Newly approved ESN VDK section became the 9th ESN section in Vilnius and the 14th official section of ESN Lithuania. It probably would not have happened without the current section president, Mikas Macijauskas, who is also an active member of PuRe committee. We won’t be wrong saying that he is one of the most hardly working ESNers in Lithuania at the moment. Let’s try to figure out his point of view of ESN life and what wonderful things he and his newly approved section achieved and planning next.

Hello, Mikas! It is really nice that I got a chance to take an interview with you. How are you doing?

First of all let me thank You for interviewing me. I’m doing great. I’ve just met new Erasmus students and I’m very excited.

I would like to ask, supposedly, the most common question that popped into every ESNer’s mind who attended the NP22: How did you first feel after the announcement that your section got the spot under the “ESN sun”?

I was shocked, happy and relieved at the same time. It was once in a lifetime experience.

How does your beautifully pink ESN VDK’s team feel? Are there any important changes in your section after the National Platform?

My team feels as good as it gets. Everyone is so happy, because our work has paid off. After NP22 we set our goal to work even harder, to organise activities even better than we did before, expand our section to it’s maximum capabilities and to spread out the word about ESN into unseen horizons.

As a leader of your section, tell us what was the beginning of ESN VDK? Was it hard to express your idea of a whole new thing to other people and attract them to join ESN?

I can’t imagine how everything would have been without our former section president’s Magė Fledžinskaitė help. She did a lot. She was the one who convinced people to join ESN family and revealed the idea of ESN. So I’m grateful for her well done job.

We all know that you are a great team, but do you feel like you are ready to be a fully functioning section?

We are not. Just a month ago we were a section candidate, but getting place in ESN is one big step into becoming fully functioning section. We learn fast and I personally believe that we will be that section quite soon.


What was the hardest thing during those six months while you were a candidate section?

The hardest thing was living with the idea, that we will not be confirmed by ESN and our work won’t be seen by other sections. Maybe that was also very motivating and that’s why we were trying so hard.

Is it hard being the president of a newbie section? What are the things that keep you going?

It is easy. Our section is small, so I can contact every member personally in just a few minutes. This way it is easier to track the progress of organising event, to see who’s doing his job well, who need some advices. After every activity we do we see happy students and that’s what keeps me going.

Tell us, how does your section meetings usually go? How do you brainstorm the ideas of an upcoming ESN VDK events?

Meetings? We meet each other every day. But the official ones, in my opinion, has no difference from other sections’ meetings. Generating ideas is never part of our meetings. Generating ideas on meetings would bring down the quality of ideas. So we brainstorm at free time.

Your section seems to have a bit different point of view, in a good way. Now, that you have all the abilities to express yourself, maybe you and your team are going to try on giving something different than other sections had given ESN in all those years?

We have? It’s good to hear that. I believe every section tries to do something different. That’s why every section is unique.

So, what‘s next? What are the big ESN VDK‘s future plans?

Well… We love to get a lot of attention. So be ready. When it will be something big – we will share it with you. I don’t want to give a spoiler for you.

We hope that this new powerful section will be with ESN for as long as possible. Maybe you would like to say something to the sections that are now going through candidate stage? Any personal advice?
I would like to wish them good luck. If they need any help – we are always here for them.


Written by Ieva Malaničeva, Proud member of PuRe Committee.

Three cadences she is the one and only Communication Manager of ESN Lithuania. Sometimes it looks like she is online 24/7. Even at her Erasmus period when she was living in Croatia, she managed to keep in contact and update ESN Lithuania with freshly news. Always friendly, positive, creative and open-minded for new ideas - Sandra Baltkojytė is the perfect example how PR Officer should look like. But what does it take for her to keep ESN Lithuania always informed and connected? 

Olė Sandra! How are you? It’s a pleasure to have an interview with you.

Olė Audre! I am really great, adding the last pieces of my final thesis and looking forward when the time will come for me to move forward with ESN again. And it feels so weird to fill in the opposite lines of the interview than I am used to, so it’s a great pleasure for me too!

So, you are third year in the Communication Manager position of ESN Lithuania. Is it still exiting?

So I am and actually I’m already afraid that with every day people are more and more willing for [Sandra Baltkojyte] changes in my position. Like 3 years already and for me it feels like one mostly, but when I start thinking about all I’ve gone through it could be measured even by 5 years or so. But I’m afraid to confess that things I’m doing probably are no more exciting. It’s even better! These days I’m finally enjoying confidence in my position. After all I finally understand what I am doing, what has to be done and how things are working in general. But new elections are coming, that’s what is exciting!


Let’s go back with time machine to the first months after you were elected in 2011. Was it hard? What was the biggest challenge for you? 

Oh my…at the time I was only in my 2nd year of university and 2nd semester in ESN. And I think at that time, nearly after I’ve got elected I was delegated to go to my first ever international event without knowing pretty much anything. Representing well was the first challenge. But then many more came afterwards. We didn’t have any descriptions, guides how to work, so I had to find out everything myself. This was involving investigation and I had lots of fun, but what was really hard – try not to disappoint sections who believed in this newcomer and showed that during my first and the last voting. Even now I’m not sure if I have succeeded. 

I think, everybody would agree that you put a lot of effort to the communication of ESN Lithuania that it would look like it does now. But what personal features it requires from you? 

Oh, you’re so nice! Well I wouldn’t say it requires something exceptional. Being friendly, ready to listen and to hear are very useful. But I wouldn’t describe those as requirements, for me it comes naturally. Most probably it is patience I’m required to have. Sometimes even more than I would have ever imagined.

All this three years you work with different NB members. Do you enjoy the time working together? 

Of course! I have found friends here, what can be more enjoyable? Three cadencies with nearly twenty different people gave me lots of professional experience too. All of them were strong personalities with different mind sets and year to year we all had to collaborate to give the best for ESN Lithuania. It’s the best team work example I could ever live through in my volunteering career. Tough days taught me a lot, best days made colleagues to become friends. 

How do you manage always be so positive and pure in everything you do? 

It’s because of the people like you, words like this I’m gifted after all those hours near my laptop writing, editing, creating. One conversation, chat or even few words can light me up for days. 

What are the three things of your work as ESN LT PR, you are most proud of?

1. Finally established and actively working our national committee for communication (keep doing amazing job, PuRe people!); 2. That our publications in visual and written forms are read, noticed and positively evaluated in international ESN level; 3. And that we have moved so far further during those 3 years in general. Details like having national .doc template, photos in articles or ESN Lithuania’s Facebook page – things which didn’t exist at the time I’ve started.

What could you say to all current and future sections PRs? Maybe you can share some tips or short inspiring story?

 Love ESN a lot. At least for that one year you’ve taken the responsibility to prove the world that it’s worth loving. Don’t hide behind your position, position has to stay behind you and the results of your work. Have fun, realize projects you’ve always wanted to. It’s the best time to learn, make contacts and develop some hard skills. 

 As for the story. On my exchange there were 11 Lithuanians, who knew nothing about ESN at that time. Due to the great work of ESN Zagreb now one is the leader of PR of one of the most active sections of Lithuania. I find it as an awesome example!

 New NB elections coming very soon. What would you suggest to new National Board members? In what areas they should put most of the effort to make ESN Lithuania even stronger organization than it is now?

 Tricky question! Anyway, always seek for cooperation and dialogue. Try not to mix personal attitudes with your professional work. Do not forget that now you represent an ESN, but still a country, so be wise, act wisely. And about improvement…just catch up with what was done and try to move it all at least a bit further. And always take care of your members, happy and determined to act people is what makes us strong.

How do you see yourself in five years? Do you think that this experiences you get being in the NB position for so long will be useful in life, maybe finding a job?

 Well at least I hope so. Maybe not the entries in my CV, but skills developed will definitely be useful. In 5 years I will be somewhere, doing something, having ESN only in memories, but still keeping in touch with friends from that amazing period of my life.  


Anything else you would like to share with the network?

If you read it to here – I’m really proud of you! 

by Audrė Chudinskaitė, Proud member of the PuRe Committee, [email protected]

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]


ESN Lithuania is growing bigger. New and already 12th family member – ESN LEU was approved on 18th National Platform which took place in Kaunas on March 15-16th. One more young and enthusiastic team, motivated for everything whatever they would be doing, which has joined ESN force of the capital Vilnius. So let’s have a look how ESN LEU section worked as a section candidate and what perspectives and projects they have for the future. 

 HelloOo ESN LEU! So how does it feel to be finally officially approved as a part of the family? 

Hello! We feel great! Some of us cannot still believe that we did it! Our big journey started last September when we became a section candidate. Half of the year we had been working very hard proving that we WANT and we CAN to be a part of ESN LT family. During this period we tried to become a strong family in our section so that we could be a part of something bigger. When we finally did it we got such a relief but not for long because big works are waiting for us  and we are waiting for them too but in a firmer, prouder and in a more confident way. We are ready to accept new challenges and to share our experience and ideas with others!

Let’s start from the beginning. Before joining ESN, did you have any clubs or committees at your university which was working with exchange students? If yes, what has changed after joining ESN?

Yes, every semester we had a few mentors who helped exchange students. Unfortunately, the aim of volunteering was just to communicate with Erasmus students and help them if necessary. It wasn’t event oriented club. Before ESN LEU we haven’t had a strong team which is probably the main difference now. Frankly talking, there weren’t any team members, who would plan exchange students’ leisure, assist in students’ welfare and organize events presentations. But when we got approved, we used to organize various social events and parties, got involved into different events organized by/with other university section. Even though our section is pretty small we focus on team building and expanding ESN LEU by inviting other students to join us and work together. 

How did you get to know about ESN? And how came the idea to join ESN Lithuania? 

In the previous summer (2013) some of the mentors and students came back home after their Erasmus fond of various emotions and experiences of ESN activity. Students usually get to know about ESN activity once they go on Erasmus and so did we. We had such a big thirst for our own ESN so we could hardly contain our excitement to create it. During our first appointments we thought of creating an official ESN team which would not only help the Erasmus students but would organize social events and cooperate with other sections. 

Your buddy section was ESN MRU Vilnius. How did you communicate and was it helpful?

It was a big pleasure that ESN MRU Vilnius asked us to be our buddy section. The first meeting was in ESN LEU team building day. After this, we were communicating all the time, they answered to all our questions which we had. It was a really good buddy section and even now then we are officially approved in ESN LT, we hope that we will continue our friendship.

How could you describe your section in three sentences?

ESN LEU: L - Lovely buddies. E - Enthusiastic. Always try to accept every challenge. U - United team. We try to help each other as much as possible.

Do you have any interesting and unique projects that other sections don’t do and is it successful?

Even though we are a young section we have some traditional events from previous years. But since we are officially accepted as an ESN section we are going to include many more interesting events which would be interesting and would involve our Erasmus students into our activity. One of our traditions is Tea party on Sundays when we bake pies or cookies and taste them with a cup of tea. Of course while pastries are baking we don’t waste our time and entertain our students by playing various games such as “brain battle”. Also, during the orientation week we organized the orientation game around the capital and called it “Erasmus meets city”. This is a very useful acquaintance with the city where they are going to spend their semester. Of course, we think that these events were very successful because we received positive feedback from Erasmus students.

How do you see your section in the future? 

We have a lot of things which are needed to be fixed. Since we are a small section, one of our biggest wishes is to become bigger and stronger step by step, that everybody would be proud of us and our works. 

What will be the first projects or events that you will organize as ESN LEU?

When we became a section candidate we already felt as a part of ESN. So we should say that we will continue our projects as ESN LEU. The first project after National Platform’18 was “Share Your Warmth” which we are organizing together with other Vilnius (ESN ISLB, ESN VU, ESN VDA) sections. It’s quite nice that we organized the project together with other sections as if we were a big and united family. Also there are other projects in our future plans which we are going to fulfil with other sections, because cooperation, communication and sharing our experience are the most important things.

Would you like to share something more – some funny moments or interesting facts? 

While we were building our team we underwent many various experiences which we hadn’t expected to encounter to. All the preparations for the national platforms required a lot of preparation which helped us to build a strong team. Also, we spent much time planning and organizing events which were successful and gave us a push to go further. It is not a secret that there were some disappointments and ridiculous failures that we didn’t succeed in but in this case we had a lesson we learnt something new. We remember the time when committee was discussing whether to accept us or not as ESN LEU section. We were so stressed about that that we couldn’t hold tears in our eyes. But our efforts were not in vain and our expectations were acknowledged by you!

Written by Audrė Chudinskaitė, proud member of ESN Lithuania Pure Committee

The biggest and the first ever section of ESN Lithuania has just celebrated their 10th anniversary. 10 years of helping exchange students, organizing already 3 NPs and raising many past and present members of the National Board. Every stage of this growth would not be possible without a leader behind. So today for a talk we invite Darija Kupstaitė – the president of the oldest section in Lithuania, ESN Vilnius University. 

Hello, Darija! On Friday you just had 10th birthday of the section, how did it go?

Hello! Actually, it is hard to evaluate the whole event at the moment, we need some time to think and discuss about it. However, it was something big. We are very lucky being with ESN VU at this magical time. In general, everything went just the way we wanted (only the cake was a little bit too big). We talked about what ESN VU has achieved during 10 years period and we shared the greatest moments with our closest people around. Of course, we were surprised by the amount of presents we got, our buddy section even created a video! On behalf of ESN VU – thank you ALL for being with us.

How would you evaluate your section at the moment? What are your strongest areas? What are you specifically proud of what your section does?

The section is waking up from a long winter sleep I could say. Sometimes it is very hard but we have lots of plans and we have a goal. We will not stop until we have done everything we can. That makes me feel that ESN VU is a strong section. It is not about the areas or actions we are strong in, it is about the people. People whose are motivated and have strong values. These people are our members and they are the ones I am mostly proud of!

How big is your section by members and how are the tasks shared within the team?

In total, we have more than 100 members. We have more than 80 mentors and more than 50 ESN’ers. Some of them have both names: mentor+ESN’er. Every semester we are getting bigger and bigger, more and more students want to join us. It might be a little bit difficult to understand how we are sharing our tasks, I should draw a table of the whole ESN VU structure. Basically, the board has the biggest responsibilities. We have different coordinators on the board who are responsible for their field (leisure, PR, travels and ect.). We also have Senior Mentors and some particular projects coordinators who are not on the board but also have huge responsibilities. For example, we have Erasmus in Schools, Enjoy Learning Languages, Multilingual projects coordinators. Even though we have our own responsibilities, we are helping each other and working as a team.

Could you tell us a little bit more about yourself, like, what is your ESN story?

I found out about ESN once my friend became a mentor. It was two years ago, in 2012 winter. After few months of communicating with exchange students I decided to become a mentor. I did not even realize that I can do more than take care of exchange students and actually I was not interested in anything else. During the first month of my mentorship, one of mentors asked for help, she was ill and I had to be an ambassador of Responsible Party instead of her for one time. However, I liked the project so much that I stayed there for the whole year. And that is how my ESN story started. I got to know “older” ESN’ers, some of them saw a potential in me and encouraged me to apply for a position on the board. I became a coordinator of leisure activities. Couple of months passed and I was elected as a vice president. It was in winter of 2013, so after one year of the first touch of ESN I was a vice president of ESN VU and a coordinator of leisure activities. Some more months passed and I became a president of the oldest section in Lithuania. I started my second year in ESN as a president of ESN VU and it still continues.

And maybe you can reveal your top 3 ESN experiences?

That is a very good question! It is very hard to mark out only 3 experiences... Well, I could list three experiences which thought me the most. The first one was definitely being one of the OC in organizing Bling Bling party last year. I was a newbie in ESN and already was chosen to organize the biggest event of the semester. It was really challenging as we knew nothing about such kind of even. The  second one was CEP 2013. I thought I know what is travelling abroad with a group of people and how to handle difficult situations... It turned out that I knew nothing about that. The third huge experience was (and still is) becoming a president. I was used to be a leader of a team, however being a president is not only being a leader of a small team. President has to lead the whole organization, president is responsible for everything what is happening in the section and no matter how bad the day might be, president is the one who has to smile all the time.

How do you evaluate your career in the organization? Are there are any plans for your further ESN path? 

Climbing the stairs of ESN career was so quick that sometimes I cannot even understand if it is really me who is doing all those things. One moment I was a scared student who was not sure if she will be chosen as a mentor and the other moment I am a president of the biggest section in Lithuania. It is really amazing and very challenging. I do not have any particular plans for ESN after my cadency in ESN VU ends. Maybe I will only be Alumni of ESN VU or maybe I will apply for the position in the National board… Who knows? What I know for sure is that I will do everything I can to finish my presidency successfully.

Anything else you would like to share with the network (likes, comments, thanks)?

ESN changes lives. It changed my life completely. I only wish to all the readers to feel the change that ESN brings!

Thank you very much Darija for your time and thoughts!


Legend of ESN? But it is far too early to call her legend even though she deserves name like that. Simply because of the love for ESN she spreads around and of course all the rest million things she has done for it here, in Lithuania. I am more than happy to present you our former National Representative, person, who has convinced tens of people to reach for more in ESN (thanks for it!) and one of the most passionate ESNers I have ever met – Orinta Movsesjan.

HellooOoo, Orinta! ESN is calling. Do you still remember us time to time?

Definitely, yes! ESN is something you can’t forget so easily, it leaves a mark for a lifetime!

Where are you today? And did ESN help you to reach this point?

Today again I am on the first year, as I started my MA studies. I am also working at VMU International Office. Since the very beginning of establishment of ESN VMU we were all the time cooperating and keeping close relationship. After 3 years of working hand to hand on various social, cultural, academic activities for International students, I received an invitation to join the team and become part of university’s administration.

So tell us the story of your ESN career.

I joined one of ESN sections at Vytautas Magnus University on the first year of my studies. Even thought I had been part of plenty youth organizations, ESN was something new, something different, something special. I still remember my first National platform more than 3 years ago. It motivated me to reach higher and go further (will steal the slogan and the main idea of Social Erasmus project, as it perfectly describes my feelings after visiting Mentor’s Days in Trakai in 2010!). After that I became more than sure that ESN is the organization I want to be a part of and that I want to become a member of a National Board. National Representative was the position I dreamt about, so I decided to participate in the next elections. There were still a lot of things I did not know about ESN but I was ready to learn, so after the summer I submitted my application, run for my favorite position and was elected. And then the journey begun… I participated in international meetings of ESN (CNRs, CND, AGM), became a part of chairing team of pre-AGM CNR Budapest, coordinator of project “Ride for your rights”, learned a lot about ESN as an organization, gained loads of new skills. It was the best year of my studies. After my cadence was over, I came back to my section, wanted to implement all the new ideas, help the current section board and make it as amazing as it could be. At the same time I did not want to lose the connection with ESN International that is why I joined the chairing team of CEP Cracow in 2011. Even now, I am trying to keep a close relationship with my section, share my experiences, participate in the events and help whenever it is necessary. I am in ESN for more than four years now and it still doesn’t seem I am ready to let it go!

What does it mean to be National Representative?

This position is a combination of loads of responsibilities, fun time, new experiences, and new people. NR basically represents national opinion of a country’ on various topics, he or she is a “bridge” between national and international levels of ESN. Being a National Representative (at least 2 years ago) meant you had to:
-    read and answer from 15 to 50 emails a day;
-    follow the situation on all three (local, national and international) levels; 
-    participate in International meetings every couple of months (sometimes even more often) in different parts of Europe;
-    know how to express your opinion in a constructive way;
-    love what you are doing;
-    … and much more.
It’s hard to explain, but I know that being a National Representative for me was one of the greatest experiences.

How much has ESN Lithuania changed compared to the one you were used to work in?

In couple of years this organization has improved a lot of things. It was officially established according to the Lithuanian law, it expanded and accepted even more sections, even more and more ESNers are getting involved in to activities on the national and International levels, we got our first star award… There are even more things which were improved, thanks to the dedicated and motivated members of the National Board and local sections. And I believe this is just the beginning!

Which values of the organization you find the most attractive?

I like principle “students helping students” the most. It is amazing how much can students do, how much they can help the other, and how much they can achieve on voluntary basis.

What was the hardest for you during all these years in ESN? 

To decide that it’s the time to quit and move on! Once an ESNer, always ESNer! Have never thought it is going to be so hard to say goodbye for an organization.

What was your motivation to keep going?

The greatest motivation was and still is people, the feeling of being a part of ESN family. It’s always nice to see smiling faces of International students after each event, project, initiative, and happiness of ESNers after each achievement, no matter how small or how big it is. 
ESNers, International students) and the feeling that you are doing something, which has a big value for other people.

Which ESNish moment you cherish the most, the one you could share with us?

My first National Platform as it helped me to understand how much ESN can suggest as an organization and how much potential it has; the National Platform during which I was elected as a National Representative, as it was the beginning of something new and unexperienced; all the International meetings, as each of it was a huge opportunity to learn new things, gain new skills, meet new people; and many many more! 
Anything more to share with the network? 

Once you get in ESN:
-    don’t stop in one place reach for more and for better, 
-    try to do things as good as you can, 
-    don’t stop, always reach for your goals, 
-    take as much as you can from being part of this amazing organization and don’t wait till someone will push you, show the initiative yourself, 
-    if you don’t know something don’t be afraid, it’s never too late to learn and you are not alone, there are plenty of people who can help you,
-    love this organization as much as you can! 
Thank you very much, Orinta, and wish you never stop feeling ESN in your hearth!

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


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

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!

Little of present members of ESN Lithuania could remember National Platform without Vytenis Danyla. In the beginning – respectful Board member of the first Lithuanian ESN section – ESN Vilnius University, later recognized as organizer of many international and national projects, Responsible Party ambassador, who finally became Alumni and participated in NPs as a Chair for more than once. So it was not a big surprise for anyone when applications for the new Board were announced with Vytenis applying for the main position. Few weeks afterwards we can already call him Mr. President. About reasons, prospects, friends and hopes: interview with the newly elected ESN Lithuania President Vytenis Danyla.

Hello, Vytenis! Tell us, how does it feel those first weeks in the position?

Hi! First of all, my application for the position was a bit of surprise for majority of members, so don't lie :) Well first weeks were really busy. As you know, I also have some duties out of ESN, so basically my life consists of three things – work, ESN and sleep. Actually after the election the first thing I’ve thought about was „What have I done?“. This mind still comes time to time, but I'm happy that I've got really strong team and I believe that we will do more than anyone expects. First week after becoming president was really tough. I was happy and sad, determined and disappointed, hopeful and desperate. And all of these feelings came at the same time. Now, after some help from others ESN'ers I really feel great, I do believe in myself and in the bright future together with whole ESN Lithuania.

What have you already done as the President of the network in Lithuania?

Well… Almost nothing :) Sent two delegations to international events (NBM and CEP), participated in ESN Vilnius University board meeting, had a few meetings with the president of ESN Vilnius University Darija, had lunch with ESN Lithuania NR Simona and former HR coordinator Vydūnas, had a meeting with ESN VGTU president Kamilė and had dinner with ESN MRU Vilnius HR coordinator Laura. Of course not to mention constant meetings with former ESN Lithuania president Gintarė. And now I'm answering your questions :)

Let’s talk about dreams. If you would have enough money, time and power, what would be 3 things you would realize within ESN Lithunia?

First thing would be Eurotrip around the Europe with ESN Lithuania members while visiting as much ESN sections as possible (the route is already planned, hopefully it will come true some day). Second is creating a movie about ESN Lithuania and ESN international (probably during this trip). And third... I have never thought about that more. So far had only those two dreams.

And what are the plans for our future with the resources we have? 

Plans are huge. Not sure if they are going to become true. Summer Camp 2014 in Lithuania with ESN members from the whole Europe. Unity of all ESN Lithuania sections. Publicity, so that as much people as possible would know ESN in Lithuania. And of course one very important question: AGM???

Are you happy with your colleagues in the National Board? What are your prospects towards them for this term?

No, they are terrible! Just kidding, I'm very happy to have a team like this, they are real professionals in their fields and I hope that we will make a great team. Unfortunately a lot of them are in their in-term positions till the next NP, but I hope that together we can do a lot more than anyone expects. They are awesome!

How much in your opinion ESN LT has changed during 3 recent years after National Board was established?

Actually it has changed a lot. It's structure, status, policy towards sections and members. However I believe that all of the changes help to move forward. I can see a lot of motivated members in sections. As the organization is growing I believe that members of it are the strongest than they have ever been. The only thing left to do is to make them one family and then no one would be able to stop us :)

What has changed that after all these years in ESN and already being a part of Alumni network you have decided to apply for the head position of the NB? 

Nothing, except that now I believe that I'm ready to be in this position. There was a lot of pressure for me to apply for president position two years ago, the same story repeated last year. However I didn't believe that I was ready for that. It's a long story full of coincidences how I've decided to apply for president position this year. But the main thing is believing being ready to do that. ESN gave me a lot, now it's time to give something back.

What gives you motivation to work for ESN for so many years?

First of all, for me ESN is motivation itself. As I already mentioned, ESN gave me a lot. That's how it got inside my blood and heart. It is the biggest source of motivation for me.

Do you still remember your first year in ESN? How did it look like? 

First year wasn't really special. I was just a mentor in ESN Vilnius University section. After the first semester of mentoring exchange students, there were people convincing me to go to the board of my section. However, I've refused and stayed as a mentor for one more semester. Of course my first year was full of various events, friends, exchange students... It was one big party. After that I've decided to join our local board and that's how my first year ended.

From local to international level during more than few years. Are you looking forward to your first international experience as representative of ESN LT? 

I guess it will be 4 years this December. Well I had my first international experience already. It was Summer Camp'11 that took place here, in Lithuania. But of course I'm really excited and can't wait for my first experience as official representative of ESN Lithuania. Luckily it's not so long to wait until CND.

Anything else you would like to share with the network?

ESN is the best thing that happened in my life so far and I'm very happy that you all are a part of this. Becoming the President is a small step, but it can change a lot and hopefully it will do so :)
Thank you very much, Vyteni! Keep the motivation up and go for those two dreams!

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!