Table of Contents 4 Foreword History of the Network
27 ESN in 2006 - 2007 30 ESN in 2007 - 2008 34 ESN in 2008 - 2009
35 ESN in 2009 - 2010
8 The start of Erasmus Student Network in 37 ESN in 2010 - 2011 1989 - 1991 9 Structures, communication and growing 41 ESN in 2011 - 2012 after the start until 2003 44 ESN in 2012 - 2013 9 ESN in 1991 - 1992 47 IB Sayâ€™n 10 ESN in 1992 - 1993 10 ESN in 1993 - 1994
History Country by country
11 ESN in 1994 - 1995
49 ESN Austria
12 ESN in 1995 - 1996
51 ESN Azerbaijan
12 ESN in 1996 - 1997
52 ESN Belgium
13 ESN in 1997 - 1998
53 ESN Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 ESN in 1998 - 1999
54 ESN Bulgaria
14 ESN in 1999 - 2000
55 ESN Croatia
15 ESN in 2000 - 2001
56 ESN Cyprus
17 ESN in 2001 - 2002
57 ESN Czech Republic
18 ESN in 2002 - 2003
58 ESN Denmark
22 ESN in 2003 - 2004
59 ESN Estonia
23 ESN in 2004 - 2005
61 ESN Finland
2 | HB 2014
62 ESN France
89 ESN Switzerland
63 ESN Georgia
90 ESN The Netherlands
64 ESN Germany
92 ESN Turkey
65 ESN Greece
94 ESN United Kingdom
66 ESN Hungary
95 ESN Ukraine
67 ESN Iceland
96 History of the ESN Logo
68 ESN Ireland
99 ESN Data
69 ESN Italy 70 ESN Latvia 71 ESN Lithuania 72 ESN Luxembourg 73 ESN Macedonia 73 ESN Malta 75 ESN Morocco 76 ESN Norway 77 ESN Poland 78 ESN Portugal 80 ESN Romania 81 ESN Russia 82 ESN Serbia 83 ESN Slovakia 84 ESN Slovenia 85 ESN Spain 87 ESN Sweden HB 2014 |
Foreword In October 2014, our network celebrated its 25th anniversary, with the local, national and international levels engaged through a variety of activities, events and projects. All around Europe, our volunteers came together to celebrate ESNâ€™s role in improving the experiences of international students through hard work and dedication over the past quarter century. The first History Book of ESN was published in 2011 to recog-nise and honour the work of our volunteers in the long-running and successful development of the Erasmus Student Network. A second edition was published in 2011, making it the first sym-bolic publication that called for contributions from the entire spectrum of our network. Why a 2014 edition? Having reached 25 years of promoting and facilitating student mobility, the History Book 2014 is a collection of memories that serves as a gift to the network. We have grown rapidly and put in place solid structures that have allowed us to act as a consultative organ to European bodies in the field of education and mobility. In recent years, our international projects have highlighted new realities in the relationship between international students and the larger society and stimulated the involvement of our members in ways previously unimaginable. Through it all, we have constantly looked into the future, working hard to explore possibilities for improvement while invoking the innovative and dynamic spirit of the network. At the core, the power of ESN has always resided in its volunteers - in the people who have dedicated their time and passion advocating our cause. Our volunteers have made us who we are, and it is to them that we owe our history. This book has been composed by many hands, in many differ-ent countries. Contributions have flown in from representatives all over the network, and it would not have been possible with-out the engagement of our National Representatives, National Board members, international project coordinators, International Board members and alumni, as well as countless other ESNers. Here you will find the history of ESN, put together in the most homogeneous way possible: a year-by-year history of ESN AISBL, of each ESN country, as well as the histories of our most prominent projects. The History Book Team of 2014 is proud to present this compila-tion on behalf of ESN International. We hope that this publication serves as an introspective that will allow you to revisit our roots and will inspire all our members, current and future, to carry on the legacy of our predecessors. Happy 25th anniversary, ESN! Pallomeri, The History Book Team, 2014 Alexandra Nicorici, Alicia SĂĄnchez, Apolinary Szuter, Gaffar Rampage, Markus Lutter & Prokop Teper
4 | HB 2014
History of the Network HB 2014 |
Susanne Gottlieb and Markus Lutter
History ESN from 1989 - 2003 of
6 | HB 2014
Preface In 2014, Erasmus Student Network celebrated its 25th birthday. One can compare its development to that of a human child, still quite young and constantly gaining experience. The history of the network follows a similar pattern: we have the baby years, of which we have limited memories, followed by childhood growth and learning, times of confusion and, finally, the time to grow up. In the beginning, it must have been quite difficult to build up a network. Imagine 10-20 sections all over Europe, with no Facebook or mobile phones, when even Internet and e-mail access was limited! Sections and countries came and went. Problems arose at the national, and sometimes even at the international, level. However, ESN continues to grow. Today there are more than 440 sections, with countless projects and initiatives, something that was unimaginable 25 years ago. What is truly remarkable are the points in time when the network evolved from a growing idea into a real network, which can be pinpointed sometime in the early 90s. Equally important was the rapid growth around the turn of the millennium, especially in the regions of former Eastern Europe. Two of the biggest steps were AGM 2003 and the 15th of October, 2005. At AGM, many decisions about the structure of ESN were made, including instituting a board elected by the AGM and NRs and establishing the CNR. On the 15th of October 2005 , the first permanent seats in Brussels were established, beginning with only two board members. It is clear that we are a very dynamic, network. Roles, persons, and task are changing every year. We have many projects and a lot of work to do. Even most sections and countries do not know much about their own beginnings. Therefore, in the next chapters, there are sure to be many gaps, maybe even some errors. But it is the best we can do for now. And thus begins the ESN story - enjoy the history lesson.
HB 2014 |
The start of Erasmus Student Network in 1989-1991 In 1987, a plan to create an extensive mobility scheme for higher education was approved by the European Commu-nity (EC). One part of this was the Erasmus programme, instituting an exchange for students in order to provide them with the opportunity to spend part of their studies abroad.
February, 1990 ESN became a legal association. Even now, little is known about the first mandate years. However, it is amazing how much the first boards of ESN achieved with the small means they had. In the beginning,
The idea to create a student network supporting the Erasmus exchange programme was born in January of 1989. The Erasmus Bureau invited 32 ex-Erasmus students to come to Ghent in order to evaluate the Erasmus exchange programme uptil then. The students evaluated the Erasmus programme from a student’s point of view, and in consequence on a very practical level. Most students were very enthusiastic about their stay abroad and the effect it had on themselves and their studies. However, they concluded that apart from problems on an abstract and political level, there were a lot of practical problems that had to be dealt with. Often, accommodation was not provided for by the host institution, adequate in-formation about courses was not available and the social integration of the foreign student into the host institution, student-life and the city did not run smoothly. The stu-dents realized that if they had to wait for the universities and other institutions for higher education to solve these problems, they would have to wait too long. Action had to be taken then and there! They came up with the idea of setting up a student network: Furthermore, the students concluded that the experiences of ex-Erasmus students should be taken into account when evaluating the Erasmus programme. Their experiences could help improve the execution of the Erasmus programme and make it run smoother for future Erasmus students. Behind this entire project stood the idea of “students helping students”, which has remained the most important motto in the work of ESN. On the 16th of October, 1989 the first ESN Section in Utrecht in the Netherlands was founded, and other local ESN Sections in various university cities followed. The First AGM in Copenhagen, Denmark, followed on 09-11 February. With the financial support of the European Commission, participants from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom were able to meet, all in all 49 people. At this meeting, on the 10th of
8 | HB 2014
all correspondence had to be done by postal mail. Internet-based communication came along later, bringing with it the chance to make the network function in new ways. The first President of the organisation was chosen from Utrech in the Netherlands, and her name was Désirée Majoor. As the first board was only composed of two people, the secretary was Mads Stenbaeck from Denmark.
Structures, communication and growing after the start until 2003 As today, the main decision making body of ESN was the AGM in which all sections can participate.
sections take the task for the newsletter, editing the text, make copies for every section and send them by post.
The National Representative was also elected like today, either by the National Platform or during a National Meeting of Sections, sometimes held at AGM. This group of NRs, now the CNR, was called the International Board (IB) from 1990 until 2003. The IB met 3-4 times a year.
In charge for Newsletter were ESN Gent (1991-92), ESN Hull and ESN Firence (1992-93), ESN Porto (1993-94), ESN Helsinki University (1994-95), ESN Politecnico Milano (1995-96) and ESN Lindköping (1996-97). Until now, it is unclear who was in charge of the newsletter in later years.
Out of their own circle the Executive Board (EB) was elected during AGM. It consists, since 1992, of a Presi-dent, a Vice-President, a Treasurer and a Secretary. Since 1998 there are also two regular board member with differ-ent tasks, like web master or evaluation.
In the mandate of 1998-99, the system changed. There was a monthly e-mail from the Iinternational Board, with all the facts and figures, like the newsletter today. And, in May of 1998, the first issue of Incommon - the ESN magazine - was published, like eXpress is today. From 1998 – 2001, it was created by ESN Athens, and after that, in the time span of 2002 – 2003, by ESN Maribor.
Unbelievable today they communicate between them with letters and fax. Also they meet 4-5 times a year somewhere in Europe. Another important way of communication was the news-letter, sent 4 – 6 times a year with reports from the IB and EB, including some section stories and various announcements. For every mandate year, one or two
For the organisation of the Network there was an Interna-tional Administration as well,composed of one or two students working in an office at the University in Utrecht, who helped finance it. They dealt mainly with paperwork, like publications and elaborations. This system functioned, at times better than others, until around 1999.
GROW OF SECTIONS BY YEAR FROM 1989 – 2003
GROW OF COUNTRIES BY YEAR FROM 1989 - 2003 25
20 0 1989
ESN 1991-1992 in
The AGM II was held in Brussels, Belgium at 8th to the 10th of February. The second Executive Board consist of four positions at the time, subsisting of: the President, Christoffer Loffredo from Firenze / Italy; the Vice-President Janske Aarts from Utrecht / the Netherlands; the Treasurer Bart van der Velde from Brussels / Belgium, and the Secretary Anja Wang from Arhus / Denmark.
By the summer ESN has 30 sections in 10 countries: Belgium (4), Denmark (3), Germany (3), Greece (5), France (4), Ireland (1), Italy (2), Spain (1), the Netherlands (6) UK (1). During this time the first National Platform of the ESN Network was held in Belgium. The brochure “How to become an ESN Section”, printed by the International Level was one of the first international papers. There were also dis-
HB 2014 |
cussions about cooperating with other student organisations. The president said in a newsletter in April 1992 as a resume about the first years: “… ESN is a young organisation and during the first two years of its existence, efforts have mainly been focused on elaboration of the network ant the setting up of our international projects such as the evaluation of the Erasmus Programme and the database. A model for the work of the board and the International Administration has been found and in some countries national platforms have been set up.”
ESN 1992-1993 in
The founding section Utrecht hosted the AGM for the first time. AGM III was held either from the 6th to the 8th of March, or from the 7th to the 9th of March. It has proven difficult to pinpoint the exact dates. There was a discussion, perhaps the first one, about improvement of the structures and voting. Additionally there was discussions about the name of ESN: sections not only take care about ESN students but also students from e.g. TEMPUS, LINGUA and other foreign students. Some members contacted TEMPUS countries, where ESN was unsure whether they could tell them to set up Erasmus Sections. The discussion thus centred on whether to change the E to Exchange or European. Quote: “Beside there is the discussion going on about the future of the ERASMUS programme after 1994. At the moment nobody knows how ERASMUS will develop after 1994. Is it wise just to stick with a close link to the ERASMUS-programme?” During this mandate, two former IB-Members are elected to new positions: Anja Wang becomes President and Bart van der Velde the new Vice-President. The new persons elected were Treasurer Paul van Gestel from the Netherlands, and as a Secretary,Martin Heider from Bochum / Germany. With new countries Austria, Portugal, Norway and Sweden and by the disappearance of Ireland, ESN now consist of 13 countries. The number of sections during this mandate is unknown. There is a desire for National Platforms to be held, and a need for long term visions. ESN Netherlands become a legal status. The first working group on the international level tries to install a legal committee.
ESN in 1993-1994 The AGM IV was hosted in the Netherlands again, it was held in March in Maastricht. The new board is as follows: President Jorge Ceveira Pinto from Portugal, the Vice-President Jose Enrique Rodrigues Moura from Spain, Treasurer Nicolas Ancot from Namur / Belgium, and the Secretary was Elisabeth Weingraber from Austria. According to the booklet “How to set up a section” from September 1993 there were 52 sections in 14 Countries: Austria (4), Belgium (6), Denmark (4), Finland (3), Germany (1), Greece (1), Ireland (1), Italy (9), Norway (3), Portugal (2), Spain (2), Sweden (6), the Netherlands (9) and UK (1). The new countries are Finland, and Ireland returns as a member; meanwhile France disappears for some time. As far as we know, there has yet to be a meeting of the Board (all of the NRs); and potentially of the Executive Board somewhere in Europe because it is not clear how many meetings were held. Two meetings can be confirmed: Board Meeting in Graz / Austria in April 1993 and Board Meeting in Porto / Portugal in October 1993. At the Board Meeting in Graz, April 1993, the Elaboration Committee is installed. The main objective is to extend the network to countries where ESN is poorly represented. Promising contacts have been established in France and former Eastern European countries, as well with other organisations. “Cooperation with other organisations: Over the last year as ESN grew and improved its work it also intensified its contacts with other student organisations. Cooperation with ESIB is fruitful and intensive. There is not only an efficient flow of information and valuable personal contacts, but also useful interactions such as participation and presentations at each other’s conferences. The cooperation with the EAIE developed well and the president of the ESN is a member of the Board of the EAIE. Due to the fruitful and appreciated cooperation, and as a sign of our willingness to continue and improve these relations, ESN offered ESIB and the EAIE courtesy membership. There have also been some talks with Elsa about a joint conference. Members of the Board elaborated on the role of ESN at many conferences on a local and national level, and at the following international conferences ESN was represented as well: Maastricht conference on cooperation with other student organisations. May 28th – 29th, 1993 (Anja Wung) “Scope on the globe” autumn, 1993 (Wen Wu Yuan)
10 | HB 2014
ESIB conference in Luxembourg, Nov. 1993 (Elisabeth Weingraber) EAIE conference, Den Haag, Dec. 1993 (Jorge Pinto) “Dies academicus”, Düsseldorf, Dec. 1993 (Elisabeth Weingraber) Ofesz Tempus meeting in Budapest, Dec. 1993 (Martin Heider)” Other notable affairs of ESN at the international level include: an Evaluation, the Newsletter, Cooperation with other organisations and the International Administration. It is fair to say that problems cropped up on many points, for a variety of different reasons such as less participation, less contact, not enough money and no permanent seat. As for international papers, there was: a Policy Outline with the aims of the organisation, things that concern ESN, Member needs, Tempus, Evaluating, Newsletter, Fundraising and the plans for an action programme. It was a kind of Guideline and action paper. Additionally the first address book was produced where all the section contact details were printed. Both the Policy outline and address book was handmade and copied and sent to the sections via postal mail once a year. The biggest visual change was the new “spaghetti” logo, designed by a Helsinki Student. The main progress in the structures was the first recognition of a National Platform: Belgium held the first NP as a legal body of ESN International. Both the logo and the NP were approved at the BM in Porto.
ESN in 1994-1995 The AGM V was held for the first time in Helsinki from 4th to 7th of March 1994. It is believed this AGM had the first Info-Market. However it cannot be verified completely because the AGM Documents from 1992 and 1993 are not available. The new Executive Board was changed for the first time during the mandate. This happens with increasing frequency over the next few years, not only in the Executive Board but also within the pool of National Representatives. The President was Jelle Calsbeek from Leuwarden / the Netherlands, Vice-President José Mauel De Freitas Ferreira from Porto / Portugal. The changeover occurred with the Treasurer position, first held by Christian Essl from Graz / Austria till Nov 94, from them on held by Gerald Breen from Dublin / Ireland, and The Secretary was Vivi Mathiesen from Bergen / Norway. With a new NR from Poland, Magdalena Pabijan from Warszawa, and two national observers from Estonia and Lithuania the ESN network was opened to the former states “behind the iron curtain”
In a document called “Application for a grant under action 4 of Erasmus – Project Proposal: Cooperation with other student Organisations” composted at the end of 1994, there was a list of the ESN Sections which tells us that there are still 14 ESN Countries but a whopping 72 sections: Austria (6), Belgium (6), Denmark (4), Finland (7), Germany (1), Greece (1), Ireland (1), Italy (15), Norway (4), Poland (1) Portugal (2), Spain (7), Sweden (7), the Netherlands (10). Poland was gained and the UK was lost. Four National Platforms, as a body of ESN, were recognised by the end of this mandate: Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands. We know about this mandate from the many meetings of ESN International at the time. It was the same system of meetings used (until the structural changes implemented in 2003): The meetings of all NRs, the Board Meeting (BM) changes with the Executive Board Meeting (EBM); the BM happening around four times and the Executive Board meeting between seven and eight times. This means the President and the Vice see each other around 10 times a mandate, and do not work together daily. The meetings are as follows: Board Meeting in Dublin / Ireland, April 1994 Executive Board Meeting in Leeuwarden / the Netherlands BM in Milano / Italy, 22 – 26 September 1994 EBM in Warsaw / Poland, November 1994 BM in Utrecht / the Netherlands, 27 – 29 December 1994 EBM in Bergen / Norway, 21 - 23 February 1995 BM in Porto / Portugal, 27 February 1995 The President Jelle Carlsbeek won the Erasmus Prize from the European Commission, which was presented during an Erasmus Prize Award Ceremony on the 4th of December 1994 in Ghent. In 1994 or 1995 the first “Network Identity Guide” was published in the network. The documented consisted of seven A4 papers in black and white from a copy station (using a design that would not conform to the networks current standards) detailing how to use the logo among other things. Also in this year a flyer titled “How to set up an ESN Sections” was produced and printed - 2.000 copies in English, 1.000 in German and 1.000 in French. This is thought to be because some of the larger EU-Countries (French, Germany, UK and Ireland) were considered not to be representing ESN as well as they could have. There may have been other reasons we are not aware of, but in the Wikipedia article on the Erasmus Programme you can find this quote: “By the time the Erasmus Programme was adopted in June 1987, the European Commission had been supporting pilot student exchanges for 6 years. It proposed the original Erasmus Programme in early 1986, but reaction from the then Member States varied: those with substantial exchange programmes of their own (essentially France, Germany and the United Kingdom) were broadly HB 2014 | 11
hostile; the remaining countries were broadly in favour.”
ESN in 1995-1996
ESN 1996-1997 in
The AGM VII was held in Naples / Italy from the 7th or 8th to the 10th of March, and the slogan was “Socrates: Virtual Mobility”. The AGM VI was held in Porto, Portugal from the 24th to the 26th of February 1995. The initial president of the Executive Board was Jørn Bo Thomasen from Odense / Denmark, until he stepped down from his position. The former Vice-president Anikó Lehtine from ESN HYY Helsinki / Finland took over the role as president. Gijs de Rooij from Maastricht / The Netherland then replaced Anikó as Vice President. The treasurer was Paul Puylaert from Gent / Belgium and the Secretary Anja Nordlund from Linköping / Sweden. In the 3rd edition of the address book created in May 1995, you could find not only the address and contact information of the National Representatives, but also that of the 79 sections in 14 countries. At this time the Network included: Austria (6), Belgium (6), Denmark (4), Finland (7), Germany (1), Greece (2), Italy (15), Norway (4), Poland (3) Portugal (3), Spain (9), Sweden (7), Switzerland (1) and The Netherlands (10). Contact with Ireland was lost again for some time, while Switzerland entered the Network. Additionally, France returns to the Network with a section (ESN Marseille) in Pêle-Mêle towards the latter part of the mandate. There were also several meetings during this year: Board Meeting in Porto / Portugal, 27 February 1995 BM in Utrecht / the Netherlands, 21 - 23 April 1995 Executive Board Meeting Fanø / Denmark BM in Padova / Italy, 29 September – 01 October 1995 EBM in Helsinki / Finland, 10 - 12 November 1995 BM in Gent / Belgium, 05 - 07 January 1996 EBM in Napoli / Italy, 05 March 1996 BM in Napoli / Italy, 06 - 07 March 1996 ESN also partook in the EAIE conference in Milano in October 1995. Albrecht Schütte from ETH Zürich suggested the idea of twinning sections, thus creating a partnership between sections. The idea was presented during the AGM in Napoli. At this time there were no fixed sponsors apart from Nokia, who sponsored the printing of the promotion leaflets.
12 | HB 2014
The Executive Board consisted of Pavlos Exarchos from Athens / Greece as President, Ole Jacob Sandal from Bergen / Norway as Vice-President, Jose Maria Zamora Rica from Madrid / Spain as Treasurer, and Anikó Maria Lehtinen from ESN HYY Helsinki / Finland as Secretary. In the third newsletter of this mandate in August 1996 you can find in the list of sections: Austria (6), Belgium (5), Denmark (4), Finland (7), France (4), Germany (1), Greece (2), Ireland (1), Italy (19), Norway (4), Poland (3), Portugal (3), Romania (1), Spain (12), Sweden (7), Switzerland (2) and The Netherlands (10). Ireland returns for one year and Romania comes in as an observer for one year as a part of the Network. At this time the Network is made up of 17 countries and 91 sections. In a statement it was specifically noted that only 17 of these sections have no e-mail address. This led to the initiative to start a webpage. The meetings in this mandate were in: Board Meeting in Naples / Italy, 06 - 07 March 1996 Executive Board Meeting in Naples / Italy, 11 March 1996 EBM in Athens / Greece, 07 – 09 May 1996 BM in Athens / Greece, 10 - 12 May 1996 EBM in Athens / Greece, 13 May 1996 EBM in Marseille / France, 24 - 26 September 1996 BM in Marseille / France, 04 - 06 September 1996 EBM in Marseille / France, 30 September 1996 BM in Geneva / Italy, 19 - 20 October 1996 BM in Bergen / Norway, 09 - 11 January 1997 This year may have been the first time a long term and short term action plan was created, during the EBM in Athens.
ESN 1997-1998 in
The mandate from 1996 – 1997 is one of the years we have the least information about. The AGM VIII was held from the 26th February to the 2nd March 1997 in Gent, Belgium. The slogan: “More than talking!?” In the Executive Board we had the President Dimitris Parthenis from Greece, the Vice-President Susanne Kärki from ESN TYY Turku / Finland, Treasurer Alessandra Stilo from ESN Roma ASE, and the Secretary was Ulrike Rainer from Austria. According to the Final Report at the AGM Graz, the Network had more than 85 sections in more than 15 countries at the time. A board meeting was held in Graz / Austria at 18th to 19th of February 1998, and in the year 1997 there was also a celebration for the 10th Anniversary of the Erasmus Programme in Brussels. One important milestone happened during this mandate, with the first Nordic Network Meeting (NNM) taking place in Arhus, Denmark. Later it became known as the North European Platform (NEP), and so it became the first Regional Platform within ESN. In 1997 – 1998 there was made contact to collaborate with Central European Student Organisations like SIEN and CSN. Not much known about this maybe interesting chapter of the expanding of the network except that you can find nothing of them in the Internet and only some notes of a workshop at AGM Graz: “Go East – Easter Expansion other Networks (…) Firstly, the CSN and SIEN were shortly presented, especially the CSN as Michael Unger, its chairman, was present at the discussion. CSN (The Central European Student Network) was formed in December of 1997 in Ljubljana and has had its second meeting near Graz preceding the AGM of ESN. By now it has seven member countries: Austria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia. Its aim is to create local sections in the CE countries in the way they are created in the ESN and help them integrate into the ESN as well together with the Erasmus program, but due to the special needs and bonds between these countries the CSN is here to stay even after all of its members become the members of ESN. SIEN (The Student International Exchange Network) is more culturally oriented and is directed towards organisation of short cultural exchanges between countries. The questions regarding these organisations were: should
the ESN solely collaborate with them or should it expand the network into their areas as well, and specifically for the CSN there was some discussion about the relation between the two. The last question that arose regarding this issue was how to integrate other countries that are and will not be members of CSN.”
ESN in 1998-1999 The AGM IX was held in Graz / Austria from the 19th to the 20th of February, with the slogan: „From Network to Net… Working“ The Executive Board now has two new positions called “regular board member”, who take on extra tasks such as managing the webpage, newsletter and other various things. The board in this mandate consisted of: President Elke Resch from Austria, Vice-President Sami Sakari Kontola from ESN JYY Jyväskylä / Finland, Treasurer David Sempels from HEC Liège / Belgium, the Secretary Niels Dam from Denmark, and the Regular board members were Mikaela Thelander from Sweden and Hector Fouce Rodriguez from Spain. In comparing the section list from 1998-1999 with the list from 1996, we find that the UK is back again, but Ireland has once again left the network. The observing country Romania has vanished, but as the first full member from the Balkans, Slovenia now joins the network. The contact with Poland appears to have been lost in 1997 too, as it is noted as a new country according to this list. In total you can find 82 sections in 17 countries: Austria (6), Belgium (4), Denmark (2), Finland (8), France (1), Germany (2), Greece (1), Italy (19), Norway (3), Poland (1), Portugal (6), Slovenia (1), Spain (7), Sweden (9), Switzerland (2), The Netherlands (9) and the UK (1). There were seven internal Meetings of ESN: Board Meeting in Graz / Austria, 23 - 24 February 1998 Utrecht / the Netherlands, April 1998 Executive Board Meeting in Ljubljana / Slovenia, 29 June – 01 July 1998 EBM and BM in Lisbon / Portugal, 23 – 28 September 1998 Athens / Greece, 13 - 15 November 1998 Madrid / Spain, January 1999 Liège / Belgium, February 1999 ESN take part at some External Meetings: East East Conference in Keszthely / Hungary CSN Summer University in Keszthely / Hungary European Council of Student Affairs in Leuven / BelHB 2014 | 13
gium EAIE Conference in Stockholm / Sweden ESIB Conference in Vienna / Austria AEGEE Agora in Hamburg / Germany International Student Congress in Liège / Belgium In addition, the 2nd Nordic Meeting in Helsinki was held from the 10th to the 11th of October 1998.
ESN in 1999-2000
In May 1998 the 1st edition of “In common”, the new newsletter magazine of the Erasmus Student Network, was published by ESN Athens.
In the year 1999 the AGM was back in Denmark again, this time taking place from the 11th to 15th of March in Aarhus.
During this mandate every National Representative received a disc, one for every member section, including an information package, such as logo’s and other graphics, as well as all the national reports and action plan reports. A chat room was added to the webpage, a new feature for the site and from November everybody had the opportunity to chat with some of the Board Members on Wednesdays from 19-22h in the special Board Chat Room.
Matej Acceto from Slovenia was elected President, Mikael Thelander from Sweden as Vice President, Didier Lemmens from HEC Belgium as Treasurer, Catharina Lindstrom from ESN Åbo Akademi / Finland as Secretary, and Andreas Lindemuth from ESN Zürich / Switzerland worked as a Regular Board Member. The second RBM was Suzanne van der Kolk from Twente / The Netherlands, although in October she becomes Vice-President when Mikael Thelander steps down from his position.
During the AGM IX in Graz, Austria, the PALLOMERI logo and the acronym created by Matteo Baggio from Italy sees the light of day, becoming a representation of the spirit and life of the network. Soon it become a funny second, unofficial logo of ESN. Soon after the AGM in Graz, ESN representatives were contacted by the European Commision: “On Monday 20th of April Elke, David and Thomas (ViceNat. Rep. of Belgium) had a meeting with Massimo Gaudina from the DG XXII of the European Commission who is still very interested in a close co-operation with ESN. We invited him to attend the AGM X in Aarhus.” At this time the network was still relatively small; the President of ESN International at the time was studying abroad in Spain. It was noted in the Country Report of Spain: „The presence of Elke Resch, President of the ESN International, as a student in Spain allowed her to participate in some national activities and was very important because Spanish sections feel nearer to the Board and to ESN International.“ In the long term vision from September 1998, there were some ideas on how to improve the network: “This includes a better communication between the entire network partners in general (more visits to local sections, informative and communicative web page, Monthly Reports less formal, regular newsletter, immediate reply to mails, etc.). (...) Mutual help within the network (Board – Sections - Board) (…) improve our image as a “party organisation” (…) Summer Universities? related to our (local) work! (…) expand within and to all European countries (…) permanent head office (…) keep doing PALLOMERI.” The Monthly Report from May 1998 had this new idea: “Italy came up with another great idea: If we try to get recognised as an NON- PROFIT ORGANISATION we can easily get money from certain companies which would then have fiscal advantages.”
14 | HB 2014
The Executive Board and the international work was hindered when due to personal reasons the Vice-President of ESN International had to step down from the Executive Board. This occurred during summer and the situation was discussed during the autumn Board Meeting. Since half of the working year has already passed and the Regular Board Members have already acquired other responsibilities and becoming an EB member would thus impose an uncalculated burden on them, no new member of the Executive Board was elected at the time. In the Network Inventory there are 91 sections in 19 countries: Austria (6), Belgium (4), Denmark (2), Finland (8), France (1), Germany (3), Greece (1), Hungary (2), Ireland (1), Italy (19), Norway (3), Poland (1), Portugal (5), Slovenia (3), Spain (9), Sweden (10), Switzerland (2), The Netherlands (10), UK (1). The new countries are Hungary and Ireland (again). Aside from the meetings listed below the whole International Board had a short meeting after the AGM in Aarhus and before the AGM in Portoroz, and the Executive Board also met additionally before and after the Board Meetings: Executive Board Meeting in Amsterdam / the Netherlands, 08 -11 April 1999 EBM in Badajoz / Spain, 12 – 16 May 1999 EBM in Internet / Cyberspace, August 1999 Board Meeting in Parma / Italy, 06 – 10 October 1999 EBM in Zurich / Switzerland, November 1999 EBM in Liège / Belgium, February 2000 Other conferences and meetings with ESN International representatives are as follows: Conference on Exchange Students’ Rights and Obligations, Liège / Belgium ESIB/HOOK conference Participation and Self-Government of Student and Youth Organisations, Budapest / Hungary
AEGEE conference Education in 2020, Brussels / Belgium ESN conference Socrates Programme and its development, Pavia / Italy AEGEE PR school, Groningen / the Netherlands CSN Summer University, Škofja Loka / Slovenia Meeting with UNICA/EAIE / the Netherlands ESIB/LsvB conference on Accreditation, Delft / the Netherlands EAIE conference, Maastricht / the Netherlands Liaison Group meeting with ESIB, AEGEE and Youth Forum, Brussels / Belgium 2 steering group meetings for the Socrates on the Move project with ESIB and AEGEE, Brussels / Belgium F2000 European Higher Education Expert Forum (organised by EUCEN and European Commission), Brussels / Belgium ESN conference Exchange Students’ Rights and Obligations, Liège / Belgium The Northern Network Meeting was held in Kalmar / Sweden. In 1999 the first Culture Medley was planned and the Athens section on the island of Cephalonia / Greece offered to host it at End of July 1999, with the topic dealing with the cultural influences on the Ionian islands. The Cultural Medley is a European cultural event organised by ESN. It is meant mainly for the actives of the network to meet outside the formal conferences and get to know more about the culture and the life of other countries, especially the host country. The events are generally organised by individual sections under their own terms, for a limited number of people according to the organising section’s wishes and capacities (suggested number is usually between 30 and 50 participants). Perhaps inspired by an idea from 1995, a plan for the Partner Section Project proposed by by Andreas Lindemuth and Gudfinna Adalgeirsdottir was set in motion. The first ESN Partners were the Sections of Bochum / Germany and Budapest / Hungary, arranged by Oliver Klinke the National Representative (NR) of Germany at the time and Eva Suba, NR Hungary. The first visit of the Budapest section was in November 1999 in Bochum. ESN confirmed it as an ESN Project at the AGM in 2000. Based on an idea from Italy, ESN Day was created on the 21st October. On this date, all the sections were asked to do actions to promote Erasmus and ESN. Representing the needs and views of exchange students becomes ESNs newest aim, approved at the AGM in Aarhus. Exchange Students’ Rights is the action plan for this year in this field. Since the field is very new and broad ESN focuses on ECTS and academic recognition, as this is the topic most exchange students referred to as most important aspect. In order to do so ESN is planned to do a project on ECTS in cooperation with ESIB. The project was set to run during the year 2000. At the Board Meeting in Parma in October 1999, after a competition, ESN got a slogan: “ESN – Exchange your
life”. The idea came from Valentina de Mari from ESN Napoli. Also the general graphical image of ESN was being refurbished at this time, with the design work being done in Belgium. The ESN logo in its most basic shape will be maintained, but it will be surrounded by a new layout, in order to give it a more dynamic look. The pallomeri inventor, Matteo, has worked hard on a real pallomeri song! It was finished by the time of the BM in Parma too, and was presented at the AGM 2000. Over the year, an international ESN songbook was compiled. It contains contributions from all membership countries and was distributed to the sections at the AGM. There still was not a big focus on fundraising at this time. With the support of Etilux. AMS (American Management systems) 1000 official ESN letterhead papers were printed, and it is worth nothing that two advertisements were put in the next issue of the “in common” newsletter. There were also plans to make posters, gadgets and information leaflets. This and the annual ESN CD were distribute at the AGM Portoroz, as this was the best time to reach all or most of the sections. Nevertheless, the budget was very low on the international Level. The new treasurer in 2000-2001 mentioned informally that the budget of the 2 Swiss sections combined was higher than the budget of ESN International.
ESN in 2000-2001 The AGM XI was held in Portoroz / Slovenia from the 2nd to 6th of March 2000. During the AGM, the following people were elected: for President, Mikko Arvas from ESN HYY Helsinki / Finland, as Vice-President Valentina de Mari from ESN Napoli / Italy, as Treasurer Marco Weibel from Switzerland, as SecretaryTuva Kirstine Andersen from ESN Trondheim / Norway. As Regular board members Cathy van der Ha from Gent / Belgium and Davor Racic from Slovenia were elected. By the AGM in 2000, the ESN Network has exactly 100 sections in 19 countries: Austria (6), Belgium (5), Denmark (3), Finland (9), France (1), Germany (4), Greece (1), Hungary (3), Ireland (1), Italy (21), Norway (3), Poland (1), Portugal (5), Slovenia (3), Spain (8), Sweden (12), Switzerland (2), The Netherlands (10) and UK (2). Six meetings of ESN International were organised outside the AGMs during this year. During the AGMs the old and the new international and executive boards also had a meeting. Executive Board Meeting in Parma / Italy, April 2000 EBM in Trondheim / Norway, June 2000
HB 2014 | 15
EBM in Pécs / Hungary, August 2000 International Board Meeting in Gent / Belgium, October 2000 EBM Corippo / Switzerland, December 2000 IBM in Limerick / Ireland, January 2001 Three international events were organised by ESN during the year: ESN Culture Medley in Mykonos / Greece, October 2000 ESN Nordic Network Meeting in Linköping / Sweden, November 2000 Socrates on the Move Final Conference in Napoli / Italy, December 2000 The Socrates on the Move project was a joint project between ESN, ESIB and AEGEE. It had dozens of participants from all over Europe. The Culture Medley is a European cultural event organised for the first time by ESN. It is mainly intended for the actives of the network to meet outside of the formal conferences. Representatives of ESN participated in several events during the year, following are the most important international ones: Socrates on the Move Training in Brussels / Belgium, March 2000 Prep-meeting of the subcommittee for higher education in Brussels / Belgium, March 2000 Socrates on the Move steering group meeting in Brussels / Belgium, April 2000 BEST General Assembly in Stockholm / Sweden, April 2000 EAIE/SAFSA foreign-student advisor training, Wageningen / the Netherlands, April 2000 Portuguese Student Union Meeting / Portugal, April 2000 Liaison Group training with ESIB and AEGEE in Brussels / Belgium, July 2000 CSN Summer School in Pécs / Hungary, August 2000 The actions which defined the main frame of work during this mandate were: Internal Administration Communication Continuity External Cooperation Intro-guide / Webpage Promotion and PR Socrates on the Move A working group (WG) about each of the actions was founded. Anyone active in ESN can join them to give their opinions and/or efforts to the work of ESN International. Currently ESN does not have a permanent office, as the old International Administration in Utrecht does not function anymore. After a break of three years, volunteers managed to set up the International Administration of ESN International again. The new office was stationed in Gent
16 | HB 2014
and sponsored by the University of Gent, taken care of by Dominiek Benoot from Belgium In the years from 1998-2004, it can be assumed that many documents and a lot of information was lost due to, among other things: the inactivity of the Administration caused by an erratic move to Gent, lasting only a few years without any replacement quarters for two years before getting the office in Brussels; and the fact that all the Board Members are scattered somewhere around in Europe, having had a transition phase ofonly two days at the AGM and the step down of some Executive Board Members. Furthermore in 2000-2001, ESN Internationals virtual archive Info-Centre and the old internet domain provider Mininet suffered technical problems causing a loss of information and gap in the records. There are still a few lesser represented areas during this time, such as the UK, Germany, France and Poland. To do something about this in the future, the Executive Board of 2000-2001 suggested putting it as an action plan for the next Executive Board. The intention is that one Executive Board member shall have one focus area during the year, and make a plan on how to get ESN involved at universities and other higher educational institutions in that specific country. In External Cooperation, the cooperation with the European Commission (EC) was finally initiated and implemented officially based on the work of several previous boards. Moreover, after a few conversations with EC, ESN received a grant. A decision was made at the AGM to hold a contest for a new logo (No. III - Spaghetti with blue) and the new logo for ESN would be elected by the International Board in Gent, Belgium in October. The ESN posters were printed soon and distributed during the Gent meeting. Ways for expanding the network were to be researched. The ESN day, while initially planned to be on the 21st of October, was instead moved to the Thursday in October. This will be the set date for the ESN day in the future, making it easier to remember. The ESN day is a celebration of our organisation, a common day for all sections to feel part of the international network. It is also a day to promote ESN, get more known on the local and international level.
ESN 2001-2002 in
On the 15th – 19th of March 2001 the AGM was held in Leiden / the Netherlands. The new logo of ESN was presented during this AGM. The President was Stefanie Kothmiller from WU Wien / Austria, with Janna Koivisto from ESN JYY Jyväskylä / Finland as Vice President, Claudia Bertog from Switzerland as Treasurer, Gabor Bekessy from Pecs / Hungary as Secretary, and finally the Regular Board Member were Hugo Woesthuis from the Netherlands and Markus Dicks from Bochum / Germany. Dominiek Benoot remains on duty for the International Administration in Gent. As for the address list of 2001-2002, we can see a total of116 sections in 18 countries: Austria (9), Belgium (4), Denmark (3), Finland (7), France (5), Germany (8), Greece (1), Hungary (5), Ireland (1), Italy (22), Norway (3), Poland (4), Portugal (3), Slovenia (4), Spain (9), Sweden (14), Switzerland (4) and The Netherlands (10). Following are the internal board meetings of ESN for this mandate: Executive Board Meeting in Vienna / Austria, April 2001 EBM in Maribor / Slovenia, May 2001 EBM in Warsaw / Poland, September 2001 International Board Meeting in Lisbon / Portugal, October 2001 EBM in Brussels / Belgium, December 2001 IBM in Toulouse / France, January 2002 ESN held the following international Events: ESN Nordic Network Meeting in Jyväskylä / Finnland, November 2001 ESN Southern European Platform in Siena / Italy, April 2001 ESN Culture Medley in Sao Pedro de Moel / Portugal, October 2001 ESN Sunweek Palermo / Italy, August 2001 ESN Sokrates Erasmus Week in Maribor / Slovenia, December 2001 The Southern European Plattform (SEP) in Siena became the second regional platform of the network, following the success of the Nordic Network Meeting. Years later in 2007, SEP was divided into South-West and Soutn-East Platform respectively. In 2004 the Central European Platform was created, which was also changed in 2007 and divided into the Western European Platform and the Central European Platform.
The ESN Sunweek in Palermo was the first National Event created from the National Level, intended for all sections, Erasmus Students and guests. It could be considered a prototype for many popular, reoccurring events since then such as the Ibiza Trip, Sea Battle, He(l)surfing and many more. ESN Sokrates Erasmus Week in Maribor was organised, and in their own words “.... was meant to increase student mobility in Eastern Europe as well as to find possibilities on how to improve the work of ESN on the local level and the cooperation between universities. Intercultural exchange was one of the main topics.“ Representatives of ESN participated in several events during the year, following are most important international ones: Sokrates on the Move steering group meeting in Brussels / Belgium, April 2001 Meeting with iAgora in Barcelona / Spain, May 2001 Sokrates on the Move Training in Brussels / Belgium, July 2001 Nordic-Baltic Student Seminar, Turku / Finland, 25.27. October 2001 EAIE/SAFSA Cross-Cultural Communication Course, Wageningen / the Netherlands, April 2001 CSN Summer School in Croatia, August 2001 ICWIP-International Culture Week in Pécs / Hungary, August 2001 ENOTHE congress Amsterdam / The Netherlands European Student Days in Lodz / Poland, October 2001 IRIS steering group meeting in Brussels / Belgium, November 2001 EAIE (European Association for International Education) Annual Meeting, Tampere / Finland, December 2001 VISM International Students Meeting Vienna / Austria, January 2002 EEC (European ECTS Catalogue) Steering Group Meeting will take place in Brussels / Belgium, February 2002 After many years and the knowledge that the need for a permanent ESN office, where the board can live and work together, was detrimental to the success of the future of ESN, the topic was brought into the long term action plan: „ … The fact that the board only meets 6 times a year for Board Meetings and does not work together in one office makes the communication quite difficult and not only once some misunderstandings were obstacles for the efficiency of our work and even worse was the cooperation with those NR’s who couldn’t attend the meetings. That’s why I put a lot of energy into motivating people to join the EB at their meetings and to attend the International Board Meeting which was in the end quite successful. Of course, improvements still could be made. A possible solution for the future could be that ESN International reorganises this working strategy and rents an
HB 2014 | 17
office in Brussels where the EB could live together for one year concentrating only on the work for ESN. The first step towards the realisation of this goal was made during our Executive Board Meeting in Brussels where we met with representatives from other international student organisations - which already have an office in the capital of Europe - and tried to gather more information. Also the decision to replace the Action-Plan Promotion and Communication by Long term vision was an intention to bring more continuity and efficiency into the work of the whole network and our work. ...“ - Stefanie Josefa Kothmiller, President of ESN International The ESN Partnership project (PSP) had been going on for nearly 2 years at this point. It all started at the AGM in Portoroz in Slovenia. The “known” pairings were thus far: ESN Graz – ESN Turku, ESN Athens – ESN Maastricht, ESN Zurich – ESN Lund, ESN Bochum – ESN Budapest, ESN Verona – ESN Utrecht, ESN Amsterdam – ESN Campobasso and ESN Genova – ESN Helsinki. One of the projects of this mandate was the ESN Book, which was finished in 2002 – 2003 and given to the sections at the AGM Siena 2003. Another heavily debated topics at the time was: “Who is or could be Alumni of ESN International?” One part of the International Board thinks that only people of the EB, IB, OC, people working in international working groups like the “in common” newsletter team, organisers of big events and people who did something special, should be considered Alumni of ESN International. Why so restricting? Because ESN international is a group of people that did something together; they had something in common. They can be regarded as one group with the same experiences, they can help each other, share memories. Alumni is defined as ‘people that shared the same experiences’. Therefore it can be reasoned that the Alumni Network of ESN International is intended only for those individuals who worked on the international level. People from the local level can be part of their local section’s alumni, but not from ESN International. The ideas of being Alumni of ESN International and having been a member of ESN at the local level should not be mixed up. Those are two separate things serving another goal. There was also another opinion in the International Board, some people who did not want to exclude people that had been a part of ESN. They think that everybody, including people from the local sections should be able to take part in it. The opinions is that it would not make a big difference because not many local section members would necessarily sign up to join the network’s alumni board. So, Markus Dicks, Janna Koivisto and Svante Edqvist, proposed to the AGM to remove the restrictions currently hindering ESN actives from becoming Alumni members. Restricting who can or cannot be an Alumni member is totally contrary to everything that ESN is about. ESN is about networking and meeting people from different countries. The other meaning was that it does not make any sense
18 | HB 2014
to have an Alumni network, which is already quite weak and not working very well because of a lack of interest of members, and when the alumni do not necessarily share one common thing. That is a shame considering the effort they had once put into the work on the International level. That is why they are Alumni of ESN INTERNATIONAL and not of local sections.
ESN in 2002-2003 The AGM 2002 was held in Lugo / Spain and had the slogan “Before … and after” The National Representatives elected the Executive Board: the President was Hanna-Maija Saarinen from ESN Åbo Akademi / Finland, the Vice President and Webmaster was Vegard Eid Mediås from ESN Trondheim / Norway, the Treasurer was Barbara Jost from Switzerland, the Secretary was Wolfgang Schlegel, Dortmund / Germany and the Regular board members were Anna Kwiatkowska from Poland and Chaya Duppen from the Netherlands. In January 2003 the 151 sections are now distributed throughout 24 countries in the following way: Austria (10), Belgium (4), Czech Republic (2), Denmark (3), Estonia (1), Finland (12), France (7), Germany (10), Greece (1), Hungary (7), Ireland (4), Italy (23), Lithuania (1), Norway (4), Poland (6), Portugal (3), Russia (1), Slovenia (4), Spain (16), Sweden (9), Switzerland (5), The Netherlands (13), Ukraine (1), United Kingdom (1) The new countries this time around are Czech Republic and Lithuania, also seeing the return of the United Kingdom. Russia and Ukraine joined the network during this time as well, but contacts was lost after the first year. Six board meetings were organised on the international level EBM Limerick / Ireland, April 2002 International Board Meeting in Helsinki / Finland, June 2002 Executive Board Meeting in Dortmund / Germany, August 2002 Executive Board Meeting in Zürich / Switzerland, October 2002 International Board Meeting in Milan / Italy, November 2002 International Board Meeting in Kranj / Slovenia and Vienna / Austria, January 2003 The Southern European Platform, SEP, was held in Pécs / Hungary from the 8th to the 12th of May 2002. This was the second SEP in ESN history. As it is a bit unclear at this time which sections belong to SEP, there were peo-
ple from many different countries in South-, Central- and Western Europe present during the four-day event. The main organisers of the SEP also invited representatives of the Central European Student Network from Croatia and Serbia
Preparatory meeting before the meeting of the Socrates sub-committee on Higher Education in Brussels, Belgium / October 2002
The fifth meeting of the Nordic ESN sections was organised for the first time outside of Scandinavia. It was a joint project of ESN-Tartu and ESN-Tallinn (associate member) of Estonia.
Students’ Convention, Final Conference of the project Universities to Debate Europe in Brussels / Belgium, December 2002
The Culture Medley (CM) is the fun week of ESN International. In 2002 it was held in the Italian Mecca of industry and fashion, Milan. The four sections of Milan, in cooperation with Castellanza organised a four-day parade with a number of activities. During the long weekend the 100 participants from all over Europe got to see an exhibition of Modern Industrial Design, visited a large Milanese food fair, Castello Sforzesco, Duomo, City Hall and many other places. The evenings were filled with parties, the highlight being the tram party: the organising committee had rented a tram with three wagons for the participants for three hours. Both the organising committee and the International Board were really pleasantly surprised about the popularity of the event. Most of the participants came from outside of Italy and there were a lot of people to whom this was the first ESN Event on the International level. The 2nd edition of the Sun Week took place in Palermo in August 2002. Originally the event was meant to be the ESN Holiday for all the Italian actives, but in the end all the members of ESN Sections were invited to take part in the relaxing event. During the ten days the participants, who came from ESN Sections in Italy and all over Europe, got the possibility to enjoy the Sicilian way of life and the warmth of the Mediterranean breezes. Other important international events where ESN International has participated were as listed: Preparatory meeting before the meeting of the Socrates sub-committee on Higher Education in Brussels / Belgium, March 2002 Preparatory meeting before the meeting of the Liaison group in Brussels / Belgium, March 2002 EAIE/SAFSA Cross-Cultural Communication Course in Wageningen / the Netherlands, April 2002 Universities to Debate Europe Steering group-meeting in Brussels / Belgium, June 2002 Reception of the new CD of AEGEE-Europe in Brussels / Belgium, July 2002 Otto torri sullo Ionio, in Calabria / Italy, July 2002 Conference: “! Non-formal education: The role of NGOs, Tartu / Estonia, July 2002 International Training Course on working on youth structures in Strasbourg / France, August 2002 Universities to Debate Europe Steering group-meeting in Norwich / UK, September 2002 Annual Meeting of EAIE (European Association for International Education) in Porto / Portugal, September 2002 Meeting with the European Commission about the projects Universities to Debate Europe and Erasmus Action Week in Brussels / Belgium, October 2002
Universities to Debate Europe Steering group-meeting in Brussels / Belgium, November 2002
Many things happened from the 21st to the 27th of 2002 in Brussels. To celebrate the 1.000.000th Erasmus-Student and to make the student exchange more well known the week has been named Erasmus-week and the European Commission organised a celebrations of three days from the 24th to the 26th of October in Brussels. ESN was represented by two members of the Executive Board and indirectly by an ex-member of the Executive Board, Suzanne van der Kolk, whose story had been chosen as be one of the success stories that the EC was looking for earlier in that year. At the EB Meeting in Maribor in 2001 Stefanie Josefa Kothmiller came up with the idea of having an ESN Book. A team set to work right away on the on the concept of the book and gathering information. It was decided to divide the book in two parts, a book-part that will contain the history of ESN and all the practical information that sections might need in their work. The book does not need to be updated every year. The other part was a CD that contains information about the local sections such as the addresses and phone numbers as well as the name and information of the relevant contact person. The CD was combined with the image package and was to be updated annually. The ESN Book was presented and given to the sections at AGM 2003. A step backward for ESN after two years was the loss of an International Administration for the second time. The University of Gent in Belgium decided to end the co-operation with ESN. Dominiek has to leave his position in October 2002. There was a search for a new University to host the IA as well as a new person to take care of the job, but in the end the search was unsuccessful. After many discussions and working groups, the Erasmus Student Network was in 2002 at the cusp of the biggest change in the Network so far: The change of the structures of ESN. Beside the National Representative, it was decided that there should be a separate International Board, not only elected by the NRs, but by other members and bodies of the network as well. In the International Report from December 2002 the proposal for new statues from ESN International was announced as such: “Erasmus Student Network is a growing organisation and this brings with it new questions to be solved. Is the Executive Board efficient enough? How could it work even more efficiently? Should the members of the Executive Board be National Representatives or should the Executive Board and the International Board be separate from each other?
HB 2014 | 19
While solving these questions many different proposals to change the statutes of ESN International have been made, some by the Board and some by the sections. (â€Ś) There is at least one thing which is similar in each new proposal, the division of the Executive Board and the International Board. The main idea is that the National Representatives would have enough time to take care of the tasks in their own countries instead of spending all of their time working in the Executive Board. This is why I would like to inform all the countries and sections about the possibility that if one of the new proposals for the statutes will be approved by the AGM, we will need more than just one person from each country to apply for the Executive Board. The National Representative will only concentrate in working in the International Board and the members for the Executive Board will be chosen otherwise and from people outside of the International Board, meaning from all the local sections. In case one of the new proposals will be approved, the people that will candidate for the Executive Board will have to be approved by the National Platform of the country. There can be only two candidates from each country and only one candidate from each section. In case the National Representative wants to candidate for the Executive Board, and is approved, he/she will have to step down as the National Representative. This is why a vice National Representative should be appointed by each country. I would like to emphasise that the way the Executive Board will be chosen is not clear yet, there are many different proposals, but the main idea of dividing the International Board and the Executive Board is the same in each proposal. In case none of the new proposals will be approved, the old statutes will keep on ruling and only members of the International Board will be able to apply for the Executive Board.â€?
20 | HB 2014
History ESN from 2003 - 2006 of
HB 2014 | 21
ESN in 2003-2004 In 2003 during the AGM in Siena it was decided to change the structure of ESN on the international level, which meant that seven people would be elected as the Board and all the countries within ESN would have their own National Representatives, constituting the Council of National Repre-sentatives (CNR). During the ESN year 03/04 the CNR of ESN International had 3 meetings: 3rd-5th July in Vilnius, Lithuania 26th-28th October in Budapest, Hungary 13th-15th February in Maribor, Slovenia The following seven people were elected at the AGM in Siena as the Board of ESN International: Calle Johnzén, President, Leila Al Shammary, Vice-President, Outi Ka-vakka, Treasurer, Zsófia Honfi, Secretary and Irene Aklin, Dawid Gutkowski and Kristof van Tomme, regular mem-bers of the Board. Dawid Gutkowski had to resign from the Board during the Board Meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania and he was succeeded by Alberto Alvaro as the webmaster of the Board. The main aim of the Board was to put ESN on a higher in-ternational level, to become more of a representative body of ESN International and so that the National Representatives could focus more on the national level. To clarify this new situation the Board and CNR made an agreement during the CNR Meeting in Budapest, where the tasks of both sides were stated. The importance of being visible in the European educational events and policy was made the main goal of ESN International for this year. The Board found that there were a lot of gaps in the network between its levels. Therefore, most of the work of the Board together with the CNR was dedicated to filling in these gaps. One of the most important things was that the policy of ESN International on the Bologna Process was written, and with the confirmation of the CNR it could be presented at the Berlin preparation Meeting in September. Furthermore, the Board presented the “Statement of Principles of ESN International” that can be also used as a shortened general policy of the organisation, but on the other hand it made the general policy of ESN more detailed and clearly stated. During the CNR Meeting in Budapest the members of the CNR, with the help of members of the Board, had an idea that would have shaped the future of ESN dramatically: they set up a workgroup called ESN Reforms to help re-alise and develop the approved goals of the Long Term Plan. As its first initiative, the members of the group spent a week in Brussels to have meetings with the headquar-ters of the SOCRATES Office, members of the European Parliament, Academic Cooperation Association, Eurodesk and other student organisations such as ESIB, ELSA and AEGEE. According to the Long Term Plan of ESN Interna-tional (approved on the Annual General Meeting in Siena 2003), ESN was to move to Brussels in
22 | HB 2014
2006. A workgroup was set up to build up communication channels and inten-sify contacts with official bodies of the European Union and other student organisations relating to the European Higher Education Area. The workgroup was formed by Calle Johnzén, president, Kristof van Tomme, Media and Business Development, Zsófia Honfi, secretary, Christoph Graf, NR of Austria, Carlo Lanzinger, NR of Italy, Gin-tare Petkeviciute, NR of Lithuania, Jakub Jirka, NR of the Czech Republic and Michal Zasada, NR of Poland. From 2004, the official magazine of ESN International, In-Common, was published online with new content and a new structure by the ESN section KANTO from Helsinki Business Polytechnic in Finland. They had been elected as the Editorial Board of InCommon for one year, and there was a need for a new section that could continue the great work of KANTO. This section was the technical University Prague. Before the end of 2003, ESN had 164 full members in 25 countries. In 2003, ESN could approve a new country, Latvia, and its first member section, ESN Riga, which was formed by three universities of Riga. At the end of the year 2003, ESN had lost Russia as a member country, along with Ukraine. Further new sections are as follows: ESN Riga from Latvia, ESN UCAM Murcia from Spain, ESN Tallinn from Estonia, ESN Paris from France, ESN Arcada from Finland, ESN Edinburgh from the United Kingdom, ESN München from Germany, ESN Eger from Hungary, ESN Viterbo from Italy, ESN Primorska from Slovenia, ESN Kufstein, ESN Steyr and ESN Med Uni Wien from Austira, ESN Wädenswil and ESN Fribourg from Switzerland and ESN PO-Opole, ESN University of Gdansk, ESN GSE-Warsaw, ESN University of Warsaw, ESN AE Krakow, ESN Torun and ESN Wroclaw from Poland. The ESNcard was still a vision: in 2003, there were two national cards (Italy and Poland), as well as several local cards, which did not contain the ESN Logo. The Nether-lands, France and Austria had plans on a national card as well. The vision was to have only one common card in the future, with the ESNLogo on it. New Regional Platforms were furthermore organised: the Nordic Network Meeting in Bergen, Norway, the Southern European Platform in Sevilla, Spain and as a new project, the Central European Platform was organised for the first time in Ghent, Belgium. The Southern European Platform had to be cancelled due to lack of interest and lack of sponsors. Finally, concerning money, the yearly turnover of ESN in 2003 was 7237,01 EUR.
ESN in 2004-2005 In September 2004, the CNR in Tallinn approved four new countries: Cyprus, Morocco, Romania, Slovakia. So at the time of the AGM in Gdansk (March 2005) ESN had members in 27 countries in Europe and, for the first time in the network life, in Africa. During the year the Board of ESN International approved 22 new sections:
moved a vote of no confidence to him at the CNR meeting in Athens in January 2005. The Board of ESN International had twelve meetings: 22nd March in Helsinki, Finland 24th-27th April in Winterthur, Switzerland 5th-7th May in Debrecen, Hungary
Czech Republic (2): ESN Brno, ESN Olomouc
19th-20th June in Minho, Portugal
Denmark (1): ESN Copenhagen
3rd-4th July in Genoa, Italy
France (3): ESN Lyon, ESN Troyes, ESN Télécom Bretagne
13th-15th August in Dresden, Germany
Germany (1): ESN Hannover Italy (2): ESN AURE Camerino, ESN GEF Firenze Lithuania (2): ESN Siauliai, ESN Kaunas Morocco (2): ESN Ifrane, ESN Marrakech Norway (1): ESN Agder University College Poland (2): ESN-UL Lodz, ESN-UAM Poznan Portugal (1): ESN Lisbon School of Law Romania (1): ESN Cluj-Napoca Spain (1): ESN EISN-UAB Barcelona
23rd-24th September in Tartu, Estonia 19th-20th November in Odense, Denmark 13th-15th December in Parma, Italy 6th-8th January in Francavilla Fontana, Italy 11th-13th February in Riga, Latvia 12th-13th March in Warsaw, Poland Financially, the Income Statement of 2004 consisted, on the income side, of the following turnover: membership fees 1.630,00 ,ESN Cards 3.597,50, with a total turnover of 5.227,50 EUR.
Slovakia (1): ESN Bratislava Sweden (1): ESN Gàvle Switzerland (1): ESN Sion This brought the total number of full members of ESN International to 185 sections. Four Regional Platforms took place: South European Platform (SEP) in Marrakesh (Morocco) from 9th to 12th of October, Central European Platform (CEP) in Velden (Austria) from 15th to 17th of October and Nordic Network Meeting (NNM) in Odense (Denmark) from 18th to 21st of November. At the AGM in Helsinki the number of Board Members was reduced from seven to five. The following four people were elected at the AGM in Helsinki as the Board of ESN International: Zsofi Honfi, president, Pascal Gemperli, vice president, Giuseppe Lugano, network administrator and Stefan Jaeger, regular member of the Board. The fifth board member was elected at the CNR meeting of Debrecen (May 2004); Nick Andries, NR of Belgium was elected as treasurer of ESN International. In September, at the CNR meeting of Tallinn, the CNR moved a vote of no confidence to the president, Zsofi Honfi, who had practically waned in the atmosphere with no trace left behind. As a result, the Board reshuffled internally and Pascal Gemperli was elected as president and Giuseppe Lugano as vice-president. Stefan Jaeger agreed to be the network administrator. To fill the vacant place, Merilyn Keskula, NR of Estonia, was elected as regular board member. Due to the lack of time due to his new job, Stefan Jaeger couldn’t contribute and participate to most meetings, so the CNR
A partnership was launched with Petrus Communications: Kristof van Thomme, former ESN Int. Board member did an internship with them during 2004 and brought ESN in touch with PC. Before summer 2004 Pascal Gemperli went to Paris to meet with Kirsten Williamson, Managing Director of PC in order to negotiate our cooperation. After some further emails and phone calls they fixed an agreement so that PC would pay 500 Euro per quarter year for advertisement on www.esn.org with a link to a further page containing more information about the advertised organisation. The same principle could also be applied for www.incommon.info. With regard to the ESNcard, it was immediately clear that it would constitute probably one of the most important projects of ESN. For the first time the CNR approved to have one common card and a fixed price of 0.85 Euro per card. The first issue of 6’650 cards was printed in beginning of September 2004 and distributed as follows: Czech Rep. 1‘400 Spain 1‘350 Belgium 1‘000 Switzerland 1‘000 France 300 Board 250 ESN Aalborg, Denmark 200 cards Austria 1’400
HB 2014 | 23
For the first time in ESN, mention was made about a common corporate identity, to increase visibility and recognition in the network. Early in 2005 the Board set up guidelines for the common application of 4 key graphical elements. The use of the CI became mandatory for ESN International (Board and CNR) through its approval by the CNR in Debrecen, Hungary on 8th of May 2004. It has been adapted at the CNR meeting in Athens on 10th of January 2005 in order to represent Morocco, the new ESN country, on the map background used. Although a visionary first step, the CI was not really implemented due to the low quality of the visual elements used. It wasn’t be before the AGM in Krakow that a solid visual language would be implemented. The first CNR meeting in 2005 was in Athens in January, 10th-11th and it went to history for the heat and beauty of the city, the warmth of Kostas-the-magician – our host - and the sleep-on-the-floor accommodation in a rented two-room flat. As the President, Zsofi, had disappeared, the existence of ESN was ensured and saved by the commitment of those persons. During the ESN year 03/04 four Meetings of the CNR have been organised: 3rd-5th May in Debrecen, Hungary 26th-28th September in Tallinn, Estonia 10th-12th January in Athens, Greece 14th-16th March in Gdansk, Poland AGM Gdansk – March 2005 The chair of the meeting was Luca Laudiero, former President of ESN Italia and Vice-Chair Agnieszka Skraburska, President of ESN Jagellionian University (Krakow). At the AGM in Gdansk, the first one held in Poland and in general in one former communist European country, the following International Board was elected: After Lisa resigned, Hielei Heider (Austria) was elected as Regular Board Member by the CNR in Bratislava in September 2007. From the previous Boards and especially from members of the Reforms Group and from Pascal, Giuseppe, Marilyn and Nick we inherited four crucial actions, ideas or keywords that were already initiated or had to be initiated: ESNc ard Headquarters in Brussels Official and legal basis for the Network Corporate Identity While the leadership of ESN before 2005 has the merit of having launched the aforementioned mainstreams, their accomplishments came in the following two years. The Board elected at AGM Gdansk committed explicitly to move to Brussels the organisation and personally. In the following year, another crucial project was initiated under the leadership of Ewa: the ESNSurvey. Finally but no less important, a new innovative approach to distributed web services was started being implement24 | HB 2014
ed by the webmaster Antonio De Marco: the ESNGalaxy project became a reality in 2006. After the AGM Our wishes were to receive notice to have obtained the operating grant the previous board applied to the European Commission for. Unsurprisingly, one week before our first Board Meeting Pascal received a letter from the responsible office at the EC stating that the grant had not been assigned to ESN due to lack of eligibility criteria. In fact, only registered bodies were eligible to receive support, as we got to know soon after our election. What we wanted to make out of our group was to develop a shared strategy, a project that each of us would consider something personal, for whose success to strive and struggle. The brainstorming Our first Board Meeting was held in Louvain-la-Neuve, a university town near Brussels. The reason why we decided to meet there was for being as close as possible to the city where we were to find a headquarters for ESN and a house where to live. The second goal for our first Board Meeting was to build a team around and for a common strategy. It was extremely important for us to decide together in that occasion at least what to do. On this occasion, we developed: “OUR VISION” In one year we see Erasmus Student Network as the Number 1 “Exchange Student Organisation” in Europe and beyond, officially registered, meaning ESN to be a voice in Europe, visible and known, present at conferences, symposia and regular meetings with the EC Directorate for Education by providing meaningful data and presentations and by meeting once Commissioner Figel’. In our vision, in one year from now ESN will implement projects, will adopt a corporate identity, will have a clear strategy both for long and short planning, with an approved and clear mission statement and a list of patrons, ESN operating within defined areas of intervention, led by happy and relaxed volunteers that do not worry for travel and working expenses, gathered at an office in Brussels living and working full time as a team for ESN and, through this work, for their personal growth. In one year from now we also want ESN to provide sections with a package of services, like e.g. a quality checking and training programmes; we see all National Representatives to be informed by the sections in their countries and most of them being active in working groups and involved in the Network’s life; we want ESN to offer PR materials and different products (mainly through an e-shop) applying and obtaining grants, organizing one big project that would increase the awareness of ESN, being its alumni involved in the network’s life. We wish ESN, in one year from now, can start thinking big, setting up a human network with a 10% increased number of sections and supporting poorer sections and countries, through reimbursements to NRs and differentiated fees, with an advisory board, elected for two years.
We wish ESN to be a recognizable brand, with predictable finances, all its sections being convinced that using ESN logo in addition to their one implies bringing the latter much more value; we see national boards set up in all countries that have enough sections (three ones according to the Statutes), working effectively for keeping the knowledge within the network, which is to be more and better known by media.
us one room in their premises in rue du Trone, 98 – the first official seat of ESN as a registered organisation.
This being our vision, we promise we will hardly work for making this wish being real through doing our best to reach the following Eight Aims for ESN.
It had been crucial to register ESN very quickly and by all means before November 30th as by that date, one year later, we should have been registered in order for ESN to be eligible to receiving the operating grant we were working so hard to get.
Pallomeri, Davide, Ewa, Lisa, Natalja, Toon. Most of that eventually became a reality. In addition, one of the most notable achievements of those months in 2005 was the recognition from the Council of Europe, through the European Youth Foundation, as a partner organisation – that allowed us to apply for current and extraordinary funds made available by such an institution. However, despite some applications that ensued, ESN never received funding as we were seen as a “European Union” organisation. Hence our strategy to enter in the Programming Committee that manages the allocation of grants in the European Youth Foundation, achieved in 2008. Bocconi Although in Milan ESN was present with 5 local sections, no section had ever been founded at the best-known Italian economy, finance and management University. I would never think at that time that Bocconi University would become our best partner and our main source of income for the next years, bringing to ESN International 21,000 EUR for sponsorships and communication in 2005 and more than 60.000 EUR in 2006. Brussels The first time that it was decided to move the official seat of ESN to the very core of the European Institutions, i.e. to Brussels, was the far 2001. Many generations of ESNers dreamt about it and thousands of documents and papers were written on this topic, and hundreds of hours discussing upon how it would be possible to start, finally, the final rush to move towards where we were destined to. Evidently, one of the major obstacles that impeded to settle down in the capital of Belgium was the lack of the needed financial resources not strictly by terms of the office rental and equipment, but rather for that even little amount of money to offer to the members of the international board who would be supposed to live and work there. Hence, even though possible at times, the last and final step was never made. I clearly foresaw that for the structure and the essence of ESN it would fit better to separate office and house, thence displaying professionalism and fostering credibility. Having available 500 EUR per month for opening the office, it was with some luck that in June 2005 we got in contact with the Italian Conference of Rectors, that rented
Finally, after 16 years of existence, the organisation was based in Brussels in an appropriate, professional environment. This was the precondition the further development of ESN.
Naturally, after having found for the board a place where to work, and provided that we had gained, in the meanwhile, enough resources, I needed to find a place where to let them sleep and finally to live. ESNHouse I loved our future house since the first moment. The new ESNHouse, a four-room and three-floor very centrally situated typically Brussellian apartment, was situated in Rue Hydraulique 15. Registration and legal basis in Belgium (AISBL) After sixteen years of existence and fourteen months of attempts, the final status of AISBL was gained on November 30th, 2005 in Ghent, and thanks to the great support of Nick Andries. The Fun(d)Raising Conference The first International training that ESN was able to organise was held in Vienna 30th August - 3rd September 2005 with the support of the Austrian National Board, who had been able to sign the first, important agreement linked with the ESNCard: this happened with a mobile phone company. ESN-Bocconi Training on Human Resources and Management. The Fun(d)raising Conference had arisen such a high interest amongst the network, that our commitment on managing a second training to be held as soon as possible and at the higher possible level was immediately pushed at the top of our agenda. This was done in the framework of our partnership with Universita’ Bocconi. This course aimed at providing ESNrs working with responsibility and abnegation at local, national or international level with theoretical skills for enhancing their professional development covering the topics Managing Strategic Processes in Large Multinational Firms The Dynamics of Creative Teams ESNSurvey The Survey was first launched in 2005 after lots of work of many people and under the supervision of Ewa. Its main goals were to gather data on exchange students’ issue but also to provide ESN with credibility and a broader role in Europe.
HB 2014 | 25
The ESN Survey 2005 was organised in cooperation with Petrus Communications. The project was developed by the ESN Vice President Ewa and Seweryn Krupnik with the help of several individuals and organisations. The aim of the research was to evaluate the experience of studying abroad and the quality of services offered to exchange students. The research was performed during June and July 2005. The online survey was filled by 7754 exchange students from universities around Europe and beyond. We launched this survey to identify the motivation and learning of international and exchange students, and above all to look at the ‘success’ of their experience from a number of perspectives. We particularly wanted to identify themes contributing to the success or otherwise of international education experiences. What is more, we wanted to see if and how incoming students benefit from the presence of student organisation at the receiving institution. Corporate Identity The first time than ESN discussed about the Corporate Identity was during the somehow enlightened year 20002001, President Stefanie Kothmiller, when the International Board adopted the decision, later ratified by the AGM, to elaborate a definition of what ESN is and what we exist for. Having moved to Brussels, having got our official registration and found a reasonable equilibrium for the balance; once developed important and successful projects such as the ESNSurvey on students’ satisfaction and the ESNCard; once having accomplished all those important steps we needed to review our identity to shed the basis for a strong international organisation and its visibility. Therefore we issued a questionnaire diffused to the active members in the period September – December 2005. The questionnaire was aiming at collecting data about the values of ESN at any level, and secondly at evaluating how the visual aspects of the Corporate Design in use at that time were communicating such values. This process was undergone in cooperation with the Dutch-leading branding companies Koeweiden Postma and Globrand with the support of Ever Ypma, former president of ESN Switzerland, During the AGM, Hugo van den Bos, Strategic Director of Koeweiden Postma presented the process that led to the finalisation of the logo and all the other visual aspects, that were presented and approved by a large majority of votes. As a result, ESN adopted a coherent, professional, effective, powerful corporate identity elements – showing leadership among all student organisations.
26 | HB 2014
Ewa Krzaklewska and Davide Capecchi
History ESN in 2006 - 2007 of
HB 2014 | 27
During 2005 – 2007, ESN experienced a true transformation, from a widespread student network without a central office and lacking coordination to a well-structured and organised international non-profit organisation providing services to members at a centralised level. Therefore, we had managed an explosion in terms of progress, while at the same time directly developing ESN sustainably and with long-lasting structural solidity. That was a true challenge as most of the organisation was not yet prepared for such a fast and radical development. Our main task was to make sure that all of ESN would feel part of the change and identify with the new ways of being members by avoiding the risk of increasing the gap between the different levels of ESN. This year was truly one to remember, one for celebrating 20 Years of the Erasmus Programme – the most engaging project ESN had undergone in its history. Secondly, it was the year in which we strongly implemented Corporate Identity: the first ESNcards with the new logo and visual elements were distributed; new guidelines for sections were set and distributed throughout the network. The new logo was registered as a European trademark. With the addition of Malta, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia, in March 2007 there were 31 countries in ESN, getting closer and closer to 250 sections. Most impressive yet, 39 new sections joined ESN from April to December 2006. To summarise: In April 2003 there were 159 sections. 49 From April 03 to March 04: 22 new sections, 17 expelled (total: 164); 50 from April 04 to March 05: 22 new sections, 1 expelled (total: 185); from April 04 to March 06: 22 new sections 1 (total: 207). The Board 2006/2007 consisted of: Davide Capecchi – President Ewa Krzaklewska – Vice President Corrine Bryner - Treasurer* Tomaso Bisol – Network Administrator Jakob Smets – External Relations working together with: Patrick Fiquet - ESN Secretary (until AGM in March 2006) Magda Niemcewicz – ESN Intern (July to 2006 to October 2006) - support for communication and PR Ivana Petricevic – ESN Secretary (until AGM in Prague, March 2007) Zahira Leticia Servera – ESN Intern for 20 years of ESN celebrations Antonio de Marco – webmaster *Elected in May 2006 by the CNR (Linköping, Sweden). The position had been vacant after the AGM in Krakow. During the period of vacancy, Karri Teikari took care of the
28 | HB 2014
financial matters as an interim treasurer. Board meetings in 2006: BM 01: 25-29/04, Brussels (Belgium) BM 02: 11-15/05, Linköping (Sweden)* BM 03: 02-08/06, Brussels (Belgium) BM 04: 13-16/07, Montisola (Italy) BM 05: 31/08 – 03/09, Brussels (Belgium) BM 06: 14-17/09, Teramo (Italy)* BM 07: 05-08/10, Brussels (Belgium) BM 08: 03-07/11, Padova (Italy)** BM 09: 02-03/12, Brussels (Belgium) BM 10: 07-10/12, Koper (Slovenia)* Board meetings in 2007 (until March): BM 11: 18-21/01, Brussels (Belgium)* BM 12: 22-25/02, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)*** BM 13: 16-21/03, Prague (Czech Republic)* * with CNR ** hosted by AEP - ESN Padova *** hosted by ESN Sarajevo The year 2007 was a year of celebrations – ESN was celebrating 20 years of the Erasmus Programme. It was therefore a special year for us, as ESN as such was created by the first generation of Erasmus students. The idea to create our network was born during the first Erasmus evaluation meeting in Ghent. The previous years (2005 and 2006) were very crucial for the development of ESN and its financial and institutional stability – most importantly, we moved to Brussels, reg-istered ESN in Belgium, found sponsors and partners for ESN, enlarged greatly the budget of the organisation, and gained contacts with NGOs and institutions there. We continued to establish our position as an important and active student organisation by having a say on academic mobility. One very important step towards this was the creation of the ESNSurvey project. As the aim of ESN was and still is to support exchange students, we decided to gather knowledge about students’ real-life situations through research based on their experiences (survey). The first ESNSurvey was organised in 2005 with the partnership of Petrus Communications. It received almost 8000 answers and the results were communicated to all relevant bodies, as well as to the European Commission. There was much interest in the results as they were giving up-to-date information on the most important aspects of exchanges and were a basis for recommendations to stakeholders. At the same time, in 2006, we were already concentrating on the preparations for the celebrations. Together with Davide, we prepared a grant application for celebrations of the 20th anniversary of Erasmus and we received funding for it from the European Commission! Since then, the proper work started, and each day more and more people got involved in preparing these birthday parties (not only parties of course) around Europe. We welcomed an intern
in the ESN Office – Zahira arrived from Spain and supported us throughout most of the project. The starting event for the celebrations was an Opening Conference in Brussels, organised on 18-19 January 2007 at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. 250 students from all over Europe gathered to meet with Margot Wallstrom – Vice President of the European Commission, an ESN alumni and an alumni of the Erasmus programme – as well as researchers studying mobility. We discussed our experiences, the meaning of Erasmus as well as about ways of improving it. The conference finished with the Birthday Party, where Jan Figel celebrated Erasmus’s birthday with the students. All the National Representatives were also present, as the Council of Na-tional Representatives was organised at the same time in the Belgium capital city. After the fantastic AGM in Prague in March 2007, the ESN Van departed for its travel around Europe. The Van, decorated with ribbons in various languages and colours, toured 23 countries and visited more than 50 cities. The Van volunteers drove more than 25,000 km to promote mobility among the students and local citizens. The most active Van volunteer I shall mention was Paul Puylaert – he treated the Van as his baby, taking care of any mechanical issues. Each time it was in a different city, the ESN Van and its crew took part in an Erasmus Day – organised by ESN local sections (and a few times by other student associations). Erasmus Days were amazing events, gathering students as well as university and local authorities, and were always unique. There were conferences, debates, lectures, street markets, visits during classes, seminars, parties, International Days, barbecue, Erasmus trams and tents. Once, we even turned our Van into an ice-cream van, giving around ice sticks and interactive CDs about the Erasmus programme. We tried to meet as many of young people as possible. Sometimes, we visited secondary schools to show pupils at an early stage how exciting mobility is. The volunteers that were travelling with me on the Van were a great support and a volcano of energy! Thanks to them, the Van was always so warmly welcomed and we were hosted with great care. The Van also carried a lot of presents. I already mentioned interactive CDs, made especially for this occasion. New technology allowed us to make the CD both attractive and interactive – they included students’ stories, photos and all the information that is important when one wants to go on Erasmus. We also had with us the results of the ESNSurvey in the form of booklets, as well as T-shirts, leaflets, stickers and other gadgets. If you want to see the photos from the tour and read students’/ volunteers’ experiences, please read our report on the ESN website: http://www.esn.org/ content/20-years-erasmus. What is more, the young persons’ TV station ‘Europocket TV’ travelled with us in the Van (through Meabh) – even now, if you search YouTube for the Erasmus Van and Europocket, you can see the TV coverage (short movies) about the Van tour.
students’ rights”. 12,000 students filled in the survey and expressed their opinions about the programme. From the survey, we concluded that universities, European Commission, na-tional agencies and student organisations have to con-centrate on three matters in order to improve the quality of mobility: recognition of studying abroad, financial issues and the provision of information (even now, projects dealing with these matters are being conducted by ESN). Secondly, we gathered student experiences on a website especially dedicated to this purpose. 500 students described their experience abroad and uploaded photos and films showing their best moments abroad. On this website, one could also follow the tour of the Van and read day by day what happened on the road. In summary, it was a happy year for ESN – there were plenty of events, we were present in the public view and in media coverage. We hope we managed to spread widely our love for mobility and international experience. All the bodies of ESN, from the International Board to the Erasmus students themselves, were involved in the cel-ebrations, we all could feel that we had a common goal – fostering student mobility under the principle of ‘students helping students’. When we toured with the Van around Europe, we used to meet the same people in different countries and, no matter where we were, we always felt at home. That shows what real mobility is and that is the way of life we want to enjoy and promote. Ewa Krzaklewska
One of the main aims of the project “20 years of the Erasmus programme”, besides organising celebrations was to evaluate the Erasmus experience. In order to gather experiences of students, we used two tools. Firstly, the second edition of the ESNSurvey had already been organised in the year 2006. The edition was entitled “Exchange
HB 2014 | 29
History ESN in 2007 - 2008 of
30 | HB 2014
I was elected president of ESN at the 2007 AGM in Prague, one of the best organised AGMs I have ever seen, thanks to the great organisation of the ESN sections in Prague and the OC directed by Michal Mildorf.
Successful submission of the application for the Youth in Action Administrative Grant 2008.
I became President after Davide Capecchi had held the position for two years in a row; he and Ewa Krzaklewska, as Vice-President, had made ESN history in the previous two years: they moved the seat of ESN to Brussels, legally registered the association, gave ESN financial stability, won the Youth in Action Administrative Grant for the first time, and an Accompanying Measures Grant under Eras-mus for the development of the “Celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of the Erasmus programme” project, and many other things you have probably read in the previous report. So, the year I had in front of me was indeed a special one, full of many events, many challenges, and many projects. I inherited ESN at a high level with the mission of bringing it even higher.
Successful submission of the application for the Youth in Action Grant for the conference “Building Europe piece by piece” which was then held in Brussels in October 2008.
Fortunately, I had the possibility of working with a great Board that year: Matthias Fenner as Vice-President, Ka-mila Wroblewska as Treasurer, Andim Doldurucu as Net-work Administrator and Francesca Marcuzzo as Regular Board Member were the people who helped me every day in obtaining all the results we finally achieved that year. But we were not alone in Brussels, where we had the help of the very first European Volunteer ESN has ever had: Sara Lanzillotta from ESN Roma La Sapienza was fundamental in the success of the “Celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of the Erasmus programme” project. And I can’t forget the first two paid ESN Secretaries: Agnes Dabek and Melinda Horvath. Last but not the least in our team was Antonio De Marco, who joined us in Brussels as the head of the ESN Webteam. These were the people who worked closely with me in Brussels and who, with the help of the CNR and of all the ESN members active in the working groups and the liaisons officers, helped ESN achieve the following: Final establishment of the ESN headquarters with the moving of the full Board in Brussels, the opening of the new ESN house and the transformation of the old ESN house in what is now the ESN office. Introduction of the figure of the ESN secretary as a salaried dependent. Successful execution of the “The celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of the Erasmus programme” with the successful completion of the van tour with all the Erasmus days around Europe, the presentation at the EAIE conference in Trondheim and at the final conference organised by the Portuguese presidency of the EU in Lisbon, where ESN had the honor to have two keynote speakers (me and Ewa Krzaklewska); the success of the story competition, the creation and distribution of the final booklet and the successful submission of the final report to the European Commission. Successful management of the Youth in Action Administrative Grant 2007 until its conclusion and successful submission of its report to the European Commission.
Successful submission of the application for the EVS Grant for the year 2008 - 2009.
Successful submission of the application for the Accompanying Measures Grant under Erasmus for the PRIME project, later developed and concluded by the two following Boards. Production of the final report of the ESN Survey 2007 and launch and management of the ESN Survey 2008. Launch of the ESN Galaxy, ESN Identity and the ESN Satellite, products done for the sections and now widely used. Successful submission of the application for participatory status in the Council of Europe. Active involvement in the European Youth Forum. Creation of the Council of National Delegates (CND), and its successful first implementation in Winterthur in September 2007 (special thanks to Jonas Epp for the help in the WG and as head of the OC). Change of the formation of the Board with the introduction of the Web project administrator and Board member in charge of External Relations positions in substitution of the Network Administrator and Regular Board member positions and reshuffling of functions of the other positions. Introduction of the transition period between the concluding and upcoming Board. Exchange of associate memberships with the European Students Union (ESU). Partnership agreements with other students’ organisations (AEGEE, EPSA, EMSA). Co-organisation of the June 2007 IFISO meeting in Brussels. Successful implementation of the ESN card project, ESN Magazine and ESN Newsletter, launch of new ESN promotional material. Admission of three new countries in ESN: F.Y.R.O. Macedonia, Iceland and Azerbaijan. The major events held in that year were: AGM 2007 in Prague AGM 2008 in Besancon CND 2007 in Winterthur CNR May 2007 in Utrecht CNR December 2007 in Sarajevo CNR February 2008 in Brussels CNR May 2008 in Warsaw NEP 2007 in Trondheim
HB 2014 | 31
WEP 2007 in Lausanne CEP 2007 in Warsaw SEEP 2007 in Istanbul SWEP 2007 in Ifrane Cultural Medley 2007 in Munich I hope to have listed all the major achievements and events went on during my presidency, and I am sorry not to have been able to mention in this small text all the people who shared the same feelings and ideas, who worked hard, always believed and, finally, contributed to the success of ESN that year. Many of you are still some of my closest friends and that really means something. Two years since I left the ESN presidency, I am better able to begin to judge what we did, and only now can I conclude with what for me is definitely the best achievement of my ESN year: our major goal was the creation of a unique ESN identity where words such as professionalism, seriousness, confidence, reliability, openness, tolerance, collaboration, friendship and fun go together without any problem. We wanted people be happy and proud to be part of ESN and now I can see that that idea was not that crazy. Always happy and proud to have been your president, Giorgio Marinoni
32 | HB 2014
History ESN in 2008 - 2010 of
HB 2014 | 33
The elections of the International Board 2008/2009 took place at the end of March 2008 at the AGM in Besançon (France). Out of five positions, only three were filled – Matthias Fenner from Switzerland (ESN Winterthur) was elected as President, Marketa Tokova from the Czech Republic (ESN VSE Prague) as Vice-President and Magdalena Wawrzonkowska from Poland (ESN Torun) as the Board member in charge of External Relations. There was no candidate for the Web Project Administrator and the only candidate for the position of Treasurer was not elected.
was promoted by ESN – was cancelled at the last moment. The cancellation meant hundreds of stranded passengers, ESN sections facing a financial loss, and the possibility of losing a good reputation. At the post-AGM CNR meeting, due to high levels of pressure, Matthias Fenner decided to resign from the position of President to allow for a more reasonable and sensible discussion. Immediately, a Care team was created to follow the can-cellation, support the Board, ESN sections and members, collect information and evaluate possible threats for ESN.
Fortunately, due to the transition period which lasted until the CNR meeting in Warsaw (at the end of May), there was time to deal with this situation. New candidates were found, and eventually, Piotr Cylke from Poland (ESN EYE Lodz) was elected as WPA and Erdeniz Unvan from Turkey (ESN Anadolu) as Treasurer. The Board year could start!
Despite quite difficult times for ESN, the Board, with the support of the Care team, managed the situation that slowly but steadily began to calm down. Many steps and measures were taken to limit damages of the cancellation, restore ESN’s reputation and prevent danger in future (such as consultation of lawyers, offers of mediation or communication with stranded and disappointed partic-ipants). Fortunately, none of the sections were impacted financially, though in some cases, they faced problems with their partners.
However, it was not until the beginning of August that the whole Board finally got together in Brussels. Dussia and Piotr needed to finish their studies, Erdeniz was fighting with the Turkish visa system, so it was only Matthias, Marketa and Melinda Horvath – ESN Secretary until December 2008 from Hungary (ESN Budapest BME) - who were in Brussels after the handover. To complete the team – Jorgen Talkop from Estonia (ESN Tallinn) joined the Board as the EVS. Last but not least, from January 2009, Ana Silva from Portugal (ESN Porto) replaced Melinda as the new Secretary. The Board worked and travelled relentlessly – keeping its members and sections in mind. One of the most important projects was the network-wide consultation on the mission, vision and values of ESN – the results of which were presented and approved at the AGM in Utrecht in 2009. The new vision of ESN since then is the “enrichment of society through international students.” In 2009, ESN was going to celebrate its 20th year of exis-tence and thus the preparations for the 20th anniversary were also on a daily task list – including the fundraising campaign Give20 for which ESN cooperated with Unicef, the Postcard campaign and ESNtrain. It is almost impossible to mention all the activities, success stories or less extensive duties – as every day brought a new challenge and new way of working. However, here are some successes, to name but a few: the first successful grant application under the Jean Monnet programme amounting to EUR 95,000, Bulgaria as a new ESN country, participatory status of the Council of Europe and creation of a new liaison office for the Council of Europe, successful grant applications for the BEST summer school and for the Postcard campaign, an ESN representative elected to the Advisory council of the Council of Europe (Dominika Skotkova from Slovakia), introduction of calls with NRs, the first recruitment weekend for possible Board candidates, website screening and an increase in the usage of Satellite among ESN sections, and the development of the PRIME questionnaire. The days were not always sunny, though, and the Board also had to deal with less pleasant situations such as the expulsion of Cyprus in August 2008 and internal problems in ESN Sarajevo. Ironically, probably the most difficult period came during and after the AGM in Utrecht when ESNtrain – which
34 | HB 2014
The Board (including Matthias Fenner who after the res-ignation was appointed as Designated Representative to help and support his colleagues from the Board, as well as the whole network thanks to his rich and long experience in ESN) continued to work until 15 July 2009 when the transition period finished and their successors were elected in March at the AGM. Meetings and events of 2008/2009: September 2008: National Presidents’ meeting in Prague Puzzle conference in Brussels CNR meeting in Rimini October 2008: SWEP in Milan SEEP in Sarajevo November 2008: CEP in Budapest NEP in Tartu WEP in Dusseldorf December 2008: CND meeting in Gdansk (including a surprise event where Dalai Lama was present) January 2009: Recruitment weekend in Brussels February 2009: CNR meeting in Skopje March 2009: Pre and post AGM CNR meetings in Utrecht AGM in Utrecht May 2009: CNR meeting in Porto
ESN in 2009-2010 The International Board of 2009/2010 was elected at the AGM in Utrecht with the following composition: Marketa Tokova from the Czech Republic as President, Veeli Oeselg from Estonia as Vice-President, Troels Frost Christensen from Denmark as Treasurer, Tajana Nikolic from Croatia as Board member in charge of External Relations, and Marc Janson from the Netherlands as Web Project Administrator. The Board officially only came into office in July 2009. Before starting, two additional colleagues were chosen – Gosia Trusczynska from Poland as the new EVS and Simone Dalle Nogare from Italy as Secretary. The start of the year was in token of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of ESN. Most of the projects had already started before the elections so it was up to the current Board to finalise them – special editions of postcards and posters, together with booklets, were produced for the Postcard campaign and more than 50,000 EUR was raised for Give20. All the sections and individuals who contributed to this effort deserve a huge thank-you from the whole network. Last but not least, the Board had to deal with the aftermath of the last-minute cancellation of the ESNtrain. In order to help find a solution for all parties of the disagreement, ESN offered mediation between the participants, the representatives of platform GmbH and ESN. However, no conclusions were reached. From September 2009, a new body of ESN was introduced, called ‘Committees’, one per Board member to assist with and share the workload. After a slow start and the recruitment of its members, the Committees slowly but steadily became important working bodies. The idea of the very first meeting of all the committees (CoMeet) was developed during the mandate of the Board, in cooperation with ESN VSE Prague. During the year, ESN started further work on its role as a representative of international students – promoting and discussing the topic with its members and participating in or imitating projects aimed at improving the situation of international students. One of the biggest successes of the Board was the completion of the PRIME project. The project as such had already started two years ago, but the developments in 2008/2009 were quite slow and thus most of the work was done from October 2009 to January 2010. Thanks to the amazing commitment of the research team and PRIME coordinators, the project produced a very relevant study on problems of recognition. Ten local conferences and one final dissemination conference in Brussels was organised in order to present the results and promote the research. Moreover, as a follow-up to the project, a new grant appli-cation was submitted and approved.
bility. ESN is representing international students and their needs and wishes. Furthermore, ESN continued its work on the ExchangeAbility project – involving students with disabilities in the work of ESN sections and promoting mobility opportunities through them. A very nice and inspiring training session was organised at the end of May 2010 in Antwerp for ESN members as well as students with disabilities to help them understand the differences and dispel their prejudice and fears. Last but not least, after almost three years of candidate membership of the European Youth Forum, ESN was fi-nally approved as a full member. This could not have hap-pened without the involvement and work of many people, especially members of the Liaison Office – Jelena Bran-kovic, Madara Apsalone and Dominika Skotkova. As regards network care, the main aim of the Board was to be member-oriented and focus on the needs of the sections. The Board supported the initiatives and pro-active approach of ESN section members, and organised various meetings and provided opportunities for self-development. Another sign of growing interest of ESN members was the unprecedented number of candidates for the Board. Altogether, there were 13 candidates for 5 positions. Additionally, the network was also getting bigger – new countries were joining ESN (Cyprus in December 2009 and Ukraine in April 2010). For the second time in a row, ESN received the Jean Monnet operating grant for associations active in the field of international education – an amount of 100,000 EUR. In addition to this, ESN also enjoyed an administrative grant from the Council of Europe, which proves its relevance among the volunteer and youth organisations in Europe. However, not everything was going as smoothly and thus, the financial year ended with a deficit of 20,000 EUR. It was mainly due to over-estimated expectations of sponsor money. Therefore, it was very important and encouraging that a new partnership deal was set up. Not only did it provide new services for ESN sections and ESN members, but it also had a crucial importance for the budget. All in all, it was a very dynamic year – rich in events, meetings, experiences, travels and new challenges. De-spite some problems and difficulties, the Board led the network through the year safely and made ESN stronger and ready for its future challenges!
Secondly, ESN became an important partner in the EMQT project, coordinated by the University of Padua. The Erasmus Mobility Quality Tools project aims to create a tool-kit for universities to assess the quality of their Erasmus mo-
HB 2014 | 35
Meetings and events of 2009/2010: September 2009: National Board Meeting in Poznan CNR meeting in Novi Sad October 2009: CEP in Brno ESN celebrates in Ghent November 2008: NEP in Stockholm WEP in Zurich December 2008: CND meeting in Athens SEEP in Ljubljana January 2010: Recruitment weekend in Brussels Final PRIME conference in Brussels National Board Meeting in Besancon February 2010: CNR meeting in Warsaw April 2010: Pre and post AGM CNR meetings in Istanbul AGM in Istanbul May 2010: ExchangeAbility meeting in Antwerp June 2010: CNR meeting in Prague
36 | HB 2014
Eva Ntovolou, with the Valuable Contribution of Marco La Rosa and Joachim Wyssling
History ESN in 2010 - 2011 of
HB 2014 | 37
History is written every day. It is very difficult, however, to document it objectively when it is very fresh. I will thus try to write down some facts hoping to include most of the numerous things that happened during that year. That year was the first time for quite a long time that the Board had changed completely from the previous year. This initially led to uncertainty but, later on, to many significant changes and big developments for the network. The Board of 2010/2011 consisted of: Eva Ntovolou, President Joachim Wyssling, Vice President Damien Lamy Preto, Treasurer Marco La Rosa, Member in charge of External Relations and later Communication Manager Ourania “Rania” Chantzopoulou, Web Project Administrator and was assisted by Leo Smith as Secretary, Justyna Pisera as PRIME Coordinator Benjamin Bertrand as IT intern. For the first time in the History of ESN, the Board employed a full time working person under a project grant who worked at the Headquarters of the association in Brussels. Before the AGM (when it was officially counted) the network consisted of 364 sections around Europe as 38 new sections joined but 21 left the network since the previous year. With the addition of Malta, Georgia and Croatia the network expanded to 36 countries. Due to budgetary reasons the Board decided to hold all Board Meetings in Brussels and save money for other purposes within the network. The other main meetings of the year were: CoMeet Prague September 2010 CNR Vilnius September 2010 NBM Vienna October 2010 NEP Turku October 2010 CEP Bratislava October 2010 SEEP Sofia October 2010 Alumni Meeting October 2010 WEP Groningen November 2010 SWEP Padova November 2010 CND Milano December 2010 NBM Helsinki February 2011 CNR Eskisehir February 2011 CoMeet Madrid March 2011 AGM Budapest April 2011 CNR Tartu June 2011 The developments of the year focused both on the internal structure and strengthening as well as on the external relations and partnerships for the promotion of the network and the support of international students.
38 | HB 2014
Education & Erasmus As the framework of the Erasmus Programme was to last in this form until 2013, 2010 was the year when the consultations with the various stakeholders on the programme post 2013 started. We participated in the Expert Group of the Commission, voicing the needs of all Erasmus students in order to create a better and stronger programme for the future. Many of our ideas – product of the PRIME and ESNSurvey’s as well as of consultations with the network and the Education Committee- were taken on board as the Communication later on published by the Commission showed. During the year, ESN was present in all meetings held regarding mobility and internationalisation as well as youth. We were more active than ever in writing opinion papers and promoting them among our stakeholders and partners. Some of the papers written were: Reaction to the Youth on the Move communication Paper on the Future of Erasmus Reaction on the Paper on the Modernisation of Higher Education Reaction on the Paper on the Validation of Non Formal and Informal Learning and more which can be found in the AGM Documents of the year. We also wrote a declaration to the Council of Europe on the promotion of mobility which was to be followed up by the Liaison Office. At the same time we took active part in the discussions on Youth on the Move with the Youth Unit of the Commission, participated in several relevant meetings with important personalities (President Barroso, Commissioner Vassiliou etc) and promoted the inclusion of the ESN Card in the plans of the Commission to create a Youth on the Move Card. As the Commission was discussing at the time the creation of an Erasmus Alumni Association as well as the founding of “Erasmus Experts” similar to the “Bologna Experts” we managed to include ESN into the discussions and advocate strongly for our international students and get the promise that ESN would be the association providing both of the above. Of course this was to be followed up and discussed further in the future. Cooperation with other organisations ESN was already member of the European Youth Forum (YFJ) as well as the Council of Europe (CoE). During the year, we also applied for a membership to the European Civil Society Platform on Life Long Learning (EUCIS-LLL) which was unanimously approved at the General Assembly of EUCIS, held in Poland. In order to organise the work needed in these fields, ESN had already for many years Liaison Officers who were taking care of all the things related to the YFJ and CoE. The change that took place this year is that we decided to make a unified Liaison Office for all the cooperating institutions. This helped a lot with the communication among the officers as well as with the accomplishment of the wanted results. As some of the initial officers had to leave, the new Liaison Office consisted of Lea Benirschke and Carla Filetti, completed by Madara Apsalone.
We continued the cooperation with the Informal Forum of International Student Organisations (IFISO) and took part in the meetings held, where we run and got selected to organise the IFISO meeting of the upcoming spring.
and Marco La Rosa (Board Member). The ESNSurvey Team was more integrated in the Education Committee, commercial partners were found and a future strategy was drafted.
The presence and performance of ESN at the Annual European Association for International Education (EAIE) meeting was enhanced as more proposals for sessions were approved and after a successful collaboration with the European Association of Erasmus Coordinators (EAEC) we managed to share a booth with them at the exhibition of the conference. What is more, articles of ESN were published in both the FORUM magazine of the EAIE and the newsletter of the EAEC.
PRIME 2010: After the big success of the first edition of the project and the successful grant of the previous Board we continued the project, significantly improved and with a full time coordinator working on it in Brussels. The number of answers received was unprecedented and exceed all expectations and goals set by the grant. Several conferences took place and promotion was done all year long. The finalization of the project was left to the next Board.
Communication policies As the communication was deemed a crucial point of the network development we decided to focus on it (thus the assignment of a special position of the Board, the Communication Manager). During the year, three ESN magazines were designed and printed. The online readers of the magazine increased from approx. 200 to more than 3000. From 22.000 followers on the ESN Facebook page we reached 52.000. The twitter account was mainly used during the AGM, which was also broadcasted live so that all ESNers could have the chance to watch from their houses. The newsletter tripled the number of subscriptions and space to it was given for partners and advertisers. Same goes for the website which had a 5% increase in visitors. Its content was revised and google analytics was used as a tool to monitor the value of the pages and the content. During the year, we took part in a Google competition with Google AdWord. Even though the results were not that satisfactory we managed to make a partnership with Google and received Google Apps Education for free. The Corporate Identity was strengthened and a Visual Identity Manual was created in order to raise awareness of the CI within the network. A Corporate Identity Team was set up in the Communication Committee in order to monitor the use of it. At the same time a Graphics Team was set up with the double purpose to sustain the growth of the network providing logo for the new sections, correcting wrong logo, providing templates and as well to lighten the work of the Board taking care of designing booklets, receiving directly requests from the Board giving a precious help to the Communication Manager. As a result a long term Communication Strategy was proposed and approved by the network and the position of Local Representative was promoted to the sections. Projects Multiple projects were run at the same time but it is worth mentioning the following: ESNSurvey: A new coordinator was chosen (Emanuel Alfranseder). We managed to recover the printed ESNSurvey 2008 and send it to the sections. ESNSurvey 2009 was analysed, finished and printed, ESNSurvey2010 questionnaire touched a new record in terms of number of respondents, it was as well analysed, finished and printed. ESNSurvey 2011 questionnaire was finalised, loaded on esn.org and left to the new Board. The members of the ESNSurvey2010 Team were Emamuel Alfranseder (coordinator), Ewa Krzaklewska,Julia Fellinger, Marge Taivere
ExchangeAbility: The project started with the grant from the European Youth Foundation continued following the two aims of making ESN a more accessible organisation and fostering mobility among students with disabilities. The first part was carried out by the International Coordinators (Ana Frangova, Bjorn Lemmens, Alexandros Vigkos, Galina Krysteva) with the support of the secretary. The second one was supported by a LLP Grant with UNICA (Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe) as coordinator and a consortium composed by ESN and five Universities. ESN took care of Quality Assurance, Dissemination and part of the organisation of the site visits. The project received wide recognition and was also mentioned in a report of the European Parliament. Moreover interest was shown from the European Commission. ESN EduK8: A new project was developed and took place for the first time under the name ESN EducK8. The purpose of the project was to train ESN volunteers to become trainers to other ESNers and thus circulate the knowledge within the network but also raise awareness on several issues and methods of collaboration. SocialErasmus: This project became an international project after a relevant proposal of the CNR and was developed by the international coordinators, Katerina Vigkou, Paulo Nogueira Ramos and later Remo Ughini to what later on formed the proposal for an LLP project and the 25th year celebration of the Erasmus Programme. Another project which was launced during the year was Ride For your Rights, a project aiming at enhancing mobility and promoting its value to the world. ESN also took part very actively in the events of the European Year of Volunteering as well as the EU China Year of Youth. It is important to mention that a distinction was made between projects and labeled activities so that project management is facilitated in the network. Finances In terms of financing, we applied again for the Jean Monnet grant which was approved (100.000 euros) and for a project under the Accompanying Measures of the LLP Programme of the European Commission which would form the main project of next year for the Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Erasmus Programme. The project grant was SocialErasmus and it was approved (approx. 146000 euros). In order to apply for the Jean Monnet grant we had to make some significant changes to the Statutes of ESN. ESN has obviously been moving towards Education throughout
HB 2014 | 39
the years but this was never documented in the goals of the association in the Statutes, fact which at some point formed a threat for the JM fund as it was a prerequisite for associations to have Higher Education as a clearly listed goal in order to be eligible for the grant. Together with this and as it was a part of the Long Term Strategy of ESN, we restructured completely the statutes and set the basis for a clearer and more stable text which will hopefully not change that often in the future. A more professional approach was taken as due to the network growth and complexity we had to consult a notary, who set several clrearer rules for the statutes, the legal issues and the conduct of the AGM. The year 2010 closed with a positive balance and a positive balance was also presented as a mid-term report for 2011. General developments to the network In order to facilitate the work of the Board, the newly shaped body of the Committees (International Committee for Education – ICE, Network and Events Committee – NEC, Finance Committee – FiCo, Communication Committee – ComCom and IT Committee) was put to action and significantly developed during the year. The first Committee Meetings (CoMeet) took place and a platform of communication among the Chairs was set on a monthly basis. The role of the National Boards was also strengthened and got a new form with the implementation of recommendation papers to the CNR, the NB buddy system, the changes to the NB meeting and the inclusion of NBs to the discussions in the CNR mailing list. The ESN Alumni also elected a new Board and held several meetings during the year. As all bodies were developing, the need to improve the CNR emerged. At first in order to facilitate the work of the CNR, the position of CNR Administrator was created and included in the standing orders. The first CNR Administrator was Christoph Bachman and the second one elected after him was Emanuel Alfrasender. During the CNR in Tartu which took place in June, the idea to create strategy fields for the CNR was introduced in order to enhance the strategic power of this body and their involvement to policy and decision making. Several Policy papers were revised and made more concise. The AGM guidelines were revised and an Event Policy Paper was created in order to collect all guidelines and rules for the organisation of all ESN events. The Associate Membership Policy Paper was also rewritten in an attempt to include the fast developments in the growth of the network and the increasing interest of partner organisations all over the world which coincided with the plans for expansion of the Erasmus Programme outside Europe. The need to expand and create the structures which would support further growth was evident, thus we introduced the idea of the creation of a secretariat which would take over the administrative tasks of the Board and allow time for strategic development. We already had a Secretary and a Project Coordinator in Brussels, we introduced the interns and at the end of our mandate we also secured a fund for ESN which would allow us to have an extra employee in Brussels (Maribel fund). Furthermore the decision to move to a bigger ESN house was taken in
40 | HB 2014
collaboration with the newly elected Board. Last but not least, we tried to tackle the long lasting problem of knowledge transfer between Boards and organised a professional training during the transition period for the new Board as well as a full programme of discussions and partner visiting combined with closing the office for a week in order to completely focus on the Board transition. All in all, it was a really full year with many many developments and a whole lot of vision for the promising future of ESN. I hope I have managed to include everything although it is very hard to describe a year in just a few lines. I believe what made all this possible was the great collaboration of the network and the amazing teamwork of the Board members in Brussels. It has certainly been an honour to be in this network for years and serve as its President and I hope that the past and the history documented here can help build a better and even more ambitious future for ESN no matter the challenges!
History ESN in 2011 - 2012 of
HB 2014 | 41
The ESN Year of 2011-2012 included quite some changes within the network as well as the international environment of mobility and exchange. One of the biggest developments was connected to the ERASMUS programme itself, as stakeholders started to discuss the new ERASMUS programme extensively and ESN was right in the middle. Furthermore 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of our favourite exchange programme, which was connected with a lot of celebrations, conferences and a review of ERASMUS’ history. Within ESN the ESN Secretariat was created and marked a huge step forward in terms of administration and consistency within ESN’s headquarters. The International Board 2011 – 2012: Tania Berman (FR) – President Katja Krohn (DE) – Vice President Damien Lamy Preto (FR) – Treasurer Josefin Svensson (SE) – Communication Manager Fabian Bircher (CH) – Web Project Administrator
The Council of National Representatives was supported by Emanuel Alfranseder (ESN Sweden) as the CNR Ad-ministrator. The flagship project: SocialErasmus In 2011, ESN was granted the Erasmus Accompanying Measures grant for the project SocialErasmus and it became the flagship project for 2012, the 25th anniversary of the Erasmus programme. The grant allowed the net-work to hire a full-time international coordinator based in Brussels: Michel Erlandsen (ESN Denmark). He centrally organised actions within the project, supervised the na-tional coordinators and organised the SocialErasmus week in May 2012. He also organised the very first So-cialErasmus Coordinator’s Meeting (SECM) in Trondheim, Norway, where the national and local SE coordinators met in order to plan their activities throughout the rest of the year as well as share best-practice examples, especially for the SocialErasmus week. In December 2011 the Eu-ropean Economic and Social Committee (EESC) awarded ESN the prestigious first prize of the Civil Society Prize, marking a huge success for ESN.
The Board was assisted by Leo Smith – Secretary, with the introduction of the Secretary, renamed to Board Secretary Virginie Berard – Secretary Jirka Matousek – intern for communication Michel Erlandsen – SocialErasmus Coordinator The birth of the Secretariat: 2011 marks the year when the ESN Secretariat was founded. In order to secure a better knowledge management for the network and administration, ESN decided to establish a secretariat in the office in Brussels, which would consist of full-time Brussels-based employees working for ESN. The members of the Secretariat would not travel to the many meetings throughout the year and would build a back-up office in the headquarters. Virginie Berard became the very first Secretary of ESN. In connection with the establishment of the Secretariat, Leo Smith’s position was renamed Board Secretary, as he still travelled with the Board and assisted with ESN projects instead of administration of the network and office. Virginie took over the administration of the network, such as adding new sections and administrating memberships, invoices, shipping of orders and the general office management. The network By the time of the AGM Granada in March 2012 the network consisted of 36 countries with 395 sections. 55 new sections joined the network and 24 sections left it, which reflects an even bigger growth than the year before. During the year the development of the National Boards was one of the focus points of the network development. In March 2012, 23 countries had a National Board and more NBs were developed at that time. In order to strengthen the existing ones and support the newly developed NBs the NB Buddy System was developed further, matching similar NBs in order to strengthen country cooperation. In addition the section cooperation within the network was supported via a team in the Network & Events Committee in order to establish new cooperations and support existing ones.
42 | HB 2014
25th anniversary of the ERASMUS programme The Erasmus programme was established in 1987 giving Europe the chance to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the most famous exchange programme in the EU in 2012. The celebrations started with a kick-off conference in Brussels in January 2012 welcoming the appointed Erasmus ambassadors of each country (two per country), the National Agencies as well as other stakeholders, such as ESN. Seven of the Erasmus Student Ambassadors were former or current ESNers, which showed the importance of the network for the programme as well as the appreciation of the work ESN is doing. The celebrations continued in May with another conference in Copenhagen, during which the new programme was discussed as well. Within ESN many activities were organised in order to celebrate the milestone and in many countries ESN and the National Agencies worked together in order to promote the anniversary and the programme as such. Erasmus for All As the Lifelong Learning Programme drew to a close discussions about the new programme became more and more important. The LLP lasted from 2007-2013 and thus the preparations for a new programme began. It became clear that Erasmus, mobility and exchange was supposed to become one of the focus points for the next programme
and the Commission published their proposal under the name Erasmus for All in November 2011. YES Europe (YES stands for youth, education and training, sport) was suggested by the Culture and Education Committee consisting of MEPs as they preferred not to combine all existing programmes in one name. Discussions about the name continued, however all agreed that education, training, mobility and youth have to be supported and improved and should therefore receive more funding. The education and training for young people was deemed especially deserving of enhancement in order to prepare the new generation for a European employment market. Eventually the programme was named Erasmus+.
International Grants received:
European Youth Foundation (EYF) grant by the Council of Europe: ESN Galaxy The ESN Galaxy team received funding in order to develop the ESN Galaxy further. They were able to attend trainings and hold meetings in order to develop their skills.
CNR Rotterdam, the Netherlands March 2012 CoMeet Gdansk, Poland Pre-CNR Granada, Spain AGM Granada, Spain Post-CNR Granada, Spain April 2012 NBM Lausanne & Zurich, Switzerland
CNR Reykjavik, Iceland June 2012 Alumni Meeting Zurich, Switzerland
European Youth Foundation (EYF) grant by the Council of Europe: Administrative grant Due to the fact, that ESN received the grant for the development of the ESN Galaxy, the network was also eligible to receive an administrative grant Lifelong Learning Programme by the European Commission: Jean Monnet operating grant ESN received the Jean Monnet grant for the fourth time in a row, which was a great success and secured the coverage of the administrative expenses of the network. International events during the year: July 2011 Cultural Medley Lisbon, Portugal September 2011 CoMeet Athens, Greece Alumni Meeting Parma, Italy October 2011 CNR Nancy, France SWEP Lisbon, Portugal November 2011 NBM Dublin, Ireland CEP Krakow, Poland NEP Odense, Denmark SEEP Istanbul, Turkey WEP LiĂŠge, Belgium December 2011 CND Siena, Italy January 2012 SECM Trondheim, Norway
All in all, the ESN year 2011-2012 was a very exciting one for ESN, with lots of new developments for the network as well as for mobility and exchange and the Erasmus programme itself. 25 years of our favourite exchange programme was a milestone and well celebrated. The ESN Secretariat was established and the office was rebuilt and refurbished in order to meet the needs of more people working there. Furthermore the ESN House moved from Avenue du Onze Novembre to Rue Major Petillon ensuring more space for the International Board and the interns, as well as giving the opportunity to welcome more ESNers in the house. The network prepared itself for new developments in the future and ensured that ESN will be able to meet the needs of its members and their exchange students. ESN looks into a bright future going ahead with a new Erasmus programme and more motivated and enthusiastic people joining a great network.
HB 2014 | 43
History ESN in 2012 - 2013 of
44 | HB 2014
The year 2012/2013 was certainly one of transitions, huge changes and challenges. Looking back, it was also a very successful year. ESN had grown to be Europe’s largest student organisation (while this is hard to measure, I am quite convinced we were the biggest student organisation in terms of active members by that time). More than 400 sections and an ever increasing budget of ESN International had made the need for more professional structures in its headquarters evident. The previous board had put in place a comprehensive strategy to install an employed Secretariat with a Director in Brussels working alongside the International Board. By the end of our year, being in the International Board had become very different from what our predecessors had experienced. As with every year, the transition had not all been easy and smooth, but in the end we are very proud of where we have helped ESN to get to. Needless to say that none of the following was achieved alone. We all worked together as the amazing network we are. International Board 2012/2013 and its supporters: President: Emanuel Alfranseder, ESN Sweden Vice-President: Katharina Ma, ESN Austria Treasurer: Mario Alarcon, ESN Spain (Executive) Communication Manager: Juan Colino, ESN Spain WPA: Fabian Bircher, ESN Switzerland Employees and interns: Virgine Berard (Secretary), Michel Erlandsen (Social Erasmus Coordinator), Brikena Xhomaqi (Director), Morena Simatic (Partnership Manager), Jirka Matousek (Communication Intern), Angel Lopez (IT Intern). Aleksandra Danielewicz (Law Intern), Agnieszka Czarnojan (Research Intern). Building the Secretariat We certainly had a rough start to our year: we were in the middle of recruiting a Partnership Manager and a Director when we took over. Our employed SocialErasmus Coordinator Michel Erlandsen had to leave Brussels for personal reasons and could only support us from his home in Denmark. Luckily, we could count on the great support of Virgine Berard, our secretary. It would not be until more than half of our mandate had passed that we had all our employees in Brussels. True to ESN being a European (not EU) network, both our first Director, Brikena Xhomaqi and our first partnership manager, Morena Simatic, were from outside of the EU. This caused significant delays in the hiring process and Brikena started working only in October and Morena in March. By the end of our mandate, we had put the structures of the Secretariat well in place. With Brikena we had a strong Director, and the financing for hiring a professional accountant, a web-developer and a project manager were secured. The structure of the human resources in ESN’s headquarters had been transformed dramatically. The Director would manage all paid staff and would report directly to the Board, freeing a substantial capacity of the President and the rest of the
International Board Erasmus in Schools – Flagship Project in 2013 For the first time in many years our big EU grant was not accepted (we would modify the application of the previous board and win the grant for the next year). This left us without an obvious, predetermined choice for the flagship project of the year. ESNSurvey results had shown that competences that we consider desirable (e.g. intercultural competences and the willingness to move abroad) already change before going abroad. So we thought it was time to do more to spread the Erasmus spirit to younger generations. In addition, the project did not require a lot of money. Admittedly, I was personally not 100% sure how well it would work and whether it would really catch on and sections would participate. After intense discussions at the CNR in Zagreb, the network approved Erasmus in Schools (as part of SocialErasmus) as the flagship project of 2013. We also had the logistical and financial support of Education First for the project and its preparations. The international coordinator, Karolina Bugała, and her team did an amazing job implementing the project. In retrospect, Erasmus in Schools was very successful and culminated in the Erasmus in Schools week in May 2013. The project gave ESN a lot of visibility on all levels. Erasmus Impact Study For the first time in its history ESN was part of the winning consortium of a public EU tender. Under the leadership of CHE Consult, ESN won the contract for evaluating the policy programme that is the main reason for our existence. ESN was responsible for collecting the necessary answers from students and alumni. In particuar, the tender would substantially contribute to the 2014 budget of ESN when the project was scheduled to be completed. Eduk8 During our mandate the Eduk8 project started working at full throttle. The first Eduk8 trainer generation had already started giving trainings all around the network on all levels. Dorothy Glatz coordinated the project and we drafted and implemented a new Eduk8 strategy. Next to the training for trainers in summer, ESN carried out a winter training and another regular training in early summer. The Eduk8 project enjoyed increased popularity and started contributing to the enhanced quality of ESN events and the training of its members. SocialErasmus SocialErasmus was the flagship project of 2011/2012 and was a great success with the help of the substantial funding received from an LLP grant. The project finished with the final conference in September, which was a high visibility event with many stakeholders, taking place in the premises of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. The project was continued without major funding during the year. A new international team, consisting of three full-time volunteers with Tarek Keskes as the coordinator, carried the project further. The focus of SocialErasmus was naturally Erasmus in Schools, but the new team also further strengthened the two other pillars of the project (charity and environment). ESNSurvey In the beginning of our mandate we launched the ESN-Survey 2011, “Exchange, Employment and Added Value”. The
HB 2014 | 45
ESNSurvey team, led by Julia Fellinger, analysed a new edition of the ESNSurvey, titled “Exchange: Creating Ideas, Opportunities and Identity” throughout the year (more than 18,000 complete answers). The team developed a new questionnaire with the main topics “International experience and language learning” and additionally touched upon full-degree mobility. The ESNSurvey continued to be a point of reference for many stakeholders in the area of international education and mobility. PRIME After last year’s PRIME P project (the P stands for Placements, thus focusing on Erasmus placements/internships) could not secure the EU grant, a regular PRIME study was created. We developed a comprehensive strategy and recruited a new PRIME team. The questionnaire was to be launched in the upcoming fall. ExchangeAbility The main achievement was the preparation of a grant application (MapAbility) that the European Youth Foundation approved. This built the cornerstone for the successful continuation of the project. Responsible Party We further intensified our efforts and have substantially increased both the quality and quantity of Responsible Party events. We renewed the non-commercial partnership agreement with Pernaud-Ricard. The project continued to be a success showing that ESN cares about the health and safety of its members. Communication By the end of our mandate, ESN reached 100.000 followers on Facebook exemplifying the increasing significance of social media for ESN. We worked on further improvements of the Visual Identity usage including continued focus on Corporate Identity compliance in the network. Finances and grants We secured our crucial financial support (Jean Monnet operating grant) amounting to 100,000 EUR. As mentioned previously, the PRIME P application of the previous year was refused and after positive feedback on the idea and the project, we modified and refurbished the application. We managed to win an LLP Erasmus Accompanying Measures grant of 150,000 EUR for the project we renamed “STORY”. We also won a smaller grant to further support ExchangeAbility (MapAbility) from the European Youth Foundation. In addition the final payment of around 60,000 Euros from the Erasmus Impact Study was envisaged for 2014. Together with the continued possibility to apply for structural funding in the new programme, all this lead to the substantial extension of the Secretariat in the coming year. The fiscal year of 2012 ended with a loss of around 6,000 EUR which was mainly due to provisions we had to make for a decrease in expected grant payments. It later turned out that we would receive more than we had to write down which means that effectively the budget was balanced (with an actual surplus). The total expenditures of the fiscal year of 2012 amounted to 465,000 EUR.
46 | HB 2014
Network development By the AGM 2013, ESN counted 425 sections, an increase of 33 sections compared to the year before. This means a growth of 8.4% compared to the previous AGM, somewhat lower than the average growth rate of 12% reported since 2005 (when ESN moved to Brussels). After accepting Luxembourg, ESN was present in 36 countries, including all EU member states. To further strengthen National Boards we installed the position of NB Coordinator for the bi-annual National Board Meetings (on the budget of ESN International). We also implemented a comprehensive strategy to strengthen the advocacy capacity on the national level via promoting the installation of the position of Education Officers across the network and having a coordinating team as the link between the international and national level. According to the section questionnaire the Network consisted of around 11,000-12,000 active volunteers on the different levels of ESN. Visibility and policy work on the European level While our internal reorganisation took a lot of energy, we managed to be a reliable and strong partner on the European level. We were re-elected to represent European youth in the Advisory Council on Youth which was a major challenge as ESN was already represented there during two previous mandates (rotation is often desirable in these elections). We put an increased focus on evidence-based advocacy based on PRIME and the ESNSurvey and got several new research projects on their way (a survey on Visa and Residence Permits, STORY and a new edition of PRIME). Our relations with key stakeholders such as the European Commission, the European Youth Forum and many other partners were stronger than ever. ESN joined the European Movement International, one of the oldest and most high-level platforms promoting European integration, giving us additional opportunities in the future. We chose a very collaborative approach towards other (in some areas competing) Brussels based NGOs. During our year the final negotiations of the future Erasmus+ programme were taking place. While most of the input was given in previous years, ESN was again directly consulted concerning key student issues of Erasmus student mobility and participated in wider advocacy actions to push for more funding for the whole programme and to maintain structural funding for European NGOs. The final outcome of the programme can be considered quite positive for ESN’s goals, in particular given the precarious economic situation in Europe at that time. What is more Our Board was lucky to have such a wonderful, well organised and inspiring AGM in Maribor (some say the best they experienced, which I can certainly agree to). There are many more small successes during the year that we cannot fit into this report. We all worked hard to keep making our network the most inspired and active student organisation in Europe. Finally, I can only say it was an honour to be the President of ESN and I want to thank every single one of our members for being part of it. The year, though demanding, was the most enriching, inspiring and exciting time of my life so far. With Love, Emanuel
IB say'n ‘’We, young people – we don’t want to play politics. We want to be united’’ In 2013, the International Board of ESN AISBL changed. With a strong plan in mind, we started working hard, helped by a series of fortunate events that helped us have even a bigger impact both on promoting mobility as a lifestyle, but also as a network.
first section from the Russian Federation. In light of the Ukraine conflict, ESN sent a strong message about how young Europeans contribute to bridging differences and working towards peaceful and respectful co-existence in Europe. By extending its commitment taken in 2008 through ExchangeAbility, ESN created MapAbility. In June 2014, more than 60 EU & ESN people working in the field of disability took part in a two-day training event and the launch conference of the MapAbility project. Last but not least, ESN celebrated its 25-year anniversary, a very important milestone for the development of our network. Through social media, we managed to reach more than 1 million people with our message. This showed the strength of our network and the drive that is uniting us all. International Board 2013/2014 and its supporters: President: Stefan Jahnke, ESN Sweden Vice-President: Dominique Montagnese, ESN France
For the past 25 years, Erasmus Student Network has been supporting student mobility with the aim to foster cultural understanding and self-development among European youth. The academic year 2013/2014 has been very exciting for us. The new Erasmus+ programme was launched and we successfully supported the European Commission during the drafting process and with the implementation in the first few months. Our network expanded to over 450 local associations in 37 countries and is now the biggest student organisation in Europe. We increased the number of employees from three to six and established more strategic and coherent processes within our headquarters in Brussels. We see the launch of the new Erasmus + programme as the perfect opportunity to generate wider awareness of the opportunities to spend a period abroad during university. That is why the Mov’in Europe project which aims to promote these international experiences was made ESN’s flagship project for 2014. The project was marked by its own conference in November 2014, which gathered top individuals in the field of mobility to discuss young people’s needs and barriers to studying, working, and living abroad. In September 2014, the Story Conference was held at the European Commission in Brussels, where education officers were invited to participate. The event signalled the launch of ErasmusIntern.org, ESN’s first platform that promotes mobility through work placements. It is worth acknowledging that the platform is one of the biggest achievements of our network and a big step ahead towards what the network is aiming to accomplish.
Treasurer: Jonathan Jelves, ESN Sweden Communication Manager: Robert Klimacki, ESN Poland Web Projects Administrator: Salih Odabasi, ESN Turkey Employees and interns: Director: Brikena Xhomaqi Secretary: Virginie Berard / Emanuela del Salvio Partnership Manager: Morena Simatic / Oscar Boije Web Project Coordinator: Margardia Carvalho Web Developer: Mohammed Nassar Financial Assistance: Serge Close Communication and Media Trainees: Petr Kozlik / Sean Stokes Research Projects Trainee: Stefan Sennekamp / Monika Rešetar
During the CNR meeting in Milano 2014, ESN accepted its
HB 2014 | 47
History by Country Country 48 | HB 2014
original draft by and
Lea Benirschke, Robert Leili
Stefan Melbinger, extended and updated by Susanne Gottlieb
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1992, ESN TU Graz »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1992 »» Creation of National Board: 2003, Innsbruck »» Number of sections 2015: 18 The first NR of Austria was already active in ESN by 1992. At that time, the network was still small and the first ESN two sections were founded in Graz. Soon the three major Viennese sections followed suit. Renate Rieder was mainly involved in developing and expanding the network among Austrian universities. The sections faced numerous difficulties (statutes, recruiting and finance). Furthermore, cooperation between sections and HEIs was sometimes complicated. At most universities, the departments for international affairs worked hard for the integration of the incoming students into the local culture: therefore, it seemed like the next logical step to combine ESN with the existing network of the international departments.
mon weekly Erasmus Night in “La Havanna” with about 1000 Erasmus Students. Between 2007 and 2012 there were more than 2000 Erasmus students participating. On both national and international level, Christoph Graf was one of the initiators of the ESNcard Project. He was also busy setting up new sections both in Austria and abroad. Together with Julia Mandl, they expanded the coverage of a mobile phone operator from the section WU Wien to the national level. Pedram Payami and Anna Tichy carried on the project within the scope of their fundraising efforts.
(/ˈɔːstriə/ or / ˈɒstriə/; German: Ö� sterreich [ˈøːstɐˌʁaɪç])
Back then, sections were founded as parts of the local student unions (ÖHs). Meetings were organised by ÖHs as well. As time passed, the sections of University of Linz, University of Salzburg, University of Klagenfurt, FH Kufstein, FH Steyr, FH St. Pölten, BOKU, FH Campus Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, FH BFI Vienna and FHWien WKW joined ESN Austria. By 2010, there were 17 sections in ESN Austria.
The first National Winter Event was the skiing trip to Zell am See in 1996 organised by ESN WU Wien. Since 2005 there has been a National Summer Event as well. This is a trip to an Austrian lake, initiated by Lea Benirschke (FH Kufstein) and Robert Leili (WU Wien).
In 2007, several members from Austrian sections were volunteering in the ESN Van Project in the course of 20 Years of Erasmus Program Projects by ESN International. From 2009 to 2010, Julia Fellinger was actively promoting the Give20 Project and more than 5000 euro was raised.
In 2011, two new ESN sections joined at FH Krems and Montanuni Leoben. In return, the section at FH Campus Vienna ceased to exist in the same year. In 2012, after not having joined any recent NPs and deliberately asking to be released from the network as there was nobody interested to continue working for the section, the University of Salzburg left too. Around the same time in
There were two IB presidents from Austria: Stefanie Kothmiller (2001–2002) and Elke Resch (1998–1999). Katharina Ma was IB vice president for the term 2012-2013. As far as the ESN International Knowledge Management Working Group is concerned, Harry Ackerlauer took a very active part and he was the one to set up the first ESN Austria Homepage. Between 2002-2004 Thomas Schneider, Harry Ackerlauer, Annika Gumhalter, Renate Rieder, Christoph Graf, Christoph Schön-Pigisch, Reingard Schandl and many others worked hard on establishing ESN Austria as an independent association. The first National Platform, in addition to the meetings organised by the students’ association, took place in Klagenfurt in 2002. In 2003 all sections of Vienna started to organize a com-
2012, the section members at the University of Economics and Business Administration (WU) got into a major disagreement with their student union over money and political influence, which led to them quitting the section. At the NP in Innsbruck 2012 the former section members of ESN WU Wien, who had quit the section and had established a
HB 2014 | 49
new association, applied for membership in ESN and requested the NP to expell their former section. The new association got accepted as ESN Wien WU and the request was granted. The decision had to be confirmed by the CND in Örebro, since the student union at WU objected against the NP decision. The student union at WU formed their own network EBN – Erasmus Buddy Network- which has been within a competitive relationship with ESN in Vienna ever since. This lead to the abandonment of the strong going Erasmus Nights on Monday and Wednesday, as they were organised by EBN. With EBN threatening ESN Austria with arbitral court, the NB decided that it was necessary to take up insurance. ESN sections, which already had the status of an association, joined in the insurance policy. Starting in 2013, the rest of those ESN sections, who had no official status yet, were asked by the NB to establish associations too, to secure the legal status of the network. This process was finished in February 2015. In 2012, the ESN sections of the University of Graz and
meeting in May 2012, the position of the Vienna Coordinator was officially established. Currently, the position is held by Paul Kratzwald (ESN WU Wien). The inclusion of the coordinator and regular Vienna section meetings have helped to plan events together and set up a common structure in order to present a more professional face towards the exchange students. ESN Austria took part in the 25 Years Erasmus celebrations with different events and festivities. An honorary highlight was a delegation of Austrian politicians, who work at the European Parliament, joining the celebration. In coordination with the International SocialErasmus week in late autumn 2013, ESN Uni Wien organized various events such as a Date Auction, cookie and hot wine selling, Free Hugs and Blood Donation, which were very successful. ESN Uni Graz, who also organized a cookie baking, is currently also planning a number of SocialErasmus activities for the future. The National Board 2014/15 has implemented numerous new changes to the structure and working of ESN Austria. Susanne Gottlieb and Johannes Birkmeyer led the overhaul of the Statutes of ESN Austria, the creation of the Standing Orders for ESN Austria, the revision of the National Board structure and the reconception of the National Platform, among them introducing an independent Chairing Team and having the NP entirely in English. There has been an significant increase of international guests on Austrian NPs. The Board also introduced the National Events Policy Paper, in order to regulate the organisation of National Events and establish a set of rules that are binding to all
the Technical University of Graz hosted the CEP in Graz. The head of OC was the president of ESN Uni Graz, Katrin Brunnhofer. In July 2013, ESN Austria hosted the CHAT meeting in Vorarlberg. CHAT stands for Switzerland (CH) and Austria (AT). The two ESN countries are collaborating in the framework of a NB-Partnership. As of now, there is still a workflow of ideas going on. ESN in Vienna was also participating in the EYE (Exchange your Exchange) programme. Lead by the University of Vienna section, students have visited Brno, Prague, Bratislava and Budapest. Over the last years, ESN Austria has developed an AGM Point System, which allows distributing places on the AGM equally and fair. This system has proven to be very popular among other countries’ networks as well, as various ESN countries have picked it up to use it among their own members. Furthermore, Austria’s WPA Benedikt Aumayr has established the Austrian ESN Wiki, taking inspiration from the Wiki of ESN Switzerland. In 2011, an information brochure for the cooperation partners was set up with information about the network and the sections. A second, more detailed edition was printed in March 2014. Furthermore, ESN Austria produced several gadgets such as Roll Ups, T-Shirts and postcards for external promotion. Since 2012, the seven sections in Vienna have been working more closely together on a local level. Before, Silke Doppler (ESN Uni Wien) had been unofficially taking up the role of a coordinator, managing the communication and meetings between the sections. During a Vienna section
50 | HB 2014
sections and the OC. During the same year Eduk8 member Silke Doppler from ESN Uni Wien established together with other Austrian Eduk8 members the national training programme “Eduk8AT”. By the beginning of 2015, there have been six prospective sections in Austria from four different cities in the pipeline.
written by updated by
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2006 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: CND Wintherthur, Deptember 2007 »» Expulsion from ESN: CND Orebro, December 2012
Baku International Students Club (BISC) was founded in 2006 by a group of friends from the Baku State University, Baku, Azerbaijan. This group of friends acted as volunteers with the International Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF), one of the leading NGOs in Azerbaijan. In September of 2007, after a long discussion at the Council of National Delegates in Winterthur, the National Representatives approved BISC as a full member section, making Azerbaijan the 34th member country of ESN. On the 24th of May 2008, ESN BISC Baku held the “Cultural Day of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. The ceremony was held in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan.
AZ At CNR Novi Sad in 2009, the membership of ESN BISC Baku was challenged, due to the lack of communication and inactiveness on the international level of ESN. On the initiative of the NR of Germany, and the support of the CNR, both the section and NR were obliged to submit a report to the CNR and also to ensure their participation at the upcoming statutory ESN meeting. A study trip was conducted to ESN BISC Baku to find out more about the section and it’s activities. With this study visit, it became clear that there is potential for network growth in Azerbaijan. At CND Athens in December 2009, the NR presented the submitted report and verified the activeness of the section and its right to belong to the network.
(æzərbaɪˈdʒɑːn/ AZ-ər-by-JAHN; Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan [ɑzærbɑjdʒɑn])
In 2011, ESN BISC Baku decided to apply to become the OC of CNR September and, according to sources, presented a very thorough application. However, the Network finally decided to vote for another, much more conveniently located OC. In retrospect, this seemed to have been the breaking point for the presence of ESN in Azerbaijan. Ever since their OC candidacy did not win, the communication on the International level almost ceased to exist. Within less than a year, ESN Baku became a ”ghost” section. After numerous attempts and warnings, ESN Baku, and therefore ESN Azerbaijan, was finally expelled from the Network during CND Orebro in December 2012 due to not being able to fulfil their basic duties towards ESN.
HB 2014 | 51
written by updated by
Oscar Leclere, Wim Gabriels and Marie-Celine Falisse
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1989, ESN Gent »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1989
»» Creation of National Board: 1991-1992, re-established around 2008-2009 »» Number of sections 2015: 14
Belgium and ESN have a kind of special relationship. In a way, it can be said that since a couple of years the circle is round: the actual start of ESN was in Belgium, and the ESN Headquarters with the ESN House and the ESN Office are established in Brussels. The first AGM took place in Copenhagen in February 1990 and the first ESN section was created on the 16th of October 1989 in Utrecht, but ESN’s starting-point was in fact January 1989 in Ghent, when the Erasmus Bureau invited 32 former Erasmus Students for an evaluation meeting. During this meeting, some practical problems were discussed and it was decided to find a way to solve them, which resulted in the creation of the Erasmus Student Network and reflected in the idea of ‘Students helping Students’.
Throughout the years, the sections of Namur and Leuven disappeared, sections like Brussels and Antwerp had some problems with continuity for a while, which also resulted in a low level of activity on the national level. Since then, a revival has then taken place in Belgium. At the end of 2010, there are 7 active sections: ESN Antwerp, ESN Gent, ESN VUB EHB Brussels, ESN HUBrussels (now renamed ESN KULBrussels), ESN Louvainla-Neuve, ESN HEC Liège and ESN ULg (in Liège as well).
Three years later, at the end of 2013, ESN Belgium counts 12 active sections with the addition of ESN HELMo in Liège in 2011, ESN Mons (now renamed ESN MONS’ters) in 2012, ESN ICHEC in Brussels in 2012, ESN Leuven in 2012 and ESN HEPL in Liège in 2013. At the beginning of 2015, ESN Hasselt and ESN ErasMons joined the Belgian network as well, which brought the number of sections to 14. The national level also started a revival with more regular meetings (3 National Platforms per year) and a good cooperation between the sections of Belgium as they are geographically pretty close from each other.
(/ˈbɛldʒəm/; Dutch: België; French: That this preliminary meeting was held in Belgium and that ESN is now based Belgique; German: in Brussels have practical reasons. Belgium is centrally located in Europe and a Belgien)) high number of European Institutions are established in Brussels. However, there is more than this practical coincidence. Belgium is a country with three communities with different languages and cultures but also a tradition of open-minded cooperation, working together and ‘equality through diversity’. This can also explain the fact that Belgium was one of the founders of the European Union, took the lead in the development of the Erasmus Programme and stood at the cradle of the birth of ESN. Although Belgium is not a very big country and hasn’t that many cities with higher education institutions, local ESN sections were soon founded in Ghent, Brussels, Leuven, Antwerp, Namur and Liège. They all organised activities such as parties, city tours, sports activities, weekend trips and different kinds of social activities, but they also had immediate and regular contact with each other. This resulted in different national activities such as seminars, day activities and national weekends but also in the organisation of the first National Platform within ESN in 199192. A nice anecdote about the Belgian National Platforms is the meeting of languages: for ages there have been a French speaking community and a Dutch speaking one in Belgium, and since not everybody speaks both languages fluently, the National Platform meetings are held in English.
52 | HB 2014
The first National Trip was organized in 2011 (one-day trip). From 2012 on, a three-day National Trip to Amsterdam takes place yearly, where more than 300 international students from all over Belgium come together for one crazy weekend. The 2014 edition even gathered more than 600 international students and ESNers. The Belgian sections have started playing a more active role on the international level as well. Besides an active participation in most of the international ESN events throughout the years, Belgian sections also organised several events themselves, such as the WEP 2011, a CNR Meeting and a Summer Training in 2013.
original draft by
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2006 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: CNR Koper, December 2006 »» Creation of National Board: without NB »» Number of sections 2015: 1
The story of ESN in Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) is full of contrasts. It was a one section-country that once organized both statutory and non-statutory International ESN meetings. They later became very inactive and almost ended up being expelled. However, they revived themselves and joined the ranks of being a standard ESN country once again.
trip was planned to take place in days between CNR Zagreb and NBM Skopje in October 2012. Three IB members (President, VP & Treasurer) and three NRs (Estonia, Slovakia, the Netherlands) took part in it and spent more than two days in Sarajevo where they got to meet all the local ESNers and learn of their difficult situation. Although the results of the Study trip were considered extremely positive, the situation did not changed for the better and ESN Sarajevo was nearly expelled from the Network during CND Orebro in December 2012. At that point, the NR of ESN Slovakia decided to contact the alumni members of ESN BiH, as they seemed to be the only ones to care, and clearly explained to them the situation. This strategy worked like a charm!
Their story began at CNR Koper, Slovenia in December 2006 when a group of four determined Bosnian students convinced the whole CNR to approve the application of ESN Sarajevo. In less than a year since ESN BiH joined the Network, they were granted the privilege to organise the CNR November meeting of 2007 in Sarajevo. (/ˈbɒzniə ænd This was a great success, which was Two former NRs of ESN BiH, Nihada hɛərtsəɡɵˈviːnə/; Bosnian, Prnavjorac and Ismet Lisica, took the followed by hosting SEEP, also in Sarajevo, in October 2008. At this point, initiative into their own hand. By the Croatian and Serbian ESN BiH was still very young but they time of CNR Brussels came around in pronounced [bôsna i gained great visibility and motivation. February 2013, they had not only manThis helped start numerous partnerships aged to fulfil the duties of ESN Sarajexěrt͡ seɡoʋina]) within Bosnia as well as with nearby ESN vo but had also found and provided basic countries, most notably sections from Slovetraining to the new generation of ESNers in nia. All the advocating and educational efforts of BiH. Consequently, all thanks to the tremendous ESN BiH were eventually met with success following two efforts of the former Bosnian NRs, ESN Sarajevo got a major signings . Firstly, representatives of the Directorate new Board and ESN BiH got Nina Zubovic, their new NR. for European Integration of BH Council of Ministers signed Afterwards, Nihada even managed to attend AGMaribor. a Memorandum of Understanding . Secondly, an initiative The revival of ESN BiH concluded in the summer of 2012 of nine non-governmental organisations (incl. ESN BiH) when the now former NR of ESN Slovakia spent 10 days in dealing with youth issues was signed in 2010. This docu- Sarajevo for the purposes of teambuilding and knowledge ment formalises the co-operation among young people in transfer. To top it all off, ESN Sarajevo even became the the non-governmental sector, on one side, and the Direc- ESN Star of the Week. The new NR Nina Zubovic attended torate for European Integration, on the other, in areas of CNR Florence in October 2013 and ESN Bosnia & Herzejoint interest in the process of European integration. govina once again joined the ranks of being an active ESN country. It was around this time in 2010 when the ESN activities in BiH peaked. Unfortunately, the following two years were a With the beginning of academic year 2013/2014, ESN Savery different story. During 2011 and 2012 there was virtu- rajevo began working as a standard ESN section again ally no activity from the ESN BiH members. The only ex- and they recently got greatly involved in advocating efception was the successful organisation of a Responsible forts for BiH to join the new Erasmus+ Programme . Party in Sarajevo. As the section did not fulfil their basic duties towards ESN AISBL, their previous great reputation was soon forgotten. However, there are lots of good people in ESN that are always willing to help whenever there is an opportunity to. Following the uprising of ESN activities in Balkan region in the autumn of 2012, the NR of ESN Slovakia decided to use the opportunity and help the International Board re-establish contact with ESNers in Sarajevo. This was finally met with success and a Study
Bosnia and Herzegovina
HB 2014 | 53
»» Date of first section established in the country: February 2008 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: ESN SU at CND Gdansk, December 2008 »» Creation of National Board: February 2010 »» Number of sections 2015: 10
The first steps of creating the ESN network in Bulgaria started seven years ago when a couple of enthusiasts, inspired by their Erasmus experience in different European countries, gathered together and created a plan for a whole semester full of amusements and wonderful social activities for the Erasmus students in Sofia. Convinced that Sofia and Bulgaria must appear on the ESN map, Mariya, Horhe and Kristina started a procedure for joining the network. Once all procedural steps had been taken, they achieved the success: ESN Sofia University, the first section in Bulgaria, became an official member of ESN in December 2008 at CND Gdansk. Since that moment of glory, the ESN network in Bulgaria has kept growing. The second section, ESN New Bulgarian University, was approved a couple of months later (May 2009) and after ESN UE-Varna was founded in 2010, ESN Bulgaria officially constituted its first national board legally based as a non-governmental organisation. New sections appeared shortly after, now covering many cities in the country such as Veliko Tarnovo, Blagoevgrad, Ruse, Varna, Plovdiv and Sofia, and
level for exchange students and ESNers, and actively participate in international events and projects among which are of course ExchangeAbility, SocialErasmus, Mov’in Europe, ESNcard and PRIME. One of our members Antonia Korcheva from ESN UE-Varna won the logo competition for the 25th anniversary of the Erasmus program – her logo was chosen between 50 submissions in total!! In September 2011 ex-National Board members formed the National Alumni which is now also established as an advisory body of the organisation.
ESN Bulgaria is proud of the international events we have organized. The first ever summer school of ESN - Bulgarian Education Summer Training, a.k.a. BEST - was organized in Sofia in 2009. The event turned into the big kick-off of ESN Bulgaria and brought international fame. BEST became our trademark and gave the beginning of Eduk8. ESN Bulgaria continued the “best” tradition organizing also BEST II in 2010 in Blagoevgrad, BEST III in 2013 and BEST IV in 2014 in Uzana, Gabrovo. With its third edition ESN Bulgaria was awarded for quality performance of a “Youth in Action” project during the annual conference for projects’ valorization organized by the National Agency! The unabated enthusiasm of Bulgarian members was also shown in taking part in various international events and in their willing of organizing such events in Bulgaria. The South Eastern European Platform took place in Veliko Tarnovo in November 2010 and four years later ESN members from Sofia were proud to host CNR Sofia in February 2014. The event was awarded the title of eventSTAR for the best event in 2013/2014 during the official STARAwards ceremony at AGM Milano 2014. Only a year after that ESN Bulgaria is more than happy to organize another ESN international event – CND Plovdiv in December 2015.
(/bʌlˈɡɛəriə/ (Bulgarian: България, IPA: [bɐɫˈɡarijɐ])
allow us to make our national platforms at least 3 times per year in different places. Section members organize different kinds of social activities on local and national
54 | HB 2014
Meanwhile ESN Bulgaria doesn’t stop gaining new friends and partners as institutions, other NGOs, becoming more and more famous as a student organisation. Now in 2015 ESN Bulgaria has its 10 sections, a National platform legally based as NGO, national board of 7 persons, more than 80 members, around 500 international students to take care of, plus many partners and friends. In order to achieve our main priority of strengthening the network, we developed our skills, thus to offer our international students high quality experience and possibilities in Bulgaria.
»» Date of first section established in the country: June 2011, ESN Zagreb »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: CNR Tartu May 2011, ESN Zagreb »» Creation of National Board: October 2012 »» Number of sections 2015: 6
ESN Croatia was officially founded back in June 2011 when an enthusiastic girl named Morena decided to make a change in our country. She experienced an amazing year of Erasmus in Porto and wanted all future exchange students to have that same opportunity in Croatia. It all started as Zagreb Exchange Committee in January 2011. Soon her idea was recognised, a team was gathered, and ESN Zagreb became the first section in Croatia working on new concepts of studying and travelling. Some ex-Erasmus students and some curious enthusiasts soon joined them. It all became official with an application at AGM Budapest and its confirmation at CNR Tartu. Although only a few hundred Croatian students had experienced Erasmus studies abroad in 2011, they recognised the ESN idea and decided to found ESN sections at their universities. Step by step our small ESN world grew and in September 2011 ESN Zadar joined. Four more sections joined just a year after: in Rijeka, Split, Osijek and Dubrovnik, resulting in an award for the Biggest Section Growth at AGM Maribor. Today we are proud of our six sections active at the six biggest universities of our country. We are making a change day by day and more and more students are choosing Croatia as their Erasmus destination. ESN Croatia works with full support of the National Agency and Ministry of Education. We participate in all major ESN International projects. Two of our proudest ones are the National SocialErasmus project „X-mas Decoration Workshop“ and the National ExchangeAbility conference organised in cooperation with our NA. We also have to mention that, on their way through Europe, the ESN on the Road team visited two Croatian cities: Zagreb and Rijeka. They attended an international dinner and held a concert in Zagreb, and Erasmus student’s rowing race in Rijeka. There have been five National Platforms: in Zadar (2012), Zagreb (2012, 2014), Rijeka (2013) and Dubrovnik (2014). The National Platform in Rijeka also included a 5-day project of knowledge transfer called ‘’LevelUp!’’. For this project ESN Rijeka won second place at AGM Maribor 2013 for the Best Project in Knowledge Transfer (Alumni Award). For five days we had various workshops to develop our skills and make our network even better. We are also very proud that in only two years of existence,
ESN Croatia has organised two international events, CNR and SEEP, both held in Zagreb. But pride doesn’t stop there. The project entitled “Twinning Up 4 Start Up!” was the highlight of 2014. It took place in both Lisbon and Zagreb and was divided into two parts: the first in Lisbon (16th to 20th October 2014) and the second in Zagreb (17th to 21st December 2014). The main objectives governing the project were: to enhance a multicultural atmosphere of social innovation; to undertake the promotion of youth mobility within the European framework while in charge of the entrepreneurial initiatives; to understand common ground while tracing and merging problems and solutions within the perspective of social entrepreneurship in the local community. We also included debates on people with fewer opportunities and how to better use Erasmus+ in this specific framework. Our goal was to add enthusiasm and creativity to youth, more entrepreneurship and greater visibility of mobility programs. The project brought together youth/student associations linked to the issue of European mobility, with different European citizenship points of view. We combined in this project an effective and efficient response to all the permanent priorities of the Erasmus+ program and equally the need to fight against youth unemployment. The jewel in our crown, however, is the Croatian Erasmus Event (CEE). It was organised for the first time as a national event from 29th May to 1st June 2014 in Jelsa on the island of Hvar. It hosted 150 exchange students mostly from Croatia but also some from neighbouring countries like Italy and Hungary. Its main goal was to gather all exchange students currently studying or doing their practice in Croatia at one place. Why? For exchange students to get to know each other, to introduce Croatian culture to them, enjoying activities connected to the Croatian lifestyle (food, wine, swimming, scuba-diving, visiting places of historical and national heritage), all the beautiful landscapes typical for this small yet beautiful Mediterranean country, and to gain 4 unforgettable days of their lives! Although ESN Croatia is one of the youngest countries in ESN network, we are very eager and enthusiastic about making ESN Croatia one of the biggest and strongest student organizations in Croatia
(/kroʊˈeɪʃə/; Croatian: Hrvatska, pronounced [xř̩ ʋaːtskaː])
HB 2014 | 55
Veeli Oeselg and Andrzej Sochacki
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2004 and again in 2008 (ESN ESA) »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2004 and again in 2010 (ESN ESA) »» Creation of National Board: without NB »» Number of sections 2015: 1
In 2004, Cyprus entered ESN for the first time. In 2006, a total of 4 sections were established in the North and in the South of Cyprus. After some time, several problems were raised on the national level. First, the NR was expelled from the CNR at the post-AGM CNR Besancon in 2008. As the communication and cooperation between the northern and southern Cyprus sections was already problematic, they didn‘t manage to elect a new NR. In the end, the last existing sections were expelled, as they didn‘t fulfil their obligations towards ESN International. In 2009 ESN Cyprus had a vital new start. Andrzej Sochacki and Marco Segreto, who was in ESN and on Erasmus in Cyprus, had the idea to organise something for the international students in Nicosia. This idea lead to the creation of the association called ESA (Erasmus Student Association-Cyprus). Since there weren’t many exchange and international students at the single university in Nicosia, ESA group decided to organise the structure of the association as an “umbrella” for all universities in Cyprus. They offered their help to all the international students in Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol. In September 2008, ESA started “officially” making parties and trips in order to give the possibility to the people to explore the wonderful places around the island. Later on, more people joined ESA, including Cypriots and former Erasmus students. One of them, Sthephy Yannaky, was included in the first draft of the board, which was organized as follows: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and External Relations Board Member. Six university coordinators were decided among the Erasmus Students, one for each university, with the duty of spreading ESA’s activities among the foreign students of their university. In September 2009, ESA got in contact with ESN International to join the network. After submitting their application, the representatives of ESA were invited to CND Athens in December 2009, where they held an awesome presentation about their association. The candidate membership was discussed by the CND for more than 5 hours. The potential controversies included the political situation in Cyprus, their past association with ESN, and the desired name for the association to be “ESN Cyprus”. In the end, a compromise was proposed by the Board that two study trips, by neutral ESN members, will be conducted
in Cyprus over a long time period and that the association had to choose another name like ESN-ESA, if ESA was to be approved as a candidate member. This was also successful. Davide Capecchi, the former President of ESN International carried out the first study trip, and the results, which were later presented at CNR Warsaw in February 2010, were highly positive. ESA was consequently approved as a full member of ESN. In 2011-2012, under leadership of Kyriakos Yiangou, Prokop Teper and Andrzej Sochacki, ESA focused on various projects such as Discovering Cyprus, and ESA Night Life had always attracted the majority of Erasmus students in Cyprus. Activities such as Discovering Ayia Napa, Welcome Boat Party and Troodos Invasion gathered around 140 students each! Throughout the years, we have proudly managed to encourage various ESA members to join ESN international and to further help exchange students themselves after they return to their home countries. Notable people include Prokop Teper and Margarita Solovjova who, after being board members of ESA, became actively involved in ESN and went on to become NR and Vice-NR of their respective countries. During 2013-2014 ESN ESA was being inactive due to lack of members. Around November 2014, Andrzej Sochacki approached Marilena Kyriakou, asking for help. The first idea was to merge European Club of University of Cyprus and ESA ESN, but there were complaints by the members of European Club about the club losing its stable identity. By the end of November, ESA ESN withdrew from ESN and the section is now renamed as ESN Nicosia, acting as an umbrella organization and cooperating with all the universities that have Erasmus students in Nicosia. Marilena Kyriakou started officially her mandate as an NR of ESN Cyprus and president of ESN Nicosia late after the CND in Vilnius. Now ESN Nicosia has 35 members and organizing a lot of events. Cypriots are actively involved in ESN Nicosia by becoming part of it and joining its events. During the 2 months of the birth of ESN Nicosia, there were 10 events organized each of them hosting more than 100 students!
(/ˈsaɪprəs/; Greek: Κύ� προς [ˈcipros]; Turkish: Kıbrıs [ˈkɯbɾɯs])
56 | HB 2014
ESN Czech Republic
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2002 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2002 »» Creation of National Board: 2007 »» Number of sections 2015: 18
ESN Czech Republic was established with the acceptance of ISC CTU in Prague in May 2002, soon followed by ESN VŠE Prague. The two sections entered ESN by attending AGM Sienna 2003 and later organised ESN Cultural Medley in Prague. By the year 2005 two more sections joined (ISC MU Brno and ESN UP Olomouc), the first Section Meeting took place a cooperation between sections from Prague, Krakow and Dresden) and the first National Platform took place. Moreover, the first National Board was formed. The National Board organised CEP 2005 and worked gradually towards cooperation with the National Agency. Thanks to this cooperation, AGM Prague 2007 was held, a major breakpoint in the history of ESN CZ followed by implementation of fixed roles of NB (president, NR, PR, IT, FR and Treasurer). This year was very fruitful and we announced our first candidate for the International Board (Markéta Ťoková, vice-president 2008, president 2009). We also launched the ESN CZ website and become a legal non-profit organisation on 26th August 2007. All this hard work was rewarded by obtaining the ESN Award StarLand in 2008, which motivated ESN CZ to keep growing and organising successful international events (ESN President’s Meeting and ESN Alumni Meeting in Prague 2008, CEP Brno 2009) and to start new cooperations (Brno Section Meeting, Brno-Utrecht cooperation, national PRIME conference). As the ESN CZ network was growing (by 2008 we had 9 sections already) we found a need for an event where all sections could send their members to share their experience in informal environment, to make connections and to bring back motivation and the feeling of being part of the network. The first “ESN CZ Olympics” were held and we organised this team sport event annually from 2008 to 2011. Since 2012 we meet twice a year at a rafting event in the summer and a skiing event in the winter. The urge to spread knowledge within the organisation and to pass it on to new members was reflected by adding a new NB position, the “Knowledge Manager” in 2010. Knowledge management became undoubtedly a key asset of ESN CZ. We established DokuWiki, an internal knowledge source for all ESN CZ members as well as ADELA (Attractive Distribution of Education and Leisure Activities), our workshop database which helps us spread knowledge of ESNers and Alumni among the sections.
In 2011 it became common practice for the NB to spend at least 10 weekends a year together. National Platforms are our strengths and we are proud of our concept, where every semester two small and one big National Platform take place. The small NPs are typical for procedural character, where only Local Representatives or Presidents attend, working on Statutes and Standing Orders. On the other hand, the big NPs focus on networking and teambuilding of our sections; at least 120 ESN CZ members and international guests participate in a themed program. In 2014 we had the honour to host the international “Czechoslovak Platform” as well as the biggest NP in the history of ESN with more than 200 participants. The number of sections grew with the workload of the NB. In 2011 the concept of National Board supporters was introduced and came in practice in 2012 with the SE Coordinator, Alumni Coordinator and Project Manager. NB supporters became an important part of the next NBs – although the positions slightly differ each year. In 2013 the first Advisory Board was established to help ensure the continuity of NBs. ESN CZ has been active on the international level, especially in terms of relations with ESN Slovakia and Buddy Country ESN Lithuania. Since 2011 we have regularly participated in foreign NPs, NBMs and ESN projects. The flagship projects SocialErasmus and Erasmus in Schools, were properly celebrated by the ESN CZ sections when we belonged to the ones with the most SE events and when we organised the SocialErasmus Coordinators Meeting Prague in 2013. In addition, ISC MU Brno won the price for the best Erasmus in Schools project. Even though the NB position of the Knowledge Manager has been changed to the Vice-President in 2014, ESN CZ maintains its strong knowledge management orientation by organising Meet Your Colleagues meetings, knowledge-exchange sessions, mailing lists of different sections positions or by having multiple Eduk8 trainers (ESN CZ members have participated in every Eduk8 event since 2011). As a result of our interest in educational events, we organise our own training event, TRAIN IT!
(/ˈtʃɛk rɨˈpʌblɪk/ CHEK-rə-PUB-lik)
HB 2014 | 57
Piero “The Viking” Gentilini
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1990, ESN Copenhagen »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: November 1990 »» Creation of National Board: 2013 »» Number of sections 2015: 5
The country of Denmark has a special place in the history of ESN as well as in our hearts. Upon the former, Copenhagen hosted the first AGM in February 1990. Upon the latter, Denmark became beloved due to its mighty Vikings. Right from the beginning, the nation’s capital Copenhagen and Aarhus became the first two Danish ESN sections; however, Aarhus had already been active before granted an official ESN section. Their section members participated in the first AGM, which was held in Copenhagen in 1990. Initially naming themselves ISC (International Student Club) they later changed into ESN Aarhus.
ESN sections and gained some others. 2013 was a very important year for ESN Denmark. Sections were cooperating more than before. In the same year, ESN Denmark was invited to present ESN at the official launch of Erasmus+ in Copenhagen. 2014 has been a very fluctuating year for ESN Denmark. The National board signed its first national contract with a mobile provider. The first national platform held in March in Copenhagen was
Shortly afterwards a third section, Odense, joined in 1991. In the mid-nineties there had been a forth section in Esbjerg for a short period of time. Information about its dissolution couldn’t be found in ESN archives. In 1999, the AGM returned to Denmark; this time in Aarhus. This AGM, ESN’s 10th, was at that time the biggest as number to participants. Later that same year, a new section was established at Aalborg University, bringing the number of sections to four. During some years in the 2000’s, there
(/ˈdɛnmɑrk/; Danish: Danmark)
In November we had our second national platform in Aarhus. This was the biggest as number of participants. At this NP we elected a new president, since our previous president resigned in August. During 2014 the national board worked hard to sign a national contract with a travel agency, unfortunately it turned out to be not successful.
2014 was a turning point for ESN Denmark. We manage to elect various non-board positions to help the workload of the board in many fields. ESN Denmark currently has: Education officer, Eduk8 national coordinator, IT&Webmaster coordinator, SocialErasmus coordinator, ESN Sea Battle National coordinator and ExchangeAbility national coordinator. Currently, ESN Denmark has five violent Viking sections in Denmark: ESN Aarhus, ESN Copenhagen, ESN DTU, ESN Haderslev and ESN Odense. ESN Denmark works towards expanding its network, since we have recognized interest of further universities in cooperating with us.
was a section in Roskilde. Unfortunately, the reasons of its dissolution are not clear and cannot be traced. The first Northern European Platform (NEP) was organized in Aarhus in 1997. In 2004 and 2011 it was then held in Odense. On our way to conquer the world, ESN Denmark lost some
58 | HB 2014
After some years of ups and downs, we can finally say that ESN Denmark is back in the game and working hard to become one of the top players in the Northern Region. After all Danish section members are the only real Vikings in the network. You better watch out, You better start crying, You better stay put, I am telling you why: Vikings are coming in the network!
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2000, ESN Tartu »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: November 2001 »» Creation of National Board: August 2011 »» Number of sections 2015: 5
Estonia joined ESN in 2000 when the first section was established in the university town of Tartu. The University of Tartu and a few Estonian students who had been on exchange themselves were looking for ways to integrate international students and saw ESN as a great opportunity. Thus, ESN Tartu was founded on August 21st 2000. Since then, the cooperation between ESN Tartu and University of Tartu has grown stronger and lately, the section has started to cooperate with other universities in Tartu as well: Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu Art College, Estonian Aviation Academy and Tartu Health Care College. ESN Tartu is still the only section in Tartu and through the years they have been a very active section in Estonia and it is very encouraging to see that in 2015, ESN Tartu is showing no signs of slowing down. For a while, ESN Tartu was the only section in Estonia, but the first activities of ESN Tallinn started in 2002 and in 2003, ESN Tallinn was officially founded. ESN Tallinn had its first experience with international students at Tallinn Pedagogical University (currently Tallinn University). However, the popularity of Tallinn as a study destination kept growing, so ESN Tallinn decided to take care of students from other universities as well. Today, ESN Tallinn is partnered with eight higher education institutions: Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre,
We are very proud of our sections and their innovative ways of thinking. Some of the events and projects organised by our sections include: Jam Session by ESN Tartu where international students put together bands and per-
Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, Estonian Information Technology College, Tallinn Health Care College, Tallinn University, Tallinn University of Technology, TTK University of Applied Sciences and Euroacademy. Next to the two bigger sections organising events and
form for everyone. A project called ESN Diary was initiated by ESN Tallinn in which all the photos and memories of the international students are gathered and it was the first winner of the ESN Knowledge Management Award in 2009. Since spring of 2011, ESN Tartu has been putting
trips for all the international students of their towns are three smaller ones that operate as parts of their universities’ student councils. The oldest among them is ESN TUT IC (ESN Tallinn University of Technology International Club) which was founded as an international club in 2003 but as the amount of incoming students kept growing and they kept working together with ESN Tallinn, they made the decision to become an official ESN section in 2009. Then, in 2006, an international club formed at Tallinn University and in spring 2009, they became an official ESN section named ESN TLU Tallinn but have since changed their name to ESN TU IC (the university changed its official abbreviation). The youngest and smallest section in Estonia is ESN EBS. The international club at the Estonian Business School was created in spring of 2008 to organise events and build a buddy network for the exchange students at EBS. The international club became an official ESN section in spring of 2009 and has been cooperating closely with the other sections in Tallinn ever since.
(/ɛˈstoʊniə/; Estonian: Eesti, pronounced [ˈeːsti])
HB 2014 | 59
together their own diary and the project is still a great success in both cities. Both ESN Tallinn and ESN Tartu organise trips to Lapland for their students and every semester, ESN Tallinn takes their students to St. Petersburg as well. Sections in both towns participate in SocialErasmus and Erasmus in Schools projects. Our sections have also organised quite a few international events which is pretty amazing for such a small ESN country.
were about 100 participants: international students, local ESNers plus even two international guests and everyone enjoyed it. It was repeated again in 2014 and will hopefully
ESN Estonia as a separate body and a national board was first established in 2011 and registered as an NGO in
be a great way for our sections to cooperate and our students from both towns to meet and explore our country in the future. So keep your eye out for the next one and join us! 2012. Since the first national board was elected, the cooperation between the sections has grown much stronger, especially between the sections in Tallinn and ESN Tartu. The national board helps with organising SocialErasmus events and tries to find new ways for the sections to work together. One special thing about ESN Estonia is the cooperation with our national agency, Archimedes Foundation. Our international students are provided with welcome bags from them, our ESN Diary project has been funded by them which has made the book free for the students
and we have had quite a few visitors from the foundation at our NPs. Our cooperation with the Estonian National Youth Council is also growing stronger and we actively participate in each otherâ€™s events and projects. With the creation of ESN Estonia as a separate body, the idea to start our own national event began to grow. The idea of a traditional Estonian wedding came up and never left our minds. It is a tradition in Estonia to make a mock-wedding as a part of your senior year in high school where a bride and a groom are elected in the class and everyone else also gets specific roles: mother and father of the bride, the coupleâ€™s best friends, etc. We decided that the event needed to take place at one of the most beautiful places in Estonia: on our biggest island, Saaremaa. And so, our national event Estonian Wedding in Saaremaa was born and held for the first time in May, 2013. There
60 | HB 2014
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1993, ESN HYY Helsinki »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1993 »» Creation of National Board: 2009 »» Number of sections 2015: 16
Finland has been part of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) since 1993 and currently possesses 16 ESN sections, making Finland the most populated NEP country. The way Finland got involved in ESN is pretty interesting: the international secretary of the University of Helsinki’s Student Union, Teppo Heiskanen, got a phone call asking him to come to Maastricht for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in 1993. The Board of the Student Union were convinced that this was truly a serious attempt to tackle the problems of growing student exchange numbers. Consequently, ESN HYY became the first Finnish section in 1993. Teppo Heiskanen was the first National Representative of Finland and went on to organise the 1994 AGM in Helsinki.
Finnish sections vary in size and how they work, but in general the ESNers all over the country organise sauna evenings, pub nights, sports, different kinds of language activities, city races, parties and trips to Stockholm, Lapland, Tallinn and St Petersburg to name a few examples without forgetting welcome packages which many of the ESN sections give out for new exchange students. On the national level, Finnish sections cooperate mainly regionally but plans have been made to have more national cooperation. Annually, ESN Finland joins the Annual General Meeting and Northern European Platform with around 15-20 participants. ESN Finland used to be part of the Sea Battle (organised by ESN Sweden) but in 2011 started the Pirates of the Baltic Sea (PoBS) cruise as an independent national event because the interest in Finland was so huge, PoBS is organised every semester and in just a few years has grown to reach more than 1600 participants each time, making this national event the pride of ESN Finland.
Turku, Tampere and Vaasa were the next ones to join the network and the first unofficial National Platform was held in 1994. It was crucial for ESN’s success in Finland that it was the student unions that joined: the infrastructure and funds were there to be taken. In 1994, Finnish ESN members organised the so-called ESN TEMPUS Tour to Baltic countries and Poland to establish good relations with student organisations in Higher Education Institutions.
(/ˈfɪnlənd/; Finnish: Suomi [suomi])
The number of the ESN sections has been going up steadily, reaching 16 sections in 2011. Finnish sections are geographically widespread: all the way from the beautiful city of Lapland, Rovaniemi to the lovely capital Helsinki. In some of the cities there are more than one ESN section: there are four ESN sections in the Helsinki area, three in Turku, two in Tampere and the rest of the sections are in Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Lappeenranta, Oulu, Rovaniemi and Vaasa. Some of the Finnish ESN sections are part of their student unions working as international committees and some of them are registered associations that work independently. Sections participate in national and international events at their own cost or with the financial support of their HEI or student union. Most of the sections operate closely not only with their student unions, but also with their institutions’ international student tutors. Recent changes in the Finnish university and student union structures have also affected some ESN sections. For example, a couple of sections have changed their name and some have merged into one. Currently (2014), nine Finnish sections have registered as legal associations.
Over the years, most of the Finnish NRs have come from Turku. ESN Finland elected its first National Board in 2009 during the National Platform organized in the Arctic Circle by ESN Rovaniemi. Since the beginning of 2010, ESN Finland has been a registered legal association whose members are the registered Finnish ESN sections and student unions for sections that function underneath them. ESN Finland’s highest decision-making body is the National Platform, which usually consists of one to three representatives from each section. Since the mid-90’s National Platforms have been organised at least twice a year. In addition, ESN Finland also has National Platforms via Skype when needed. ESN Finland cooperates with the following national institutes: Center of International Mobility (CIMO), Finnish Youth Cooperation (Allianssi), the National Union of University students (SYL) and the Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (SAMOK). After the establishment of the National Board, it has been possible to strengthen the Finnish network and carry out bigger projects. For example, ESN Overalls have made it easier for exchange students to participate in the Finnish student culture.
HB 2014 | 61
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1998, ESN Troyes »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1998 »» Creation of National Board: 2003 »» Number of sections 2015: 32
The history of ESN France is probably not the easiest one to follow. This is one good reason to explain the history of our ESN country, which can be divided into four main periods: the birth, the slowdown, the revival, the stabilization and growth. First period: The birth of ESN France - 1998 may be considered as the first important date in the history of ESN France as the first French section joined ESN in 1998: ESN Troyes. A few years later, in 2001 more sections joined ESN, increasing the size of the French Network: three out of four being sections from the city of Toulouse: ASER-ESN Toulouse 1, SAM-ESN Toulouse 2, APIEE-ESN Toulouse 3 in addition to another section from Lille : AERI. One year later, more sections joined: XENOS-ESN Toulouse 4 (yeah that’s right, one more section in Toulouse!) and one more in the city of the European Parliament: Strasbourg with the Bureau des Visitants. In 2001 ESN France also had its very first National Representative: Benoît Boldron, followed by Sebastian Mackay in 2002. In 2002 another section ESN Alès joined the existing French sections and together with ASER-ESN Toulouse is one of the French sections still active! 2003 is quite an important date in the history of our ESN Country: this year symbolizes the moment in which ESN France established the National Board for the very first time. As a consequence, ESN France kept on growing and dedicating to the network even organizing a SWEP in …Marrakech in 2004!
French sections still active: ESN Besançon organized the AGM- and thus, is the section, which held the biggest international event on French soil so far. In addition of being the biggest event ever organized in France, the AGM also had an impact on French sections motivation to such an extent that ESN Besançon and ESN Nancy decided, this same year, to rebuild the French Network, leading to its revival. From that moment, ESN France has had a drastic increase in terms of activity and the number of sections. From 2009 to 2010, four new sections joined ESN France: ESN Paris-Dauphine, ESN Valenciennes, ESN Nantes and ESN Troyes. In 2010 the number of French sections reached 19 sections, with the National Platform becoming bigger and bigger with highly motivated ESN members.
French: [fʁɑ̃ s])
Second period: Slowdown - In 2005 ESN France was also elected to organize the most important event of our network, the AGM in Paris, unfortunately due to internal problem the Organizing Committee had to withdraw. Since ESN France like to have events and meetings outside of France, in 2006 French sections organized a National Platform in … Belgium, which resulted in the election of a new Board. However, unfortunately from that moment ESN France had an activity slowdown and its number of section dropped. Third period: A network reborn - Although the overall activity of ESN France decreased from 2005, the French Network was reborn in 2008, one of the most important years in the history of ESN France. Firstly, one of the
62 | HB 2014
Fourth period: Stabilization and growth of ESN France - During the National Platform in Besançon in October 2011, the National Board introduced its project for the 25th Anniversary of the Erasmus Programme “Tour de France” in February 2012. On the local level, every section organized events to promote mobility towards local students, supported by the national level through the edition of a document known as “Erasmus Passport” handed over during the events organized by the sections. This event resulted in a visible increase, improving the cooperation with our National Agency (2E2F) and Universities drastically. 2013 has been quite a year in terms of major achievements for ESN France, within and outside the network. Three of our sections organized international events: NBM by ESN InsiDijon, the first French-German Section Meeting by ESN Strasbourg and the WEP by ESN Nancy. Our cooperation with stakeholders increased a lot: ESN France is now acknowledged by the Popular Education and youth consent and is now involved in the Committee of Mobility. The agreement with the Conference of University Presidents signed with ESN France fosters the cooperation with local sections. And to top it all, ESN France hired their first employee thanks to funds from Ministry of Higher Education. ESN France currectly has 10 different sources of funds. Last but not least, Cédric Klapish, director of L’Auberge Espagnole, a movie that inspired a lot of people to go abroad is now an official sponsor of ESN France!
Irina Kvelidze and Beka Beriashvili
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2011, ESN Tbilisi ISU »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: September 2011 CNR Nancy »» Creation of National Board: without NB »» Number of sections 2015: 2
The history of ESN in Georgia starts from the 29th of September 2011 when CNR Nancy accepted into the ESN family two Georgian sections: ESN Tbilisi ISU and ESN Tbilisi UNI. This was the result of hard work from enthusiastic people, who decided that their students deserved the great benefit of the Erasmus Student Network. They developed two non-governmental organizations from scratch, found partner HEIs and took care of legal stuff, which is really hard as everyone knows. All this work was followed by the ESN study visit. As it turned out, we successfully managed to convince our dear ESNer guests that we deserved membership. Hence why we are now here writing our page in the history book with other amazing people.
the project were introduced to government officials and survey results are still being used by other NGOs to implement new innovation projects. At this time we also started our active support of the Erasmus program. As the number of Erasmus Mundus projects involving Georgian citizens had increased dramatically, someone with proper knowledge was needed to provide integrated and trustworthy information for students. Since then, ESN Georgia remains the only organization that provides presentations, training and consultations for all Erasmus projects represented in our country. ESN Tbilisi ISU has a web page where students can find information about all Erasmus projects, and is an associated partner of three Erasmus Mundus projects. We permanently organize events to help students and to raise awareness about this amazing EU project. We are happy to say that our Erasmus related activities are strongly supported by the EU delegation to Georgia financially as well as morally. The result of our hard Erasmus work was the workshops and Pre-Departure Orientation meeting for outgoing Erasmus students that took place during the summer. So far, it has been the biggest integrated event that has covered all Erasmus projects and Georgian universities.
In Georgia, there are not many incoming Erasmus students and there were even less when we started. Despite this, there were lots of international students that weren’t being taken care by other organizations. Here in ESN we help students, how could we leave them alone? Furthermore, we had students of ethnic minorities that had very same problems as internationals. Focusing on them, ESN Tbilisi ISU started our first, beloved project “Language Club” with two state universities. Since then, the project has provided service for hundreds of beneficiaries that make us very proud. Meanwhile, ESN Tbilisi UNI remained the only organization working with incoming Erasmus Students, trying to make their Erasmus experience better.
Sakartvelo, IPA: [sɑkʰɑrtʰvɛlɔ])
Sections have been, and still are, actively involved in SocialErasmus projects. The first joint one was ESN forest, which was continued with ESN Tbilisi ISU’s two grants from our International level that enabled us to organize SocialErasmus week. One of the projects of the week was Volunteering in Charity House , which became permanent. It also had the largest funding outcome, which we needed so much back then.
Nowadays, the number of incoming students is increasing. ESN Tbilisi UNI already services tens of Erasmus incoming students. In 2013-2014 even more Erasmus Mundus projects have been introduced in our country. We are looking forward to further mobility, whilst still having fun with our dear exchange students and implementing new projects.
One breakthrough moment in the history of ESN Georgia was when ESN Tbilisi ISU received funding from an Open Society Foundation . This enabled us to provide surveys over six months that referred to students’ discrimination and their access of higher education problems . The project involved all of the main Georgian HEIs and youth non-governmental organizations. The outcomes of
HB 2014 | 63
»» Date of first section established in the country: December 28, 1989 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1990 »» Creation of National Board: May 2005 »» Number of sections 2015: 30
Our journey begins in Bochum in 1989, where Germany’s first ESN section was founded by dedicated repatriates from the recently established Erasmus program. Their aims were the same as ours today: supporting students on exchange and making their Erasmus experience the best one of their lives. In 1990, ESN Bochum joined the international network as its fourth section. Despite Bochum remaining the only German section for several years, Erasmus students in Germany were not left alone. The German national agency DAAD established a program which supported local groups that took care of Erasmus students. Many of these students later joined ESN and added their experience to the network.
Platforms (LPs) taking place once a semester in different parts of Germany. These informal meetings aim at targeting specific regional problems and fostering cooperation between sections. The attending NB members focus solely on the topics proposed by the participants. Another big step was taken in 2010 when the alumni of ESN Germany decided to found a registered association of their own. They have been – and still are – a big support for all active members by sharing their experiences and knowledge as well as offering financial support when needed. Another source for knowledge transfer is the partner NB of ESN Germany: ESN France. The cooperation started in 2011 on the national level and has spread since then to the local level, resulting in the first edition of the French-German Section Meeting in Straßbourg in 2013, followed by the second meeting in Jena in 2014.
Germany (/ˈdʒɜrməni/; German: Deutschland)
However, for the time being, Bochum’s members worked on the local level with Erasmus students and, at the same time, they provided several members for the International Board. Over the years, several members made it from local over national to the international level and held important positions inside the network. This balance of engagement on all the ESN levels is valued in Germany until the present day.
From 1997 onwards, things started to move forward with new sections joining and the German ESN network was finally born. The first National Platform on German ground took place in Bochum from November 24- 26, 2000, with three attending sections (Bochum, Dortmund and Weingarten) and, five years later, in May 2005, the first National Board of ESN Germany reported for duty. Christine Kausch (Bochum), Jana Freudenberg (TU Dresden) and Stephan Heyne (Jena) founded the registered association called ESN Germany e.V.. This important step gave ESN Germany a legal foundation and set the base for its future growth. To deal with the growing number of sections, the position of the Local Representative was created in 2007 and was made mandatory for the sections. This new role was supposed to bridge the gap between the national and the local level. In retrospective, the implementation of LRs and the introduction of bi-yearly section calls between them and an NB member is one of the huge success stories of ESN Germany. National and local levels are still deeply connected, not only through the LRs but also due to Local
64 | HB 2014
Currently, ESN Germany consists of 30 sections in 28 cities and the National Board has now nine positions to fill (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, NR, PR-Manager, Project Manager, Fundraiser, Education Officer and Webmaster). The NB is elected at the National Platform in January and the old and new board finish their transition at the AGM. In between, both parties work together to ensure a thorough knowledge exchange. The last few years were dominated by the slow process of professionalisation of the network and the development of tools to assist the sections, such as an internal wiki in which guidelines concerning event organisation, project management, etc. are stored. This kind of tools is especially useful for the organisation of recurring events like a platform or the German national event ESNters the City. What will the future bring? ESN Germany still struggles with financial problems. That’s why fundraising will be an important topic for the next years. Apart from that, we will stay on our current path and help the sections to develop more professional structures by providing services they need. This way, they can accomplish what has been the purpose of ESN in the past and will be for the next 25 years – the enrichment of society through international students.
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1992, ESN ESA (now ESN Athens AUEB) »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1991 »» Creation of National Board: November 2010 »» Number of sections 2015: 21
Brief History of ESN Greece ESN Greece was established in 1992 when ESN Athens (now ESN Athens AUEB), was the first section accepted and participated on International Level. Since then it has been growing rapidly reaching the point of having 21 sections and one Candidate Section ready to be approved. We have an ongoing communication with more universities and soon enough our network will grow even more. The statutes of ESN Greece are finalized, the legal processes are completed and we managed to have a registered office. The experienced Human Resources are always needed during the years and their opinion has always been provided when asked, therefore ESN Greece organized its own Alumni Network that was established in December 2014.
National Platforms There are two main NP’s through the year, the winter NP which takes place in December and the summer NP which usually takes place in July-August. There is also one Training NP which takes place in March. We may have also some extraordinaries NP’s, which take place through online platforms Teams The Teams of ESN Greece are created in order to support the projects decided by the Network. The projects and the teams are divided between the NB members, and each member is responsible for staying in contact with the NCs and being updated. Exception are the teams were there is no NC and the NB members are the coordinators themselves.
(Greek: Ελλά� δα, Elláda, pronounced [eˈlaða] Hellas (/ ˈhɛləs/; Greek: Ελλά� ς))
During the past 5 years we have established our National Event in Crete (The Crete Trip). The first one started as a trip from the sections in Athens to Crete with the cooperation of ESN TEI of Crete. The second was organized by ESN TEI of Crete, while for the third a collaboration between ESN TEI of Crete and ESN UOC took place. For the fourth year we elected an OC and for this year’s event, the NB appointed a National Coordinator, who got approved by the sections. The NC was responsible for the selection of the OC. For the upcoming years we established a new position of National Event Manager who is going to be the Head of the OC and he/she will choose the OC in collaboration with the NB.
National Board Structure When the NB was formed in 2010, it consisted of 3 positions, President, Vice-President and NR. The following year the Vice-President was replaced by the Treasurer and in 2012 the structure of our National Board changed and two new positions were added: PR/Vice-NR and Webmaster. This structure is quite helpful as in this way the President can focus on internal representation, coordinating the NB and helping the sections, in collaboration with the other board members, while the NR focusses more into the international representation. The Treasurer is responsible for fundraising and the budget, while promotional responsibilities are mainly taken care by the PR/ Vice-NR, and they also focus on the representation of International Events when the NR is not able to attend. Last but not least, the Webmaster is reorganizing the web issues for the better use of the existing web platforms.
The PanAthenian Team is consisted of the 8 Sections of Athens and helps in better cooperation between them in organizing common ESN events.
Education Team supports the Education Officer The Web Team, supports the Webmaster with the tasks and projects needed. The Communication Team, supports the PR/Vice-NR The Creative Team, as part of the Communication Team, is responsible for creating the logos for the sections who need it, always using ESNs Corporate Identity. The Partnership Team, helps the Treasurer and the PR/Vice-NR with the fundraising and starting new partnerships.
National Project ErasmusTube is a non-profit project organized by ESN GREECE, to promote the Erasmus experience and the ESN network.
HB 2014 | 65
zsanett Kelemen, edited by Jozsef Virga
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1999, ESN Pécs »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1999 »» Creation of National Board: 2007 »» Number of sections 2015: 18
Hungary has joined the network in 1999 when the first section was established in Pécs. The number of the sections is continuously increasing, at the moment we have 18 sections in 10 different cities. During the past years, ESN sections were working hard not only to make the incoming students’ life easier but also to increase the number of outgoing Hungarian students by organizing scholarship fairs in cooperation with the international offices of the universities to support the student mobility and provide better options for the Hungarian students who want to study abroad. ESN Hungary has also been cooperating with Tempus Public Foundation – the National Agency of Hungary – in order to educate high school students about student mobility, as part of a national SocialErasmus programme related to Erasmus in Schools.
an ER25MUS birthday gala. Section, ESNer, moment, Social Program and event of the year has been awarded. It is a tradition ever since to organize a gala at the end of each year. In May, 2013 ESN Hungary has organized a Mobility Gala dinner and party on a cruising ship of the river Danube in Budapest where not only Hungarian and international ESNers but also representatives of the Hungarian National Agency and exchange/mobility officers of the universities along with fellow student volunteers have met and celebrated the long lasting success of the ERASMUS/LLP. ESN Hungary’s national training event is called SectionTraining and is organized at least once a year.
Hungary /ˈhʌŋɡəri/ (Hungarian: Magyarország [ˈmɒɟɒrorsaːɡ])
Hungarian ESNers have been represented in the International Board as well. First, Gábor Békéssy Jr. has been in a position of General Secretary between 2001-2002, later on, in 2008 Melinda Horváth was the Secretary of the IB.
In September, 2009 the cooperation of the Hungarian sections have brought to life our first national event which was organized at the lake Balaton, called WonderCamp. The event – which serves as a fresher’s camp – is organized each year in September. In late December, 2012 an end-of-the-year event was organized to celebrate a fantastic and successful year. This gala-party was the ESN Hungary National Board’s Awards which also served as
66 | HB 2014
Besides our national event, Hungarian sections have organized different international events several times as well. We are one of those smaller ESN countries but we have been pretty active and motivated which has just been growing ever since!
Motto of ESN Hungary: HungaRISE UP your life!
olafur Pall Geirsson
& Karolina Vigdis Asgeirsdottir
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2007 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2007 »» Creation of National Board: without NB »» Number of sections 2015: 2
Iceland joined the network in 2007 with ESN-HI Reykjavik, at the University of Iceland. Although the section struggled for a few years to begin with, it persisted through the difficult times. In more recent years, the original section has grown considerably as of 2014, enjoyed an increased presence at both the University of Iceland as well as Reykjavik University. It is with pride that this year we celebrate our own seventh year anniversary alongside the 25th Anniversary of ESN. On the local level, ESN Reykjavik has gone through its fair share of changes since the last edition of the History Book in 2011. To being with, Hafdís Halldórsdóttir became president of ESN Reykjavik the same year and introduced an increasing number of successful events to the ESN Reykjavik events calendar. The following year Sigrún Gunnarsdóttir became president and heavily contributed to defining the structure of the organisation. Moreover, during her mandate, the section welcomed a large number of commercial partners which aided the organisation’s financial situation. Finally for 2013, the veteran local member Shishir Patel took on
On the International level, ESN Iceland has gradually become more active over the years. The clearest involvement was hosting the CNR in Reykjavík in May 2012, where Inga Jónasdóttir was the Head of OC. Though some may try to disagree, rumour has it that the CNR in Reykjavik was the best CNR in history. Máté Molnár, the NR of Iceland 2012-2013, served as a chairing committee member at the post-AGM CNR in Maribor 2013. Lastly, ESN Iceland has served as a modest example in respect to the partnership side of the network. As of early 2014, ESN Reykjavik had the largest number of commercial partners amongst all sections in the network which resulted in us receiving the ESN Star Section Award of the Year at AGM Maribor in 2013. In Iceland, companies tend to be cooperative with student organisations. In the summer of 2012, we decided to put this assertion to the test and contacted a wide range of potential partners. Needless to say, the outcome was successful. We established over 40 partner deal with a selection of popular cafés, restaurants, travel agencies and more. Indeed, this is a valuable contribution to the international students in Iceland; the local pricing tends to be slightly higher than what they are accustomed to at home. As of now the section’s main partner by far is Nova, a telecommunications company, which offers free SIM cards to all (600+) incoming international students in Reykjavík with every purchased ESN card.
/ˈaɪslənd/; Icelandic: Í�sland [ˈistlant]
the presidential role leading the largest local board of the section of 10 members (unfortunately resigning in 2014, and being replaced by Karólína Vigdís Ásgeirsdóttir). In the summer of 2013, the first local platform since the establishment of ESN in Iceland took place in Laugarvatn, where we were honoured with the presence of two international guests, Oscar Boije and Sien Monbailliu.
At the AGM Milano 2014, the CNR accepted the candidacy of our second section ESN Haskoli Islands, and was accepted as a full member at CNR Porto in September 2014. Thus in merely a year’s time, the growth of ESN Iceland has trebled, with approximately 35-40 active members. The biggest challenge for ESN Iceland today lies in member continuation. Given the extensive knowledge within the network on this particular issue and the firm growth it has enjoyed over the last years, we allow ourselves to be optimistic on this part. We look forward to meeting the future members of ESN Iceland who potentially may be reading this article years from now.
HB 2014 | 67
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2000, ESN-Limerick »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2000 »» Creation of National Board: 2013 »» Number of sections 2015: 3
In the beginning The story of ESN Ireland began when ESN-Limerick joined in 2000 and became the biggest section of Ireland. It was the only section in Ireland for a few years and the National Representatives of the past years have also been from this section. The three other sections of Ireland were founded during the ESN-year 2001-2002. These sections were ESN-Mary Immaculate from Limerick, International Students Society from Carlow and International Students Society at the Trinity College in Dublin. ESN at the Trinity College of Dublin isn’t a brand new section, but it joined ESN again after some years of silence.
cessful study trip. In addition ESN Ireland organised its first ever international event- the NBM Dublin hosting over 50 delegates from all over the network. It strengthened the two ESN Dublin sections and started a relationship with the Irish National Agency. Since then, ESN Ireland has gone from strength to strength and to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Erasmus Programme, a reception was organised for the NA and Erasmus students and hosted by the Lord Mayor of Dublin (who was a former Erasmus student himself).
The dark days For a long time, Ireland was a problematic country in ESN. After four sections were expelled in May 2009 at the CNR Porto due to not fulfilling their obligations towards ESN International (not paying the membership fee and filling in the SQ), only ESN UCD Dublin was left in the network. The new NR Clare Gillett participated at the CNR Rimini (September 2008) and afterwards started to search for a successor.
A New Era In December 2012, ESN Ireland welcomed ESN Dundalk, as it’s third section. In the New Year, the relationship with the Irish NA further strengthened when ‘ESN on the Road’ was launched, as it’s national project. In September 2013 a huge milestone was reached when ESN Ireland elected it’s first National Board and established their statutes as its foundations. It continued to expand when ESN Galway and I*ESN Cork joined the network bringing it to a total of five sections. 2014 promises to be an exciting year for ESN Ireland as it goes from strength to strength and, as it begins to implement the flagship projects and celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the network.
/ˈaɪərlənd/; locally: /ˈɑːrlənd/; Irish: É� ire [ˈeːɾʲə]
For a long period, contact with the only section was non-existent, but it was then re-established in December 2009. The new National Representative John Hustaix from France participated in the CNR Warsaw in February 2010 and from then on was actively developing ESN Ireland until July 2010, when the new National Representative Mark Loftus took over. At CNR Prague in June 2010, the new potential section ESN DIT was presented. Though it was approved as a candidate section, its membership status was rejected at CND Milano 2010 because of two failed study trips. This was largely because of lack of interest and motivation from Mark Loftus who was then subsequently expelled from the network by ESN UCD Dublin, the only section in Ireland, after he was no longer communicating with the network. Rebuilding In the aftermath of the expulsion, Kenny Ho was elected as the new Irish NR 2011/2012 focusing on rebuilding the image of ESN Ireland. In CNR Nancy 2011, ESN DIT was finally approved a full membership status after a third, suc-
68 | HB 2014
Giulia Rosa d’Amico and Marco Cazzola
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1991, ASSI Parma »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1991 »» Creation of National Board: 1994 »» Number of sections 2015: 49
ESN Italy was officially founded on October 22, 1994 by the members of the 7 oldest Italian sections (Siena, Parma, Pavia, Milan, Trento, Bologna, Genoa) interested in coordinating activities and projects on National level. In these years, ESN Italy expanded the Network and at the moment is composed of 50 sections covering almost the whole national territory, including the two main islands! Over the years, Italian sections have organized a great number of international events. In 2013 we had the chance to organize the SWEP, a CNR, a Cultural Medley and we are getting ready for the main event of 2014: the AGM in Milano!
Later on, once students are feeling more comfortable with the new environment, social activities begin. Parties, sports, language exchanges, theatre, cinema, music nights and cultural visits are the general activities done by sections, although each section has its own traditional activities and parties. Trips are planned all over Italy in order to give students the chance to visit the country in a cheap, structured and fun way. Most of the sections travel to other cities where there are ESN sections, this being both a chance for exchange students to discover the whole country and for the members of the network to meet each other. However, not just trips to the most renowned cities are organised, yet also beach and ski weeks are organized, according to the geographical location of the section. Recently sections have been creating “regional collaborations” to coordinate these events together, giving Erasmus students the chance to see more of the network and meet other students in different cities.
The work of the local sections is rather homogeneous. In a general overview, most of the sections provide all the incoming international students with practical help in their first days. Several sections organize a mentor system and are currently sharing best practices to expand this service. An orientation week, usually called Erasmus Welcome Days, takes place in almost all of the sections. Since 2009 this activity has been supported by the National Board as an official project of ESN Italy, offering promotional material and gadgets for sections and incoming students when possi-
Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja]
The sections of ESN Italy work on a voluntary basis with more than 17,000 exchange students staying in Italy every year. Each of the 50 sections is an independent association and most of them are officially recognised by their Higher Education Institutions, working in collaboration with the International Relations Offices, although not all the sections receive the same support. This mostly depends on the whether there is any official student union lobbying for associations like ESN and also on the ancient diffidence that has always distinguished the professors-students relationships in the past. Despite of this, most of the ESN local sections are actively cooperating with their Universities for the common goal of providing exchange students with an adequate program of cultural, social and academic activities.
ble. In these welcome days students are generally made aware of how ESN can help in finding an accommodation, give information on classes, courses, academic rules and activities, as well as help in solving bureaucratic problems.
HB 2014 | 69
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2001 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: CNR Vilnius, 2003 »» Creation of National Board: 2015 »» Number of sections 2015: 3
ESN Riga was established in 2003. That means that in September 2013 ESN Riga celebrated its 10th Birthday! Firstly, the section was registered with an initial legal name “ESN Latvia” but later was renamed into ESN Riga. ESN Riga has started from two independent organizations. Early in its development, ESN Latvia merged with another international student focused organization from the University of Latvia. By the end of 2003 ESN Latvia was very active in both organizing local activities and taking part in international meetings and initiatives of ESN. After one year of operation, ESN Riga had grown to team of ten people with a good coordination and well-functioning buddy system. 2005 was the time for ESN Riga to go international; this year ESN Riga organized an ESN International Board meeting in Riga. Later that year, a delegation of five people attended the AGM Gdansk where ESN Riga member and cofounder was elected as the Treasurer of ESN International.
promoting youth mobility in Europe. ESN Riga carried out different projects – Give 20 fundraising project for children education and wellbeing in Bhutan, PRIME, ExchangeAbility. Another success story was SocialErasmus project started in 2011. Now both sections – ESN Riga and ESN Jelgava are implementing different ESN projects – Mov’in Europe, ESNSurvey, ESNcard, Responsible Party and others. During the semester both sections – ESN Riga and ESN Jelgava – organize a lot of different activities. Every semester starts with an Introduction week. All the activities during this week are aimed to help students to get to know each other, to introduce our beautiful cities and of course to have fun! Every semester ESN sections organize various trips. These are trips to different regions of Latvia, trip to our lovely neighbor countries Lithuania (Vilnius, Kaunas, Trakai) and Estonia (Tallinn, Tartu). Every semester around 100 exchange students from Latvia participate in a Tallinn – Stockholm trip a.k.a. ESN Sea Battle. For the first time ESN Sea Battle spring’14 was from Riga. Our St.Petersburg trips are very popular among students; during this 4 day trip students visit the most exciting places of Cultural Capital of Russia. First time exchange students from Latvia went to ROCK the Lapland in December 2012 and now it is one of favorite trips.
/ˈlætviə/; Latvian: Latvija IPA: [ˈlatvija]
Since AGM Milano 2014 we have 2 ESN sections in Latvia and looking forward to welcome new sections to our network!
ESN Jelgava gained candidate section status after 10 years of ESN existence in Latvia. The vote of full membership took place at the pre-AGM Milano CNR, it was approved and ESN Jelgava became 2nd ESN section in Latvia. ESN Riga is a full member in the National Youth Council of Latvia. Youth Council highly valued ESN experience
70 | HB 2014
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2003 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: CNR Vilnius, 2003 »» Creation of National Board: 2009 »» Number of sections 2015: 14
In December 2002 it was announced that ESN Lithuania would like to enter the network. Soon after joining ESN, Lithuania had the opportunity to organise its first international event and very first CNR in the history of ESN, taking place from 3rd to 5th July 2003 in Vilnius. It was hosted by the first section in the country – ESN Vilnius University. Unfortunately, after CNR Vilnius 2003 ESN Lithuania went into a period of stagnation for quite a long time. According to documents, there were already three sections in ESN Lithuania in 2005: ESN Vilnius, ESN Kaunas and ESN Šiauliai. ESN Vilnius was the biggest section formed by 4 universities. As the University of Vilnius received approximately 100 Erasmus students each semester, ESN activities were mostly developed in this university. However, ESN Kaunas was the section coming up with new ideas, including how to integrate Erasmus students into local environment in more interesting ways, for example, international weekends in the nature. At the time ESN mainly focused on the mentors’ program. As there were not many Erasmus students in Šiauliai University, ESN Šiauliai actively joined and supported any national activities and initiatives. At the end of 2006, the structure of ESN Lithuania changed and ESN Vilnius University remained the only active section within the entire country. 2009 might be dated as the golden year for ESN Lithuania. 4 new sections (ESN ŠU, ESN VMU, ESN KTU, ESN VGTU) joined the network and the first official National Platform was organised by ESN Vilnius University. The second NP was organised in Kaunas. Two more sections (ESN MRU Vilnius, ESN KK) were approved as full members of ESN and a National Board was officially established with the elections coming right after the decision was made. The NB at the time consisted of the President, Vice-President, Public Relations Officer, Projects Coordinator and Treasurer, and was supported by two National Positions – HR Coordinator and IT Coordinator. ESN Lithuania went through times of rapid development. Efficient relations with Education Exchanges Support Foundation (EESF) were established, resulting in the Mentors’ Days 2010 for mentors of all different higher education institutions. Alongside useful seminars and trainings, the NP was also organised during the event. In 2010 ESN Lithuania continued with an international event – CNR, which again gathered all the National Representatives in Lithuania.
During the following years ESN Lithuania kept on developing the principles of common work, ways of communication and coordination of the rapidly growing team. By the end of 2011 there were 10 sections in the country with ESN ISLB and ESN KuK joining the network on 26th of January and ESN ISM becoming the tenth member of the family on 24th of September. The tradition of electing a new National Board at the September NP was set. From ‘network newbies’, ESN Lithuania grew and the third international event – Summer Camp’10 – was organised in the country, this time by ESN Kaunas. In 2012 the ESN Lithuania was officially fomalised as an organisation working under legislation of Lithuania by the new and passionate NB. On 8th August 2012 ESN Lithuania was officially established as an association under the name “Erasmus Studentų Tinklas ESN Lietuva” after signing hundreds of papers. Implementation of international projects such as SocialErasmus and Responsible Party began to be taken more seriously by establishing three new National Positions (SocialErasmus Coord., Responsible Party Coord., ESN Sea Battle Coord.). ESN LT continued its fruitful cooperation with EESF and organised a second Mentors’ Days in Trakai. 2013 was marked by internationalisation. Besides the creation of the ESN LT Alumni Network, its Head Coordinator Julius Zaburas was elected as part of ESN Alumni International Board. Indrė Kasiliauskaitė became the regional Responsible Party coordinator for CEP, and Sandra Rimavičiūtė joined the ESNSurvey Team. For the first time, the whole National Board was able to attend an international event – CND Łódź 2013. Alongside international practice, ESN Lithuania keeps growing internally. In December ESN SMK was approved as the 11th section and so it opened eleven years of the organisation, which started with the acceptance of the first Lithuanian to an international ESN committee. National Communication Coordinator Sandra Baltkojytė became part of ESN Communication Committee. ESN Lithuania went through radical changes in eleven years, but today it might be called one of the most promising NGOs in Lithuania. With over 300 members, a full and highly functioning National Board and in general a deep involvement in the international level of Erasmus Student Network, the organisation keeps moving on.
/ˌlɪθuːeɪniə/; Lithuanian: Lietuva; [ˈliɛtʊvaː]
HB 2014 | 71
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2013 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2013 »» Creation of National Board: without NB »» Number of sections 2015: 1
Luxembourg is one of the most recent countries in ESN. We are also one of the smallest members: we only have one section. To be fair, we also have only one university. Still, our team has been doing everything in its power to fulfill the purpose of ESN: to make Erasmus students feel at home in Luxembourg! Summer Semester 2012-2013: Foundation and baby steps ESN Luxembourg was founded in February 2013 by a few students that had been on Erasmus and had partially heard about ESN during their semester abroad. We, the founders, were pretty much thrown in at the deep end, though: we only had a vague idea of all that was ahead of us and of what a huge network ESN actually is. Of course we got help from ESN International for our first steps. Nevertheless, our project was mostly based on the principle of learning by doing. Therefore, we started with rather modest ambitions: we just organised a few events for Erasmus students while being pretty busy with getting organised among ourselves. We collaborated with the University of Luxembourg to organise a pick-up service for the incoming students. We extended the official Welcome Day by organising a Treasure hunt for the new students so they could discover the city of Luxembourg on their own in a playful way. After that, our main events were a pub quiz, a trip to Brussels and a Goodbye Party at the end of the semester. Our highlight of the semester was something else, though: in April, ESN International approved ESN Luxembourg as an official section. So, at the end of the semester, the baby steps of ESN Luxembourg were done and the next stage was waiting for us.
perfect yet, but the University seemed to start recognizing ESN as a useful partner in the support of exchange students. From then, we organised events almost weekly. Among the most popular ones were a pub crawl at the start of the semester, a canoeing trip, a karaoke evening and of course several theme parties. However, the biggest and most international event was a trip to Amsterdam: organised by ESN Amsterdam in collaboration with ESN Belgium and ESN Luxembourg, this trip brought together around 300 international students from the 3 countries and showed the advantages of being part of such a huge network as ESN. However, ESN is much more than events. Since the situation presented itself, the first international project ESN Luxembourg started to participate in was SocialErasmus: we initiated several charity cake selling events in order to do some fundraising for the victims of the typhoon that hit the Philippines in November 2013. This initiative was so well-appreciated that other associations started joining it. ESN also involves much more than the national level. We were able to send a national representative to most of the international ESN meetings (Brussels, Maribor, Florence, Nancy, …) to establish our country in the network and to get inspired by more experienced ESNers. Thanks to that, we slowly started grasping the true European extent of ESN and we began to realize our special position in the network: as one of the smallest countries, we only have one section, which is therefore a local and a national one at the same time. In other words: For ESN Luxembourg, every event is a national event. Besides seeing that ESN Luxembourg was starting to be a well-established association, the highlight of the semester certainly was that we won the UBS Prize in support of a student organisation at the University of Luxembourg. Additional to the support from University and from our partners, this finally also gave us some financial back-up for hopefully taking ESN Luxembourg to another level yet again. Thanks to many recruitment efforts, our team has recently become bigger again, so we now have a good basis to face the next semester. We want to show that we have learned from past mistakes and we want to insure more continuity in our events while preparing the next ESN generation for future challenges.
Winter Semester 2013-2014: Development and official recognition Thanks to a lot of work and many meetings during the summer holidays, ESN Luxembourg was able to start the new semester in a much stronger position. We acquired some local commercial partners for our ESNcard, we were joined by some motivated new members and we had a rough plan of the events that should be organised during the semester. We introduced a mentoring programme for exchange students and further enhanced the Welcome Day in collaboration with other student associations. Things were not
72 | HB 2014
»» Date of first section established in the country: »» ESN Skopje, 2007 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: post-AGM CNR Prague, 2007 »» Creation of National Board: 2012 »» Number of sections 2015: 2
The story of ESN Macedonia can be traced back to the well as activities part of the Social Erasmus programme. post- AGM CNR which was held in Prague in the year of Mainly, ESN Macedonia is oriented towards fostering per2007, the year when ESN Macedonia got approved as a sonal development, motivation, internationalization, thus member of the ESN family and an ESN country. At the encouraging its members to volunteer and to benefit by very beginning, ESN Macedonia had only one section - doing so. ESN Skopje. However, since creating strong, sustainable sections is one of our main priorities, soon after two more Moreover, what we are trying to do is to find a way for sections: ESN FON University and ESN UACS have creating a working environment where all of the membeen established to work together on both- a lobers would cooperate with each other and build cal and national level, thus being the perfect self-consciousness. In that way, not only will example for Section Cooperation. Unforwe encourage our members to give their tunately, due to financial difficulties and best, but also prepare them to better other unpleasant circumstances, since respond to the challenging situations the year of 2014, ESN FON University in reality. Finally, since the last year is no longer part of ESN Macedonia. we organize activities not only with /ˌmæsɨˈdoʊniə/ mas-iour international and/or exchange DOH-nee-ə; Macedonian: students; but also with outgoing stuAnyway, there is a light at the end of every tunnel! We continue to work dents who are always happy to share Македонија, towards organizing activities with the their experience with other ESNers transliterated: international students, students coming and students during various happenvia various exchange programmes, and ings and activities. Makedonija last but not least, focusing on the principle: internationalization at home. After the release Anyway, cooperation does not stop here. We of the Erasmus+ programme, finally we are able have a well-established relationship with the unito perform our job well, i.e. include the Erasmus students versities which do not only provide their support to the into our activities and making sure that we continue to sections and their members, but are also more than willing to provide support for ESN Macedonia as well. In addition, the international events that we have organized so far (or are planning to do so) are always received with armswide-open on part of the universities.
Therefore, we are always trying to establish cooperation with relevant institutions, we are never saying”no” to the blurry obstacles which seem to appear from time-to-time in our everyday work. Even though it is not always easy to ensure the proper functioning of the network in our small country, it is undoubtedly always a pleasure. Organizing international events, helping the network grow and improve, and making our members more eager to emphasize multiculturalism, volunteerism, and develop and grow as the network does, is what ESN Macedonia will continue to work on in the distant future. grow as part of the international ESN family. Currently we only have a National Representative (Daniela Karadza) who is taking care of properly representing ESN Macedonia on a local, national and international level. On a national level, we place our focus on organizing fruitful, non-formal education oriented national workshops, as
HB 2014 | 73
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2012 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2012 »» Creation of National Board: without NB »» Number of sections 2015: 1
Erasmus Student Network UOM (University Of Malta) is a fairly new organisation within Malta’s only University. ESN UOM is the only section within ESN Malta, since the island of Malta has only one University. During the past three years since its initiation, ESN Malta has successfully grown, welcoming around 500 students each semester, and has therefore kept its members quite busy with the work that comes along with running a local and national platform at the same time. In 2012 the process for ESN Malta to become an autonomous organisation began, and became a success at the 2013 AGM held in July. It was formally an extension of the KSU (the University of Malta’s Student Council). The executive board before ESN Malta became autonomous, which was made up of the KSU International Officer and the Coordinator; holding the posts of Chairperson and Vice-chair respectively, with five additional members elected through a General meeting. Through the statute amendments made in 2012, the executive team was then made
up of ten members, with the Chairperson and Vice-chair being elected at the AGM and the two former KSU representatives sharing one vote. This process was repeated during the AGM of KSU held in July 2013, during which ESN Malta was made autonomous. ESN Malta then swiftly applied for official Senate recognition by the University of Malta board. It was awarded the
74 | HB 2014
title of an independent University organisation, and was given the go ahead to run separately, always abiding by the University of Malta by-laws. Today, in the term 2013/2014, ESN Malta is growing rapidly, attracting more and more students to its events. The executive team is made up of nine members, and also a few subcommittee members as of this year. In October 2013, ESN Malta attended its first SWEP event in Parma with six out of its nine members.
Marco La Rosa
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2004 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2004 »» Creation of National Board: without NB
»» Expulsion from ESN: 2008
In June 2004, ESN took a historic decision to broaden its horizons and accept a section outside of Europe: ESN Ifrane. ESN Ifrane was the first section of ESN Morocco and it was based at Al Akhawayn University. The section was working in close cooperation with the Office of International Programs to welcome new exchange students and foster mobility. There were a lot of challenges and most of the exchange programmes with Europe involved only France and Spain, nevertheless ESN Ifrane could count on 25 active members and the cooperation of other local student organizations. Nadia Khomri, first NR of Morocco wrote “Today, thanks to the support of ESN France, Morocco is an official ESN member country and we, Moroccans, are happy to join the huge ESN family”. Indeed ESN France had a huge impact on ESN Morocco and in January 2005 they helped set up a second section: ESN Marrakech (Cadi Ayyad University).
network, some cultural and administrative differences as well as the cost and problems (such as visa issues) of travelling to the rest of Europe. ESN Morocco asked for help of the network to involve its members and spread the ESN culture in Ifrane and Marrakech and… ESN Ifrane received a visit of a delegation from ESN Gdansk! Nadia Khomri continued her work as NR for a second year and she also received two more applications from other universities. In 2007 ESN Settat was accepted in the network.
Nadia described the active members in Morocco as “active members who work together with the aim of helping exchange students to better integrate in their new environment and create an unforgettable experience from their stay in Morocco”. Morocco was very different from the other ESN countries, but their goals and passion were the same!
ESN Morocco remained in the network in 2007 and 2008, however the country was less and less involved in the network, especially when Nadia left her position as an NR. In 2008 (CNR Brussels) ESN Settat was expelled due to overdue payments. The same year ESN Morocco was expelled from the network because of inactivity.
ESN was a challenge for Morocco as much as Morocco was a challenge for ESN. As part of the strategy of ESN in 2007-2008, we constrained the expansion of the network limiting it to the borders of the Council of Europe, thus excluding de facto Morocco. Note: the information provided is a result of personal knowledge as well as documents of ESN reports, mailing lists, newsletters and minutes.
Only a few months after the foundation of ESN Ifrane, ESN Morocco in cooperation with ESN France organized the Southern Eastern Platform 2004 (at the time we still had one platform). The event was organized under the high patronage of His Majesty Mohamed VI, King of Morocco, and the support of the Moroccan Ministry of National Education, Higher Education, Professional Training and Scientific Research of the Kingdom of Morocco and it was the first ESN event organized outside of the geographical Europe. Marrakech was the beautiful city that hosted the event from October 9th to 11th 2004. The event had a good media coverage in the country and the organization was definitely amazing! After the SEP, Morocco started to have some issues. The sections did have some difficulties in integrating in the
HB 2014 | 75
Johannes Kvam and adapted by Ronja Hesthammer
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1993, ESN Trondheim »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1993 »» Creation of National Board: 2001 »» Number of sections 2015: 7
After being present as observers at the AGM III and IV, and having an observer in the Internationl Board of ESN during 1992 and the beginning of 1993, Norway presented three applications for sections during the Board meeting in Porto, October 1993. All three applicants was accepted as full sections, meaning that the first ESN sections in Norway was founded in 1993 in Trondheim, Bergen and Oslo. ESN Trondheim has since then been one of the strongest and most stable sections in Norway, while ESN Bergen and ESN Oslo have experienced some inactive periods and they have both been expelled from the network for a period of time and returned. ESN Tromsø joined the network in 1994, but was expelled together with ESN Oslo in 1996. ESN Tromsø never returned. ESN Molde was founded some time between 1997 and 2000. After being expelled from the network for an uncertain amount of time, ESN Bergen rejoined in 2001. ESN Norway was legally founded as an organization in “Brønnøysundregistrene” in 2001. In 2002 there were four sections in ESN Norway; ESN Bergen, ESN Molde, ESN Oslo and ESN Trondheim. ESN Oslo had joined ESN again in June 2002 after some years of silence, and was again shut down somewhere before 2005. In 2002 ESN Norway had a National Board consisting of 4 members, one from Bergen, one from Trondheim and one from Molde as well as the National Representative. This lasted for about one year. Year 2001-2002 Vegard Eid Medieås was a member of the IB and liaison officer for the Alumni. Year 2002-2003 He was elected the vice-president of ESN International as well as the webmaster. The NNM (now NEP) was held for the first time in Norway, in Bergen, 2003. In 2004 a new section was approved, ESN Agder, the most southern section in Norway. Agder was established in cooperation with the international office, and which has continued to work closely together. The year after the most northern section in the entire ESN Network was approved, ESN Finnmark. In 2007 ESN Trondheim organized NEP for the second time in Norway. A second section in Bergen, ESN NHH, was part of the network for a short time between 2008-2010. In March 2009 ESN Oslo (HiO) was again approved as an ESN section, and later the same year ESN University of
Oslo (UiO) was accepted. In 2009 the Norway network faced some serious problems. ESN Norway risked being expelled from the network due to lack of NR in a period of 6 months. The Norwegian network was luckily saved at NEP 2009 in Stockholm where Frederik Sardinoux (ESN Trondheim) was elected as the new NR, and Lene M. Realfsen (ESN Agder) as the vice-NR. ESN Trondheim held the NP in February 2010 where 5 sections were present and a national mailinglist was created. Since then all sections have gotten a new website. 5 sections and 9 participants were present at the AGM Istanbul, and 2 participants from different sections participated at BEST 2 in august 2010. In September 2010 ESN University of Oslo arranged the NP with 28 participants from 6 (7) sections, and a new section ESN Ås was approved. Miriam Eid was elected as the new NR and Manuela Seu-Stokkmo as the vice-NR. At NEP Turku Norway had 16 participants present from all sections except ESN Bergen who had a period of low activity at that time. ESN Agder organized the NP in Februrary 2011 with 28 participants from 7 out of 8 sections. A National Board consisting of three people were elected. The sections agreed to take part in the PRIME project and get more involved on the national and international level. In 2012 ESN Finnmark organized the NP in Alta where a new national board consisting of three people were elected. At the next NP in Ås, Bodø was approved as a new candidate section. Sadly within a few months the candidate section was no longer active, and the status as candidate section was removed. The following year, NP was organized in Trondheim, where all the positions of the National Board was filled. During the spring NP of 2014 in Agder, the inactive ESN Oslo section was expelled, and ESN UiO was re named ESN Oslo. A vice-president position was created for the NP in Oslo, fall 2014. The board now included six positions, but no one ran for the position as Webmaster, so the national board still consisted of five people. Also a national Education Officer was elected at this NP, and it was decided that the national board elections will in the future be held during the spring NP rather than the fall, in order to folllow the ESN year from AGM to AGM. In the final months of 2014, ESN Bergen decided to apply for organizing NEP 2015.
/ˈnɔrweɪ/; Norwegian: Norge (Bokmål) or Noreg (Nynorsk)
76 | HB 2014
Damian Bulira and Alumni of ESN Poland
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1998 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2000 »» Creation of National Board: 2003 »» Number of sections 2015: 35
The history of ESN in Poland began in 1998 since the founding of the first section at the Medical Academy in Warsaw. At a similar point in time, students from other cities independently noticed the need to support the growing number of exchange students at their universities. Often not yet aware of the existence of ESN, they were establishing local organisations or helping in an informal way. University authorities were also learning how to act. Once the local structures were settled, an idea appeared. In parallel with the activities in sections, Artur Orłowski (President of ESN SGH) and Michał Zasada (President of ESN Gdańsk) independently began to develop the idea of cooperation between sections at the national level as well as with the National Agency. The idea of the first nationwide meeting of ESN sections led to the organisation of a National Platform, which was held in Gdańsk, Poland (09.05.2003 - 11.05.2003). Since then, the idea of the Association of ESN Poland has been developed. Since 2003, ESN Poland has met twice per year as a National Platform (NP). The first Section Presidents’ Meeting (PM), apart from the NP, took place in Warsaw in December 2005. In that moment, the President of ESN Poland, Patryk Rzymyszkiewicz, announced the legal entity of the Association was approved on 13 December 2005. In 2007, due to formal requirements, the PM changed its name to the Delegates’ Meeting (Council of Local Representatives). Following the efforts of the President of ESN Poland, Krzysztof Dzikiewicz and ESN Switzerland, the first Council of National Delegates was created in 2007.
the first two countries to launch ESNcard projects (called ESN ID in Poland). At AGM Helsinki 2004, Christoph Graf from ESN Austria together with Artur Orłowski from ESN Poland initiated international discussion about a common ESNcard, which resulted in choosing ESN Poland’s card design and production process. One of the pillars of ESN activity – the SocialErasmus project – was presented to the public in Katowice in May 2008. The creators of the project were Justyna Adamiec (ESN UJ) and Magdalena Pawelczyk (ESN UŁ). SocialErasmus was established to give Erasmus students the chance to experience something new, to gain a new perspective, which would be beyond their abilities if not for the Erasmus Program. In 2010, during the CNR in Warsaw, votes were cast to establish SocialErasmus as one of the organisation’s international projects. Another success story - ESNOLYMPICS began in Autumn 2009. ESN Poland was celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Erasmus Programme in Poland and the Warsaw sections decided to organise sports contests for Warsaw Erasmus students. Since then, the project expanded not only at national level but also internationally – an international contest was introduced in 2013. Another project ESN Poland is proud of is the photo competition “Discover Europe”. It was introduced by Alicja Kocańda (ESN SGH) in 2003. Polish students as well as Erasmus students in Poland, send their photos depicting countries and culture from all over Europe.
/ˈpoʊlənd/ (Polish: Polska; pronounced [ˈpɔlska]
Besides statutory meetings, we are also proud of our training events. The first training event of ESN Poland “Świeżynki” (“Freshmen”) – took place on 17-18 March 2007 in Kazimierz Dolny and was implemented by Anna Demner, ESN Poland board member (HR). The main goal of the event was to introduce ESN to its new members and provide dedicated training for more experienced members. Apart from Świeżynki, other kinds of training events accompanied regular meetings, i.e. Regional Trainings. During these few years, Świeżynki and other similar events were incorporated into ESN UPgrade.
At present, ESN Poland has 35 sections in all major Polish academic centres. We strongly believe that through our main goals: development, professionalisation and education we will benefit not only international students, but also the members of our national organisation.
ESN Poland also has a rich history in holding national projects, successfully continued at the International level. In 2003, ESN Poland and ESN Italy, independently, were
HB 2014 | 77
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1992 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1992 »» Creation of National Board: 2009 »» Number of sections 2015: 11
I have to be honest with all of you, writing the story of my country was not a very easy task. Due to the position of the country in Europe and its low financial capability it was very difficult for any representative to attend international meetings and the consequence seems quite obvious little participation, involvement and commitment to our beloved network. Even though we have been around for a long time we only had one person involved in the International Board have a few international events during our history and also the old logo was designed by a Portuguese member but no one knows who.
ma that was created by a previous NR that was studying on that faculty at the time. In 2004, Portugal received the biggest sports event ever to take place in Portugal – EURO 2004TM. At the same time, ESN Minho and the newly elected NR organized an International Board Meeting. The IB was very impressed with the organization and with event itself. The aforementioned NR was the charge for four years, between 2004 and 2008, and despite the fact that during this time the number of sections in Portugal reached double digits the involvement in the international level was really small. The NR did not get any support from the university to participate in CNR meetings and besides that he was not able to fulfil his duties as a NR by not sending most of the country reports during the four years period and by that reason was expelled not once but twice from the CNR.
/ˈpɔrtʃʉɡəlˌ -tjʉ/; Portuguese: Portugal [puɾtuˈɣaɫ]
Everything started in 1992 with the creation of CRIEUP Center for International Relations of the Students of the University of Porto in the remarkable city of Porto. During that year Jorge Cerveira Pinto became our first NR and just one year later he was elected President of Erasmus Student Network, additionally in 1995, the sixth edition of AGM took place in Porto. With the dissolution of CRIEUP during the academic year 1997/1998 another group In.net was created in October of 1998 to continue helping the integration of Erasmus students. Until the end of the XX century more sections were created but only the ones in Lisbon remained active in our country during that period. Nevertheless, ESN Porto was able to last even though some sections were reactivated along the past years.
The beginning of the new century brought more sections to our country and also international events. In 2001, the Cultural Medley of ESN International was organised by the NR in São Pedro de Moel from the 17th to the 21st of October. A meeting for the International Board was also organised in Lisbon before the Cultural Medley. A remarkable curiosity during this year is that our NR got a sponsorship for ESN international of 3000€ from two Portuguese banks. Between 2001 and 2003 a lot of efforts were made to bring the sections closer and to try to create a National Level however the only section which remained active during this time was ESN Porto. In 2003 another section joined our network during AGM XIV in Siena. More than that, there was again a section in the capital ESN Autóno-
78 | HB 2014
The main highlight during this period was in October of 2006, when ESN Porto organized the last South European Platform and as mentioned in AGM Docs Prague 2007 it was a platform “wonderfully organised (...) even if we were always late with the schedule (...) everything was perfect”. The most unpleasant moment during this period was in the January of 2007 when all the sections from Lisbon (ESN UAL Lisboa, ESN Lisboa and ESN Nova Lisboa) were expelled at the same time during a CNR in Brussels. In just six months ESN Portugal lost a total of five sections downing our numbers to just four sections, however the reality is that only two sections were really active in the begging of the academic year of 2008/2009 – ESN Porto and ASE-UC/ESN Coimbra. So it came by no surprise that ESN UTAD was also expelled from the network only a month after ESN Summer School, an international training event for ESNers which was cancelled. Nonetheless 2008 also brought some great news to our country. Firstly, after four years a new NR was elected and this event only was considered a very good development for our country since for the first time in a long time Portugal had an active NR internally and externally. Secondly, all the sections from the network agreed, for the first time, on some measures to provide financial independence to ESN Portugal, which was done by providing a
certain amount of money from each ESNcard sold by the local sections, the creation of a membership fee and a percentage of profits from partners and from our national event. Last but not the least, Lisbon was again represented in our network and this was had a huge impact in our country because this new section helped ESN Portugal to accomplish a lot during 2009. Even though there were a lot of attempts to create a National Board in Portugal the first “real one” with designated tasks was created in June of 2009, the elected President was Ana Silva that during the first half of 2009 was the secretary of the International Board of ESN. The national board was very enthusiastic and motivated but the lack of cooperation and communication between ESN Portugal and the local sections made the job nearly impossible. It seems that our local sections were not ready at all for a National Board since most of the information that the National Board was providing to the section was simply ignored, as a result, in November the entire board presented collective demission. But as mentioned before 2009 brought a lot of accomplishments. ESN Portugal website was finally created and satellite was successfully installed, more partnerships were signed to provide ESN Portugal more ways to get subsidized, in May of 2009 ESN Portugal received for the first time a CNR meeting in Porto, and once again ESN Porto did not let anyone down organizing an event that received an overwhelming positive feedback from the all the participants. In September another national event was introduced, the ESN National Surf Camp. But the biggest accomplishment came in 12nd October of 2009 when ESN Portugal officially became a legally registered association. In 2010, for the first time our main national event – ENM – was organized not by a section but by ESN Portugal with an OC with members from different sections. ESN Lisboa organized for the first time an international event – Cultural Medley in July of 2010 and the first edition of Survival Guide was also implemented in order to help our exchange students with information from every corner of Portugal. The word that defines 2011 is “change” ESN Portugal has changed a lot this year. The National Board created the position of Local Representatives with the main responsibility to connect the local level with the national one. This year was also notorious for a territorial dispute between the two sections in the city of Coimbra, ended up in the expulsion ESN IP Coimbra that until today remains the last section to leave our national network. But the most dramatic change came during the summer of 2011 when our National Board President was expelled, after a proposal from all the other members of the National Board being accepted by the NP. The National Board President was also the Local Board President of ESN Lisboa and during these really hard times ESN Lisboa still got strength to organize two international events Cultural Medley for the second consecutive year and SWEP on October.
During that period the NB built the first real statutes after many years of ESN Portugal which led us to organize our first Council of Local Delegates in July of 2012. During this event we were able to change our statutes, elect our National Board and provide the annual balance of the outgoing NB. That meeting was also special since two more sections were approved: ESN Covilhã formed by former Erasmus students that fell in love with ESN back in Poland and ESN Minho, a reactivated section. During 2012 and 2013, ESN Portugal made a gigantic step in terms of creating a real network in Portugal. The main accomplishments were solving financial irregularities, the strengthening of our national partnerships in order to ensure our economic viability and the improvement of the quality of our local sections. Due to the increase of interest for the national level we started to develop our own national committees and also to create positions to support the National Board. In 2013 the country got closer than ever to the international level of our beloved network. Our participation in International Committees increased exponentially and during this year we had two chairs and vicechairs as well as representation in all five committees. We had representation in three regional platforms – SWEP, CEP and SEEP and also members participating actively in other international events such as CoMeet and Eduk8 training events. The year of 2014 stands out for the network growth and international visibility of ESN Portugal. We welcomed 3 new sections ESN Algarve, ESN Madeira and ESN Leiria thus expanding to the south of Portugal and one of our islands; we organized 2 international events CNR Porto and SWEP Minho and finally we were multiply awarded at AGM Milano, having ESN Covilha received the 3 as the 2nd best section and ESN Portugal as country number 2 in the whole network. What can 2015 have reserved for us? Well, the future is unknown but we will definitely strive for another two beautifully organized national events (Erasmus National Meeting and ESNOlympics); the expansion of our national network, always keeping in mind quality assurance of the sections; a great cooperation with the National Agency and participation in national youth assemblies; widespread implementation of all the international projects and active participation on the international teams and committes. In the last 25 years ESN had a great development but, much like our nation’s history, ESN Portugal also had to struggle a lot until we could establish ourselves as a strong country. We have been to hell and back but now we are on a way up so we can only hope that other countries will see our history as an encouragement and proof that with a little of hope and a lot of hardworking and motivated people nothing is impossible.
Our NP decided to maintain the remaining 3 members of the NB in a provisional basis until the beginning of 2012.
HB 2014 | 79
Cristina Gavrila edited by Ioana Petrescu
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2004, ESN Cluj-Napoca »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2004 »» Creation of National Board: 2011 »» Number of sections 2015: 8
The Romanian cities that host local ESN sections at the moment are six of the biggest and most important cities in Romania: Cluj-Napoca, Iași, Brașov, Timișoara, Sibiu and the capital, Bucharest. Romania joined ESN in December 2004 with the approval of the first local section, ESN Cluj-Napoca, during the Board Meeting in Parma, Italy. The approval of ESN Bucharest in December 2005 soon followed during the CNR meeting in Edinburgh. Many activities took place under the initiative of ESN Bucharest and, even though at first they didn’t have many ERASMUS students to take care of, they were very dedicated to their activities. A group of students from Iasi succeeded in joining the network and being approved as an ESN section after starting their activities in the fall of 2008. They were very active and set up a good start for their section by getting it legally registered.
bers team didn’t function at all and communication inside the national network broke down for quite a few months. During the Iasi NP in March 2011, a NB was created. For the next NP in May, held in Bucharest and organised by ESN ASE and ESN UniBuc, the freshly formed NB presented their plan of action concerning the future of ESN Romania, including becoming a legally registered association, bringing more collaboration between Romanian sections and expanding the national network.
Unfortunately, ESN ASE didn’t manage to pay their Membership Fee for 2010 and since the 1st of July 2011 they were expelled from ESN.
/roʊˈmeɪniə/ roh-MAY-nee-ə; Romanian: România [romɨˈni.a]
ESN Timișoara joined at the end of 2011 with a team of very motivated volunteers and with the full support of their University. The Network grew again with the acceptance of a very strong ESN section in Sibiu during our NP in May 2013. At this point, locally, all the sections are very active and we have managed to create a small but strong network.
Internationally, ESN Romania has been active as well. Just in 2013 we organized two international events (Eduk8 T4T Cluj-Napoca and NBM Timisoara) and won as OC for SEEP 2014. Besides that, our members are involved as International Team Coordinators (PRIME/STORY 2014), Committee members and International Projects members.
In December 2009, 2 new sections, ESN UniBuc and MedESN Cluj-Napoca, were officially approved during the NP in Cluj-Napoca. Now having two sections in Bucharest, ESN Bucharest had to change its name and became ESN ASE. Also important is that the national network grew with one more section after that NP with the approval of ESN Brasov. At the same NP in Cluj-Napoca, the initiative of setting up a National Board was discussed and a first structure of the Board was drafted. Unfortunately, the Board mem-
80 | HB 2014
Markus Lutter and Prokop Teper
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2000, ESN Izhevsk »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2002 »» Creation of National Board: without NB »» Number of sections 2015: 2
When it comes to the story of Russia in the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), we can divide it into two parts: an old, historic part that took place between 2002-2004, and a much more recent one, beginning in 2012. The old story of ESN Russia is short and not much knowledge can be ascertained from the ESN archives. Although there has been some contact with students in St. Petersburg and Moscow in the past, only one ESN section has ever existed in Russia; ESN Izhevsk. Located in the industrial city of Izhevsk, more than 1000 km from Moscow, ESN Izhevsk represented the easternmost point of the ESN Network.
time they had to travel to meetings. Also there was very little actual communication; no country reports arrived from the Ural. As no other sections were founded, ESN Russia was unable to establish a National Board. After Eugene graduated and moved on, the first part of ESN Russia’s story came to an end. ESN Izhevsk was officially expelled at the CNR Meeting in Maribor in February 2004. The second part of ESN Russia’s story picks up during the back-end of 2011 when individuals from St. Petersburg State Forest Technical University re-established contact with ESN. During CNR Rotterdam in February 2012, Anya Petrova presented their application for candidate membership to the network. Needless to say that CNR voted in favour. However the Study trip to St. Petersburg resulted in negative recommendation for full membership, mainly due to an overall lack of preparation. During the following discussion, the candidate section was advised to withdraw their application and thus avoid a possible rejection vote during CNR Reykjavik in May 2012, which the candidate section finally did. It took a further two years to see another revival attempt of ESN Russia. The interested association came once again from St. Petersburg State Forest Technical University. Two representatives joined the CNR Sofia meeting in January of 2014. After a successful presentation, the association was granted candidate membership once again. So far the story is identical with the one from two years ago. Hopefully that is where the similarities end and the Network will finally be able to greet ESN Russia back, 10 years after it left.
The most information we have about this section is from a country report 2003. But it was not from the Russian NR, it written by Hanna-Maija Saarinen, President of ESN International 2002-03. “At the South European Platform in Pécs, Hungary, May 2002, a group of students from Izhevsk State Technical University met the people from ESN International. The group followed lectures about ESN and the President of Russian International Student Exchange (RISE) Eugene Paniukov got very interested in making RISE an official member of ESN International. (…) In July 2002 RISE was ready to apply for a membership and finally on the 8th of July RISE became ESN-Izhevsk. RISE was founded at 18.12.2000 as a section of Association of Udmurt Students (ASU). It was created especially for International relations, such as creating and managing students exchange programs, planning their stays here in Izhevsk, helping them with communication, study, etc. (…) The student exchange in Russia differs a bit from that in the Socrates-countries. Often the exchange happens in groups and lasts for just a few weeks. People in these groups are students and they come to Izhevsk to study, so they are as much exchange students as any Erasmus-student. ESN-Izhevsk helps plan the schedules for these students, all events including official meetings, accommodation, parties, visits, excursions, etc. In addition to this ESN-Izhevsk looks for translators who can help the guests and who can show them the city and solve their problems.”
Russian: Россия, tr. Rossiya; IPA: [rɐˈsʲijə]
There had always been logistical problems for ESN Izhevsk because of the distance required to travel, and the fact that the National Representative needed a visa every
HB 2014 | 81
Aleksandra Rokvic and Igor Ivaskovic
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2006 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2006 »» Creation of National Board: without NB »» Number of sections 2015: 3
ESN Serbia as well as a successful Erasmus in Schools run. The story of ESN Serbia began in 2006 with the founding An important aspect of the section is the effort made in of the first section, ESN Belgrade. Until 2009, there were order to educate potential outgoing students. ESN Novi three present sections in existence: ESN Belgrade, ESN Sad has conducted numerous workshops and presenNovi Sad and ESN CLS Nis. However, the sections had tations which inform and instruct students in the field of two major problems: first being the lack of mobility pro- student mobility, ranging from theoretical information to grams in the country and the second being difficulty with actual, concrete help with preparing documentation and funding due to the general lack of support. Held together solving some common paperwork problems. This way, only by a handful of enthusiasts, the sections slowly dis- the section largely influences the presence of Serbia in persed, only to be revived again in 2012. The major factor mobility schemes. in the revival of the first two existing sections was the Erasmus Mundus program which quickly ESN BelUPgrade gained popularity. The Universities slowly Although the city of Belgrade created an recognised the relevance of ESN in our ESN section in 2006, the section was country and started showing support revived and officially registered in 2013 for the new generation of ESNers who under an empowering name symbol/ˈsɜrbiə/, officially decided to create a new and more ising growth and development – ESN the Republic of Serbia serious chapter in the history of ESN BelUPgrade. A few brave individuSerbia. Working extensively with both als who shared common goals were (Serbian: Republika incoming and outgoing students, ESN united in their willingness to make Srbija, pronounced Serbia currently actively deals with all this section strong and recognisable. types of academic mobility, not only Although lacking support from gov[repǔblika sř̩bija] Erasmus itself. The number of exchange ernmental institutions, they managed to students who choose Serbia as their mogather foreign students living in Belgrade. bility location shows a significant growth Many students have been attracted to opyear after year. portunities offered by the section as it provides a unique working environment where skills such as lanESN Novi Sad guage, communication, logistics and IT can be developed ESN Novi Sad, founded in 2007, was re-established in and mastered. 2012 and thus launched a new chapter for ESN Serbia. The Office for Youth opened their doors to them by providFor the sake of functionality, the section is divided into two ing office space for weekly meetings, which would regularge teams: Events and Communication. The section has larly gather up to 20 enthusiastic members. Special teams successfully organised a series of events ranging from were formed over time, each responsible for a distinctive hiking to movie nights and the best parties in the city. The array of activities: Event Team (organising events such as team also successfully implemented the Responsible Par- parties, national and regional trips for foreign and local ty project. Although focused on exchange students, they students), Education Team (planning and organising Soactivities are open in nature and easily include all those cialErasmus events), Finance and Project Team (research curious to participate. and fundraising), PR (external communication), IT (site adThe Communication Team has been working on two ministration, design), Buddy Team, and more. levels. On the one hand, ESN Novi Sad has managed During the summer of 2013, ESN BelUPgrade took part in to achieve a significant number of ESN card discounts: the “Ride for your Rights” project, in which cyclists paid a ranging from clubs and restaurants to language schools, visit to Belgrade on their way. The section organised their health insurance, and hostels, making Novi Sad an ex- stay in Belgrade and showed wonderful hospitality. tremely ESN-friendly city. On the other hand, the Com- By the end of September 2013, ESN BelUPgrade had munication Team has worked on creating an identity for organised a Welcome Week which consisted of guided ESN in the public eye. The section has made appearances city tours through Belgrade, a bowling competition, a on television, at education fairs and a variety of festivals, traditional dinner in Skadarlija Street (the most famous printed marketing material ranging from flyers and posters and oldest bohemian quarter in Belgrade) and many othto booklets and even full-length Erasmus Guidebooks. er events. Other major events were two regional trips, to The section also implements SocialErasmus, having so far Transylvania for Halloween and Zagreb for Christmas. carried out a range of humanitarian projects and activities
82 | HB 2014
Simona Jezikova, Jaroslava Kjara Krutakova
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2004 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2004 »» Creation of National Board: 2010 »» Number of sections 2015: 13
The Erasmus programme is so successful today because of the foundation of activities from its former participants. It was Miroslav Radič and Martin Soták, who studied at the University of Economics in Bratislava, that founded the first Buddy System in Slovakia. In November 2003, there were only 30 foreign students with 5 Slovak students who took care of them. The aforementioned Buddy System joined ESN in 2004 as ESN Slovakia’s first ever section and it was renamed to ESN EUBA. Nowadays, ESN Slovakia takes care of around 1600 Erasmus students annually with the help of roughly 200 ESNers in 13 sections. In 2014, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of entering the ESN family, also coinciding with the 25th anniversary of ESN International.
ESN Slovakia hosted different international events: Section Meeting - Bratislava 2006 (ESN EUBA), Central European Platform – Bratislava 2010 (ESN EUBA), Eduk8 - Vrutky 2012 (ESN UMB Banska Bystrica), Central European Platform – Košice 2013 (ESN Košice).
We have also organised National events, a very successful one being Trip2Somewhere. The main principle was to organise a trip abroad for all Erasmus students in Slovakia with the cooperation of ESN. We went to Venice-Padova, Krakow, Nice-Barcelona-Monaco, Venice-Ljubljana, and Budapest. As a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Erasmus in 2012, ESN Slovakia worked alongside former president Mirko Hajnoš to cooperate with the Slovak Academic Association for Development of ESN Slovakia: International Cooperation. This led to /sloʊˈvɑːkiə/ or / Erasmus Tour de Slovakia project, sləˈvækiə/ (officially the the 2004 ESN EUBA Bratislava (termiin conjunction with SocialErasmus nated in 2012) Slovak Republic; Slovak: Week. It involved a group of ESNers travelling in a van to visit 5 cities that 2008 ESN UCM Trnava (terminatSlovensko [ˈslovɛnsko] each had an ESN section. In every city ed in 2009), ESN UNIAG Nitra, ESN there was a different program and difUNIZA Žilina, ESN Comenius Univerferent SocialErasmus activities to particsity Bratislava) ipate in. The main goal of this project was 2009 ESN Košice the introduction and explanation of the Eras2010 ESN UMB Banska Bystrica mus programme not only to other students, but to the 2011 ESN PEU Bratislava, ESN UNIPO Prešov, ESN public as well. During this anniversary, we also ran some public panel discussions ‘Quo Vadis, Erasmus?’, and the UKF Nitra, ESN VŠEMVS Bratislava Interview25 project where we talked to people about the 2012 ESN EU Bratislava (re-established ESN EUBA), importance of student mobility, Erasmus, work-exchange ESN UCM Trnava (re-established), ESN STUBA mobility, and also ESN. In 2012, we were a partner of the Bratislava Winter Student Games, organised by the Student Council 2012 ESN Slovakia became a civic association with its of Higher Education of Slovak Republic. It is a weekend standing orders dedicated to snowboarding and skiing competitions with a music program in the evening where exchange stu2013 ESN VSMU dents can meet other Slovak students. We will continue Sections vary in many aspects; one of them being their this partnership in 2014. Another national SocialErasmus size. Our biggest section (ESN CU Bratislava) takes care project is Dance with Erasmus. This project connects exof around 500 students per year, while our smallest sec- change students with pupils at high schools. Beside the tion (ESN VSEMVS Bratislava) takes care of around 10 ex- discussions and games, they meet regularly to practise a change students per year. Another difference is that some dance together, which is eventually performed publicly in sections have strong partnerships with their universities, shopping centres as a flash mob. This experience is really which can lead to financial support, while others raise thrilling! :)
funds by themselves. The first National Platform was organised in 2008 in Bratislava and since 2011 we regularly organise National Platforms twice a year. Section Presidents Meetings, which are also organised twice a year, are just for presidents, national board members, and national coordinators.
The last thing to remember about Slovakia is that not only are we a Central European country, but we are also the actual heart of Europe, as here you can find the geographic centre of Europe (and many loving ESNers). ;)
HB 2014 | 83
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1999 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1999 »» Creation of National Board: 2013 »» Number of sections 2015: 6
Once upon a time in a small, beautiful green country called Slovenia, something magical happened. It was the year 1999 when the Erasmus program finally reached us and we sent our first students for their Erasmus exchange to Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and other countries. And what did they bring with them when they returned home? Erasmus Student Network with a lot of ESN spirit! They loved the idea so much they established the first sections. It wasn’t long after the first sections had been established when they decided to organize an AGM and take part at the international level. In the past years we have always been involved in projects at the international level and two of our ESN members were part of the International board. At the national level we have been promoting mobility programs and every year we have had more in more incoming students from all over Europe. With the years going by new sections were established and by the end of 2003 we had 5 sections in 4 cities across the country and till now the number hasn’t changed. All our sections have been cooperating in different national in international projects and every year the number of ESNers in Slovenia is higher. So the sections decided that it was time to establish a national board. It took us some time but finally, after almost two years of brainstorming and preparations, it happened. In November 2013 we’ve elected our first National Board.
ganize an event for more than 600 people and we succeeded; we did one of the best AGM - at least such were the comments of the participants. Besides ESN events we’ve got involved in some other projects like the European capital of culture in 2012 and the European capital of youth in 2013. So we prepared some events for Erasmus students, ESNers and locals, but the most known were the New Year Countdowns in 2011 and 2012 where we successfully collaborated with other students organizations. But there is one more project that we’re proud of – Balkan Section Meeting. All the Balkan countries were talking a very long time about making an event for our sections and Erasmus students but till 2013 nothing actually happened. On the AGM 2013 at the Balkanaria NP, ESN Maribor came up with the idea to make something like a section meeting, but just slightly bigger and so the BSM was born. Sadly the idea didn’t last, but at least our sections had to opportunity to attend the first ever Balkan section Meeting, organized in by ESN Macedoria in cooperation with other ESN countries from the Balkans.
/slɵˈviːniə/ sloh-VEEnee-ə or /sloʊˈvɛniə/; Slovene: Slovenija, [slɔˈʋèːnija]
First on the to do list is the approval of a new section that has showed ESN spirit and would improve the work of ESN Slovenia, if everything goes well, we’ll have our 6th section, ESN Ljubljana University (ESN LU), already end of March 2015 and then we’ll see if there are other cities with HEIs where ESN is needed. We But our main goal want towill always be to keep up the good work, be active on local, national and international level. Do our best to promote mobility and share the ESN spirit so the network can grow and get better with each generation. But who knows what the future holds… Feel ESN sLOVEnia
But this wasn’t our only big achievement of 2013. After 12 years we did it again – we organized an AGM for the second time, this time by ESN Maribor. It all started with a joke while drinking coffee, but became reality after AGM Granada in 2012. All the sections stepped together to or-
84 | HB 2014
Alicia Sanchez and Marta Guasp
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1992 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1998 »» Creation of National Board: 1998 »» Number of sections 2015: 31
ESN Spain is a historical country in ESN, active from the very beginning of ESN as a European network and continuously growing both in number of sections and in activity. The very first section in ESN Spain, ESN UCM, was created in 1992, soon followed by other ESN sections all over the country. With the first National Platform in 1998, ESN Spain’s Federation and the National Board were born. ESN Spain With Spain being the country with the highest number of both incoming and outgoing exchange students in Europe (in 2011/12 Spanish universities welcomed around 39.300 Erasmus students), ESN Spain has kept working to improve its work since the beginning. By 2002, there were 15 official sections showing international students the Spanish way of life. By 2003, ESN Spain had a national website and a national logo. There were two National Platforms every year until 2010, when the increasing number of sections, of projects and of members made clear that a third NP was needed, to discuss the huge amount of topics coming up monthly. In addition, KINESI, the national training event, takes place once a year in order to promote the exchange of
be our National Events (NEs). Every year, 3 NEs gather around 2000 international students in different locations and hosted by different sections. A weekend full of cultural activities, traditional food, parties and lots of ESN spirit! Historically, there were only 2 NE, one of them traditionally organised in Sevilla. However, when the city council changed the rules of noise level, the event had to move to a different place, so a new destination was chosen. And then, May 2006, it happened: the creation of the ESN Ibiza Trip. What started as a local activity by sections in ESN Barcelona for only 400 students soon turned into the best known Spanish National Event and the biggest trip for international students in Europe with an average of 2500 students and 200 hard-working ESN coordinators. In 2015, once again, international students from all over the world rocked the party island, its sunshine, paradise beaches and cultural activities in the 10th edition of the official ESN Ibiza Trip.
/ˈspeɪn/; Spanish: España [esˈpaɲa]
best practices and foster the training of local members in all possible aspects. Today, there are many national projects that characterise ESN Spain. However, the most representative one might
ESN Spain at the international level ESN Spain has never liked staying within its own borders and has been keen to contribute to the international level of ESN ever since. AGM Lugo in 2002, AGM Granada 2012, a “Cultural Medley” coordinated by the National Board in 2006, CoMeets by ESN UAM (Madrid) in 2011 and by ESN Valencia UPV in 2013, SWEP Madrid 2012 and Valencia 2015, and several attempts to host international events such as CNRs, CNDs, NBMs are a good proof of it. We are a proud country since ESN Spain was the country who collected the highest amount by difference for “GIVE TWENTY” project (21,5% of the total), the most important project in ESN in 2010. Since then, our commitment with the international projects has been increasing, being nowadays a priority for us being involved in every project and to participate in every meeting, sending delegates to CND, NBM, SWEP, etc. As a proof of it, we have the numbers: the highest amount of answers in ESNSurvey 2012-2013, been the 11% of the total, and the country with most activities registered in the Social Erasmus Week 2013, 79 in total. Also, our Federation is very committed with the ESNcard project, been Spain the country that sell by far the highest amount of ESNcards in the network by it sections:
HB 2014 | 85
21.000 ESNcards in 2012/2013, and more than 23000 in 2013/2014. It is compulsory having the ESNcard for joining ESN official activities, and our Erasmus have many benefits al national and local level with their card. ESN Spain had never had a Spaniard in the International Board until 2012-2013, when Juan Colino as Communication Manager and Mario Alarcón as Treasurer added the Spanish touch to the ESN House. The presence of Spain in Brussel has been in the recent years noticeable as many Spanish ESNer are members of the different international committees, as well as chairs themselves, even some of them have been ESN interns in the ESN House. The only section that has ever won the Starlight Award is ESN UC3M in 2007. In 2014, ESN Valladolid won the gadgetSTAR for its ESN mug and ESN Spain was proudly named the second best ESN Country after ESN Portugal, our buddy country.
Traditionally there were 6 statutory members forming the Board (President, Vicepresident, Treasurer, Secretary, NR and Vice-NR) plus 3 additional board members (events/ communication, IT and fundraising). Although the Board was reduced to 7 members in 2013, national committees and project coordinators were established so as to support the Board and further develop national and international projects. Today, there are five committees (Communication, Legal, Partners, Graphics and IT) led by a main chair, two support groups (for Events and for Education Matters), one main coordinator and one vice-coordinator for the international projects (ExchangeAbility, SocialErasmus, Erasmus in the School) as well as one Education Officer. ESN Spain keeps working on the knowledge transfer through the creation of the Alumni Network and on improving and strengthening the knowledge, engagement and every day work of its members. We also work on our expansion, having at the moment five candidate sections: ESN Bilbao SC, ESN Coruña SC, ESN Cartagena SC, ESN Baleares SC and ESN Castellón SC. The future of the Spanish Network is promising. High quality standards, a genuine interest in serving international students and a close collaboration with the National Agency while also advocating for international mobility and exchange programs make ESN Spain a very active and inspiring network.
ESN Spain future In the last years, ESN Spain has undergone a deep professionalization at all levels which includes economic and legal regulation of the national but also local level. Stat-
utes and Standing Orders are reviewed once a year and we also count on a Disciplinary Code and an explicit Protocol for the Creation of New Sections (PCNS). The threeyears strategy sets the short- and long-term priorities of the Spanish network and helps the Board to go in the direction decided by the sections.
86 | HB 2014
Jennifer Carlsson and Amber Rousse
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1994 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1994 »» Creation of National Board: 1999 »» Number of sections 2015: 15
ESN Sweden has a long history of independent local student organisations taking care of the new international students arriving in Swedish Universities and introducing the life of the new home country. Today, many of these student organisations belong to ESN and have joined ESN International. ESN Sweden has a well-functioning national structure. We have cut down from having NPs four times a year to having two regular ones (in February and September), as well as the ones during the AGM and the NEP. Since 2012, our National Platforms have been held from Thursday to Sunday and include workshops, plenary sessions, and social activities. ESN Sweden is lead by a National Board that is planning and leading the work of ESN Sweden during the year.
them more attractive. At the annual meeting in 2006 the positions changed so that instead of being vice president/ vice NR or treasurer/secretary the Vice president was no longer vice NR. Instead the treasurer also became Vice NR. The responsibility of the secretary was then given to the board (with the possibility to either appoint any board member to be secretary or appoint a section member). In 2008, the sections asked ESN Sweden to focus more on PR. This lead to the creation of the PR board position so that more material about ESN Sweden and its sections, and the Swedish customs could be created. Unfortunately the person in charge left the board prematurely and no material was made. PR was later added to the vice president position as well as being a secretary. During the whole time that ESN Sweden has had a webmaster, the position has been outside the board. However, this position and the ESN Sea Battle Coordinator became a part of the board at the annual meeting in 2010. In 2012 it was tried out to have a Project Manager, but this was not working very well.
/ˈswiːdən/ SWEE-dən; Swedish: Sverige [ˈsværjɛ]
All ESN sections have a well-functioning and well-organised introduction for the international students as well as mentor systems, practical support and social activities. The housing of the international students is arranged, in most cases, in co-operation with the Universities.
At the beginning of the 21st century ESN Sweden had some hard years with internal problems in the board as well as locally. Several sections changed their organisational structure and went from being part of the student union to become a part of the university or an independent association. This led to no or few possibilities for the sections to get funding. In 2013, about half of the sections were independent from their universities and had become self-sustaining. ESN Sweden also at the time had a high membership fee (2500 SEK per section /year) and it became harder and harder to motivate the sections. The consequences were that several sections left the network. Those were ESN Södertörn, ESN Halmstad, ESN Karlstad and ESN Gävle. ESN Stockholm University, ESN BTH (Blekinge Institute of Technology), ESN Lund, ESN Chalmers and ESN Luleå left the network but have luckily found their way back to ESN Sweden. Since Sweden is a long-stretched country it has been difficult to recruit new sections in the north of Sweden, but maybe this can change in the future. Another great challenge for ESN Sweden has been to re-organize the National Board positions in order to make
In 2013 ESN Sweden is lead by a President, Vice-president, Treasurer, National Representative, Communication Manager, WPA and the ESN Sea Battle Coordinator. One thing that has greatly contributed to the evolution of the network in Sweden has, of course, been the ESN Sea Battle that was first organised in 2005 for 500 exchange students, under the name ‘ESN Viking Sea Battle’,. This event made all the sections come together and meet at least once per semester in a less formal way than during NPs. The ESN Sea Battle was the first big event of many active ESNers. Prior to 2008, the trips had not always been to Tallinn, but also sometimes to Gdansk/Gdynia in Poland. The fall semester of 2007 was the last time that we went to Poland, and in the spring semester of 2008 when we went to Tallinn we started discussing if it could be expanded to include ESN Estonia as well. Talks between the Swedish and Estonian NRs led to the idea to make it a three-country event, involving ESN Finland as well. The first three-country trip took place in the fall of 2008. Before long, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway and Denmark had also joined, making it a trip for 2200 students from seven different exchange countries. However, ESN Finland later left and started their ‘Pirates of the Baltic Sea’ cruise.
HB 2014 | 87
Up until 2008, the ESN Sea Battle had been organised mostly by the President of ESN Sweden. When the project was made bigger, a new board position was created to handle this. During 2008 & 2009 this person was not part of the board but still involved on national level and also elected at the Annual Meeting together with the rest of the Board. In 2012, the National Board decided to create an OC for the ESN Sea Battle instead of having the whole organisation on one person. It consisted of: an ESN Sea Battle Coordinator, a Treasurer and a Web Project Coordinator (all part of the National Board), and a Social Event Co-
ing a common ski trip, but with the efforts required by the Sea Battle, this has so far not happened. There have also been discussions regarding closer cooperation between the sections, as small-scale cooperation is becoming more and more important. For example, when ESN Lund organised a Kiruna trip in 2010, they had problems selling all the tickets. At that point, ESN Växjö helped them out by informing their students about the event and selling tickets to their members. There has also been a trial joint trip to Stockholm between the sections in 2012, but only very few sections were interested in joining. ESN Sweden has had a shaky relationship with the National Agency Universitets- och högskolerådet (former Internationella Programkontoret), but has now established a better cooperation. In May of 2010, we were invited to a conference on Educational Exchange Programs to talk about the Problem in Recognition In Making Erasmus initiative. The relationship to the National Agency has become much better over time, and in 2013 the cooperation is working well. We were even invited to their reference group meetings of the International Offices of six Higher Education Institutes in Sweden, where we represent the voice of the students. We also get materials from the NA for the Erasmus Days. The Eduk8 project is very important for ESN Sweden, we have had participants at the workshop events right from the start, and in the spring of 2013 the first National Training Event – Motiv8 – took place in Växjö. Something else worth mentioning is that the cooperation with other NEP countries has developed really well by becoming the first region of the network to host a regional National Board Meeting. The NEP NBM took place in Helsinki during the summer of 2013. One tradition of ESN Sweden is to sing the Indian Song at NPs and other national and international events. Sing with us!
ordinator, a National Coordinator, a Fundraiser and a PR manager. In the spring semester of 2012, a Responsible Party took place for the first time on the cruise and it was a huge success. In the spring semester of 2013 the ESN Sea Battle for the first time went between Stockholm and Riga because the ferry company got a new ship on that route that was big enough for it. The fall cruises are currently still going to Tallinn. ESN Sweden has succeeded in making the whole network dance the ESN Sea Battle dance to the tunes of Swedish House Mafia’s – Don’t you worry child. The evolution of the Sea Battle has been great for the Swedish Network, but it has also detracted attention away from other potential projects. For example, there have been (and still are) discussions during NPs about organis-
88 | HB 2014
En och två och tre indianer, fyra, fem och sex indianer, sju och åtta och nio indianer tio små indianer. Alla hade dom fjädrar på huvet, alla hade dom pil och båge, alla var dom stora och starka OCH ALLA VILLE DOM KRAMAS OCH ALLA VILLE DOM KRAMAS
& Pascal Wilhelm, edited by Gino Wilkins
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1994 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1994 »» Creation of National Board: 2001 »» Number of sections 2015: 15
The written traces of ESN Switzerland go back to June 1995. In that summer, the historical meeting took place from which we still have a trace. It was a Meeting of ESN Zürich where both sections were present. Old foxes in ESN Switzerland still remember that it was ESN Zürich ETH who was the first section in the small alpine country. Not long thereafter the second section ESN Zürich UNI was born. For a long time the twin sections were the only ones in Switzerland. It took five years to spread the ESN seed to other Universities. From the country report of February 2000 by Andreas Lindemuth the NR of Switzerland and Executive Board Member of ESN International 1999-2000 we know that an ESN section was supposed to be set up in St.Gallen and Fribourg. However it was with ESN Winterthur and AECE Lausanne that the sections from Zürich had the first National Platform in 2002 in Winterthur. The oldest version of the Swiss statutes dates back to August 24 anno domini 2001. It was thus then that ESN Switzerland in its current form was founded. At the NP in 2002 the first national board was elected. The knowledge transfer was assured in all the eight following national board as there was at least one person still present from the previous board. Mario Alleca, Lars Henning and Remo Weber even stayed three years in the national board. The boards fought with different problems along the years, but there was always an interest in the international level of ESN.
neva is rented and will be held on the same weekend as CNR Lausanne. Since the last four years there has always been at least been three different nationalities within the National Board.
In the years from 1999 to 2010 there were only 2005, 2009 and 2010 without someone from Switzerland in the Executive Board or the International Board of ESN International. According to the oldest version of the Statutes, ESN Switzerland was founded as an independent association on August 24, 2001. The first NP was held in spring 2002 in Winterthur. The situation today is a national network with fifteen sections which have regular contact and organize several events together. The aim of the national board is to increase this even more and make all interested ESN members feel even more connected. In 2013 Julia Svozil has been elected to be one of the first Education Officers, ever since a close Relationship has been established, between the NB and the IROs. To inforce the good relationship with the Austrian Board, the first CHAT meeting was held in Bregenz. In 2013 the Titanic Lémanique was founded, which has been a great success story. The 20’s themed boat party was sold out within the first 30 minutes in 2014. Therefore, in 2015 the largest boat on Lake Ge-
HB 2014 | 89
ESN the netherlands
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1989 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1989 »» Creation of National Board: 2005 »» Number of sections 2015: 15
ESN the Netherlands was established on the 8th of February 1991 in Enschede. Before that year already several sections were founded (ESN Utrecht, Groningen, Leiden and Maastricht), but after a few years there was a need for a coordinating body by means of a National Board.
ESN the Netherlands has also grown in the few years it has existed. Currently there are 15 sections that belong to ESN the Netherlands. Here are the histories of these ESN sections. Of course, we begin with ESN Utrecht, because that’s where it all started!
ESN the Netherlands is a legal organisation; an association, which means that the ESN sections are members of ESN the Netherlands. Each section pays a membership fee to ESN the Netherlands. The association is legally based in Enschede, the Netherlands. Its goals are (quoting from the statutes):
ESN Utrecht On 16 October 1989 ESN Utrecht was founded by Desiree Majoor. Soon, other cities in Europe followed her example, so it was time for the next step. Therefore, she founded ESN International, of which she was President in the initial period. Desiree’s work for ESN Utrecht and ESN International was very much appreciated by the European Union; therefore she received the Erasmus Award. ESN Utrecht has always been active at an international level. The International Administration has been in Utrecht from the beginning until 2000. Additionally, in 1992 Utrecht organised the AGM. ESN Utrecht has grown into a big and professional foundation, which takes care of approximately 1400 students a year.
Promoting the interests of students studying at Dutch institutions for higher education who are a guest at the institution for higher education within the scope of an exchange. Promoting the interest of students who are sent abroad by a Dutch institution of higher education.
The Netherlands /ˈnɛðərləndz/; Dutch: Nederland [ˈneːdərˌlɑnt]
All that is directly or indirectly connected to or that could be to the benefit of that which is mentioned in section a, all in the broadest sense of the word.
The association forms the coordinating organisation of both the ESN sections as well as the associate members in The Netherlands who all pursue the above mentioned aims. Even though the goals of ESN the Netherlands have stayed the same, ESN the Netherlands has evolved: In 1999 the President’s meeting was held for the first time. Next to the National Platforms, ESN the Netherlands also meets three times a year with the local representatives of the Dutch sections during the Council of Local Representatives. In 2001, the method for choosing the new board changed. Instead of changing before the AGM, the Netherlands chose to change on the last National Platform of the academic year. This meant that the Dutch board of the year 2000 had to stay an extra half-year. In order to guarantee the continuity and to make the transition easier, the system of staggered board has been introduced in the academic year 2014-2015. The National Representative and Secretary start their mandate on the first day after the AGM, they get elected during the second National Platform. The other four positions of of the board change in the third and last National Platform of the year.
90 | HB 2014
ESN Twente (Enschede) The Foundation Erasmus Student Network Twente emerged as Student Mobility in Twente (SMIT) in June of 1991 from an advisory board of several internationally-oriented student organizations belonging to the University of Twente. It took 8 months of preparations and negotiations before Foundation SMIT was founded on 11 June 1991. The initiative of founding SMIT was taken by a number of internationally oriented student organisations, of which especially AEGEE-Enschede played an important role. After having been one of ESN’s Associate Members from the year of SMIT’s foundation, SMIT was given full ESN membership in the academic year 2000/2001. ESN Groningen ESN Groningen has only operated under this name for a couple of years. At first, Wings was founded in 1988. In the beginning it was a committee of AEGEE, and later on it became independent. It is not known when Wings became a member of ESN. Wings changed its name from Wings to Wings-ESN in 2001. Later on, they changed their name to ESN Groningen. Nowadays ESN Groningen takes care of approximately 3000 international students! ISN Leiden Stichting Erasmus Student-Network Leiden was founded
on 8 June 1990. It is not clear when ESN Leiden became a member of ESN the Netherlands and of ESN International, but it has been a member at least since 1992. In 2000, ESN Leiden organised the AGM! A couple of years ago (it is not exactly clear when), ESN Leiden changed their name into ISN Leiden (International Student Network Leiden), because the organisation did not only cover Erasmus students but also organized events for students from other parts of the world. Nowadays ISN Leiden takes care of approximately 600 foreign students. ESN VU Amsterdam Somewhere in the ‘90s, an enthusiastic group of students founded an organisation at the Free University. They called their little club, “VUniverse”. Its goal was to organise activities for the foreign exchange students that attended the Free University. Nowadays ESN –VUniverse takes care of approximately 500 foreign students. VUniverse has been a member of ESN since 2000 and changed its name to ESN VUniverse in February 2002. The local board decided to change the name to ESN VU Amsterdam In 2014, to be more visible and easy to recognise. ESN Leeuwarden This small section was founded on the 30th of August 1991. Every year they make sure that approximately 120 students have the time of their lives in Leeuwarden. Besides two introduction weeks, we organise different activities and parties. Every Thursday we organise an ESN Pub. A lot of students meet their 104 fellow Dutch students here. On top of all this we offer the exchange students a mentor programme. ESN Leeuwarden might be small but it has the real Pallomeri spirit and enthusiasm. ESN INHolland Haarlem ESN Haarlem was founded in 1992. The number of international students grew, and in 1997 a church was bought to house 100 students for a semester. This church is also used to organise parties and activities. ESN Maastricht ESN Maastricht has existed since 1989, and is today one of the biggest ESN sections in the Netherlands, as it takes care of more than 1200 students per year. Their goal is to make the stay of the foreign exchange students in Maastricht so pleasant, that they will carry happy memories of it for the rest of their lives! ISN Amsterdam Before ESN was founded here, international students at the University of Amsterdam were welcomed and entertained by different authorities inside and outside the University. But there was no continuity in the welcoming of students. Therefore in February/March 1997, all parties decided that a separate organisation should be formed to specifically focus on sheltering and integrating foreign students at the University of Amsterdam. This would be done through a mentor system, through organising activities and through publishing a monthly letter. In the first year many things were started. During these 5 years, many students participated in ISN to help it develop into the well- known organisation it is nowadays.
the foundation of ESN the Netherlands, a couple of guys decided to take care of the exchange students in Tilburg, under the name ESN-T. A lot has changed since then nowadays there is a weekly drink and a weekly dinner for the mentors. But one thing is for sure: exchange students still know how to party!!! ESN Rotterdam ESN Rotterdam was founded in 2008 at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. During the two years that they exist, this section showed a tremendous growth rate and can now be considered as an average or even above average section in terms of students that attend their activities. The section of ESN is famous for its weekly social drink, city trips to several parts in the Netherlands and one of the biggest student parties in the country, the Vie Thursday on every last Thursday of the month. Furthermore, ESN Rotterdam is socially involved as well; this section raised the most money by far for the Give20 project of Unicef in 2009. ESN INHolland Diemen ESN Diemen started in June 2006 and is one of the youngest sections. They also believe that it is very important that students are helped by other students. ESN Wageningen In 2003 the Dutch student association ‘KSV Franciscus’ founded a committee to decrease the gap between Dutch and International students as 25% of the students in Wageningen is international. In 2007 this organization joined the ESN network and changed the name to IxESN Wageningen. The most successful activities of IxESN Wageningen organizes around three activities per week of which the International kitchens and the excursions are the most popular. IxESN Wageningen is continuously growing and is becoming more active in international committees and the national board every year. ESN INHolland Rotterdam ESN INHolland Rotterdam was founded in 2007 as an initiative of the International Office of Hogeschool INHolland Rotterdam. From the moment of establishment, it was a challenge for the section to achieve recognition and support, both internally and externally. However, a team of motivated students formed the board of this new student association and despite many difficulties, this section continues to embody the spirit of ESN and serve a modest number of international students. In 2012, the section organised a national event, the Erasmus Euro 2012 football competition. ESN Delft In 2015, 6 students from Delft University of Technology that had been on Erasmus couldn’t find an ESN section in their city, so they decided to go ahead and found it themselves. Within half a year, ESN Delft became the 15th and newest member of ESN the Netherlands, and progress has been steady since. Right now about 500 students enjoy ESN Delft’s weekly activities on a yearly basis, and ESN Delft is working hard to continue growing!
ESN Tilburg The section in Tilburg was founded quite soon after the foundation of ESN the Netherlands in 1991. In reaction to
HB 2014 | 91
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2005 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2005 »» Creation of National Board: 2007 »» Number of sections 2015: 43
Turkish Universities applied to join in the Erasmus Student Exchange Program and the first students who were sent abroad returned to the country in 2004.When they were abroad they attended to ESN events and met with volunteers of ESN. With the knowledge and inspiration they got from them they started to build similar organizations. ITU(Istanbul Technical University) Erasmus Club, which is one of the first Erasmus clubs in Turkey, was founded in 2005 by Andım Doldurucu and started to work immediately. Right after, Andım applied to make Turkey a member of ESN and attended the Council of National Representatives meeting in Bratislava in 2005. With her candidate presentation she got the all the votes of the National Representatives and became the first ESN member of Turkey and Andım Doldurucu started to work as the first National Representative of ESN Turkey.
resentative, WPA, treasurer, and public relations. In 2013, the Standing Orders for National Committees, Events, Projects and Coordinators proposed by two alumni of ESN Bilkent (Emre Yavuz and Salih Odabasi) have been approved by the NP and since then, there are committees working coordinately with the board members. Different NB members have different committees like the committee system in international level. These committees aims to have a constant human resource and contribution to the Network from every level. Currently, after 9 years in the Network, in 2015 ESN Turkey has 40 sections. Since the day ESN Turkey became a member of Erasmus Student Network, it has unified hundreds of exchange students in Turkey.
ESN Turkey also accomplished things which were the first and one of a kind European-wide. ESN Turkey achieved short term projects like ESN House Istanbul, and ESN Turkey Meeting Point Istanbul. In 2009, to create corporate solutions for the accommodation problems of Erasmus students who come to Istanbul, ESN Turkey created the ESN House Istanbul project with its own resources. Project give the opportunity to the network to have a big ESN office with bathroom and kitchen. The whole building was rented and the rooms were given to incoming Erasmus students to reasonable prices. This project was active during 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. Later on in 2012, ESN Turkey had a meeting point in Istanbul. ESN Turkey Meeting Point was located in Taksim, the center of Istanbul, this project continued for a year with different ESN Turkey sections’ parties, movie nights, karaoke nights and so on. Both in ESN House and ESN Turkey Meeting Point ESN Turkey had its office that students would be able to find and meet ESNers. ESN Turkey Meeting Point was used specifically to promote and develop corporate identity and the usage of ESN card. Meeting Point was also used for ESN Turkey’s sponsors’ promotion location with available flyers, and posters at the venue.
/ˈtɜr.ki/; Turkish: Türkiye, pronounced /tyrkije/)
In 2005-2006 with rapid spread of the Erasmus Programme in Turkish Universities, students who completed their terms abroad started to establish first Erasmus Clubs and applied to become a section of ESN. First elected National Board started to work on April 2007 and it consisted 7 board members; president İlker Taner, vice president Zafer Türkmendağ, national representative Sergül Özatalar, vice national representative Onur Ozel, public relations
Ceren Yener, secretary Simge Gedizoğlu, and treasurer Çağrı Çobanoğlu. ESN Turkey board has kept the NB member number 7 since then, however the positions has changed. Currently NB consists the roles of president, vice president, national representative, vice national rep-
92 | HB 2014
Another project which started to be developed in since 2012 is ESNinBusiness. ESNinBusiness aims to level up ESN’s appearance on business world and provide permanent human resource to companies. Project team does presentation about ESN and the project itself to well known companies in different fields, shows the advantages that the company might have with an employee with ESN experience, gives the opportunity to the companies
to employ ESNers or take them as interns and gives the opportunity of a job experience to an ESN volunteer in a well known company. The project got accepted on SPM 2013. ESNinBusiness makes open calls for the companies via e-mail and ESN Turkey website,http://esnturkey.org/ and become the bridge between ESNers and the companies.
During past years, ESN Turkey has played an active role in implementation of SocialErasmus project as well as other countries. First SocialErasmus activity in Turkey has been in 2010. Sections have got more and more knowledge and experience in time. Currently SocialErasmus projects and events are being organized successfully not only in local level but also in national level. ESN Turkey was one of the two countries that made SocialErasmus presentation during “SocialErasmus Final Conference” which was held in Brussels in 2012, September 4 with the participation of ESN NRs, project coordinators, representatives of European Youth Forum, European Students Union and Europa Macht Schule and Maria Kristin Gylfadottir, The Directorate General for Education and Culture.
became an official association in 2013 which provides the network the ability to apply for EU projects with grants. The goal ESN Turkey has is to write a project each year in order to apply for the EU grant. This big step was supported by the NA as well. In the following Fall National Platform 2013, with the delegates of ESN Turkey sections, Erasmus program coordinator from the NA attended to the meeting and made a presentation about ESN Turkey and the NA collaboration. The NA wants ESN to be promoted more, exist in more universities and help to introduce Erasmus+ to students. With all this support a stronger ESN Turkey is getting ready to be more active and productive both in national and international level. The more organised and structured ESN Turkey gets, the more experienced human resource is being needed. ESN Turkey Alumni Network has been formed by a volunteer alumni board and Standing Orders for Alumni Network proposed by former national presidents (Umut Ateş, Server Ağırman, Melike Akan) have been approved by the NP in 2013. National Alumni Coordinator is Umut Ateş, he and 3 more Alumni represented ESN Turkey in 2013 Budapest Alumni Medley. The main goal of the Alumni Network is to improve and protect the communication among the Alumni and the current ESN Turkey volunteers. With an Alumni board elected for their mandate each year they aim to carry the Network in a higher level, make the Network more active with new board members and new members.
Day by day ESN Turkey is becoming a well-known network, a brand known by the students and the International Relations Offices of universities. This rapid development of the network helped ESN Turkey to build a healthy and strong relationship with the National Agency of Turkey. National Agency encourages universities to have an ESN section and gives full support to existing sections at times of difficulties or procedures with their universities. ESN Turkey
HB 2014 | 93
ESN united kingdom
»» Date of first section established in the country: 1991 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 1997 »» Creation of National Board: 2013 »» Number of sections 2015: 16
The history of ESN in the UK is a story of ups and downs. The precise beginnings are unclear but various records show ESN Hull to be the first ever section established, during the 1991/1992 academic year. In 1994, nobody came forward to assume responsibility for the section and eventually it fell into a state of dissolution. The issue of sustainability would prove to be a common theme in the history of the island.
horst-Roberts, ESN UK had expanded to 8 sections. In November of that year, ESN Leeds went on to host the first ever National Platform, which saw the first National Board of ESN UK elected. Over the next year, James Beckett continued the great work of Anders with sections in Sheffield and Cardiff organizing the next two National Platforms.
James had moved on to new pastures by 2008 and left the Nevertheless, there was hope for ESN UK when in Jan- country in the capable hands of Leo Smith, who saw the uary of 1997 Anne Fairweather and Anja Groth UK network reach a peak of 19 sections. The reLarsen returned from an Erasmus semester cruitment of new sections was not stated as in Gent. By this point, the UK was absent an active policy, but perhaps this demonfrom the ESN map, so they went about strated the growing interest in the ideas setting up a section at Leeds University of ESN and exchange opportunities in and even managed to return to Gent the often-sceptical isle. United Kingdom a few months later for the 7th AGM. of Great Britain and At the following AGM in Graz (1998), Shortly after Leo handed over the Anne had the privilege to become NR reigns, he headed to Brussels to Northern Ireland the first ever National Representative become the new ESN International of ESN UK and witness the famous Secretary. Back in the UK his succes/ɡreɪt ˈbrɪtən ənd Pallomeri speech by Matteo Baggio sor, Martin Underwood, and the Naˈnɔrðərn ˈaɪərlənd/ of ESN Italy. After her mandate ended, tional Board’s hard work had developed ESN Leeds also started to disappear. into the manifestation of the first National Anne went about establishing a section in Event- a Spring Break surfing experience Bath in the year 2000, but by 2001 both Leeds in Newquay, 2010. However, towards the end and Bath had vanished. Therefore, ESN UK was once of Martin’s mandate, it became hard to find a willing again vacant from the ESN map and the relationship be- replacement for the role, so Martin stayed on to keep a tween the UK and ESN somewhat represented the nature dwindling ESN UK alive for another year. of the relationship between the UK and Europe- indifferent and peripheral. In 2011, Vadims Sondors took over from Martin and continued the initiative of organizing National Events, with the Come September 2002, a group of students returning now annual “Ram the Dam!” trip to Amsterdam. Alongfrom their exchange in Pisa contacted ESN Internation- side the National President Andreas Mathikolonis, ESN al to re-awaken ESN UK with a section in Leicester. This UK started along the path of building up a strong network group was lead by Tim Allen, who went on to become the again with a strong presence at international events. In second National Representative. ESN UK grew the follow- 2012, Andreas went and hosted the Western European ing year with the establishment of ESN Edinburgh. This Platform in Southampton, which managed to infuse new section became pivotal in ESN UK’s survival when they life to the section’s interest in ESN International events. By were elected to host the CNR meeting in December 2005. 2013, Andreas had helped put together one of the stronThis was an attempt to encourage other Erasmus soci- gest National Boards ESN UK has seen. The new Naeties from the region to get involved. Thus, when Ewan tional Representative Matt Clemo worked hard with John Munro came on the scene in 2006 as the National Repre- Chapman (National Secretary) to finally develop some sentative, the foundations were already being put in place national Statutes. They were introduced and accepted at for a mini-golden era. Despite many UK universities being the October 2013 National Platform, hosted by ESN Oxinvited, Helen Mobey from Durham was the only person ford-Brookes. To date, ESN UK claims host to 15 sections. to accept. As a result, Durham was accepted as a new Their attendance at the 2014 AGM in Milano is set to break section. As the saying goes ‘you can lead a horse to water, the British national record by filling all of the spaces and but you can’t make it drink.’ receiving an extra one on top, thus sending a total of 19 delegates. By 2007, under the stewardship of Anders Aufder-
94 | HB 2014
»» Date of first section established in the country: 2002 »» Date of inclusion in ESN International: 2002 »» Creation of National Board: without NB
»» Expulsion from ESN: 2011
Half of the success story of ESN is the old project “Go East”, a vision from 1998-2000. If, for example, you see the 1999 “problem country” Poland, who was welcomed in 2004 with several new sections as “the polish empire”, we have there a good spot . However, with Russia and Ukraine we have two countries that were once on our map, but have since been lost. We do not know much about the story of Ukraine, less than about Russia. Regardless, both stories are separate and divided in two.
We were greatly interested in finding a students organization that would allow us to become an equal participant of various international exchange programs. Since LNU was one of the first three Ukrainian higher educational institutions, which introduced the principles of Bologna process, we realized we had to increase students’ mobility and exchange opportunities. As it turned out there was no other ESN section in Ukraine, which laid a good ground for initiating ESN Ukraine with its own National Board, sections and statutes. (…) The most important preThe first chapter began in December 2002 where requisite was, no doubt, a high motivation to betwo new sections joined ESN International. come a member of a pan-European organiWith one of these, ESN-Lviv, Ukraine enzation-ESN. The distinguishing features of tered as the 23rd country in the Network. most students organizations in Ukraine The section of Lviv was established are: they are all isolated from their interon 14.2.2002. The section consists of national partners and they are mainly students from Lviv National Universifocused on defending students rights. ty, Lviv Veterinary Academy and Lviv ESN is a unique organization as it State Medical University. After joining highly promotes students’ mobility /juːˈkreɪn/; Ukrainian: ESN they immediately chose its nawhich is extremely important for our Украї�на, transliterated: school. tional representative, who was Dima The problem with all Ukrainian Ukrayina, [ukrɑˈjinɑ] Vyhovskyy at the time. universities is that they have only oneway of students mobility: they only host There is not much more known about it. In international students, there is no real exone country report there was a little bit about change. ESN with its self-governance and their work, but later there was no news recorded mentor system gives a pattern of how to create about the outcome: “The section has been working on an efficient student body that would facilitate exchange the big project of the Polish - Ukrainian Exchange Pro- between different Universities all over Europe.” gramme, which foresees organisation of students’ con- The university was closely cooperating with the Hacettepe ferences and meetings. As a result of these conferences University in Turkey, where an ESN section is also active. and meetings a brochure will be published, in which all the speeches, annotations of the lectures and reports will be In the Post CNR Meeting after the AGM Istanbul in April included. This project is planned to continue for several 2010, ESN Ukraine joined the ESN map again. The NR at years“. Other information from the CNR in Vilinus: “Dima, this time was Victoria Fisenko. She later presented an Acthe NR for Ukraine was supposed to come, but at the end tion Plan for 2010/211 about the development of the counhe could not. There not lot news from Ukraine. They still try. have only one section in L’viv. ESN L’viv is planning to organise the Cultural Medley next year, but we have no other However, this was more or less the last real sign of her. It information on it.” was found out that International Office has had an influence on the section and the NR was an International OfThat is all that was recorded. The Board expelled ESN fice worker. Moreover, she did not participate in any event L’viv and ESN Ukraine at the BM in Prague 6th September since AGM Istanbul. 2003. For months there were no e-mails to the CNR and a country report was never written by the NR. ESN Bilgi and ESN In 2009 they started to try to re-join for a second time. In Turkey tried to reach her, but since nobody from Ukraine an east Ukraine industrial city ESN Luhansk Shevchenko attended the CNR Meeting in Eskisehir, where they did University was built and Ilona Kornieieva, together with not need any visa, there was a proposal to expel the secTetiana Stekykina, the Director of the Center for Inter- tion. To this proposal an objection was never received. national Cooperation, presented the organisation at the Therefore, the CNR expelled ESN Luhansk Shevchenko CNR meeting in February 2010 in Warsaw. “It all started in University and ESN Ukraine at the CNR Meeting in FebSeptember of 2009 when I first contacted the ESN board. ruary 2011.
HB 2014 | 95
History of the ESN logo 96 | HB 2014
corporate identity During the time of the existence of Erasmus Student Network there were four logos, one official slogan which was later added to the logo and also Pallomeri as a second logo. The first logos As their first logo, ESN used the same logo as the first Erasmus programme. It was a stylised head of Erasmus of Rotterdam surrounded with a circle of 12 stars, like on the European flag. It was used on the oldest documents we can find (1991), so it was maybe in use from the begin-ning until 1993.
from ESN Napoli. After a contest in the Network it was chosen at the Board Meeting (now CNR) in October 1999 as the official slogan for ESN. Later the “Spaghettis” was surrounded by a new lay-out, done in Belgium. These changes were accepted as the third logo of ESN by the Executive Board Meeting (now IB-Meeting) in Gent in October 2000, and presented at the AGM 201 in Leiden / Netherlands. On one hand, there was a logo that was not really accepted, on the other hand there were local Erasmus clubs that joined ESN after a long time of existence and many sections operate with their local names, not even using the logo of ESN. There was a big cooperation identity problem at these times. The Pallomeri Logo Explaining why and how the story of “Pallomeri” began is pretty complicated, and recreating the same conditions in which this word was used for the first time. First of all, it’s important to know that “Pallomeri” is a Finnish word with a really funny meaning: it is a ball-pool - the place, filled with many small coloured balls, where kids play in shopping centres - a sea of balls.
In October 1993, at the Board Meeting in Porto (now this would be a CNR-Meeting), a new logo was approved. It was the so called “Spaghetti” Logo. As we know from the
Country Report of Finland from ´93-´94 and the first ESN Book from 2003 was design by a Helsinki Student, the brother of the NR of Finland: “The instruction of the Board were to include the so-called Erasmus head from the logo of the Erasmus programme, but my broth-er would not allow such banal intrusions on his artistic freedom. So ESN got an avantgarde interpretation of the letters ‘ESN’ with no head.” During the years 1999 – 2001 there was much discussion about the logo / a new logo. There was a kind of two refur-bished of the Corporate Identity. First, there was a new slogan “ESN – Exchange your life” from Valentina de Mari
During the AGM IX in Graz, Austria, the word gained a new, international meaning: Pan-European Association Leading Local Organisations Making Erasmus Richer Inside. Also, Pallomeri has also been a new way of saying “hello” or “goodbye” in those days between those active in ESN. The official, ESN International Pallomeri logo comes from the ESN section at Åbo Akademi in Turku, Finland. It was originally designed to be a patch for the overalls that Finnish students traditionally wear. As other ESN-sections got interested in the logo, it was given to Erasmus Student Network for general use. Because the old logo was not so
HB 2014 | 97
widely accepted, the Pallomeri was a second logo that many used before the now actual logo. The star and a new logo By that time the ESN Network saw the importance of having a base in Brussels, but also it was realised that a better corporate identity is needed. Before the AGM 2006 there was a research in the period September - De-cember 2005 by the Board and Evert Ypma. Koeweiden Postma, Dutch-leading design agency based in Amster-dam, concluded the implemented of the new Corporate Identity. The new design was presented, discussed and approved at the AGM Krakow 2006. It was not only a new logo, but also a complete bunch of Corporate Identity with the ESN star, colours and a Corporate Identity Manual.
The ESN Star, which is a logo of ESN itself, represents the ESN Members standing (but also dancing) in a circle as if they were holding each other’s hands, supporting and helping each other. They are different (four colours, and length) but unite and united they stand, in cooperation, which literally means “operating in concert”. The eight branches of the star, that represent also the Sections of the Network, do not have a centre, but rotate together and are partially overlapping: in such overlapping areas, their identity, what they are (the colours) merge, similarly to what happens when integration takes places in friendship and respect. The word I*ESN evidently keeps the acronym of our name, in cyan, while connecting it to a capital “I” (in different and stronger colour) which stands both for “International” and, in a bizarre and obvious way, also for the first person sin-gular (I = me, I= International). To connect the I (both as International and as a subject) with ESN is the star: by playing with the double meaning of the acronym I*ESN, hence, the star becomes a symbol of the exchange itself, that brings into relation the network, ESN, with the individual (“I”) and the International aspect of the life.
Nowadays both, the logo and the star are widely accept-ed in the ESN Network. Unlike many old logos the official logo can now be used with additional details, like an added country contour or a section logo.
The ESN Corporate Identity Out of the Guidelines for the ESN logo: “ESN is a European-wide organization, therefore, the use of its main symbol, the logo, must be correct. ESN has its logo registered at the EU Copyright Office (OHIM), so that no unauthorised third parties can use it, or interfere with the owner’s use of it. If rights in relation to a logotype are correctly established and enforced, it can become a valu-able intellectual property asset. The ESN logo is unique by the combination of the design of the name and form, which combined constitutes the ESN logo. This means that image and text are inseparable. Does it mean anything? Yes, it does! Represents these values. The values represented are: unity in diversity, diversity in the unity students helping students fun in friendship and respect international dimension of the life love for Europe as an area of peace and cultural exchange openness with tolerance cooperation in the integration
98 | HB 2014
In the explanatory text “International Exchange Erasmus Student Network”, it includes all what the network is in a synthetic way: while keeping the official name of the network in one line and in one colour (“Erasmus Student Network”), it is claimed also the support ESN brings to the International Exchange Students that throughout Europe are studying not with the Erasmus Programme. “Exchange”, finally, recalls the colours of the stars and assumes the role of explanation Copyright Information Trade mark name: i*esn INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE ERASMUS STUDENT NETWORK Trade mark No: 005087853 Trade mark basis: CTM Date of receipt: 19/05/2006 Nice Classification: 35, 36, 41 Trade mark: Individual Type of mark: Figurative Vienna Classificaton: 24,17,3 Acquired distinctiveness: No Status of trade mark: Registered Renewal due by 19/05/2016“
ESN Data Official Name: Erasmus Student Network AISBL ESN Birthday 16th October 1989
Annual General Meetings: 1989 Ghent, Belgium (Erasmus Evaluation Meeting) 1990 Copenhagen, Denmark 1991 Brussels, Belgium 1992 Utrecht, Netherlands
Network 37 countries and 500 sections (October 2015) Average annual growth rate of 12,3% since 1990
1993 Maastricht, Netherlands
Headquarters Rue Hydraulique / Waterkrachtstraat, 15 B-1210 Brussels BELGIUM
1996 Naples, Italy
Affiliations and Memberships European Youth Forum (YFJ): full membership EUCIS LLL: full membership ESU: associate member EAIE: courtesy member Council of Europe: participatory status
2000 Portorose, Slovenia
Presidents of ESN:
2005 Gdansk, Poland
Desiree Majoor - Netherlands 1990-1991 Christoffer Loffredo - Italy 1991-1992 Anja Wang - Denmark 1992-1993 Jorge Cerveira Pinto - Portugal 1993-1994 Jelle Calsbeek - Netherlands 1994-1995 Jorn Bo Thomsen - Denmark 1995-1996 Pavlos Exarchos - Greece 1996-1997 Dimitris Parthenis - Greece 1997-1998 Elke Resch - Austria 1998-1999 Matej Acceto - Slovenia 1999-2000
1994 Helsinki, Finland 1995 Porto, Portugal 1997 Ghent, Belgium 1998 Graz, Austria 1999 Arhus, Denmark 2001 Leiden, Netherlands 2002 Lugo, Spain 2003 Siena, Italy 2004 Helsinki, Finland 2006 Krakow, Poland 2007 Prague, Czech Republic 2008 Besançon, France 2009 Utrecht, Netherlands 2010 Istanbul, Turkey 2011 Budapest, Hungary 2012 Granada, Spain 2013 Maribor, Slovenia 2014 Milano, Italy Aims:
Mikko Arvas - Finland 2000-2001
works in the interest of international students.
Stefanie Kothmiller - Austria 2001-2002
works to improve the social and practical integration of international students.
Hanna-Maija Saarinen - Finland 2002-2003 Calle Johnzen - Sweden 2003-2004 Zsofia Honfi - Hungary 2004 Pascal Gemperli - Switzerland 2004-2005
represents the needs and rights of international students on the local, national and international level.
Davide Capecchi - Italy 2005-2006
provides relevant information about mobility programmes.
Davide Capecchi - Italy 2006-2007
motivates students to study abroad.
Giorgio Marinoni - Italy 2007-2008
works with the reintegration of homecoming students.
Matthias Fenner - Switzerland 2008-2009 Marketa Tokova - Czech Republic 2009-2010 Eva Ntovolou - Greece 2010-2011 Tania Berman - France 2011-2012 Emanuel Alfranseder – Sweden / Germany 2012-2013
contributes to the improvement and accessibility of student mobility. cares about its members. values volunteering and active citizenship
Stefan Jahnke – Sweden / Germany 2013-2015 Safi Sabuni – Sweden 2015-2016
HB 2014 | 99
A compendium of the 25-year history of the Erasmus Student Network - from its founding to its current status as the largest student organisa...
Published on Oct 16, 2015
A compendium of the 25-year history of the Erasmus Student Network - from its founding to its current status as the largest student organisa...