

I am also really satisfied with the work done by Group Leaders. Oscar (the Head OC of the SB) and the security team of the cruise were also satisfied. Quoting the Head of Security at the ESN Sea Battle regarding the security and order at this springs' event: "This was the best event I've participated in so far!". Amazing job everybody!

I think that the result of it is the newly updated GLs standby system.

Also it was a real pleassure to meet people from the previous Sea Battle and to see other known faces.

Long story short, I loved event a lot, every semestre it‘s getting better than the previous one, we‘ve come back full of nice memories, positive emotions – these are the reasons why I wouldn‘t refuse to participate here once again.

Thumbs up and big like!

AGM – Amazing Gathering in Maribor. The main ESN event happening only once a year. Rarely known for international students we take care of, but always adored by ESNers. Usually described as the main decision-making body of ESN International, AGM always gathers together an amazing number of members of ESN from all the existing levels of the netowork. 

After taking place in Granada, Spain, this time event moves a little bit more to east and invites to visit sLOVEnia. Already tomorrow 600 people working under the same star of ESN will meet each other in Maribor. 

Wednesday, 11th of April will invite to:

• attend city tour;

• participate in the opening ceremony of AGMaribor 2013, where participants will be greeted by thepresident of Slovenia Borut Pahor;

• enjoy Slovenian dinner and the company of missed friends and newly met people;

• have fun in Surprise party!

ESN Lithuania this time there will be presented by 13 people from national board and local sections. 

More news – already tomorrow. Keep updated, stay with us! 

After half of the cadency and the recent report of ideas realized during it National Platform was cheering for the work done by ESN Lithuania SE Coordinator Kristina Selezniova. Visiting schools, collecting coins, filming videos, contacting tens of people that projects would become real and even writing articles after all of that – this lady could teach us a lot about  multitasking. 

Today we will try to steal some of her time and find answers to questions why ESN and why Social Erasmus? 

 
How did NBM in Dijon go? Came back with lots of motivation? 
 
NBM was the great opportunity to see once again all the motivated and ESN-inspired personalities. People from different countries, different positions, with various experiences and ideas, but the same goal - ESN.
The most motivational thing was Dijon OC team work – they were amazing! They thought about all the details and made our time in Dijon unforgettable, what once again proved, that together people can really do incredible things.  


 
But it’s not your first international event. How the SE meeting in Brussels helped you for career in ESN? 
 
I was elected as ESN Vilnius University social committee head in the end of 2012 spring.  During few months of action I’ve realized that I really enjoy social activities, and during the summer I started to think about national position. But I still had questions and doubts – what it is and won’t it be too difficult to work on national level. But during SECM I was so impressed by what others are doing in their countries that I decided to be the one, who will motivate Lithuanians to reach higher in SE activities… and one week after SECM we had NP, where I was elected as first national SocialErasmus coordinator.

How does ESN Lithuania look in International context of SocialErasmus?
 
Recently we have uploaded one video-project (for “Global education week” 2012) on internet and international SocialErasmus coordinator Tarek Keskes commented on it:  “ESN Lithuania ROCKS”. I think that what he really meant was that Lithuania really implement lots of various and original projects, in that way promoting SocialErasmus Lithuania activities much more than it was ever done before. 

I believe that Lithuania really needed national SocialErasmus coordinator, but not because that sections were not realising social projects before. No. What we were really experiencing – lack of visibility – in local and International level. New ideas as well. And now we really work to make us visible – we write articles (even small ones on Lithuanian Ministry of Science and Education page), post photos and videos on Facebook and ESN Lithuania web page, upload videos on YouTube. 
 
Which of the projects is your most favorite? 
 
Difficult question! I like them all. But if I have to choose… I really like “Erasmus Unites” video, which was created for 2012 “Global Education Week” (because Erasmus students are speaking in Lithuanian and it’s perfect promotional material for “Erasmus in Schools” project implementing) and also our spring semester “Erasmus Post Cards” project, which, I hope, will become tradition of ESN Lithuania, because it is very simple and involves Erasmus exchange students into social activities from the early beginning. 
 
What are the biggest challenges you face while coordinating SocialErasmus over entire Lithuania?
 
I think the biggest difficulty for sections and at the same time challenge for me, is too frequent changing people in local SE positions. It negatively affects transfer of knowledge about SE activities.  But I try to compensate this by creating some guidelines about already implemented projects, by workshops during NPs and SocialErasmus coordinators’ meetings (we had one, but I hope there will be more of them in the future).   
 
Who or what inspires you not to stop, to reach higher, go further, go social?
 
I think that the main motivation for me is my SocialErasmus coordinators team, who are realizing really wonderful ideas. After one and a half of semester I can bravely say that Lithuanian SocialErasmus coordinators’ team did a huge step forward – we are searching for new partnerships with other organizations or associations, we are not afraid to try something new, we try to be visible and share our experiences with each other. I’m really proud of my team ;)
 
For sure, another inspiration – active Erasmus exchange students, who are extremely happy having opportunity to discover Lithuania while participating in social activities. When in the end of semester Erasmus exchange student says me, that “SocialErasmus activities were the best moments of my Erasmus in Lithuania” I really believe that it’s worth doing.
 

What skills and character features should the following SE coordinator have to continue your successful work? 
 
Inspiration and deep believe into this project – the best ideas come if the person believes in something, not forcing himself just to do one’s duty. That is the most important for SocialErasmus coordinator, whether on local or national level. And then – creativity – to have new ideas for projects, patience and flexibility – to transfer the knowledge and experience for new coordinators and finally, lots of optimism, to motivate ESN’ers and foreign students to be social.


 
And finally: why ESN and why SocialErasmus?
 
Thanks to ISI (International Student Initiative) — organization working like ESN in SciencePo de Grenoble (France), which helped me to discover France, its culture and people during my Erasmus exchange in there. After this wonderful time I decided that I also want to help others to discover Lithuania, but I never expected that my experience in France will lead me to such activity as SocialErasmus.  
 
After my year experience in ESN I can assure that me, and other SocialErasmus coordinators, we not only help to get acquaintance with Lithuania to foreigners. We also experience it in new and unexpected ways by ourselves. And it is the biggest discovery for me. 
 
On behalf of ESN Lithuania Board and entire of the network we thank Kristina for the successfully made effort during all the recent months. Keep up the sprit!

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

Sea Battle keeps growing and so we have:
 
• 2200 international participants
• 777 cabins
• 38 local ESN sections
• 6 ESN countries
• 7 DJ’s – 3 dance floors
• 5 restaurants – 5 shops
• 4 saunas – 2 pools
• 3 days – 2 nights
• 2 harbors 
• 1 unforgettable event!
 

ESN Lithuania is happy having a chance to offer an opportunity  even for 100 people from Lithuania to be convinced that this is one of the greatest party you may have!
 
Places were shared according to an amount of exchange students studying in that university, which ESN section belongs to. Here are the numbers:
 
• ESN Vilnius University - 20 places,
• ESN VGTU - 17 places,
• ESN MRU Vilnius - 15 places,
• ESN VMU - 12 places,
• ESN KTU - 12 places,
• ESN KuK, ESN KK, ESN ISM, ESN ISLB, ESN ŠU gets 4 places per section.
 
!Some sections might not to fill up all of their places, free places will go to the people who will be in the waiting list according to their registration time!
 
Registration form >>HERE<<
 
DEADLINE to registrate - 26st of February, 23:59.
You have to give money to your section coordinator. Registration is over only then money are paid.

Deadline for sections to transfer money - 27th of February, 23:00.
 
Who is responsible in your section?
 
(contacts soon to come)
 
Participators must agree to the rules of the organizators. Every participator will have to sign a contract. Documents are attached below.
 
ESN Sea Battle 2012 Fall for exchange students from Baltics will be held on 21-23rd of April.
 
Official Facebook event here.
 
For more info contact your section coordinator or Karolis Sakalauskas, ESN Sea Battle national coordinator by email [email protected].
 
Sea you on the Boat! And traditionally... it's time to start learning the ESN Sea Battle Movement!

An event, happening three times in a row might be called a tradition. For ESN Lithuania it is so called Bling Bling party, this time organized for the 3rd and not for the last time. Idea to dress up and to spend a night together with international students from 5 different universities and ESNers from 5 different sections this year seemed to be attractive for more than 700 participants.

But who is standing behind all of that and makes the ends meet and everyone enjoy the results of it? These are 4 people who are hiding under two letters “OC”. Today we will talk with one of them - Darija Kupstaitė.

Why Bling Bling?

The organizers of the first party (a year ago) wanted something not so hard to prepare (either for exchange students or for organizers) but at the same time something memorable, shining and sparkling.  That was how Bling Bling theme came up.

So what does the OC made of? What are you responsible for?

OC is made of people from different sections in Vilnius (one person from each section) and those who were organizers of previous parties. We are responsible for everything actually. We are looking for the place, DJ, musicians, dancers, we even had a violin player. We are also trying to get some discounts for students and trying to keep everything in order. Personally I was responsible for tickets, for counting money and paying for everything (I think it is because I am an economics student :) ), also for decorations and together with all other organizers for keeping the order during the event.

As shortly as possible, what are the main stages of organizing this kind of event?

In my opinion the most important thing is a good team. A clear plan of the event should be in the second place and the third stage is about being stick to the plan.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced while preparing Bling Bling 2013 Spring?

Definitely the biggest challenge was the place for the event. We couldn’t get the same place as we had during the previous parties. We called to more than 5 places and every time we got an answer “Sorry, no”. But finally we succeed, we found a very nice place, it wasn’t perfect but it was the best option from those that we have had.

Are you happy with the final results?

I’m quite happy, we did everything we could. Of course we made some mistakes but I believe it will be a lesson for everyone. 

What, do you think, is the reason of Bling Bling’s success?

The main reason, I think, is that students were interested in this event more than ever before. We couldn’t believe that there are so many students who want to attend this party.

Maybe something fun or interesting have happened during the evening what all ESN Lithuania would be interested to read about? :)

The most interesting and a bit unexpected thing was that a group of students was waiting for the last tickets since 9 pm (the door was opened at 10 pm). 

ESN Lithuania sincerely thanks for all the organising team for their amazing job done before, after and on 8th of February!

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