Page 1

Eurotalk Handbook

European Medical Students‘ Association August 2011

Content Message from the Director


Organizing Commitee


Amount of People


Setting up the OC


OC Meetings


Tasks and division of labour


Time Line


Sponsoring /Funding



Writing a project proposal







Promotion 10 Tools 11 Program 12 Participants 14


Legal Aspects




Final Word




Director‘s Message. Message from the European Integration Director 2010/2011 Dear EMSAi, The Eurotalk initiative is a 5 day to 4 weeks intensive language course available to all the medical students of Europe, combining language classes (including sign language), anamnestic exercises and practical training in the hospital in cooperation with local students and doctors. By this, EMSA is following up on EU policy concerning language education for medical students, especially considering that the language barrier is still one of the greatest obstacles for mobility within Europe. Sport programs and team building exercises are also part of the project, in order to encourage strong relations between nations. EMSA provides the infrastructure for setting up these courses, providing information, blue prints and material as well as holding individual language courses, related workshops or providing high-level speakers. In what concerns the development of this handbook, I would like to thank two people: Naomi Begemann, my predecessor, who has always helped me along the way, and Damla, EMSAYeditepe Twinning Project Coordinator and member of workgroup, who worked together with me in making this handbook a reality. Europeanly yours,

Sofia Ribeiro European Integration Director 2010/2011 European Medical Students’ Association


Organising Commitee. „Usually, the OC is a team of two to four people.“ organising commitee Amount of People: Usually it is enough to have an OC of two to four people to organize a Eurotalk. Keep in mind that the OC will also have to be around during the Eurotalk.

Setting up the OC: The call should be made as soon as possible. Again, please be clear about the tasks and the responsibilities.

Example 1:


Subject: Call for applicants This email is to ask for 2 or 3 reliable and fun-loving students who want to organize the EMSA Eurotalk during May this year. The tasks involve setting a programme with social and educational activities, planning a budget, fundraising, and a lot of fun. Interested? Contact us and tell us your motivations.

OC-Meetings. „Divide the tasks, as this reduces the amount of work per individual.“ OC Meetings: The OC should ideally meet once every week, or at least be in constant contact through devices such as email, phone, Internet chat etc. In the last weeks before the guests arrive, those meetings might be more frequent. This way it is ensured that all members of the OC know what the others are doing, what has been achieved so far and what still needs to be done. Also, even though tasks can be divided, sometimes it is easier to think of solutions together, or work on things together (e.g. the final planning or the creative aspect of thinking of things to do). It might be easier or less intimidating to go for a talk with a potential sponsor together. It is also much more fun, when you notice that you are not doing all the work yourself, and when your work is seen and recognized by others. Those meetings do not have to be formal at all, but you should keep your local EMSA group updated regularly on the stage of preparations, as they certainly have a profound interest in this, and also to double check if everything that ought to be done is getting done, as sometimes one or two people forget things. Those who are not directly involved can look at the whole process from the outside and can point these out. Do not forget to have regular gatherings during which there is not (too much) Eurotalk work involved, to focus on teambuilding and knowing each other. People often tend to forget that involvement on personal level, keeps people involved and motivated to work for a common greater goal.

Tasks and division of labour: Even though the OC is a team of 2-4 people working closely together, it is advisable to divide the tasks, as this reduces the amount of work per individual. It is also recommended to choose one person who is corresponding with the partner FMO, if there has not been established an Internet working group such as for example a “yahoo group”. This way, there will be less confusion, and it is avoided that messages will be sent twice, or worse, not at all. There are many different ways how the tasks can be divided, which of course greatly depend on the individual and the local facts and realities. Therefore we give you a few examples of how it could be divided. Please keep in mind that this is simply a suggestion, merely showing some possibilities. It is of course entirely up to the OC which division of tasks, if any, suits them best.


Time Line. As can be seen, there are many different ways of dividing the tasks, and it does not really matter that much how or if they are divided, but it’s important that it’s made clear at the very first OC meeting who is doing what. In this way the chance is smaller than aspects are being forgotten or not done at all, because everybody thinks the other person is taking care of it. And with regular meetings in which both OCs update each other and the local EMSA group, the probability of this occurring is diminishing even more.

TIME LINE Before starting to write a project proposal, gather participants or set up the program, make a time scheme. In the time scheme you make deadlines when certain things in the preparation have to be finished, e.g. when the project proposal should be ready, when to start with funding, when to start with the promotion of the Eurotalk, when do you want to have participants, in what order are you taking care of different aspects of the Project and who will be in charge for this part.




- gather OC


- get in contact with another OC or send out questionnaire to students


- start gathering sponsors and funds

September/ October:

- promotion towards students


- book tickets & do teambuilding with participants


- have program ready


- partners visit your city


- you visit partners


- send report to sponsors/funds/EMSA and last teambuilding with participants

Enquire. „Don’t forget to contact your Dean and each and every institution that might help you in reducing the costs.“ ENQUIRE A few months before the dates you’re considering for Eurotalk, send an online enquire to all the students in you FMO explaining what is Eurotalk and which languages they would like to learn and when.

Note: If you don’t have a mailing list with all the students in your FMO, consider creating one. You should also think about what you have to offer to possible incoming students. Does your FMO has the possibility of organizing one language course? If yes, when? And for how long? Don’t consider signing a contract or going for a Eurotalk Market without having an overview of the exam calendar for all the years in your faculty. Although not all the years have the same calendar, try to make it suitable for the largest amount of students possible. Summer holidays might be a good option as well.

money A huge factor of what your program will look like depends on money. For Eurotalk, accommodation, language course, food and social/cultural program have to be covered. Our suggestion is for you to look for a reasonable fee altogether, otherwise it will be really difficult to gather participants. Keep in mind that they will also have to cover the costs of the flights to your FMO. Don’t forget to contact your Dean, Town Hall, and each and every institution that might help you in reducing the costs.


Sponsoring / funding. “A good project proposal gives trust in your project.” Sponsoring/funding Maybe funding is not the most exciting part of your project, but that doesn’t make it less important. After all, it will help you to cover most of the expenses and make your program fun and interesting.

Writing a project proposal The project proposal is a very important part of the project. Maybe some people at your faculty have already organized a Eurotalk. In this case, you could perhaps use their project proposal as a guideline for your Eurotalk Project as well. The project proposal helps you to get a better view of what your project will actually look like. It can include a general description about EMSA and the Eurotalk, a description of your faculty where the Eurotalk will take place, a more specific description of your Eurotalk project , the program (see chapter 4), your time scheme and budget (see next paragraph). Depending on the rules of your faculty you may first have to present the project proposal to your local committee or national committee to vote on it before you can proceed. You can also send your project proposal to potential sponsors. A good project proposal will give them trust in your project.


1. 2. 3. 4.

Make a budget (have an unexpected expenses section) Make deals with companies/museum/restaurant Think of applying for a grant (Youth in Action) Sponsors (theme related week)

A project starts with making a budget, which should include all the expected expenses. Don’t forget to include an “Unexpected Expenses” section in your budget beforehand. This post could be 5-10% of your total expenses. When you are composing your budget you should try to make the costs for food as cheap as possible. It is most likely that these are your biggest expenses. Maybe you can make a deal with a local restaurant, canteen, supermarket or bakery. Be creative! It is very cheap to cook the dinners yourself and it is also a lot of fun to do, because while cooking you can spend a lot of time chatting with the foreign students (especially when done as a Running dinner!).


“Keep in mind that most funds only meet 2-4 times a year!” The idea of the Eurotalk is that the foreign students sleep at the houses of their hosting FMO so you don’t have any costs for lodging. This will help them to practice the language and get to know the culture better-not to mention fostering international friendship. Another tip to decrease your expenses is by arranging free (college) rooms. Maybe you can ask your faculty to help you. Another major expense is the trips during the social program. Also in this case it is a very good option to make deals with your local museum or tourist office. It is always hard to get money for your project. Unfortunately you will need it to cover your expenses. Therefore you can contact two main financiers - funds and sponsors. Funds: Different funds have different demands for handing in an application. You have to find this out before sending in anything. You can look for example on their website. Also find out before if their goals strike with your own. If so, you can contact them. If not, don’t send in an application, as it will be registered when you receive a grant from a particular fund and it will be harder to get money from other funds that do strike with your goals. Also keep in mind that most funds only meet 2 - 4 times a year. When you want to send in an application to a fund, be on time! You can search for funds in your country on the Internet. Sponsors: The big difference between sponsors and funds is that sponsors want something in return for giving you money. This could be for example putting their logo in your program booklet, on promotional posters, on your website, on t-shirts for the OC or all participants, or maybe in a promotional presentation etc. You can also promote your sponsors in the monthly newsletter of EMSA – EUROMEDS – in which case, please contact the EUROMEDS editor first at secretary@emsa-europe. org to ask permission. Some sponsors don’t want to give money, but can pay in kind. You can ask a café to give you free drinks, or ask a tourist office for free maps etc. If sponsors don’t want to give you anything for free, maybe they can give you a discount. Don’t give up at the first “no”. It’s also wise to make a list of potential sponsors (Think big!) with their contact information. In this way you can use it for a next project as well. It’s wise to make a phone call first to see if a sponsor is interested. If so, you can send them your project proposal together with a letter in which you describe why you think this sponsor should sponsor your particular project. After 1-2 weeks you can call them again to ask if they have received your letter and if they want to consider sponsoring your project. When they decided to sponsor your project you have to make a contract.


Promotion. “It is very important that all LC‘s keep the FMO-informations updated.” Make sure it includes the amount of money the sponsor has promised you, decisions you made about what to give them in return, and which materials the sponsor will provide you for the promotion. Both parties have to sign the contract and should receive an original copy of the document. After the project don’t forget to send the final budget to all of your sponsors and funds-that is called “friend raising”! They may also ask for your receipts and detailed expenses, so make sure you keep them in a safe place! Writing a detailed report and evaluation of the project is highly advisable, and you can also sent it to your sponsors.

Promotion How can you promote Eurotalk and when is the right time to start with the promotion of your Eurotalk? These are also questions that depend on what you think is best for your project. The two most important reasons of promoting your project are to first get participants if you are organizing a Eurotalk in your FMO, and second to finding and FMO that will provide your students the language course that suits their needs. Promotion is also attractive to sponsors, as they can put their logo on your promotional material as well.

How to find a Eurotalk Partner? The good thing about Eurotalk is that you can organize one in your FMO and receive 10-15 foreign students and teach them your language, or you can express your desire of learning a specific language and hope that one FMO will be able to organize a language course for you. To find a Eurotalk Partner can actually be one of the hardest, but also one of the most fun parts of this project. First you have to decide which languages are your students willing to learn. We suggest making at least a top 3, in case you can’t get in contact with any FMO, you can still try some others. The easiest way to get the contact details of the Local Coordinators (LCs) of the FMOs which can provide you the language course that fits your needs is to contact the EMSA European Board at: Therefore it is very imported that all LCs keep the information updated (contact in order to make it easy for other countries to contact you for a Eurotalk.


Tools. “You can use the EMSA Europe mailing list to promote your project!” Tools: EMSA Meetings The most effective way to establish contacts for a Eurotalk is during an EMSA Meeting. During the National Coordinators’ & Enthusiasts’ Meeting (NCM) and the General Assembly (GA), there are always workshops given about the Eurotalk. If you attend European Integration Pillar Session, you can meet other people who are interested in setting up a Eurotalk and exchange contact details. If you are taking part on a Eurotalk market, consider preparing some promotional material that you will give to interested FMOs. Those may include: - Maps and touristic guides of your city - Academic information on your FMO - Contact cards with all your institutional and personal contacts, that look professional and it is less unlikely to be lost as a paper with an email is - Small promotional material of your city/faculty - Some traditional food ☺ - A laptop with a video of your Faculty/city. It would be nice if you could make an original one, but a touristic video would also be suitable - A list of previous Eurotalk (if it is not your first time) or list of Twinning Projects and articles on Euromeds, photos, and anything else you want. Note: How to get these materials? Ask the city hall, touristic offices in your city and your faculty. Send a few slides with some information about your city, university, program, students, etc. to, whether you are coming or not, as this will be constantly played during the TP-market and might raise interest by OC’s. During Eurotalk market, try to have at least two delegates on the space of your country. If you have already some FMOs in mind, be sure that one of the delegates goes there and expresses your FMO’s interest on Eurotalk. Don’t miss this opportunity, because after a meeting is much harder to contact that partner again. You can also use the emsa-europe mailing list to promote your project. Just send a short email that you are looking for a Eurotalk Partner and write down how people can contact you when they are interested.


Program. “It is always better to include a weekend in your programme!” EUROMEDS You can also give your Eurotalk more publicity by writing an article for EMSA’s monthly newsletter: EUROMEDS by writing to: You can for example write an article afterwards about how everything went. This is also nice to show your sponsors, as you can include their logo in the article, which will give them even more publicity, but you can also write an article or short note while you are still organizing the event. If you are still looking for a Eurotalk partner you can include it in your article or note as well. You can also just announce your Eurotalk in the Euromeds “upcoming EMSA events” section.

PROGRAM Below you can find some areas to explore when planning your Eurotalk programme. Nevertheless, you should consider the following things: - Agree on some common guidelines with participants: suitable time to get up, amount of social/educational/cultural parts, accommodation and food, and expectations of the participants. - Ask your twins if they have something they would particularly like to see/do/visit. They may not say anything (after all they don’t know your city and faculty), but if they suggest something that seems fine to you, it is nice to include it. - Send a program to them and ask how they feel about it. - It is always better to include a weekend in your programme - If you’re planning a night out, allow a free morning the next day or make sure that the language course starts a bit later. - For courtesy, it is always advisable to offer the possibility of picking up participants at the airport/bus station/train station-include that in the programme! - Consider preparing a welcome kit, with maps, gifts, contact cards (with the address of the host, it can be very helpful if they get lost) and useful information. Educational part • Language course This is often the most difficult part of making a program. Organizing a language course is not easy, especially if you don’t know the needs and expectations of the participants beforehand. Furthermore, you have to decide if you’re going to contact a language school/private teacher or if you will count on volunteer students-anything is possible. Setting a program with contents is not


Free time. “Don‘t forget about the free time.” easy as well, and highly depends on for how long you’re able to organize the language course. Do you want to make it a 2-week crash course? Or a 1-month course? Those are important questions you have to answer. It might be interesting as well to organize a lecture about how the medical school in your city is organized. If your medical school receives Erasmus students, then you can also invite some of them to talk about their experiences, about the good things in your faculty and why it is so good to study there. Is it good to add their input because they are less biased, and furthermore they can encourage some of your twins to join you next year – how good is that? Generally, there is an office that has the emails of all the Erasmus students, you can go there and ask for permission to send an email asking for their collaboration, like this one. Social part Organizing the social part can be very easy. One of the aspects of a Eurotalk is that the students that you host not only want to learn the language but also want to see how students in your city live. So you could organize some fancy things but then the students wouldn’t have an idea of what the social life of the students in your city is like. You could also just stick with the stuff you would do anyway, but don’t party every night. Best thing to do could be to make a mix. Provide a program for every day but don’t make it too fancy. You could think of the following suggestions: - Sightseeing tour - Visits to museums and monuments (please plan this in advance and ask for discounts or free entry) - A dinner with all twins (with national food and drinks) - Pub-crawl - Typical students’ party - An old fashion students’ house party for the participants - Visiting special events Free time Don’t forget the free time. It sounds obvious but once you start organizing, you get so enthusiastic that you will plan every minute for the students. Be aware of this and when it happens pull the hand brake. It is this free time that students appreciate very much. Some students read about the cities before coming and may want to visit places that you haven’t included in your original plan-we all have different tastes, and it is hard to please everyone. They may also want to shop for something typical or visit someone. That’s why it is so important to give them free time. If they ask, give them some advice what they could do but let them make the decisions.


Participants. “If you think it will be hard to hard to find participants, start early with the promotion.” PARTICIPANTS So you’re there. You got a language course to offer, you got sponsors, you got a program, and you are ready to start promoting your Eurotalk. Our main suggestion is to promote it over the EMSAeurope and EMSA-net servers. Don’t forget to clearly state the language, the fee and the dates. You can also add other information like accommodation, number of hours of language course a day… Make it fun and interesting! If you think that it will be hard to find participants, start very early with promotion and make it a responsibility of everybody in the OC, but appoint one promotion coordinator. If you think that it will be very easy to find students then let only 1 person work on promotion. It is important that he/ she will report all his/her actions to the rest of the OC. How the promotion should be done is very hard to standardise. You can use the following means of promotion: - Poster (that should be fun but also serious, and include the most important information – cities, dates of receiving and going out, inscription deadline, and costs involved. Include the EMSA and Eurotalk logo if possible, and remember it is a great opportunity for putting the logo of your sponsors. - Leaflets (generally expensive, but effective) - Eurotalk fair - EMSA meetings (NCM, GA)

Note: make sure participants confirm their arrival date and pay a part of the fee before arrival. This will avoid cancellations. VISA It may be possible that the participants of your Eurotalk need a VISA to visit your country or that you need a visa to go to the other country. In this case, the OC in the country for which a visa is needed can write an invitation letter. When writing an invitation letter, you have to pay attention to a couple of things. Always write down clearly the name of the participant plus passport number and date of birth, the date the event takes place, and who is responsible for what. It is very important to write down everything very clearly, as there is a lot of fraud happening with visas. Sometimes people just subscribe as a participant to get a visa to get into the European Union. If these people are caught, the organization could possibly be held eligible. Just be aware of this! Here is an example of a IL (print in official paper, them sign and stamp:


Legal Aspects. “Indicate that it is important that every participant has a good travel insurance.” Subject: Declaration of Acceptance of Foreign Student for Visa purposes The Lisbon Faculty of Medicine hereby attests its wilingness to receive the student (name of student) from the Medical School of (name of medical school) for a short term language exchange (Eurotalk) during the days he will be spending in Lisbon (insert dates). We will provide him with opportunities to experience the ways and methods of the Portuguese healthcare system. Lodging and boarding will be provided by the local student committee. Signature and Stamp

LEGAL ASPECTS This is a very important aspect of your project that you should not underestimate. What are your responsibilities? What should you do in the event of an emergency? Identification papers Of course every participant must have correct identification papers. Be sure that everyone checks the validation before leaving! One other thing you should consider are the travel permits for foreign students. Just in case, have the address of the embassy of your participants with you. You may need it if they lose their ID. Insurance First of all, the participants need good travel insurance. This is something they have to take care of themselves, but as organizing committee you have to indicate that this is very important. Of course this is only relevant when you visit the foreign city. When the students of this city visit your town you have to be prepared that it’s possible that they break expensive furniture like a TV or a radio. Although the chance is very small, the participant may want an indemnity. When the insurance of the participant himself or the foreign student doesn’t cover the damage, you could consider giving him or her money from your own budget. This is something you have to discuss with your local EMSA committee. Financial Funds need a final report before they will transfer the money to you. Maybe people still need to get reimbursed. Of course you have to make a final financial report to present to your local and/ or national committee.


Evaluation. Evaluation At the end of the meeting you can ask the participants to evaluate the project, especially if you or your faculty is planning to organize another Eurotalk later on. The quickest way to do this is by letting people fill in an evaluation form or ask them to write a short report. On the evaluation form you can include every aspect of your Eurotalk, like language course, social program, food, lodging, how was the organization etc. You can ask people to give a number from 1-5 of which for example 5 is best to show how much they liked everything. You can also ask them to give some comments on the different aspects of Eurotalk as well (most of the time these are a lot of fun to read). All in all, it is just to give you an impression what went really well and what could be improved next time. It is wise to also evaluate the project with the Organizing Committee. How did the project go? How was the co-operation within the other OC? What can be improved next time? Write down everything, so other OCs can learn from your project. Write an article about your Eurotalk for EUROMEDS (why not a joint one?), so people all over Europe can read about and learn from your event! Certificates You should give certificates to all the students that participated on Eurotalk. It is a nice idea, and it will be even more unforgettable! Let both OC’s sign them, the Local coordinator or president of the FMO’s, maybe even a dean.

Other Don’t forget to thank your sponsors and speakers. You can send them a letter or an email about how everything went and with, for example, the results of the evaluation (if they are positive - if not, write down something else!). Also always ask if you can contact them again next time. If you made a Program Booklet for the participants, it is very nice to send one to your sponsors as well. TIP: make a portfolio in which you keep all information you gained about the project. Include the list of sponsors you contacted for your project with their contact details. It will make things a lot easier for the next OC who would like to organize a Eurotalk at your FMO. Mark the sponsors who sponsored you during your project, so you don’t forget to contact them again next time. Also include all the contacts you’ve used (teachers and so on).

Final word

We hope you all enjoyed reading this handbook. If you have any additions or comments, you can always contact us at: Last of all we would like to wish you good luck and a lot of fun with the organization of your Eurotalk!



EMSA Eurotalk ©2011 European Medical Students’ Association c/o CPME Standing Committee of European Doctors Rue Guimard 15, 1040 Brussels Belgium compilation: Sofia Ribeiro European Integration Director 2010-2011 layout: Ingmar Rinas EMSA Public Relations Officer 2010-2011


European Medical Students‘ Association

European Medical Students’ Association c/o CPME Standing Committee of European Doctors Rue Guimard 15, 1040 Brussels Belgium


Handbook - Eurotalk