Usually it takes a long time to get there. Once you do that, there is never enough: of ESN, of people you meet and spirit you feel. Official description tells you that it is the main decision-making body of ESN International. Well, it is. And it is much more at the same time: future cooperations, knowledge transfer, gathering information, sharing experiences, developing ideas, creating personal long-lasting relations, simply having fun and believing in ideas of the network. 

The idea of AGM is to gather together around 600 current and former members of ESN from international, national and local levels. 36 countries – numbers only prove how broad our organization is. And while wearing different colors and realizing slightly different projects we manage to keep unity in diversity. 

ESN Lithuania also was a part of it – 12 delegates representing 9 sections of ESN Lithuania together with NB delegates and NR in front of. Great purple cloud took over the city of Maribor for 4 days starting from 11th continuing to 14th of April. 

Thursday, 11th of April

While our NR Simona Patašiūtė was catching a breath after intensive and productive pre-CNR delegation of Lithuania was slowly starting to appear from different corners of Europe. The fastest ones were invited to explore Maribor – former European Capital of Culture 2012 during guided sightseeing tours, which invited to share “Brez objemov” or “Free Hugs” with the citizens. Surprised, smiling faces and a bit scared ones from too high dose of Love, but after all – socially aware ESN greeting for the city, which hosted the biggest event of the network. 

Opening ceremony of the event was soon to come so after making few more circles in the city time for preparations to meet Mr. President of Slovenia Borut Pahor. After his speech even more greetings followed by ESN AISLB president Emanuel Alfranseder, partnerts of the network and even Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. Ceremony was opened and closed by Slovenian singer performing anthem of ESN SB – “Don’t You Worry Child”.

Afterwards delegations were invited to enjoy traditional Slovenian dinner together with songs and dances followed by Responsible Party where RP ambassadors were taking a great care of ESNers while providing them water and other goods.

Friday, 12th of April

From 7am in the morning participants were invited to enjoy the breakfast and so prepare for the following sessions when procedures of AGM were presented, chairs were elected, agenda approved and presentations of the candidates for 2013-2014 IB were heard. 

Later the action was moved to the Technical Faculties, where local Slovenian people together with the members of ESN were invited to participate in the Uni-market which has lasted for 3 hours and has invited to get to know more than 300 universities across entire Europe. 

After the market was finished ESNers were invited to attend the variety of workshops starting with the diplomacy lessons taught by Slovenian Foreign Affairs Minister ending up with project management and team building. Impressions and lessons which were learnt were shared during the National Platforms, which invited to talk about candidates for the IB, about AGM itself and to prepare for the loud and colorful flag-parade. 

Parade which took for more than few hours and was captured by various media representatives ended up in Festival Hall Lent where the Eurodinner took place. Crazy night with loud music, various goods from different countries of the world leaded to the one of the most important days of AGM.

 

Saturday, 13th of April

The 3rd day of AGM invited to the sessions where the most important decisions were made. OCs for the future international events were elected:

• AGM Milano 2014;
• CEP Košice 2014;
• CND Lodz 2014.

Later on budgets were discussed and presentation about the work done by IB 2012-2013 was given. As well as standing orders were changed with the biggest innovation – bringing the chairing team to the CNR meetings, which from now one will be made of CNR Administrator, Secretary and Technical Assistant. 

44Changes for the Visual Identity Manual were also introduced with a suggestion to allow the use of ESN logo in full solid ESN Colors, including ESN Pink/Cyan/Orange/Green/Dark Blue. The next day proposal was approved by AGM, so from now on we have even more colorful and flexible visual identity of the network! 

AGM was continued by presentation of the Board Action Plan for 2013 – 2014 with concrete actions how to improve the structure, budget, work of secretariat and strengthen up ESN Brand. Promotion of the mobility, concentration on the projects as ESNSurvey, PRIME, Erasmus Impact Study will remain. Will be working on strengthening up the Eduk8, Alumni network, working with facilitation of international jobs, traineeships and volunteer opportunities for ESN members.

During the rest of the day international ESN projects were presented: ESNWiki, Responsible Party, where ESN Lithuania takes the first place by the number of RP parties organized! Time for the session was coming to an end so lots of discussion points were delayed to the coming day. 

UV Youngle Party followed afterwards, where with the help with OC, IB and NewYorker everyone was dressed the same – T-shirts of ESN, which later on were covered by the layers of ultraviolet sensitive paints. 

Sunday, 14th of April

New day, new challenges and huge amounts of information! Projects as ESN Satellite was presented with having a first look to the new version of it and promise for it soon to come. ESN Survey was analyzed, recent results of Eduk8 were presented continuing with the presentation with the rest of projects as Erasmus in Schools as a Flagship Project for this year, Social Erasmus as the latter Flagship Project of ESN, Section Quality Development, Section Cooperation, ESN Galaxy, ESN Card, Ride for Your Rights, ExchangeAbility presentations. 

Reports of CNR, CND, Committees, Liaison Office and Network itself followed together with presentation of commercial, institutional partners.

Alumni were also invited to the stage to present their new work done during the recent year, attempts to gather all national Alumni coordinators to one place and to share their knowledge and possibilities between each other. More information about Alumni network might be found HERE. Also traditional Alumni grant was given. This time it was ESN Rijeka which was awarded by 500eu for the innovative trainings for ESN members of their section. 

Also that day IB for the next cadency was elected:

• President – Stefan Jahnke;

• Vice-president – Dominique Montagnese;

• Treasurer – Jonathan Jelves;

• Communication Manager – Robert Klimacki;

• Web Project Administrator – Salih Odabasi.

After the reports of the auditors and vote of AGM event was officially closed. Only Gala-prom was waiting for the participants.

Gala this year was different. The idea was to have a prom date like in the times of finishing high school. That was the reason why everyone that night came by two. High heels and ties, dresses and suits – that night we’ve proved  how different we can be – from dirty t-shirts to fancy look, from crazy parties to Social Erasmus. That’s what ESN is about.

15th of April

Then the sun started to appear in the morning of 15th AGM came to an end. Lots of goodbyes were told during the breakfast, many free hugs made to each other hoping to see each other again. Once more hundreds of people from different parts of Europe spread apart to work for the same ideas and values only through different projects and venues. Work for the local, national and international community. Spread responsible and socially aware ideas.

Every time we meet, something changes. In statutes, standing orders, VMI, but the wish to ESN your life always remains.

Pallomeri, dear members of ESN!

More photos HERE!

European Parliament Information Office in Lithuania invites to follow together the European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros event "It's our Europe: Let's get active!" and join the debate on Twitter.

When: Tuesday, April 23, starting at 10:30, ending at 13:30.

Where: European Parliament Information Office, Gedimino av. 16 (entrance from Vilnius str.), Vilnius

Registration: please register before Thursday the 18th of April (17h00) by sending an email [email protected] 

Contact person: Edita Ramasauskaite, [email protected]

Event's details:

"It's our Europe: Let's get active!"

Interactive event, organised by the European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros

23 April 2013, 10.30-13.30 (LT time), European Parliament, Brussels

The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, is organising this event to help focus on European citizens and how they can concretely contribute to shaping the European Union, either by using the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), by turning to the European Ombudsman, or by mobilising large groups of citizens to carry out grassroots initiatives.

The Ombudsman will be joined by the following top-level EU political figures to listen to, and engage with, European citizens: 
President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, 
Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission 
Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission

The programme will focus on two major themes: 

10.30-12.00 Help solve the economic crisis

Alessandra Mirabile, Fraternité 2020 ECI 
Bernadette McNally, the Irish Ombudsman's experience 
Didier Caluwaerts, G1000 Belgian citizens' movement

12.00-13.30 Build a clean and healthy Europe

Anne-Marie Perret, Right to Water ECI 
Peter C. Gøtzsche, Campaigner for medical data transparency 
Rainer Nõlvak, Let's do it! World Cleanup

Event's webpage:

http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/activities/calendarevent.faces/en/722/htm...

Please feel free to share this invitation with anyone who might be interested.

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! 

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!

Creating future few years ago for me was something I have never imagined. Now I can bravely say "YES, I CAN". Why? Because I have found a place where all dreams can come true!

Once I had decided that I must apply for ERASMUS - I do not know why, but since school years it was something I had to experience. And finally, I got on the bus which led me to the Warsaw where from  I have almost successfully reached my final destination Ostrava Czech Republic by train. I got tricked by the taxi driver, I got lost in the city at the first day while looking for the super - market when some homeless tried to "take" me while waiting for the train. But still it was the BEST decision in my life to seize this opportunity. 

But the real benefits of this adventure started to show up after getting back to Lithuania. First days being at home, going to lectures were SOOO depressing that I had to do something. It seemed that life is going nowhere as everybody was so sad, wasn't smiling... And forget  (wasn’t thinking) about English for sure! 

This is why I have applied to become a mentor - it was interesting - many parties and friends. However, I have started to ask more. As the ESN office was near the house I was living at that moment, I was attending all meetings, I have also started to help other students to find what they did need and finally I had my first project! At that day I felt the opportunity to create something new, I felt the potential of ESN VGTU which were not exploited. Soon I was elected as the Head Coordinator of the Social Projects Committee. It was 100% new as nobody ever tried to do this - maybe this was the main reason which forced me to go further, the possibility to CREATE. My biggest dream to prove that ERASMUS is not only parties and trips became true - for the first time in Lithuania ESN went SOCIAL. 

Now my tenure is over, but new leaders of the committee continue the traditions to follow the earlier events. They continue develop traditions, which came from my heart and were realized with the help of sleepless nights. In my opinion, this is the biggest reward you can get.

Moreover, ESN changed my personal life and character as well. I have met many new people, who became my new friends. I have learned to communicate with different cultures, I have expanded my horizons and showed to others and to myself that everything is possible. Really! Funny story is that I have even got a full-time job as an Engineer with the help of ESN. 

Nowadays, I still cannot stop. One very clever ESN'er said: "ESN is like a drug – at the moment you try it for the first time you either give it up or you never stop using". And I have not stopped untill now and I won't (sorry for those who doesn't like me :) ). At the moment we have started the ESN LT Alumni club - also something we have never done before. Maybe this is the reason I am here - the reason of possibility to CREATE again. 

To sum up, I cannot imagine a day without ESN. There are still many things to do and many challenges to meet. Thank you all who have worked with me, thank you all who are still working - you are the best! 

ESN is the best place to be in!

by Julius Zaburas

More about ESN LT Alumni HERE.

ESN LT Alumni Facebook.

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. 

On the 18-20th of November delegation of 51 people moved from Vilnius straight away to the capital of Estonia where from the biggest adventure ever called ESN Sea Battle started. More than 2000 international students, 760 cabins, 3 dance floors and 2 harbors – experience worth attention of more than 40 ESN sections. ESN Lithuania was represented by ESN VMU, ESN KTU, ESN VGTU, ESN KK, ESN Vilnius University and ESN MRU Vilnius with the help of 3 amazing Group Leaders – Sandra Rimavičiūtė (ESN LT Project Coord.), Dovilė Žemaitytė (ESN KTU) and Simona Aršulytė (ESN VGTU).

According to Sandra, it was an amazing experience worth trying over and over again. Well organized various activities in the boat, active participants and of course amazing parties – that’s all you may want when going to the cruise like this. Despite of that, people got even more. It was Tallinn and Stockholm which were charming because of their historical surroundings and unique stories which were revealed by professional guides.

This time Sea Battle came back different. With new coordinator – Oscar Boije, new logo, lots of promotional material and even seek of feedback. From now on ESN Sea Battle means not only joyful time, but also a qualified project, which is worth attending. Spring is coming, so consider joining ESN Sea Battle 2013 Spring!

Ok ok ok ok ok do not panic… and again, what time is it? 9.45? Where are you all??? Lets check again, how much of time left? We suppose to leave in 15 minutes…!

That is how started an adventure called trip to St. Petersburg. Ten more minutes and people started to gather.. I (member of ESN KTU section) was organizing this trip and a mentor - Audrė from KK was helping me a lot. It took a few weeks to plan everything... So imagine how happy I felt afterwards… Nobody was late, everybody came, a great relief came to me.

People studying in KTU, KK and VMU universities who came to Lithuania from Turkey, Germany, Sweden, France, Poland, Spain, Austria, Portugal, Italy, Kazakhstan were ready to visit St. Petersburg and enjoy its beauty and oneness.

This is the day, the time and place. Now, hold on Russia, our gang is coming! We are going to be sooo wild and so furious! (10 min. later - everybody sleeps in the bus).

Well, I thought to myself, maybe we are not going to be so wild. But that is completely ok, we will take it leisurely, there is nothing wrong with that, maybe these guys just want to have some rest and peace but not parties and rave...

I have to admit, that it was a first and totally wrong impression of our crew, because just after a noon everybody started waking up, to eat, drink and talk. In brief, it was a habitual waking up time and activity for Erasmus students. Very fast, talks and chatters in the bus, going Kaunas – St. Petersburg, developed in to a massive and unstoppable feast with delicious drinks, foods and even dazzling camera lights, which as appeared later, was dazzling bus drivers so much ,that they even couldn’t see the road.

After a short bus stop for a brief moral education, we could move on towards the town called Narva where we had to spend a night and then, fresh as daisies, cross Russia border. And everything went this way, we didn’t even noticed as we were already going down the road towards the great and remarkable town – St. Petersburg. And indeed, St. Petersburg is amazing. Undoubtedly - one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Architecture, museums, people, everything is so different, exclusive and beautiful at the same time. St. Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great, that is why the most famous objects that we have visited was somehow related with this remarkable person or his relatives.

At first we went to see Peters and Pauls cathedral in which all the emperors and empresses of tsarist Russia are buried down. It is the first and oldest landmark in St. Petersburg which amazes you by its grandeur and abundance of affluance. Second, a very special place that we went to see was a Catherines summer palace, that personally for me, was the most amazing thing that I have seen in Russia so far. Its splendour, beauty and luxury made me rethink about those who had it and those who had to die because of it.

The last day in St. Petersburg started quite early by going to one of the world-wide known museums – Hermitage. Just imagine, what an extraordinary feeling you get when you go down those beautifull coridors, staircases and halls that used to be a homes for ones of the most famous historic personalities. Moreover, step after step you discover sculptures, paintings and other masterpieces of the artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Matisse, van Gogh and others... It is quite impossible to describe everything in words. I think the only way you can get visualize Hermitage is to go there and to see everything with your own eyes ...

After these adventures and spectacular views, tired but very happy, we headed towards Lithuania . I must say that because of a remarkable drivers skils, our way back to home did‘nt take a long time and was very decent.

And that my friends is the story about a trip to a land of great Russia whrere a city called St. Petersburg amazes everyones eyes who is lucky enought to see the beauty of its wealth.

Simona Puskunigytė

For 11-18 of November North-South Centre of the Council of Europe organizes “Global Education Week”.

This year Erasmus Student Network of Lithuania also joins this event providing the society information about the Erasmus exchange possibilities and its’ importance to the development of the global citizenship.

Here you can find short movie how ERASMUS, and exchange programs at all, can be benefitial for the person, local society and all the world! ;)

Attention: exchange students did a great job - explained everything in Lithuanian!!!

Thanks for all participants for educating our society!

Increase funding by 70% for the new Erasmus program!

ESN together with AEGEE and ESU invites you to support the idea to rise the funding for the following Erasmus program which will change current Erasmus program from 2014.

Needless to say that ESN believes that this increase is justified and we want to give more people the chance to be mobile and have the amazing experience that so many of us have already enjoyed.

How can You help?

Sign the petition

We need to get one million signatures from all European Union countries. So please promote this to all your international students, sign it yourself and make everyone you know sign it. What is more, the General Affairs Council is meeting on Tuesday, November 20 and the budget is discussed. We need to send a strong signal until then and get as many signatures as possible.

The budget of the new EU programme and the budget are only negotiated every seven years. So now is our chance to stand up for mobility and exchange. There will not come an equally good one any time soon.

So what do we plan to do?

There are two main things. To reach those we have joined forces with the other two big student organisations in Europe, AEGEE and ESU. Our two main goals are:

• To secure the funding of ESN International via operational support (currently through the Jean Monnet grant we have been receiving the past years);

• To secure the budget increase for mobility programmes such as the Erasmus programme.

Support the future of Erasmus and Exchange - Sign Fraternité 2020.

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