On Friday afternoon, everyone is eager to forget all the hard work of the week and to experience the joy of spring. Some of us prefer going out of town, the others are searching for peace in the blossoming parks. However, on the 17th of May all of the 25 benches in 
P. Cvirka square had notions saying “WARNING. FRESHLY PAINTED.” next to them. At the beginning, many passers-by were unsatisfied for they had to change their plans and search for another park to sit. After a moment, they saw a group of students, who were painting the benches with smiles and enthusiasm in their faces. Curiosity was unbearable and so people sat on stairs and lawn to observe the process, catching the positive vibes of students and gradually, starting to smile themselves. The bravest and most curious came closer and started asking for more information about the initiative they were witnessing.

Finally, it turned out that the benches were painted by volunteers from Erasmus Student Network Lithuania (ESN Lithuania): there were Lithuanians from Vilnius University, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University with the exchange program Erasmus students from USA, Croatia, Spain and Czech Republic as well as students of International School of Law and Business from India and Belarus. Many were surprised by the fact that students had no sponsors: all the money for benches renovation was gathered by previously mentioned high schools and University of Applied Social Sciences. The members of ESN in these institutions united to attain one goal: to motivate both Lithuanian and Erasmus students to collect white coins and prove that even students, who are just in the process of building their future careers, can be socially responsible. The members of ESN were happy with their job and emphasized, that it may only seem that it was very difficult to gather money for the renovation of 25 benches: a single white coin seems to be meaningless, but when people pool their coins, they unite and are able to make significant changes. The administration of “Vilnius Parks” were also pleased with students’ job and allowed ESN members to pain the logo of the organization on the renovated benches.

After painting all of the benches, students involved in the initiative were joking that 
P. Cvirka square will become their favourite park and an ‘own’ place in Vilnius.
National SocialErasmus coordinator says huge thanks to exchange students - Chris Stowell (USA), Marina Garić (Croatia), Jeník Janata (Czech Republic), Alejandro Aguilar (Spain), Himanshu Singh Rana (India), Barys Kliuchnikau (Belarus); also for Lithuanians - Kornelija Ramanauskaitė, Renata Citrinavičiūtė, Monika Draučiūnaitė, Justina Prunskaitė, Agnė Babelytė, Dainius Vasiliauskas

The biggest... First time with guests from 4 universities of Vilnius and Kaunas. Great event took place in Mykolas Romeris university on 19th of April – traditional, already 8th time – „Erasmus Got Talent“, which was organized by ESN MRU Vilnius together with International Exchange Unit. It was also the last step of project Erasmus for Schools, which connected Erasmus students with a lot of pupils from three schools – Telšiai Žemaitės gymnasium, Jonas Basanavičius gymnasium from Vilnius and Kėdainiai Šviesioji gymnasium. During this project Erasmus students went to schools and became „one day teachers“, so in the end children arrived to our university to participate together with exchange students in Erasmus Got Talent.

In the begining the mix of moderators – Erasmus student and mentor introduced our beloved judges – Rihanna, Adele and Enrique Iglesias, who also made their own shows. Then Coordinator of incoming students Ieva Tondrykaitė of International Exchange Unit welcomed everyone and our superb event got speed. What was interesting enough – this time we had quite many mixed shows – Erasmus students invited their mentors to join. We were absolutelly amazed with dance show of ESN MRU Vilnius mentors and their mentees, who worth to point out were awarded even in two categories – got sympathies of audience in „Public Vote“ and „Judges favorite“. 

Most of the performances we had were connected with songs, dances and playing instruments. But it is worth to mention great comedy guy from Greece – Stefanos Antypas, who got a lot of applause and made all audience to die from laughing. He was so into attending our show that after performance he just ran straight to the airport, such a high desire to participate everywhere!

Our great guests from Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) – duet Emil and Gintarė were singing few songs and made their own mini concert, which was really worth to get „The best duet“ nomination. We also welcomed two piano players from ISM (International school of management) and Vilnius university (VU). This time we had quite many dance shows, but one of them was really exclusive - two salsa dancers from Vilnius university (VU) and Vilnius Gediminas Technical university (VGTU) made excited everyone with such a passionate and energetic dance show – of course it was clear – they were the best in category of „The best dance“.

During the event everyone was highly surprised we have so many talented Erasmus students. They were playing guitars, piano, violin, drums even self-made instruments. Two erasmus students – Peter and Camille together with their mentor Gabrielė created really nice band and performed two different shows – classical and modern one, for their perfect musicians skills they were nominated as „The best band“ of Erasmus Got Talent. One more band sang few their own created songs and won in the category of „The most creative“.

On the same participants‘ rights were competing children from Erasmus for Schools project. One music band with charming girl ahead from Telšiai Žemaitės gymnasium sang really cheerful song and won in category of „The best song“. Big team of dancers from Jonas Basanavičius gymnasium performed two dances – classical and modern – and proved that they deserved to win Erasmus Got Talents and got „The best of the bests“ nomination.

All audience had a pleasure to watch, applause and support all participants, everyone had really great time. We want to say thank you to everyone who performed and showed their talents, creativity, amazing dancing and singing skills, it was really nice show! You proved once again – Erasmus really got talents!

With love,

ESN MRU Vilnius

SocialErasmus project “Erasmus fairy-tale” for the first time was realized in December 2010. ESN VGTU (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University) wanted to do something special, something they had never done before, so their vicepresident Gintarė Vaiginytė and VGTU International Relations manager Jelena Mazaj came up with an idea of a new social project: they have suggested to prepare a fairy-tale before Christmas: to teach Erasmus students a fairy-tale in Lithuanian and perform it in the kindergarten, and… this project is continuing until these days!

While volunteers are still preparing for new performance, called “Pagrandukas” (English -  “Round bun”), we are curious to know more details how ESN VGTU is implementing this project. Today we speak with Sigita Pociūtė - current ESN VGTU SocialErasmus project coordinator and Justina Prunskaitė, who is responsible for „Erasmus Tale“ implementation this semester. 
How you choose tales and actors?

We are thinking about it all together during our Social Committee meetings. Members of committee wrote down all the nice fairytales they know, but still it is difficult to choose the best one, but somehow we make decision. For example this semester we have chosen already mentioned “Round bun”, because one of committee members saw this tale, performed by her relative and she noticed that children were impressed.
Concerning actors, we invite volunteers by announcing the first audition on our facebook page.  Those who come and, after seeing what kind of activity it is, still stay, these people are our actors. Then, we divide roles by discussing among each other… always in friendly way.
How much time you need to prepare the performance?
Practice makes it perfect, so almost whole semester. Making decorations for the performance also takes some time, as most of them we do by ourselves, some of them we get with a little help of our friends. 
To create decoration we organize workshops. For example, last semester we were preparing for the fairytale ,,The sky is falling“ : Spanish guys made a house from cardboard; Other actors created domino masks decorating them with the features of different animals. After the performance in the kindergarten we gave the masks to children, because we thought it was the last performance. But then we decided to make more children smile, so we arranged one more performance and we had to create new masks. 

Where you usually show these performances? 
In kindergarten and children hospital. But this year we also want to have one performance at Bernardinai Children centre (social center). Mentioned institutions are always waiting for us, welcomes us warmly - they have already seen previous performances and know how amazing this project is.
And what is the feedback from Erasmus exchange students? Do they enjoy participating in this project?
The feedback is always positive. Our actors are very artistic and creative, also the enjoy learning fairy-tale in Lithuanian:  some words for them look funny, and some learnt words they can even use outside rehearsals, so - it is useful and fun. 
What is the main challenge implementing this project?
The most difficult part is gathering actors to rehearsals. Everybody is very busy, it is hard for students to find some time for rehearsals and not to be late. 

These are the main ideas ESN VGTU social committee wanted to share with you about the project  ”Erasmus fairy-tale”. And while waiting photos and video of “Round bun”, which will be perfomed in May, have a look on previous tales:

2012 video

2011 video


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.

Although it‘s already spring time and you can see just cold and frozen things through the window, it‘s always possible to find some people who are moving, creating and keeping themself in action in order not to be frozen like that Lithuanian never-ending-winter, called spring. These always moving people can be easily found here – in ESN MRU Vilnius. Our section met spring with full month of activities, so we didn‘t have time to complain about cold temperature outside.

First days of spring were welcomed by City Quiz – orientation game in Vilnius city center. It took place during Casimir‘s fair, so it was like double celebration for our students. Even it was so so so cold outside and we don‘t remember if we have ever had such a freezing City Quiz, but all Erasmus students were still full of energy, positive mood and seeking to beat another competitors during the game. So in conclusion – even we had the coldest City Quiz ever, Erasmus students were so happy and excited that despite wind, snow and coldness everyone was talking what a great day they had! And it was just the begining of month...

On the same weekend we started Erasmus for Schools project in spring semester. During the March we already had two visits to lithuanian schools – in Telšiai and Kėdainiai. Erasmus students from Greece, Germany, South Korea, Turkey, Slovenia, France, Poland were theachers of subjects like history, language lessons, religion, ethics, biology, music. They represented history and traditions of their countries, explained differences between religions, teached some their national language sentences and even sang their national anthems together with lithuanian pupils. After lessons children said thank you with some really nice performances of dances and songs and later on all together with Erasmus students participated in Brain Battle game. Of course, children from schools were excited and admired by possibility to meet and know another cultures and foreign students, so all together they had some great conversations, got to know each other, made an excursions in their school towns and promised to come and show up in our another event Erasmus got talent in April.

And it‘s not the end! In the evening of International Women’s day our section organized one more funny and full of laughs matching event “Dare to date me”. Since the event was dedicated for International Women’s day, so the main idea was to let the girl to choose a boy for the date. Even it didn’t have the purpose to make a real couple, everyone had great time watching funny performances of competitors.

Later on one more weekend of March was filled with local ESN Olympics elimination and Mentor’s day events. We already chose our teams for ESN Olympics national tournament and next day all together we had great Mentor’s day, when our lovely Erasmus people said thank you to their helpful mentors and organized private evening at Universiteto pub with a lot of games, best wishes and nice performances.

To sum up, when you have so much things to do and always can enjoy your Erasmus friends and mentors company, there is no time to be sad about cold weather outside. Full of activities March just cheered up everyone and rumours are already about starting to organize big projects like Erasmus Got Talent, ESN Olympics national tournament, National Platform and many other smaller events, so it seems that we are going to continue our “be-always-in-action” tradition.

by ESN MRU Vilnius

During the recent weekend, staring from the early morning of 16th of March participators of already 14th National Platform of ESN Lithuania met each other once again in a purpose of improving work, sharing experiences, gathering information and exchanging ideas. Challenging national event which encouraged not only to consider in which direction future work of organization should be developed but also to enjoy the rising quality of the NPs.

Despite the Survival Guide, shared with participators weeks before the event, and present moderator for the second time in the history of ESN LT even the opening was different – this time the network was welcomed by the representative of Education Exchange Support Foundation. After meeting and greeting covering more serious topics followed. President of ESN Lithuania discussed the meaning of being a volunteer and significant role of it which in some ways is useful while creating a good image of not only ESN, but of entire Lithuania as well. 

Later the recent Bling Bling party was discussed with the arising idea to elect the future coordinator for the one of the most successful events of ESN Lithuania. ESN LT Alumni has also played a significant part in a program presenting their motives of foundation, followed by future plans and vision. And so did the Social Erasmus with Kristina Seleziova in front of it. Coordinator of SE in Lithuania talked about the results which were achieved through the latter quarter. Also ideas for the future were presented with a promise to present them all in the official page of SocialErasmus in Lithuania.

One more happy new is that ESN Lithuania keeps growing not only in quality, but also in quantity! The new section candidate – ESN SMK (University of Applied Social Sciences) was approved as the 11th possible section of ESN network in Lithuania with ESN VGTU as their buddy section which will monitor the work of the candidate until the next NP. Happy moments were not over with this change only. After accepting new member candidate time for guests came. Michal Sikora from ESN Czech Republic and Stefanos Antypas from ESN Greece presented their ESN countries, methods of organizing work there and ways of solving arising problems. The day ended with discussions about coming ESN Olympics and relaxing in non-formal environment. 

During the second day of the National Platform many statements of National Board members were made, covering the recent results of their cadencies – participation in various international events, making ESN Lithuania more visible in international context same as in the local one. Also effort while organizing workshops and gaining the best results from it. Or even supporting the particular members of the network to take part in those workshops. One of the recent and the best examples of it – participation of Tomas Tamulevičius in Eduk8 Winter in Valencia, where trainings for the better team work, management of projects and their realization were organized. Tomas (ESN VMU) was glad to admit that it was an event worth time and money invested in many different ways. His workshop and positive reviews after the one only proves that with ESN you can always go further and help others to go with you.

That is how the recent weekend looked like under the sky of ESN Lithuania. But the life there never stops, so keep up with our website to get the latest news – about NBM Dijon, coming AGM and all the other local, national and international events approaching. 


P.S. Huge thanks for ESN ISM for organising one more beautiful event for the entire ESN of Lithuania!
Photos might be found HERE.

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 Pagalbadaiktasis.lt. 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 Pagalbadaiktais.lt 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.

As every year, on the 2nd and 3rd of March, Vilnius was shaken by Saint Casimir's Fair. Second year in a row students from ERASMUS Student Network (ESN Lithuania) did not stand aside and together with non - profit organization "Mamų Unija" (“Mothers’ Union”) took part in this amazing event by collecting charity from strangers. Volunteers came from ESN VGTU and ESN Vilnius University guided by the slogan "Children with cancer also play".  Cold did not scare neither members of the National Board nor members of ESN LT Alumni club. The main aim of the project was to gather as much charity as possible while selling special postcards provided by "Mother’s Union".  All donations were given to Santariškių Hospital in Vilnius.

The first day had just started and meant to be very interesting - while going to the city centre it was snowing A LOT, snowstorm was performing its best. After arriving to the destination another challenge was to build a tent - no one of us had ever done such thing, so nobody had enough experience to do it right and after half an hour of trying we came to conclusion that one part was missing. However, it was not true and with the help of other fair's participants we finally did it! Just after preparing everything for the trade the first ERASMUS students showed who started communicating with people and raising the money very willingly. They were grouped by two people - one Lithuanian and one foreigner. All pairs had special "money boxes" and some postcards for presenting. Probably the biggest part of the attention was showed to Julius who screamed loudly using a megaphone two days in a row. But the most important thing was the sun - it warmed the air and also the atmosphere.
This Saint Casimir's Fair was extraordinary, because for the first time the parade was organized -the  members of NGOs “Mamų Unija”  ("Mothers’ Union") and ESN Lithuania marched through the city centre and encouraged  people to pay more attention to the problem of cancer, as many of them just pretend not to understand it and try to avoid even listening to it. 
One of the organizers Julius Zaburas (ESN LT Alumni) was very proud, because this year not only students from ESN VGTU participated) in the event (ESN VU joined them): "I am very happy that this charity event is becoming a tradition and is also expanding. I hope that in the future it will be possible to improve even more with Saint Casimir's fair and support children who were really disadvantaged by destiny".
During the event 2 836 Lt ( ~820 euros ) was fundraised. They were all donated to the "Santariškių" hospital in Vilnius.

ESN Lithuania invites to join goodness campaign „Nebūk daiktistas“ (“Don’t be a Thingist”) organized by our friends pagalbadaiktais.lt!
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 pagalbadaiktais.lt system. Each participator will be able to see its profile.
(e. g.: Profile of ESN Vilnius University, http://www.pagalbadaiktais.lt/dovanotojas/2313)
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]