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!

Only 3 days ago Eduk8 trainings were closed and participants headed back home. Luckily, this time ESN Lithuania had his own representative – Tomas Tamulevičius from ESN VMU, who agreed to share the moments of these days, which, according to him, were “one of the best weeks in my entire life”. 

Eduk8 is an international training project aiming to develop members of ESN while improving their skills and competences by professional trainers. Winter 2013 training invited to choose from three different, but ESN related topics: section empowerment, intercultural learning and management. From 1st to 4th of February, 2013 a bunch of ESNers gathered together in Valencia, Spain to deeper explore these topics.  

After Tomas promised to prepare a report about entire event, accomplished tasks and gained experience, which would serve for the future Human Resources Coordinators of ESN Lithuania, he remembered “all those precious moments, which will stay alive my entire life. These trainings united us all to one strong team, that it seemed that nothing is impossible for us. We were not representatives from different countries and sections – we were members of one family, which is called ESN”.

  

This event resulted not only as a huge motivation for the future challenges, but also as an unique opportunity to directly meet members of international ESN Committees, what made me think about joining one of them”.

Tomas also wanted to thank for all ESN network for the given opportunity to participate and experience on of the most beautiful weeks ever. Special thanks were expressed for ESN Lithuania, our NR Simona Patašiūtė and HRC Vydūnas Pakrijauskas for all the support and encouragement given. 

During WWII in Ponar near Vilnius more than 70 000 Vilnius Jews were massacred and buried in mass graves. In this way Vilnius, Jerusalem of the North, lost almost the entire Jewish population. In 1943 an 11 year old kid Tamir won a ghetto song contest with his song 'Shtiler Shtiler', known as 'Ponar Lullaby', he devoted to the new graves in Ponar after the massacre.

For the purpose of this project students of different European countries will be invited to an event in Vilnius called 'Ponar Lullaby'. 8 groups consisting of 50 persons will be formed between December 2012 and April 2013 (on Sundays). They will spend a day in a former ghetto - a typical day of a Vilnius Jew. The aim of the project is to trigger a discussion among young people of different nationalities who are not familiar with neither the history of Jewish people, neither the Holocaust, about the lessons of the past and values of democracy in Europe and make them eager to build the future of democratic Europe.

More information about the project can be found here.

When ESN VMU was approved as the OC of the following National Platform not everyone wanted to leave the capital and move to Kaunas for these few days, but seems that hard work, consistent planning and united team fulfilled their promise that there will be No Problems in Kaunas from 1st to the 2nd of December.

Second NP in Kaunas during the history of ESN Lithuania brought together more than 50 active members including and the first Chair of NP in ESN Lithuania’s history. It was Orinta Movsesjan who bravely stood in front of everyone and kept the right order. Therefore at the end of the NP all the sections approved that CT should be elected for every single NP. One more step forward a better work quality was made continuing with the fact that even 6 different workshops were organized by 6 different members of the NB covering the topics from visual identity and marketing finishing with the basics of HTML code. 

Besides that during winter NP much more various information about present projects, outcomes of recent activities and future plans were presented. Kristina Selezniova (present SE LT coordinator) gladly represented visible SocialErasmus improvement in Lithuania, which might be followed on the new SE Lithuania page. Sandra Rimavičiūtė (present ESN LT Project Coord.) talked about the Sea Battle 2012 Fall and about the better level which this project has reached even with plans to organize a Responsible Party in the following SB. Gintarė Vaiginytė (present ESN LT president) together with Augustė (ESN Vilnius University) explained about the new action plan for the reviving project Invest in Lithuania, which is starting from the following February. Later on it was followed by the presentation of Being a Jew, which is officially starting already from this Sunday. Many other topics related to Responsible Party, CEP Graz 2012 and even new partners were covered. 

Apart of that many other opportunities for the members of ESN Lithuania’s networks was offered. One of them – Eduk8, which is inviting to participate all the potential future trainers on almost any topic. In the past workshops have been organised on topics like effective communication, team building and leadership, constructive feedback and conflict management. Also members were encouraged to join international committees of ESN and use opportunities to Reach out for more – go international!

While trying to improve skills of ESN members international students mustn’t be forgotten as well, that’s why the idea brought back from CEP Graz 2012 to participate in ESN Olympics were presented for the NP and approved by 8 from 9 sections, who were present on 2-nd day of NP. International students should start practicing their running, swimming, soccer skills, because already this spring they will be invited to Poland to show the best they can and ESN Lithuania will be there for them with all the help to win the gold!

From activities for international students to Corporal Identity of ESN, to energizers and even development of future ESN Lithuania with inclusion of strong Alumni role. Presentation made by ESN VGTU Alumni Julius Zaburas offered to appoint 5 places for Alumni in every single NP together with the right to choose and approve the participants themselves. Moreover, creation of Alumni network was initiated with more results soon to come. 

NP finished, members left motivated and prepared to seek for more goals, which might be shared with the entire Lithuanian network in the following NP, which will take place in ESN ISM for the first time since the establishment of the section. Expectations are high, so what is left it is only to wish that after the ESN LT NP Spring 2013 the survey giving the feedback about the event would show the same as it does now, that it was “amazing! Thank you, guys!”. Thank you for being together! ESN unites. 

 By Sandra Baltkojytė.

Attachment Files: 

Mentors Days 2012 has started on 18th of May with opening a registration at 10am, share of welcome packs and chatting with the cups of tea and coffee. Exhibition of Different Erasmus was opened as well. People were invited to enjoy moments captured in photos sent to us by past and present Erasmus students. Everything what MD participator could see alive may be found here.

Program has started at 10:30 with an opening word by ESN Lithuania president Gintarė Vaiginytė and Education Exchanges Support Foundation Director Daiva Šutinytė. They were glad to see so many active volunteers in one place already for the 3rd time since Mentors Days are happening for the 3rd time (2008, 2010) as well.

Later we have continued with presentation by Ilona Kazlauskaitė, who presented activities of Education Exchanges Support Foundation, possible mobility programs and all the possibilities connected to this institution. Then stage was given for ESN Lithuania, represented by the Board members. Our NR Ieva Vezbergaitė presented international level of organization, working methods, structure and opportunities of working inside the Network. National Public Relations Officer Sandra Baltkojytė talked about national level of our organization, our inside structure, ways of communication, mean of NP and other things, conserning ESN Lithuania itself. President Gintarė Vaiginytė has finnished the presentation describing various projects, organized all around Lithuania by ESN.

At midday we were invited to a lecture about intercultural communication by VMU lecturer Aurelijus Zykas, who explained many possible differences in different countries like that thumbs up in some countries may refer to something even worse than showing middle finger here. After delicious lunch we continued with session about sensory marketing where unique examples and stories about uncrushable brands as Coca Cola or 4 ways how sound affects people were given. Then we continued with a break, which lasted for 3 hours and gave an opportunity for participators if not to visit a city with a beautiful castle, then enjoy SPA procedures. Evening of 18th invited everyone to a live performance of the band "Do NOT translate". Good old songs and something really new invited everyone to dance until late evening.

New day, new challenges. 19th of May with few more lectures has came. It has offered to listen about about public image of organization - thoughts, which were given by VU lecturer Vilija Gudonienė and will be useful for the future of ESN. Counting almost half of the week after the event we already may see some results here. From 12:20 lecturers and topics has changed. From communication to methods how NGOs should be organized and what are sponsorship opportunities by Martinas Žaltauskas. At the end of this session official and theoretical part of the event was over and only the most beautiful part was left - time of awarding the best of the bests.
 
First of all winners of the Different Erasmus were announced. IIIrd place for Justina Kraulėdaitė from ESN KTU, IInd for Modesta Gedminaitė from ESN MRU Vilnius and Ist for Justina Kozlovksa from ESN MRU Vilnius. Winners were selected after counting votes of Mentors' Days participators. Congratulations for once more! And those who haven't won... just check how much support have you gained on Facebook by your friends, families and people you haven't even met!
 
Different Erasmus was changed by Go Public awards. Here the best of 2011 from all ESN Lithuania were awarded:
- Best event: Bling Bling Party by ESN MRU Vilnius, ESN Vilnius University, ESN VGTU, ESN ISLB.
- Best new idea: ESN Diary by ESN KTU.
- Best photo: "Trakai" by ESN Vilnius University.
- Best social project: Help children with cancer by ESN VGTU.
- Best project of 2011: Cultural Nights by ESN VMU.
 
Day was coming to an end and after lunch only one activity was left. It was National Platform, which traditionally invited to discuss about the latest issues in organization.
 
Two days, hundreds of people. New ideas. Good old and recently met new friends. Active leisure and lovely weather in a beautiful city. Experiences you won't soon forget. That's why it is worth to be an ESNer!

Photo album here.

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