This small section located in western Slovakia was founded in March 2016 and is currently working under two universities - University of St. Cyril and Methodius and Trnava's University. ESN Trnava is mainly managed by the President, Vice-President, Local Representative and Partnership Manager. Among local coordinators are Mov’in Europe coordinator, SocialErasmus coordinator, ExchangeAbility coordinator, HR and Buddy coordinator. Buddy coordinator is responsible for connections between local and exchange students. The structure of the section is very inclusive and all active members are welcomed to participate in the meetings between Board members and local coordinators.
Since the section is young, there are no foreigners as members of the team. At the moment the section is focused on the recruitment of new members which is conducted by the HR team who makes campaigns at universities and manages social media campaigns. All potential members always go through the personal interviews with the board members.
ESN Trnava is active in organising many events both for ESN members and exchange students. Events for ESN members include teambuilding activities when members share the experiences that they have outside of ESN life. They also include special meetings with insights of the section's work. In April 2017 ESN Trnava held first ever "Meet Your Colleagues" meeting where Slovakian ESN members could share their experiences. To empower relationships with thirty exchange students the section organised a special event called “Weekend in the Forest”.
ESN Trnava places a big emphasis on showing the Slovak culture to exchange students by organising trips around Slovakia and Slovak Nights with traditional food and dances. During national dinners, exchange students can present their countries through food, culture, quizzes, traditional clothes and dances.
ESN Trnava is also actively involved in international ESN projects. For example, SocialErasmus which includes volunteering help to the local community. Exchange students and ESN members help to locals with dog walking, clothes donation and many other activities. They also organise Erasmus in Schools, where exchange students talk about their home countries and mobility experiences with local pupils at secondary schools. On top of that, exchange students can join “Books, Children & Erasmus” campaign when students visit elementary schools and read books together. Furthermore, ESN Trnava is involved in work with ExchangeAbility and Mov’in Europe projects.
Members of ESN Trnava do not stand back when it comes to the participation in national and international events. Not only can you meet them at National and mini-National Platforms of ESN Slovakia, they also participate in Czechoslovak Platforms, National Platforms held with their neighbours, ESN Czech Republic and Meet Your Colleagues meetings. When it comes to international events, they are presented at AGM and CEP. All of this helps them stay motivated and gives them new ideas.
“We want to ensure the best time for our exchange students and leave a mark on their memories with our work. Smiles and happiness of our Erasmus students are the most valuable reward which we can get.”
- Stanislava Vojteková, Local Representative of ESN Trnava
Although ESN Trnava is a relatively small and young section, it is capable of big things and we can expect that they will continue their growth and success. As they stated, they are not afraid of leaving their comfort zone to make revolutionary things!
October marks the beginning of a new semester. It is a time when all sections of the Erasmus Student Network start their engines and get ready for another ten months of action and excitement. Some of them have already got the ball rolling and thus have earned the right to contend for the prestigious Section in the Spotlight award. But there can only be one winner, and this time it is – ESN PW Warsaw!
ESN PW started off back in 2005 as the initiative called Mentor for foreign students at the Warsaw University of Technology. Over the course of time, the members of Mentor noticed they needed more activities than their initial organisation could provide, so they founded an ESN section, which was officially registered in 2007. The section celebrated their tenth birthday this January.
ESN PW Warsaw consists of several levels of members: freshers, the newbies; regular members; honorary members, ‘ESN PW’s Hall of Fame and Glory’; supporters, who do not attend university; the Audit Commission; and the Board. The Board is composed of the President, the Vice President, the Treasurer and two HR Members. Their work is facilitated by the team coordinators within the section.
Like all the sections of ESN Poland, ESN PW Warsaw is well-known for putting together all sorts of fun projects aimed at both its members and exchange students. They have organised numerous workshops, training sessions, social activities such as ice-skating and bowling, city games, visits to museums and sites of cultural importance, and so on.
The section also created several very special and distinctive projects which include Creative, which “focuses on the cultural side of Warsaw’s life”; Travel, which is their flagship project; and Polish-themed parties. Perhaps the most interesting ones is ESNband, a musical group that gathers ESNers and exchange students who play musical instruments, sing or simply have a passion for music.
ESN PW supports the international projects SocialErasmus, ExchangeAbility, Erasmus in Schools, MapAbility, Mov’in Europe, and Responsible Party. Many of its members are involved in ESN affairs on the national and international levels. ESN PW organised several meetings of ESN Poland, and most importantly, co-organised pre-AGM CNR and AGM Warsaw.
When asked what made their section unique, they said:
“It may sound a bit cliche, but it’s the team. ESN PW consist of many different personalities, people with different talents who just get along. We are one big family, ready to act. Thanks to having such a great team, we are not afraid of organising big events like CNR, NP, CLR or Polish Wedding party for one hundred people. Other sections can definitely look up to us, when it comes to integrating members & training them.”
The team spirit among the section’s members and their dedication have made ESN PW Warsaw the deserving winner of this month’s Section in the Spotlight. If they have managed to do all this in just ten years, who knows what will happen in another ten? Their work should serve as an inspiration, encouragement and motivating force to us all.
Photo credits: ESN PW Warsaw