To bring you back the knowledge from international level of ESN two members of our National Board PR Officer Sandra Baltkojytė and IT Coordinator Laurynas Rašimas had to cross five countries, use four different kinds of transport and try to manage within four currencies. At the end these things does not even matter anymore since delegation successfully reached Timişoara, Romania on 3rd of October, where they have spent three days discussing and exchanging knowledge with nearly 20 National Boards of the network.

Friday, 4th of October

After opening speeches and ice-breakers lead by Eduk8 trainers participants were invited to listen about most innovative ideas, significant events and other worth sharing ideas. NEP  NBM was presented, which has encouraged all the rest of ESN regions consider closer cooperation between national boards. Afterwards discussion about image of ESN sections was opened by IB members, who invited to consider wisely the content for social media. Preferring quality over quantity should be one of the main goals for every single responsible of public face of ESN.  Later on the first day of NBM was continued by presentations of SocialErasmus, Erasmus in Schools and ExchangeAbility, which came back to life after receiving grant from Council of Europe and electing the new team for the following year, which will take care of online mapping of friendly Higher Education Institutions for people with disabilities and will directly coordinate work of volunteers for that.
During the coffee break participants had to choose the small session they want to attend. Attracted by geographical issues of other countries Laurynas has chosen the topic “Geographical distance between sections – how to cooperate?” while our PR Officer attended small session analyzing work of NBs and national committees. After summarizing an hour of discussions, the time came to join 3 hours long activity “Meet your IB colleague”. While our IT  Coordinator was getting to know the most recent changes in the field of webmasters, PR of Lithuania along with other responsible for communication covered many topics, including the image of ESN, variety of tools to form it, duties and responsibilities while working on it and much more. For further information keep updated while following news of ESN Lithuania!

Plenary of the first day was closed at 8 pm and everyone was invited to meet few hours after at the Eurodinner – probably one of the longest and craziest traditions of ESN. Variety of flavors and eager to explore all of them – every real ESNer knows how hard sometimes is to combine it, but during Eurodinner everything becomes possible!

Saturday, 5th of October

Day two has started with an energizer for everyone to wake up and loads of information afterwards. ESN Finland has presented their magazine – first of this kind in the entire network. In it you can find information about working and studying in Finland, their sections, events and their National event: Pirates of the Baltic Sea. Check it all out HERE. Later on posters session has started when the time was given for countries to promote their posters with all the general info of their ESN. During 45min you could get to know how your colleagues work, who with they cooperate, what strong and sometimes weaker sides they have. One of the greatest recent success ESN story was told by ESN Portugal, which is happy about their strong ties with the national agency, can boast about successful national events and is only seeking to grow up from 8 sections to more.  That the information about recent changes in ESN International would not be lost presentation of ESN Wiki was necessary. Source of every single fact of ESN is still a relatively fresh project, which still has to be professionalized, hopefully tools as common form for the information of every country suggested during the discussion will help to achieve that. One more information source of ESN is soon to be under reconstruction, which will not only lead ESN Galaxy towards better  design, but will also provide the system with the better roles system, spread of information and future improvements for the benefit of every single ESNer.

Presentations of Alumni Network, ESN Italy’s national event took place just before the time when the participants were invited to meet their National Buddies. ESN Lithuania together with ESN Czech Republic and ESN Slovakia used the time for experience sharing and possible actions for future cooperation. If the decisions were successful entire of the network will see during following year.

Saturday session was closed with the few hours dedicated for accomplishing discussions with the colleagues of the same field.

Sunday, 6th of October

Last 3,5 hours of the event were dedicated for the last presentations and few more work groups. International Communication Manager promised to release newly updates Section Package in coming months. Best moments of the recent Eduk8 T4T were shared among the network. Future of NBM discussed. Workshops about “How to organize a sport event” and “Motivate sections for the national and international levels” were attended. Day has ended quickly with the last part only remaining: time to say goodbye.

Even if it is goodbye for October, it does not mean we will not meet on December! Until then – let’s stay in touch, dear ESN people!

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!

New season of ESN Lithuania has started since the 1st of October then the new Board has started their cadency. Not long after, first changes became visible then this website was moved to a new server. Since then everybody could notice not only new design of, but also rising visibility of our 10 sections, because of their new websites, which were created for every single section of ESN Lithuania. You can find them here.

Changes weren’t about to end here. Along with the old facebook group for common issues as flat renting or simply experience exchange, new page was created for posting news under official ESN Lithuania’s name. Same was done with Twitter and YouTube. The latter one still feels lack of your attention, so create or recheck your archives and send video files [email protected] that information about your activity would be spread all around the world!

During 3 months not only technical issues were solved, but also many international events have happened. And gladly not without participation of members of ESN Lithuania. Starting with CEP ending with Winter’s National Platform. More information is given below.

CEP Krakow 2011

3rd-6th of November
Organized by: 
ESN Krakow United
Participants: Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary.
Coordinator Team: Italia, Lithuania, Slovenia.

ESN Lithuania delegates:

  • Toma Rimkevičiūtė (ESN ŠU);
  • Ieva Balinskaitė (ESN MRU Vilnius);
  • Kristina Gruodytė (ESN VGTU);
  • Eglė Skulskytė (ESN Vilnius University);
  • Kristina Butkutė (ESN VMU);
  • Justina Kraulėdaitė (ESN KTU);
  • Kristina Kaziukėnaitė (ESN ISLB);
  • Orinta Movsesjan (ESN VMU).

NBM Dublin 2011

11-13 of November 

Organized by: ESN Ireland, Supported by the Higher Education Authority – An tÚdarás um Ard-Oideachas: Irish National Agency for LLP: Erasmus.

ESN Lithuania delegates:

  • Gintarė Vaiginytė (ESN Lithuania President);
  • Sandra Baltkojytė (ESN Lithuania PR Officer).

Only for ESN Lithuania Kenny Ho (NBM Dublin Head OC): 
At first I was wondering why on earth did I apply for an international event? Their were high expectations from my NA and from the delegates which created my insomnia! However it was worth all the stress and I realise the best reward that I and the OC received was the memories we gave to the all the delegates.

The social night events we organised, the city, the university and the Irish people themselves all left an everlasting impression that will last forever and it can never be taken away from them. The OC and myself cannot hide our delight on how well the event went and more importantly we're very proud to be Irish, our friendly attitude, the love of a drink and our hospitality and just as proud to be European. It was a amazing and incredible experience to host ESNers from all over Europe, one that gave me priceless memories and new friends!

PRIME Final Conference in Brussels

13-15 of November

Sea Battle Autumn 2011

14-17th of November

Exchange Days Druskininkai 2011

26-27th of November

Organized by: ESN Lithuania, Student Travellers

CND Siena 2011

1st-2nd of December

ESN Lithuania delegates:

  • Ieva Vezbergaitė (ESN Lithuania NR);
  • Giedrė Gelšvartaitė (ESN KTU, ND);
  • Aušra Balčiunaitytė (ESN KTU, Vice-ND);
  • Cihan Keskin (ESNLithuania IT Coordinator).

ESN Lithuania National Platform

10-11th of December
Winter's National Platform organized by ESN ISLB invited various members of ESN Lithuania to discuss about the latest issues, possibilities and what has been done during the recent years. Also a desicion has been made that next time NP will be hosted by ESN ŠU. See you soon! 

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That's how second half of 2011 looks like in words and pictures. New Years has came with new plans and new challenges. With your initiative, positive mood and cooperation we will make them real. See you all soon.