This spring semester ESN VGTU is participating in national ESN Lithuania social project called Erasmus Postcards. It is a project with the same idea as Erasmus in Schools (EiS). EiS sends international students into local schools to talk about their country, language and culture. EiS thus promotes European Citizenship and makes pupils familiar with the idea of mobility and the possibilities to realise it (such as the Erasmus programme). Before the semester began ESN VGTU mentors asked their international students to bring a couple of post cards with a representative view of their countries. On 5th - 7th of February VGTU International Relations Office organized annual VGTU event – International Days. ESN VGTU was excited to be a part of this important, useful and interesting event. Every day of the festival during lunch break ESN VGTU could be found at the foyer near the 03rd auditorium. ESN VGTU were offering a lot of different activities such as marking the place where you have been or where you want to go in the map, participating in the photo contest and the quiz about culture, language and Erasmus programme, getting your name written in Korean language and many other things. On the 1st day of event ESN VGTU invited international students to fill the post cards that they had brought. It was an amazing moment when lots of foreign students gathered together with their mentors and wrote something in Lithuanian, something in their language as well as first impression on Lithuania in English. An exhibition of these post cards was held until 7th of February so every student of VGTU both – Lithuanian and international – could see and enjoy the post cards from different corners of the world. Considering the fact that some students for different reasons come to Lithuania later that the beginning of semester, everyone got a chance to bring their post cards to ESN room until the end of February.

Moreover, students who forgot to bring post cards had enough time to ask their relatives to send some by mail. Finally, in March we sent all the post cards to Pabradės Ryto gimasium, as it is one of the schools that VGTU is collaborating with. It was not only post cards that we sent. The coordinator of this social project Aistė Ulevičiūtė together with ESN VGTU social dream team prepared a package which included VGTU Erasmus letters and poster with main information about students mobility and international opportunities. 18th – 22nd of March was announced as No Bullying Week. 35 non-govermental organizations and 1130 educational institutions were participating in this social project and organized a huge variety of remarkable events and activities. Pabradės Ryto gymnasium included Erasmus Post Cards project into their No Bullying Week activities as the project makes students think about racism, cultural discrimination and tolerance. Therefore ESN VGTU got a chance to be a part of this exclusive tremendous social project.

The photos of “Erasmus postcards” – first step – might be found HERE.

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!

Bringing the diversity in schools, sharing personal experience and stories and transferring the entire positive mood to Lithuanian high school students, was one of the aim of international students coming from Russia, Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey and Kosovo, who were the next working group of the project “Erasmus in Lithuanian Schools”. “Akademijos Gimnasium in Kedainai region was the next target point of the mentioned project which was already the 10th school visited by very productive, successful and cooperative international students enrolled at Vilnius University. Starting the preparation some days before and ending up with a very fruitful program and agenda made the visit produce very positive results and impressions. 

A cold morning of 14th of March brought together 7 foreigners who were ready to share their own culture, language and personal skills with Lithuanian youth who were eagerly waiting to meet new people . Starting the day by singing and asking each other in Lithuanian “Kaip gyveni” (HOW ARE YOU), and responding very positively with “gerai” (GOOD), made the journey be more warm, interesting and exciting. A short welcome speech by the school director Liudas Tauginas and teacher’s staff members, accompanied by a short informative presentation about the school and artistic performance prepared by school students made the international visitors feel more comfortable and relaxed. After a short introduction and meeting, it was the time for splitting in smaller groups and starting a short cultural journey through games, stories, and songs. Divided in three groups (two Russian and one German speaking group), students of “Akademija Gimnasium were able to meet closer and get familiar with the cultural differences and diversity over the world. A friendship that lasted nearly three hours, helped Lithuanian students understand better the value and importance of tolerance, cooperation, diversity which may be better gained through higher university education. After a joint lunch offered by the school, Erasmus students were guided through the Kėdainiai city by being introduced to some of the most important historical buildings, museums etc.

Ending up with a warm goodbye words and expressing the gratitude for the visit, students of Akademija gymnasium got back to their working habit by hoping one day to be part of the greatest international diverse community called ERASMUS. 

Report by Eddy Galjusi (Kosovo)

P.S. Song, mentioned in this article might be found on YouTube.

It is already the second semester that ESN Vilnius University organizes a charity of white cents which aim is to collect as many cents as possible and donate them for good purpose. The charitable initiative involves not only Lithuanian students, but also foreign students who willingly donate their coins. With this campaign ESN Vilnius University team wants to show that it is not so difficult to collect money for a charity - every time when a student throws a small coin of 1, 2 or 5 cents in a jar it does not seem much, bet when all students donate it turns into a very important and valuable deed.

During autumn semester when this charity was organized for the first time students donated 130 Litas which was sent to Public institution “OFM MAŽESNIEJI BROLIAI“ of Bernardinai social services centre. On February 13th six students brought gifts to the social centre and spent some time with children. They told some stories about their activity, played games and introduced children with some foreign languages. The most attention received a student from Slovakia and one of Ethiopian languages presented by another student.

ESN Vilnius University always searches for ways how to join different charities. One of the charities is collaboration with social project During this event people gather their items that are not needed anymore: clothes, school supplies, kitchen equipment and etc. and leave them in special boxes that are in dormitories. According to the manager Marija Šaraitė ESN Vilnius University students proved that even students who do not have much of their own can be socially responsible. Later items that are donated during this charity are given to those who need them most.

VU TSPMI student Kristina Selezniova, who is the national coordinator of SocialErasmus project, is happy that the generous act of ESN Vilnius University social committee has inspired other ESN sections in Lithuania to start organizing this charity. Money that will be gathered during this spring semester will be donated not only to the social centres, but also to the animal shelters and similar organizations.

ESN Lithuania invites to join goodness campaign „Nebūk daiktistas“ (“Don’t be a Thingist”) organized by our friends!
Project encourages you to give away things you do not need any more in change of gratitude of people, who need these things more.
All and each of you who read this are more than welcome to join campaign of sharing and helping each other!
Check your cupboard and think - maybe there are things you don‘t need or don‘t like anymore?
It could be:
– clothes – shoes – utensils – stationery – books – toys/board games – many other things.
By participating in the campaign “Nebūk daiktistas” (“Don’t be a Thingist”) you will not only help others with things they need, but also you will help to built a proper image of international students as energetic, creative, mobile, tolerant and  socially responsible people. At the same time you will help to increase the visibility of ESN in home institutions and local community.  
Campaign will be held from 1st to 16th of March. Soon more information will appear and each participating ESN section will indicate places where things can be left. All the given things will be registered in system. Each participator will be able to see its profile.
(e. g.: Profile of ESN Vilnius University,
Event for all Lithuania HERE.
By pressing on your ESN sections's name below you will get more information about the project:

• ESN Vilnius University 

If you belong to the section which is not mentioned above then you can contact to any other section in the city!

Go social with ESN!
Reach highier! Go further! Go social!
SE national coordinator: [email protected] 

SocialErasmus is a project where with minimal expenses we can implement the most beautiful ideas, so this time our SocialErasmus coordinators team agreed with the idea that international wind could take over Lithuanian schools by sending them postcards.
Project “Erasmus Postcards“ is easy to realize: before going to Lithuania Erasmus exchange students are asked to brought few cards with them. Each ESN section chooses the most convenient time them to collect and during certain event students are asked to fill their cards by writing few  phrases in their native language, few sentences about first impression being in Lithuania (in English), the favorite phrase in Lithuanian and other things they want. 
After collecting postcards, ESNers will divide them in equal parts and send to the selected schools of Lithuania, where postcards will be exposed (how – it depends on agreement). ESNers need creativity there: each section has to present ESN Lithuania and themselves as well, ERASMUS exchange program, tell schools about the flows of international students each semester and traditional  activities that ESN offer to them. Also we are glad that our expired SocialErasmus projects as video "Erasmus Unites", telling what Erasmus exchange program is and "Erasmus Letters" are beneficial there – they let us explain better the essence of ESN activities and SocialErasmus goals. 

What is more, most of ESN Lithuania sections for the first time joins “Anti-bullying Week“, which will last from 18th to 24th of March where the main goal will be to implement activities that stimulate tolerance and empathy at an early age children in kindergartens, schools, social centers, children homes. By sending Erasmus postcards, information about ESN and our activities to Lithuanian pupils, we will try to break stereotypes, to emphasize the need of understanding of cultural differences, encourage discussions about Lithuanians‘ tolerance. 
Realization of the project also aims to reveal that ESNers are active, social and open-minded youth and that Erasmus exchange program is direct connection with European youth and that it lets us become more tolerant!
“Erasmus post cards“ + “Anti-bullying Week” = Powerful “Erasmus in Schools” project
This is the way how soon Lithuanian ESNers are going to reach Lithuanian schools!
For more information you can write to National SocialErasmus coordinator Kristina Selezniova:
[email protected] 


Social Erasmus with the project Erasmus in Schools invites to share some joy between the schools and pupils of Lithuania. All what do you need - the help of international students. Steps to follow:

1. Kindly ask international students to bring 2-3 postcards from his homeland. Few things should be mentioned on them:

• name of the country; 

• few phrases in the language of the cards' holder;

• few sentences about first impression of Lithuania (in English);

• phrase in Lithuanian (written with a help of a mentor);

• and everything else you want to share with pupils!

2. After collecting the postcards, ESNers will divide postcards in equal parts and will send them to the selected schools of Lithuania, where postcards will be exposed.

Let the International winds take over the schools of Lithuania!

Just before Christmas, when the first snow has covered streets of Kaunas ESN KTU (Erasmus Student Network Kaunas University of Technology) team with international and Erasmus students went to Vilijampole Social Care Home. Vilijampole Social Care Home takes care of the young people which have physical and/or mental problems. With warm hearts, energy and the presents donated by students for this event, everybody went to visit the youth with special needs.

Accidentally or not the chosen day was magical 2012 12 12. Due to the magic number or the warmth of students’ hearts – that afternoon there were a lot of smiling faces.  Comfortably sitting on the carpet, youngsters with foreign students created a Christmas city. While coloring details of the Christmas city everybody forgot all the problems and enjoyed the time together. It was a surprise to see how easily children found connection with the foreign students despite the language barrier.  When the painting was finished everybody had a chance to enjoy the sounds of guitars which accompanied the famous song for children ‘Naktelės žiedai’. Some children from Vilijampole Social Care Home also showed their singing and dancing skills.

The children were especially happy about the Santa Claus Cat (thanks to KTU Career center) which umused the kids the whole afternood and finally awarded them everyone with presents. The greatest present - special medical hygiene items - bought with the donated money, went for the kids with difficult health problems.

Eventually, students from Azerbaijan and their traditional dance crowned the afternoon. This event was an unforgettable experience for the international students and the ESN team. It was a great reminder to pay attention to the small things and people who surround us and make our lives worth living. Moreover, students had a chance to meet another foreign people who have volunteered in Vilijampole Social Care Home before.

ESN team wants to say a huge thanks for Vilijampole Social Care Home personnel who warmly welcomed us and  everybody who participed and spared time and energy to create the biggest magic in the world – a smile!

"Yesterday in early morning I was driving a car when suddenly in front of my eyes a truck rammed another car. That car fling away across all road and jumped on the divider. I stopped, leaped out of the car and ran to look was everybody alive - luckily the driver and passenger were OK". This accident showed how brittle our lives can be. 

Concerning this matters, ESN VGTU again showed that they are indifferent to helping others and organized Blood Donor Day. It was held in the middle of Vilnius city center in shopping mall "Gedimino 9" on 1st of December together with Blood Center. 

Members of ESN VGTU were really prepared as music was inviting everybody to join the event, all day few of the volunteers distributed the flyers in the street and inside the shopping center. There were sweets, candies, tea, coffee, board games - everything you need to have a good time! Few ERASMUS student even played the guitar while others were singing (ESN VGTU really have very talented singers). 

Blood Center also was perfectly prepared as they initiated short movie called "Blood Road" where the importance of Donor was explained. The movie was available in Lithuanian and in English. Moreover, they helped to connect all necessary equipment and prepare tables - it was very delightful team work of two separate organizations which were united with ONE GOAL - SUPPORT.

The first Donor who encourage others to join was a girl from Germany. Following the example, student from Turkey, Italy, Spain started to register and fill in the forms, Lithuanians joined too. After few hours, when more and more people got out on the streets, more and more of them came. Finally even quite a big queue appeared near the registration desk. The marvelous thing was that giving the flyers totally worked and some people, who never heard of ESN joined too. They were introduced into ESN with short comment who we are and what we do and after the donation were rewarded with special ESN bracelet. 

According to the project coordinator Kristina Vilčiauskaitė she took responsibility for this event because the situation what matters the donation is very poor - "there is a big lack of donors however people even during such events listlessly look at giving blood. I think that we are strong enough to share this idea firstly with ERASMUS student and also with Lithuanian community and in this way to create wider environment where donations could become a usual thing. Many foreigner students are donors in their countries, but when they come here they do not have any information how to do this - ESN VGTU Donor Blood Day provided them this information and permitted them to donate.

After the day, checking the results made us all smile as there were up to 20 donors! So we would like to say big THANK YOU to the people who agreed to do this, also we say a big THANK YOU to the Blood Center which willingly joined the event, we say big THANK YOU to the administration of shopping mall "Gedimino 9" as they provided all necessary items to make everything in the best way. 

By Julius Zaburas

On the 24th - 25th of November representatives of ESN VGTU together with charity and support fund "Mother Union" participated in the exhibition "Vaikų šalis 2012" (eng. "Children Country 2012") which was held in exhibition hall LITEXPO, Vilnius and joined the opportunity to create the biggest postcard in Lithuania. The result was amazing, because there was created as postcard which height - 2,4 m and width - 1,5 m.

It all started on Saturday early morning when the base of the postcard was delivered - the size of it took breath for everyone who saw it as it was quite hard to imagine how we will manage to fulfill all white area with drawings and pictures. However, when the professional designer began to sketch the Goodness of a Brownie smallest participants of the exhibition bravely joined the company. Firstly they timidly colored the figures, but after some time started to improvise - then flowers became black, there were animals in the sky... The imagination was freed. Everybody who joined the creation of this postcard got a piece of cake. The most interesting thing was to see how this opportunity to remember the childhood and to take a paintbrush involved also adults. Persistently, till the end of the exhibition, they demonstrated their painting abilities while their children were helping them.

Nearby the members of the "Mother Union" introduced the new collection of the postcards. The passers - by had an a opportunity to buy them and support children with cancer.

On Sunday action continued as the postcard was only on a halfway. Professional designer again helped us an organized fast, effective workshop to finish the record on time. After finishing many people wanted to have the photo IN it.


On Monday morning the postcard was delivered to Santariškių hospital and was gifted to the department of Children Oncological Diseases where decorates the hallway.

This project was not the first one organized between ESN VGTU and "Mother Union" - at 2011 winter members of ESN VGTU together with foreigners visited the hospital and performed Christmas event, at 2012 spring ESN VGTU also participated in Saint Casimir's fair, where fundraised charity for children with cancer. According to the ESN VGTU Alumni Julius Zaburas - "support and aid not necessarily must be expressed financially. Sometimes exact work, as this time producing and delivering the base for biggest postcard means much more than money".