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!