This edition we awarded 15 categories related to the main causes, mission, vision and values of ESN.
The Award ceremony took place on 9th April 2023 in Bucharest, Romania, during the anual event Erasmus Generation Meeting. Over 900 Erasmus+ alumni and internationally-minded young people, as well as important stakeholders in the field of international mobility and higher education have been present at the ceremony.Watch the ceremony
The Erasmus Generation consists of thousands of people from very different cultures, countries, religions, and beliefs, but all connected by something bigger than that. We are young citizens. We are volunteers.Find out more
In Luxembourg, if a public petition is submitted to the government with more than 4500 signatures the topic of the petition must be debated. We bonded together with several associations and students at the university to start a petition for more student housing, as this has been an ongoing problem in Luxembourg and the government controls the money for (and thus amount of) housing available to students.
For the students, the impact was to give them a voice to share their concerns and give them the possibility to make a meaningful change for the better. For the government, the impact was to start a debate on student housing and hopefully improve the availability.
The core idea behind this project was to allow young people to discover and experience other types of international mobility than university exchanges. Each partner was involved in the project from the very beginning to decide on a theme, a name, the content...etc. We also wanted this project to be thought by the participants, this is why the majority of workshops and activities were prepared and facilitated by the different participants. Each national group had to think about one activity/workshop, and also prepare an "intercultural evening" in order to present their country to the rest of the group. During that week, the participants facilitated workshops on various topics such as art therapy, kung fu, yoga, identity, consent...etc. Some other workshops were held by a facilitator.
Nowadays, the Cooperation is composed of sections pretty diverse from each other: bigger and smaller, with many or few international students, from more central or more peripheral cities. The core idea is that they all act as a whole so that the bigger helps the smaller while the smaller offer his means to the bigger: as such, sections with a lot of students can benefit from the help of volunteers from sections with fewer students, small sections can take advantage of organising a bigger event to which their students can take part in (something that they couldn’t do on their own), both can make choices that do not interfere with or damage each other (e.g. instead of organising competing events on the same dates, they have different events on different days so that each one can participate to the others’).
What started as a simple collaboration for a few events has now evolved to a point, where some of our incomings do not even know that there are several ESN sections in Graz. Most of our stakeholders and incoming students simply know us as "ESN Graz", we have one board consisting of the boards of both sections (with two presidents, two vices, two treasurers, etc.). We organise 99% of our events together. Have one event coordinator. One total budget. One team. But two sections, each one with its own experiences, knowledge, strengths and weaknesses.
There are three core ideas behind the cooperation:
ESNer Invitation is a project initiated in Fall 2021 by the National Event Manager of ESN Switzerland to support the local sections of ESN in Switzerland. The project offers reimbursement for travel and participation fees for members to join events organised by other local sections, with the goal of increasing best practices sharing within the network, the participation of members in national events and fostering a sense of community within the Swiss network. In 2022, a newsletter was introduced to promote the project, and interested members could register to receive updates on available events. One of the major successes of ESNer Invitation is the improvement of the sense of community within the Swiss network. By encouraging members to participate in events, meet new people, and collaborate, the network has become more vibrant and dynamic. The sharing of best practices between local sections has allowed them to learn from each other and improve their own events and activities.
This sense of community and belonging fostered by ESNer Invitation can contribute to the overall well-being and mental health of members and support their personal development and growth. Participating in events organised by other sections for free through ESNer Invitation can boost members' motivation and involvement. Members can gain a fresh perspective on the efforts of ESN as a whole and become more driven to contribute, making them valuable assets for ESN Switzerland in filling National positions or Organisation Committees.
We are the ESNers of Milan, a family of around 300 volunteers trying to provide, since the early 2000s, the best welcoming experience to Erasmus and International students creating the best memories for their mobility periods. The 6 sections have a common goal: joining forces to provide international students with a unique experience, sharing the values of the Erasmus Generation and growing both as volunteers and individuals. We collaborate in the organisation of events on a regular basis, for trips, and in training sessions for newbies and active members, and we often sign joint partnerships together with local companies in Milan, leading us to have better positioning and acknowledgement from Institutions and Partners both as single sections and as ESN Milano Unita. The cooperation aims to give international students in Milan a better experience, in several ways. During joint events, they have the opportunity to meet students from other universities within the city, and the quality of these events is often higher due to the exchange of best practices between sections and a bigger number of participants. Also, our cooperation enhances the bargaining power of the Sections when negotiating a partnership or a deal with a club/bar for an event. A local Section involved in the Cooperation benefits in many ways, such as the possibility to organise bigger events, have access to more convenient partnerships and deals, share equipment or locations in the availability of another Section, or let another section join a trip that otherwise would not be full. The National Network can rely on structured cooperation for the organisation of events (as last year’s National Erasmus Games which were held in Milan and many OC members were from our city) on a national scale or for National Platforms.
We are united in diversity, every Section has its peculiarities and possibilities that contribute to the success of the Cooperation in providing the best Erasmus experience to our students.
The 2022 edition took place from the 17th to the 20th of November, and picked the chance to talk about the European Year of Youth, as well as celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Erasmus programme, during its opening conference, held on the first morning of the event in Sala Zuccari Palazzo Giustiniani, the seat of the Italian Senate. The conference was divided into two main topics: “The Erasmus programme and international mobility” and “Institutional Collaborations in the third sector”, and had speeches from many important stakeholders.
The main objectives of our Incontro Culturale Erasmus (ICE) are: promoting cultural activities and intercultural understanding; promoting Italian cultural heritage among international students in order for them to better get to know the lifestyle, tradition, landmarks and history of the Country they have decided to study and live in; allowing participants to become de facto ambassadors of Italian and European culture back in their hometown, by promoting the Erasmus+ programme and its values. The internationalisation at home is a pillar of the Erasmus Cultural Meeting, together with the improvement of social and practical integration of international students, reintegration of homecoming students and promotion of active citizenship; drawing the attention of participants on a more sustainable lifestyle providing them with a 4 day metro pass and by choosing accommodations and restaurants which were quite close in walking distance; promoting the Erasmus+ Programme and the European values, especially through communication campaigns, an opening conference and the big flag parade in the historical centre of Rome: our goal was to reach out the widest audience possible in order to show the impact of the Erasmus+ Programme on the new generations and the importance of “unity in diversity”, one of the main mottos of our organisation; providing our volunteers with a great opportunity to test themselves on the field, boosting skills such as intercultural competence, project management, teamwork, etc.
The 'Erasmus Generation Summit' (abbrev. EGS) was a novel event implemented within the framework of the 'Halloween in Transylvania' (abbrev. HiT) national project of ESN Romania. While HiT is a yearly recurring project with a long-standing for over a decade, that aims to promote the culture of Romania to its international students, the EGS was first implemented as an event during the 2022 edition of HiT, in order to meet a multitude of additional objectives that have been identified over the years: the opportunity to build upon the intercultural context that is provided within the project, the desire to foster civic engagement of the international students on exchange, and the desire of HiT attendees to participate in more varied activities. The intersection of all these objectives and the favourable context of HiT, which gathered together 800+ attendees from all over the world and from diverse backgrounds, allowed ESN Romania to implement a new event, on October 28th 2022, in Râșnov (Romania, Brașov County), consisting of a series of activities on important European topics. The multicultural context for the EGS provided added value by allowing the attendees to share their perspectives and initiate discussions with students from diverse backgrounds.
The scope of the 'Erasmus Generation Summit' was to foster the civic engagement of the international students currently on exchange in Romania, through a series of activities on topics such as multiculturalism, education and youth, environmental sustainability, and democracy, allowing them to improve their project experience and sow the seeds for a desire to boost their civic engagement on topics of urgency, as per their personal interests. The multicultural context of the EGS provided the opportunity for the attendees to share their perspectives and initiate discussions with students from diverse backgrounds.
This project focuses on allowing incoming international students to spend the holiday season with Portuguese families in order to showcase the Portuguese traditions during this time. This project started because there were a lot of international students staying in Portugal for these holidays because they were not able to travel to their home countries, and it could mean they would end up spending this special time of the year alone. With this initiative, we can tackle this issue and provide them with a unique experience during their time abroad! The main point of this project is to promote intercultural understanding. International students that spend the holiday season in Portugal have the opportunity to experience Portuguese Christmas culture and traditions. On the other hand, these volunteer families have the chance to spend a different holiday and get to know Christmas traditions from another country. By experiencing the Christmas season in Portuguese homes, international students get the chance to get in touch with Portuguese traditions, from gastronomy to songs, from beliefs to decorations. By comparing traditions, both parties can learn and experience new things and become a more understanding and global citizen.
ESNxKołoGospodyńWiejskich - How to make pierogi? is a series of events familiarizing foreign students with Polish cuisine and more in order to promote regional culture. During the events, students had the opportunity to make dumplings on their own, tasting their products and other dishes prepared by the Association of Rural Housewives, e.g. baked dumplings, homemade bread, pickled cucumbers and cakes. Moreover, they heard live traditional folk songs and took part in an exposition of regional costumes from private collections.
The first edition included training led by the local voluntary fire brigade, which covered several elements of providing first aid and emergency services. Also, there was a demonstration of how to make homemade butter/buttermilk, which showed that you can prepare food yourself and be more environmentally friendly. To switch up the additional activities of the Christmas edition a little bit, the participants were given the opportunity to learn some local folk dances from local experts, who practice them regularly.
ESN Music Project is an initiative enabling international and exchange students to develop their passion for music, share it with the local community, and promote international music.
At the start of the year, we brought together a diverse group of over 30 enthusiastic students representing 16 nationalities to get to know each other, exchange their cultural interests and musical tastes, and form their bands. Everyone was highly encouraged to participate, no matter their skills or level of experience. We aimed to create a supportive and stimulating environment in which students could learn from each other. In subsequent months, our student bands held 15 rehearsals at Edinburgh College of Art and various venues in Edinburgh, forming invaluable friendships and practising their skills. We regularly shared snippets of their fantastic performances on our social media which attracted significant attention from fellow students and locals alike.
Their hard work and long-lasting dedication were rewarded with a unique chance to perform at our end-of-the-semester ESN International Music Concert. To showcase the rich cultural diversity of ESN, students performed a wide range of songs in several languages originating from different countries. For many, it was the first opportunity to perform live on stage in front of a huge audience. Indeed, about 150 students and locals attended the concert, guaranteeing an exciting, real-life concert experience for both our musicians and fellow students. The concert was held in a historic venue that once housed a truly Scottish tavern known as "Whisky Row", adding a local touch to the event, and providing an unforgettable cultural experience for our international and exchange students.
After analyzing the co-funding situations of every region of our country, ESN Spain realized that Madrid was the only area of Spain without a monetary complement for the mobility of international students, so we started working on solving the issue.
The main aim of this initiative was to get the Madrilian regional government to create a co-funding complement for the youth going on Erasmus+ mobilities since it was the only region in Spain that did not offer any kind of added funding. Other objectives developed from this main aim were making Erasmus+ more accessible and inclusive, especially towards people from disadvantaged backgrounds; making Spain a country in which all the regions co-fund Erasmus+ mobilities, and showcasing the need for better and more funding towards mobility opportunities.
This has been one of ESN Spain’s main missions over the last years, developing a yearly co-funding observatory and working with several institutions and organizations to try to bring change to the current mobility programmes and support. Madrilian students going on an Erasmus+ mobility will, from that point on, receive a 200€ per month co-funding to their Erasmus grant. This way, ESN Spain was a main actor in a huge change that will bring not only a bigger budget to students coursing international mobility but also the opportunity to go on one to those that might not be able to afford it before.
This year, the 13th Anniversary of ESN Portugal was organised in Porto, in Ateneu Comercial do Porto, on the 11th of November and counted with the representation of the 13th ESN Portugal sections, former volunteers of the network, institutional partners such as the National Agency Erasmus + Education and Training, Municipality of Porto, other Portuguese youth organisations and commercial partners such as Vodafone and Sitel Portugal.
The 13th Anniversary was organised with the main objective of increasing our National Organisations’ external visibility. During the event, the ESN Portugal partners had the chance to understand better the role of ESN in Portugal in society through presentations about the main initiatives organised during the year 2022, such as the Erasmus Generation Meeting and the International Erasmus Games and the new goals for the year 2023, through a presentation by the National Board on the future of the Federation on the areas of Education and Advocacy; Human Resources and Training; Finances, Events, Projects and Communication and Digitalisation. Additionally, with the view to demonstrate the work of our volunteers and the international dimension of our network, we had the presentation on an international event organised in Portugal 2023 by ESN Minho, the General Assembly Spring, in Braga. Connected with the visibility of our actions, we also expected to increase support logistically and financially from our partners.
The beginnings of cooperation between ESN Poland and Polish National Youth Council dates back to 2012. Through our collaboration, we aim to achieve our common goals related to youth empowerment, education and advocacy for the rights of the Polish youth. The cooperation takes place on purely partnership terms and brings many benefits for both sides. During the previous year, we have tightened our relations more than ever before, primarily regarding the activities within the framework of the European Year of Youth 2022. Polish National Youth Council, as a representative body of young people in Poland, played a crucial role in implementing the initiatives and policies of the European Year of Youth at the national level. During this time we both received various and extensive training facilitated by NYC as well as we actively participated in their organisational activities. As ESN Poland is a prominent part of the National Youth Council, at the beginning of 2023 we became a member of the most important 1st Chamber of NYC, and, therefore - our voice within the Organisation will be bold and significant.
The Polish National Youth Council is a representative voice for young people in our country, gathering student-led youth organisations as well as City Youth Councils. By collaborating with them, ESN Poland receives valuable insights into national policy and the overall climate regarding student-led organisations, advocacy resources and external representation opportunities.
After a stop caused by Covid, this year we brought back one of our most awaited events, “ESN Italy goes to Brussels”. This event took place in Brussels, lasted three days and involved 31 people coming from ESN Italy’s sections, selected by the National Board through ESN CVs and motivation letters, led by the National President, the Education Officer and two Liaison Officers.
The event started with a visit to the European Parliament on the first day, followed by a visit to the Council of the European Union on the second day where we met Paola Caselli, Advisor to DG Transport, Energy, Environment and Education that introduced us to the daily work of the Council. After that, we moved to the ESN Office to meet the employees of the Secretariat and the International Board Members, as well as Maria Palladino, an Education expert at the Permanent Representation of Italy to the EU and two Policy Officers of the DG EAC of the European Committee, in order to discuss European education policies but mainly about the actual implementation and future of the Erasmus+ Project and on how we, as ESN, can work closely to the institution in order to make mobility a reality for all. We close our second day in Brussels with workshops offered to us by the International Board of ESN AISBL, mainly about ongoing projects of the Secretariat and how it feels like to be an International Board Member. The event ended with a guided visit to the Parlamentarium and a city tour kindly offered by a member of ESN Brussels.
Copernicus Model United Nations (MUN) is a simulation of the United Nations and its committees, where students from around the world come together to engage in a collaborative and educational experience. In a MUN conference, students take on the role of delegates representing different countries and engage in simulated debates, negotiations, and problem-solving exercises. These exercises aim to replicate the real-life processes of the United Nations, and they provide students with a unique opportunity to learn about diplomacy, international relations, and critical thinking. Participants are expected to research the policies, values, and positions of the country they are representing and use this knowledge to contribute to discussions and negotiations. Through the MUN experience, students develop essential skills such as public speaking, negotiation, research, and writing.
MUN conferences are held globally, and they provide students with the opportunity to engage with their peers from around the world, learn about different cultures, and build lifelong friendships. The conferences also provide students with valuable networking opportunities, and they can help participants understand the importance of international cooperation and the role of the United Nations in promoting peace and security in the world.
The role of the event was to educate students about international relations and diplomacy, provide an opportunity for skill development, promote cultural exchange and networking, and promote peace and cooperation through simulated debates and negotiations.
Red Reconoce is a Spanish organisation that works on the formal recognition of the learnings from non-formal environments. Reconoce has granted us the opportunity to be part of its network where multiple other associations and organisations like us certify the knowledge, skills and capabilities of our volunteers. Moreover, they offer multiple training opportunities for us as evaluators so we can apply the knowledge across the organisation. Reconoce has given us the opportunity to officially validate and certificate the skills acquired or developed by our volunteers during their time as part of ESN Spain’s structures, making them tangible experiences to add to their CVs and further develop their opportunities in the job market using the knowledge and skills from their volunteering experience. These certifications are official and therefore recognized by employers all over Spain. We do believe that this kind of cooperation and initiative can have an impact in our volunteers and their future, so hopefully with 2023 being the European Year of Skills, this year there will be a big step towards showcasing what volunteering can offer in the matter.
The core idea of this campaign is to actively help international students to integrate into the Dutch job market, which is thought to be more competitive than other European markets. The first part of this initiative, the workshop “Working as an international in the Dutch arena - practical and personal stories” - in collaboration with a section of Erasmus University’s Alumni office: Lighthouse Career Café - provided advice from professionals on how to adapt in such a competitive dynamic, along with testimonies from alumni of Erasmus University about their journey from being an international student to skilled workers in local and international businesses based in the Netherlands. The second phase of this campaign focused on encouraging international students to apply for jobs in the Netherlands by holding a CV workshop that was tailored to today’s day and age requirements and expectations. The International Committee of Education provided the CV guidelines booklet for this workshop, which was conducted by the career committee of ESN Rotterdam with assistance from the network committee of ESN NL. They assessed the CVs of current ESN members in order to identify common mistakes amongst students and, therefore, provide concrete examples of areas that needed improvement.
The aim of the "Working as an international in the Dutch arena - practical and personal stories" workshop is to encourage conversations and raise awareness about the possibilities that international students (EU and non-EU) are paired with in order to remain in the Netherlands, especially after their studies.
ESN Italy decided to continue developing the association's engagement in the area of employability through a series of institutional meetings focused on the impact that both mobility programs and volunteer experiences have in the acquisition of skills that can be later invested in the labour market. In addition to providing training sessions aimed at improving the transversal skills of our volunteers and mobility students, with the aim of transferring knowledge that can also be exploited in the professional field, the Activity and Training Manager and Skills and Employability Officer of ESN Italy, organized and moderated two conferences on the topics of student mobility and youth engagement as tools to improve employability. A remarkable focal point of the conferences was the involvement of external professionals, University representatives and public institutions because we had the opportunity to get in touch with diversified experiences and points of view on how youth engagement can affect employability.
This initiative was further developed by sharing with our local sections and volunteers opportunities such as career days and job fairs in which they could join both as participants and as testimonials.
The NGO Toolkit Acquisition Guide is a resource designed to help ESN Poland Local Sections effectively acquire the tools and resources available for NGO organisations. It was created in order to implement those tools in daily volunteer-based work of Local Sections, which in turn contributes to the improvement of services provided by them to the international students, as well as the improvement of volunteer knowledge on professional tools, easily transferable to their future position on the job market. The guide is intended to help them make informed decisions and present them with a cost-free or more financially responsible one-stop-shop with commonly used software, including Canva, Adobe Creative Cloud, Asana, Trello, and Monday. As a result, the Sections may optimize their operational processes via specialized software and improve the professional competencies of their Members. The initiative includes five comprehensive guides that cover the various aspects of the acquisition process and provides practical advice and best practices.
As ESN Selcuk, we played an active and leading role in executing the "EU Green Week" project, which was approved by European Commission officials. The project process was carried out together with our stakeholders Selçuk University, Çevre Çalışmaları Akademisi (Environmental Studies Academy), and Çevre ve İklim Topluluğu (Environment and Climate Society). The main idea of the project was the climate, climate crisis, recycling, and the aim in this matter was always to involve other individuals in this issue and raise awareness. Climate talks, exhibitions, workshops on recycling, and a concert took place. On the first day of the project, "Green Talks", consisting of 3 different parts, took place. In the session called "Green Talks", Climate Crisis, Cities and Justice by Merve Suzan Ilık, Understanding Environmental Migration Through Experimental Learning by Hakan Ünay, Green Dreams, Green Deeds by Hale Erol Hakan (EU Climate Pact Ambassador).
Then, Kahoot was played on these topics and the first 3 winners were awarded. On the second, 3 different workshops related to recycling took place. Hand Crafting, Painting, and Sewing workshops were carried out with 5 different teams. Recycling materials were used in Crafting and Sewing workshops. In the Painting Workshop, banks, tables, street lamps, and car tires were previously taken from the junkyard of the university washed and cleaned by us and recycled during the project. At the same time, this painting workshop has parts such as garden ground, walls, stones, pool. On the third day, there were the stands of environment units of Municipalities and NGOs. With the participation of the City Council of Selçuklu, Selçuklu Youth Assembly and Talha Bayrakçı Youth Center, the experience was shared as stakeholders and their contribution to the Green Agreement was shared. Under the sponsorship of the Selçuklu Municipality, we randomly distributed power banks, sound bombs, USB sticks, and the Metropolitan Municipality's Young Culture Card for discounts, concerts, etc. Finally, the project ended with the Eco-Art Garden Concert session, which was held with the participation and support of our university's conservatory students.
The initiative consisted in implementing environmental sustainability as the core value of ESN Italy.
On the 12th and 13th of June 2022, we had an unforgettable experience with our international students visiting the amazing MUMA, a museum in Milazzo, and the castle of the sea, and enjoying the astonishing natural environment of the area. The topic of this workshop was “Sustainability and the importance of the ecosystems of Protected Marine Areas, its deepening and knowledge”, thus allowing getting to know the seas and the headlands of Capo Milazzo and to have knowledge of history and marine sustainability. MUMA is not just a conventional Museum of the Sea, but it is an internal journey to find the balance in the relationship between Man and the Sea and how these two are connected through Art and Science. During this activity, we also had the unique chance to learn more about prehistoric creatures, the sperm whale Siso and its close relationship with our environmental aspiration for this workshop.
This event, the biggest we organized as a section, consisted of two different parts: the cooking competition (that we called “Masterchef competition”) and the games one. During the afternoon, we proposed to our Erasmus students, divided into teams, different games, which are traditionally played during Italian “sagre” (popular festivals which are held in Italy in different cities or villages to celebrate a festivity). After that, we had an “international snacktime”: Erasmus could bring a typical food from their country and the participants could buy a plate with the dishes they wanted to try, contributing to the fundraising. All proceeds of those snacks were donated to the Children’s Hospital of Parma “Pietro Barilla”, which we decided to support with this event to make them buy the materials to treat children with chronic diseases. The event was closed by the award ceremony for the winning team and the Masterchefs (thanks to the votes everyone could give to their favourite dish).
The CAREoke event was a charity karaoke event in collaboration with the organization “Istria Helps”. All donations from the night went to “Istria Helps” and their action called "United we are stronger - for Ukraine"! Official ESN Zagreb partners also participated in the event and donated different gifts for those that attended the event.The main aim was to raise awareness about the ongoing Ukrainian crisis and to help the Ukrainian refugees in Zagreb feel welcomed and appreciated.
ESN Woman Up was a charity aperitivo and talk show about women's willpower in the Sicilian territory! We invited four special guests who embody the strength of women, they talked about their commitment to society in different fields: a psychologist; a feminist activist; two businesswomen. (A very good way to understand our territory from the point of view, and activity of amazing women.) We enjoyed the talk with a delicious aperitivo with our typical food. At the end of the event, part of the cost was donated to PINK PROJECT (one of the major active associations on antiviolence) to help women who are victims of violence! The goal of the activity was to foster awareness about stereotypes and discrimination experienced by women, especially in the labour market. We hosted experts such as activists and female entrepreneurs, who live and fight their own battles in our territory, to give an example of what women can do and achieve on their own: everything is possible.
ESN Split organized karaoke night two days in advance of the Split Beard Auction and all the income from participation fees (20 HRK per person) was donated to the Beard Auction. We were also collecting donations during the days before the event took place. Our section succeeded to contribute with a donation of almost 500 euros. Our main aim was to collect as much possible money and to promote the Beard Auction to our locals, volunteers and international students, as it's a very important part of our everyday life.
Split Beard Auction is a humanitarian action for collecting donations intended for the Split County League against Cancer, with the simple goal of making people aware of the importance of preventive check-ups and men's health care.
The National Erasmus Games (NEG) took place from 22nd of April 2022, International Hearth Day, until 24th in Centro Sportivo Saini in Milano. The competing sports present were mixed basketball, mixed football, mixed volleyball, 100 meters men and women and 1500 men and women. Comune di Milano, ActionAid and Yes Milano took part in the event as well as ResponsibleParty promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Before the event, a press conference was held at Palazzo Marino, the seat of the city administration, which was attended by the City of Milan and representatives of the food wave project, as well as the Milan sections. The event was opened by a conference on the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, adopting a sustainable diet and sports as a tool for social integration and improving health, both physical and mental, during which the Councillor for Sports, Tourism and Youth Policies of the City of Milan and representatives of various institutions related to the world of sports and sustainability spoke. The 2nd day sports tournaments, and the last day included city tours from which participants could choose. The top finishers in each sport were selected to participate in the IEGs in Coimbra, Portugal.
This edition promoted physical and mental well-being with the added value of creating social aggregation, but also respect for nature, fight against climate change and environmental sustainability. The activities also aimed to promote the themes of the Food Wave project and food sustainability and environmentally friendly lifestyles, offering fresh fruits and water as well as local and sustainable food during the event.
To promote health and well-being, ESN Spain started a commercial partnership with Sauce Psicología, a psychological care centre in Madrid, with the possibility to have online sessions with psychologists. Thanks to this partnership, ESNcard volunteers have a 10% discount on the normal price of the session. Moreover, Sauce Psicología is collaborating with ESN Spain in facilitating training sessions for our volunteers about volunteering in a sustainable way, how to deal with burnout and promoting mental health among students and youth in general.
Finally, ESN Spain and Sauce Psicología work together to develop campaigns about mental health focused on students and mobility.
STIMUL8 is ESN Sweden’s National Training Event, and the target audience is ESN Sweden volunteers. The topic was Mental Health & Well-being, a narrowed-down focus on one of ESN’s causes of Health & Well-being.
The core idea of STIMUL8 was to reinforce our volunteers’ personal and group-focused knowledge in mental health so that they could not only find an individual balance between personal, professional, and ESN life, but bring back valuable practices of mental well-being, mindfulness, stress management, and team synergy to their ESN sections.
The training took place in a lakeside refurbished horse farm surrounded by nature (to allow our participants to get away from the fast-paced stress-inducing environment of the city, and reconnect with each other and nature - similar to a retreat). Every day included a mixture of indoor- and outdoor activities, workshops, and focus groups. We covered topics such as health beliefs, mindfulness, team support structures, and social media & mental well-being.
To enhance the active presence and wellness of our participants, STIMUL8 included: No-phone dinners; Accountability Buddies (Randomly assigned participant who checks in on another’s water/food/sleep habits during the training and stress levels.); Health Check-In; Cooking-Cleaning Schedules; Secondhand Bedlinen.
The event took place in the Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald. The event offers the perfect environment for students to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and focus on their own physical and mental well-being. Participants had the chance to engage in different sports activities (skiing, snowboarding, and snow hikes), with an all-rounded experience that provided warm-ups in the morning and yoga in the evenings. Our staff members were selected based on their ski experience to cater to all skill levels, ensuring that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience. When we were done skiing for the day, it was time to relax with yoga. One of our members led the students through stretches to de-stress and rejuvenate, allowing them to focus on their bodies and mind. And to be inclusive, we had a yoga level where no experience was necessary!
It also had a strong emphasis on healthy eating. The breakfasts consisted of local products. We received a grant from ESN CH to have local-based breakfasts, with cheese and milk from local farmers, jams from a local lady, and bread from a local bakery. Everything was km-zero, ensuring participants had access to fresh, wholesome, nutritious foods. The vegan dinners offered various delicious and healthy plant-based options to support a healthy lifestyle.
Moreover, it offers a supportive and inclusive environment where students can join and engage in social activities, games, and discussions. This community-building aspect of the event is essential for promoting good mental health and well-being.
Members of ESN Thessaloniki are divided into 4 families, each of which has an experienced member as a leader (each leader corresponds to one of the four Dalton brothers). The task of the leader is to keep members informed regarding local, national and international matters, to encourage them to actively participate in all three levels, discuss and solve doubts and coordinate the common activities carried out by the team (e.g campaigns, events). Every team is diverse (e.g experienced members, local board members, and new members). The goal of each team is to gain as many points as possible according to a scoreboard that awards points to practically every activity that implies active participation in ESN (e.g event organising, position holding, national/international events’ attendance, office hours). So, depending on the involvement of each family in the ESN life, points are awarded. Cooperation between families is, also, awarded extra points.
Simultaneously, experienced members who held board positions in the past prepare monthly tasks (ESN mini-lessons) that aim to train members on ESN and skill-related issues (e.g VIM, international level structure, GDPR, events planning). These tasks have a certain deadline and the total points that the family obtains depend on the percentage of participation of the members in the task and their creativity. Every 2/3 months some “crisis cases” arise and family members are asked to solve them on a deadline. Crisis cases serve the temporal needs of the sections and their goal is to encourage the families to get together, discuss, create and have fun. At the end of each month, a total score is calculated and families see where their efforts stand compared to the other families. This game lasts all year long and the communication is carried out via the Forum of ESN Thessaloniki (for announcements) and FB Groups and chats (for families).
The first objective was achieving a higher retention of newbies and motivating experienced active volunteers to apply for new positions in ESN. The second objective was the development of the human resources from each of our sections together through workshops, focused on developing both soft skills (Public Speaking, Team Management and Leadership) and hard skills (Events Management, How to use Canva accordingly to VIM); games and active involvement. The third objective was to develop cooperation between the three buddy sections. Some important tools that we used for these activities were ESN Wiki and NEC Teambuilding Guide.
To have a complete overview of the association and ensure that we will provide correct and complete information, we contacted volunteers with a lot of experience, such as alumni from our sections, volunteers from Romania’s Pool of Trainers and members from the National Board of ESN Romania.
At the end of each team building, we disseminated a form for the participants to analyse its impact on participants' satisfaction and engagement and used it to refine the teambuilding project for future iterations and repeat the process to continue building strong relationships with the volunteers and promoting retention.
The ultimate goal is to make the recruitment process more efficient, transparent, and accessible to candidates, improving the user experience and increasing the likelihood of successful recruitment of new members.
The project was implemented using various tools and technologies. In particular, Google Forms and Google Sheets were used to collect and manage candidate data. To automate the recruitment process, Active Campaign (CRM and Email marketing) (activecampaign.com) was used with the help of Zapier (zapier.com) to connect the various tools and allow real-time synchronisation. In addition, customized emails were created and sent to candidates at different stages of the recruitment process. To ensure an optimal user experience, a form was also implemented on the site to submit candidate questions and a mentorship system was implemented to ensure that each new associate is guided and supported throughout his or her association journey. Using these tools will automate data collection and analysis, allowing for a comprehensive view of project performance and the identification of any opportunities for improvement.
It is annual in duration and focuses particularly on the beginning of academic semesters. However, the system is always active and is used to recruit new associates throughout the year.
To create a stronger bond between ESN Coimbra's volunteers, the HR Department developed the "Secret ESN" initiative. The HR Department (the "Voice", also known as the ruler of the game) decided to present the initiative at one of the General Meetings (the "Galas") early in November 2022. After that, an e-mail was sent to the team with a link to Google Forms where they could submit their secret. Once the secrets were all gathered, HR presented the list at the next meeting where the game officially began. During the following weeks, participants tried to guess each other's secrets at every meeting and through Google Forms where they could register their hunches. The volunteers who attended and helped at our events were able to have a few clues as a reward. The winner was announced at our Christmas Dinner.
The HR Department and the Board of ESN Coimbra made sure that every participant felt comfortable sharing their secret and that no one was forced to participate if they didn't want to.Even though the main idea behind the initiative was based on a game, its main focus was to unite the team and allow the members to get to know each other better without judgment, we wanted to highlight that ESN is, after all, a safe space.
The implementation process of this initiative started in March 2021 with the Concept Note for the Restructuring of the National Training. This document was presented to our National Platform to explain the need to adapt our national training events structure to the training needs of the volunteers and to support our strategic priorities. This concept note was then followed by changes to our internal calendar dates and events voted by the GA. This restructuring was based on the National Training Plan and the sections’ Quality Assurance initial outcomes. It is reviewed annually to ensure that our training events match our volunteers' current needs and interests and that their existence is purposeful as they capacitate our volunteers and follow our Federation's learning process and evolution. This analysis provided, amongst other changes, the introduction of a new event, the National Strategy Meeting. It is an event where the National Board, Support Positions and the Secretariat study, discuss, develop and align national strategies.
This is a project designed to automate the process of creating the promotions for the ESN activities. The way this is done is by generating an Instagram history image and a message template (To be shared on diffusion channels for Erasmus groups) based on the entries from an activity registration form. The image and the message are automatically emailed to the organizer. The target audience would be ESN volunteers organizing the activity.
The main aim of this project is to make it easier for the organizers to create promotional material for the activities at the time of filling out the activity registration form. Once the form is filled, the organizer receives a message by email with the generated message template and the Instagram history image. It is stored as well in a Google Drive folder to be uploaded with the rest of the images each Sunday to the section Instagram in order to inform the international students about the upcoming activities.
The current outcome is the increase of efficiency of the volunteers at the time of preparing new activities for international students. It is still a project under development, as we are trying to enhance the system to handle more interesting functionalities.
The webApp was built from scratch with HTML, CSS, PHP, jQuerry snippets and SQL using the MVC architecture. It works best in a Windows environment, but it can also be used on mobile. The main purpose of the app is the management of volunteers and newbies.
One of the main goals of the Webshop creation would also be to improve the SEO and engagement of our website. At this moment we have 4 products on our Webshop, with images, descriptions and the possibility to pay online or at the ESN Porto office.
Our target audience is not only international students but also their friends and family, Portuguese buddies and ESN volunteers from all over Europe! We want ESN Porto to be recognized for its merchandising just like our Erasmus Addicted T-shirt is already recognized by many ESN volunteers and international students. The project is already operational, updated and ready to be promoted on our social networks.
The app was developed for the Erasmus Generation Meeting Portugal 2022, a gathering of 800 participants from all over Europe. The app was designed to be highly intuitive and easy to use, with a clean and user-friendly interface. It was developed for use via a browser.
Il Tuo Erasmus con ESN" (hereafter ITECE) is a competition in which the contestants have to write an essay on a given topic in 3 hours to win an extra financial contribution of €1000 to go on Erasmus. Through the allocation of 3 grants for the winners of the contest, the event aspires to convince more and more students to join the competition and reflect on different aspects of the European Union, the Erasmus Programme and the so-called ‘Erasmus generation’ and many more ‘secondary’ topics connected to those. It took place in almost every University that has an ESN Section (45 cities), but to make it as accessible as possible:
On the day of the Contest, participants are given a presentation in which they are further made aware of ESN sections that they can get in touch with once they get to their destinations, and of AskErasmus. In the end, 2265 students subscribed to the contest and 751 essays were evaluated by the 3 Committees (the 3 Level Committee is the one that chooses the 3 winning essays and it was composed of personalities coming from different Ministries and Institutions).
AskErasmus allows outgoing students attending Italian universities to contact an ESN volunteer who has already had their experience in the same Country. A national team of four volunteers works to create student-volunteer matches. When possible, they try to make the perfect match by combining city, university and interests. From a practical point of view, outgoing students can apply by filling in a form on the AskErasmus page on the ESN Italy website, while volunteers are gathered through an internal form. The match is communicated by email. Finally, the volunteer gets in touch with the outgoing student who is supported throughout the Erasmus, but especially in the pre-departure period.
These two projects are part of ESN Italy 4 Mobility, so, as with all the initiatives that ESN Italy carries out on the matter, the main goal is to promote to different stakeholders the various opportunities that the EU offers to young people for going abroad together with ESN brand and services.
Erasmus+ internships database is an initiative of ESN Poland for students and recent graduates, helping them find international internship opportunities abroad in scope of the Erasmus+ programme. The database is available on the website of ESN Poland in the tab dedicated to the Erasmus+ programme and overall mobility promotion. The database is built based on the experiences of Erasmus+ internships Alumni, students and recent graduates who themselves participated in this type of mobility and want to recommend the organisation or company in which they did their internship. Apart from data on the company itself, they also share information about their university, field of study and specific requirements that they needed to fulfil to successfully participate in the internship. All of the data provided by the Alumni is collected, verified and processed by ESN Poland. Data is being gathered by open for all forms, regularly promoted both internally and externally. Our priority is to provide reliable, confirmed and accessible information, making the process of applying for the Erasmus+ internship easier and less scary for future applicants.
Due to several complaints from exchange students regarding the way the local accommodation office (BDTU) treats them (long waits, unreasonable deadlines, unfair deposit reductions, unclear rules), a consortium of student organizations led by ESN DTU promoted the creation of housing councils for the three biggest international student dorms. We contacted a non-profit law firm specialising in the housing area and provided the students with legal coverage to prevent further abuse. So far, around 1200 students have been covered, to reach 1500 students by the end of May 2023. The main objective was to protect international students’ rights and their interests, preventing further abuse from the landlord.
The initiative came to life after a conversation between the International Relations Office of the University of Cantabria, the European Affairs office and ESN Santander to collaborate on a project framed in the Erasmus In Schools concept. For two weeks, ESN Santander volunteers, together with representatives of the European Affairs Office, accompanied around twenty international students to visit 5 educational centres. 10 informative sessions were held for secondary and high school students to inform them about the Erasmus+ program and share with them the experiences and opportunities it offers so that they can carry out mobility in the future. Also, it was important for us that local students understood the different opportunities related to international mobility, such as in vocational training or other non-university studies.
Through this event, our main goal was to approach students that are interested in potentially living the Erasmus experience. We wanted to create a safe environment that would foster an open - end conversation so that they could get engaged and address any questions or doubts that they might have had. We aimed to spread the idea of the Erasmus generation, introduce young students to our vision here at ESN and strip them from anything that is holding them back from going on an exchange - make them feel that they are ready for this European mobility step.
Another objective that we had was to get the section's active members more engaged with our vision, which is why we asked them to share their experiences. We also wanted to give them the chance to take initiative and be active. From their testimonies, it was a very motivating experience for them that not only gave them the chance to share their passion for the Erasmus+ but also develop their skills such as presentation and public speaking.
Room swap is a platform that we created to help incoming as well as outgoing students with finding a room in the city where they are going to study. On this platform, outgoing and incoming students can list their room for a “swap” or as a sub-lent. A swap entails that two people switch rooms. So they can both keep their room, but the other person stays in it for a certain period. Through the platform, students can indicate what kind of room they are looking for and which criteria they have such as price, location and amount of flatmates. Once they applied, they receive a list of the other participants. Here they can see whether there is someone that could be a potential match. They can then contact the potential match. The room swap platform thus only serves as a platform where they can find the match. After contacting the potential match, this can hopefully lead to a room swap where both parties are provided with a room for their exchange.
SAMISI - Stimulating Awareness on Migration through Integration and Social Inclusion is a project of ESN Italy, realised with the support of the Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Alliance funded by the European Union, that started in February 2022 and ended in July of 2022. The project aimed to improve the lives of students with migration backgrounds in the academic and social environment and, simultaneously, raise awareness among higher education institutions and the general student population on the topics of migration, social inclusion, intercultural awareness and understanding.
The first activity of the SAMISI project was a training course. SAMISI training included a week of non-formal education activities for 25 ESN Volunteers (participants, coming from 5 different local Sections) aimed at training them on the management and facilitation of groups with migrants, doing advocacy activities within universities, social inclusion, migration issues and awareness-raising. The training was conducted with the help of a diverse group of experts, including both internal trainers from ESN Italy and external professionals (e.g. Insaf Dimassi, activist for political, civil, and human rights with a degree in International Law, experienced in assistance and linguistic-cultural mediation services, in particular for political refugees and asylum seekers).
The second activity was based on actions in local communities. Each month from May to July, our five local ESN sections planned and implemented different activities in their local communities aimed at integration and raising awareness of the topic of political migration among academic institutions and students.
We involved international students in volunteering to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds. We selected among the volunteers preferably those exchange students who proved to be patient and were fairly fluent in Italian so that they could communicate pretty easily with the children. We also tried to balance their genders and nationalities to reach the most diverse environment possible, all for the benefit of the children. At each appointment, there were at least two ESN members to help with translations and cultural barriers.
The pupils could take advantage of having native-speaker teachers when doing homework, and of leisure activities where they mainly learnt how to reduce waste and recycle. This turned out into providing pretty quality language classes to pupils coming from schools which are unfortunately famous for not having the best foreign languages teachers, while for the recycling activity, it started as a way to make toys out of garbage, and led to the children learn how to overall reduce waste instead of making it and having to figure out a way to recycle it.
ESN Montpellier organises monthly meetings between the international students and the older population of Montpellier in a senior residence. We help to break their isolation and switch up their routine. The first meeting's theme was "Represent your country". Our students presented their cultures with the 90+-year-old seniors, who in turn presented the countries they visited.
Everyone was welcome to our event! Some of the seniors no longer talked, but were nonetheless present, much to our delight, and just listened to others' conversations. Most of them depend on walkers or wheelchairs. The tables were spaced in a way that allowed everyone to move freely. We used a microphone and speaker, so they could hear everyone talk, regardless of their hearing loss. Those that got tired, were free to go back to their rooms at any time. We've tried to respect their autonomy and their abilities. We had prepared many activities and adapted once we had assessed the situation on the day of the event.
We went to the retirement home on a Saturday afternoon and spent about 2 and a half hours with them. We've conversed with them and had snack time with them. Some of these people's families are far away, and they don't have visitors often. Our students are away from home and miss their family and grandparents. Bringing these two generations together can help ease that homesickness and loneliness.
With this event we wanted to try a new different experience and provide food for the homeless and the refugees. The fees for this event were used to buy food for the homeless/refugees. Then, we cooked together the food and distributed it as well together as one family. The Event is going to be repeated frequently. The next time will be on 26th August. The last one was on 8th July 2022. This event will be organized in collaboration with ASIYAH.
ASIYAH- international humanitarian aid organization is a registered and non-profit aid organization that was founded in 2018. It emerged from the commitment of young people who are committed to a fair and equitable distribution of resources worldwide. We contribute to intercultural understanding through our multicultural team.
The main goal of this event is to bridge the communication gap between the hearing and the deaf community from Cluj-Napoca by having a comprehensive workshop on elementary sign language elements and by discovering deaf culture with the help of the student organization “Văd Voci”. We find it important to broaden our volunteers' and Erasmus students' horizons by providing them with various types of activities and information. That is why the partner organization provided us with the language teachers and also presented a bit about the history of sign language as well as they taught us a Romanian song which was a great introduction to the more common phrases and the alphabet. To make the event inclusive we provided the participants with a workshop in English, mainly for Erasmus students, and a workshop in Romanian so that our volunteers and the local students attending could get a better glimpse into this language. Furthermore, we provided them with useful links to various sources where they can further develop themselves and help the local community.
One of the main aims to organise such a big event in Burgas was to make ESN and the Erasmus+ programme more visible on a local level, within the universities and the local communities. Thanks to the support of our National Agency we managed to deliver an amazing experience with better quality. It was also our first-time official collaboration with them which expanded our future possibilities and recognition among institutional partners. We believe it was beneficial for the visibility of ESN both in Bulgaria and as an international organization, and for the promotion of the Erasmus+ programme within local communities. The main purpose of the event was to gain more knowledge and train the National Boards within ESN about the possibilities and novelties in our work and the Erasmus + programme. The participants also got to know more about the Supporting programs such as TCA, ESC and many others from the sessions of the National Agency, in which they introduced a lot of different possibilities for the volunteers as individuals and as organizations. The other aim for ESN Bulgaria was to be present in new cities in a region where we weren’t until now, and also strengthen our newly started collaboration with the National Agency. We are keeping in contact with the University in Burgas and the local community in order to put the foundations of a new ESN section and to be more involved in the university lifestyle, by regularly promoting the Erasmus+ programme.
ESN Sea Battle “Voyage to Valhalla” is a unique and exciting student cruise organised by Erasmus Student Network Sweden, designed for students from all over the world to come together, explore new horizons, and engage in thrilling activities. ESN Sea Battle offers a wide range of activities on board as well as excursions in Tallinn for students to enjoy. These could include sightseeing tours, dance parties, singalongs and other group events that allow students to get to know one another, share experiences, and build memories that will last a lifetime. With a focus on creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, ESN Sea Battle is a fantastic opportunity for students from all over the world to connect, explore new cultures, and have fun in a supportive, safe and engaging environment. ESN Sea Battle is not about the destination, but about the journey itself! This is exactly why for the 30th anniversary the organising committee has decided to raise the stakes and make history in the name of ESN! After months of negotiations, we managed to involve Guinness World Records which resulted in us breaking 3 Guinness World Records in one day! To promote such a significant moment in ESN history we assembled a team of 12 communication managers from all over the network to raise awareness about our cause. As the result, we managed to hit the Instagram algorithm which gave us more than 80k in engagement without spending a single Swedish known. The result was groundbreaking and from now on Erasmus Student Network officially has 3 world records broken in the name of “unity in diversity and diversity in unity.
The idea was to encourage people to donate blood during the blood donation campaign that was taking place at the university. To do so, some of the ESN volunteers went to donate and explained the process/potential doubts that people might have. Moreover, we also wanted to encourage people to become stem cell and bone marrow donors since unfortunately, most people in our society do not know how easy, safe and important this is to save the lives of patients suffering from certain haematological diseases. People in general tend to think that this type of donation has to do with the spine or that it is dangerous for the donor, however, this is not true. Therefore we decided to contact people who had received a stem cell or bone marrow transplant and people who had donated so that they could explain what it was about, and its huge importance and also to answer all the questions that people had. Besides, we offered the assistants free hot chocolate and churros to encourage them to come and make the event more attractive.
Since there was a huge blood shortage in the hospitals around Asturias, the purpose of this campaign was to clarify potential doubts about blood, stem cell and bone marrow donation and encourage international students and ESN volunteers to become donors.
With the yearly launch of our National Erasmus+ Grant Co-financing report and our Erasmus+ Grant Calculator, we developed a social media campaign and press releases intending to showcase ESN’s policy and advocacy work in the field of inclusive international mobility. It was divided into two parts: a previous campaign with slogans and a call to action and a communication campaign exactly when the presentation event was taking place in Madrid, with the launch of the Erasmus+ Grant calculator, in time for students to use before or during mobility applications at their universities.
The campaign was focused on the one hand reaching potential mobility students who would find all the information gathered in our report and our Erasmus+ Grant calculator useful, and on the other hand, reaching national and regional authorities to improve mobility opportunities and access to information for young people wanting to do international mobility.
The training was divided into three days during which there were a total of 26 sessions, diversified by topic, mode of execution, and the number of participants. The choice of sessions responds to a need to ensure all participants have the opportunity to follow a session of their taste and interest, indeed, there were 3 suggested tracks that each participant could decide to follow.The event started with an opening conference entitled “Capacity Building in the Erasmus Generation” focusing on the same theme as the National Training Event. It was meant to inspire the volunteers and was attended by many important stakeholders. To make the connection between ESN and the “real world” stronger, we invited trainers and experts from two partner organisations: Legambiente Italia and Ashoka Italia. Also, we planned the participation of international trainers, to allow our volunteers to take part in activities in another language and to see a different style of approach to training than the one they usually experience in their context.
The central challenge that was addressed through this project was the lack of long-term, capable trainer volunteers in ESN Romania. Despite a high attendance of Romanian volunteers to Eduk8 sessions in the previous years, there were not enough training opportunities for them to hone their skills and gain experience. In turn, there was a general reliance on experienced volunteers who had the opportunity to prove their skills. Other trainers are either difficult to support in coming to Romania (international Eduk8 trainers) or are expensive and have experience focused on specialised topics (external trainers). These three points created an imbalance in the number of trainers in ESN Romania and in the skills that they possess. As such, this project aimed to address this and strengthen our National Organisation, by fulfilling the high interest of ESN Romania volunteers in taking part in a training of trainers and enriching our National Pool of Trainers and Facilitators.
Skyrocket in English means to rise extremely quickly or progress rapidly towards success. That was the objective of this training day and the 24 people who attended were able to take their first steps towards a career in communication and design. During the training day, theoretical and practical sessions were held to introduce the attendees to the creative world.
For this event, the collaboration of the Barreira Art and Design School was counted on, a higher education centre in Valencia, which opened its facilities exclusively so that our volunteers could enjoy this day in a place fully designed for this, with a class fully prepared both in terms of hardware and software, as well as spaces for breaks and team building. Some of the skills that participants were able to acquire at this event are Design Thinking, teamwork, communicative skills, and design tool management, all very aligned with the reality in which we live. Everything done at the event is documented on its website and shared so that it is accessible to anyone who is interested in learning and serves as a guide or consultation for future generations or anyone who wants to review the concepts we impart. All in all, the feedback from the event was very positive and everyone left wanting to repeat it.
Due to the pandemic many sections struggled and the workload was split among fewer volunteers every month. Since volunteers are the basis of our organization, the Training Days aimed not only to ensure knowledge transfer about structures and projects within ESN as an organization but also to build a healthier network together.
In addition, the Project Manager of ESN Germany wrote an application with the Training Officer for the “Local Phase Mental Health and Youth” micro-grant by the Council of Europe and the European Youth Foundation.”
The participants learnt about all matters related to training and further developed their training skills and methods. For this, we counted on the knowledge and training from the Youth Council of Spain’s Pool of Trainers, who developed and facilitated all the sessions on Saturday and Sunday, carrying the heaviest load of the agenda. On Friday, we also had the participation of the Reconoce Network, who taught us how all these skills can then be reflected in our work life, CV and much more; and a debate session where we discussed the current status of training within ESN Spain, and made plans on how to improve our training events, training plan, the participation of the Pool of Trainers in local and regional events and much more.
The participants did not know much about the agenda or the training they were going to receive once the event started (as you can see in the agenda, where no topics were mentioned in each time frame). This is because the training was designed in a way that the content flowed and was not part of smaller workshops but a whole process that took over the whole weekend, and finally ending on Sunday with a recap and putting together all the different topics and subjects discussed and developed.
The first meeting was organised with the support of the local reality of a national and international transfeminist movement. The activity took place at their headquarters and started with the narration of personal experiences of gender-based violence, that occurred and was perceived around us. Then we shared precious information about the most appropriate behaviour to have in case of contact with victims of gender-based violence. Medical and legal procedures have been introduced and made known to all volunteers.
The meeting was an important moment of sharing and discussion on the systematic nature of gender-based violence, aimed both at training and raising awareness of volunteers. In the following months, a detailed and thorough handbook has been created. The handbook includes a very much details procedure to follow in case of need, many references and practical recommendations with a special focus on language and first aid.
The first aid activity is an activity held in partnership with the Young Red Crescent Club in our school. In the workshop, what to do during an emergency was explained to ESNers visually, verbally and practically. Thanks to the network of the Young Red Crescent Club, training was received by experts in emergency first aid. For this event, an appointment has been made with the Young Red Crescent Club. The place where the workshop was held is Nişantaşı University conference hall. Our priority In line with the purpose specified in the definition of first aid is to raise awareness of people at the end of the training on the subject, who make applications without medication, until the arrival of the medical team, with the existing tools and equipment, without seeking medical tools and equipment to the patient / injured.
The primary aim of first aid is to ensure the maintenance of vital functions and to prevent the condition of the sick/injured from deteriorating, our aim in doing this activity is to teach the participants the aims of first aid, basic practices and what to do in the intervention.
Safe Battle is a new initiative presented by ESN Sweden to ensure physical, mental and sexual safety of participants (and volunteers) during various national events which include ESN Sea Battle, National Assemblies and Training Events. Safe Battle consists of Safe Battle Ambassadors (SBA), specifically chosen individuals who are trained and equipped to promote safety and prevent accidents at events, particularly those involving large groups of people.
The purpose of the Safe Battle initiative is to promote physical, mental and sexual safety and reduce the risk of accidents at various events within ESN Sweden.
This initiative has two main sides: Safe Spaces: ESN Spain’s National Events are big, usually having 1.200-1.700 participants. In such big groups, a lot of things can happen, so we implemented Safe Spaces in all the parties and other situations in which the sections and their international students met (flag parade, common lunch..). The Safe Space at any of these events is a stand where a specialized institution or NGO provides support and information and is trained and ready to react if they see or get a report of any situation of harassment of any kind. People can reach out to them in any situation, and they will help them. Information on these Safe Spaces is provided to the international students and added to the Survival Guide, so they know who and where to go if they need help.
People of Trust: The People of Trust initiative covers the internal events of ESN Spain, where participants are not international students but ESN volunteers and institutional guests. No matter if these are training or assembly events, three People of Trust are always designated, whose job is to identify possible harassment situations of any kind, be of help to those who report this kind of situation and the possible victim(s) and overall try to assure that the social programme (also the event during the day, but mostly the night) is safe for everyone, and any possible transgression is identified and acted on. These People of Trust are always members of ESN Spain’s structures and OC of the event, to make it easier to participants to know who they can tend to since they are more identifiable. Also, it is always two women and one man, so the participants have options on who they feel more comfortable with. Their contact information and photos are added to the Survival Guide, it is also presented to the participants at the beginning of the event so they know they have this possibility and who they can go to, and their contact info is also on the back side of the accreditation that they are given. The People of Trust get a small training before the event so they fully know their role, what is expected of them and what they have to do if needed.
We spreading and implementing "Responsible Party", the leading initiative by Pernod Ricard - a prime producer of premium spirits - aimed at promoting responsible drinking and reducing alcohol-related harm through a “peer-to-peer” approach based on ownership of our fun, ultimately empowering young adults to decide for themselves and fostering safe and positive celebrations. As part of this project, Pernod Ricard encourages its consumers to always drink water in between alcoholic drinks, with their new campaign “Drink More Water campaign”, they, in fact, work to educate and encourage young adults to adopt this behaviour.
The program has been one of our core initiatives in 2022. The Party Squad of ESN The Netherlands is a trained volunteer-based group of people who lead responsible parties during the night. They are in charge of internal peer-to-peer awareness of drinking water, serving water and assisting people in need of help (for instance, by taking walks or helping people get out of a crowd). Additionally, from the idea that a party is fun when you’re home safe and foster internal care of each other, we then designed the safe-walk home project, which consists of organized home walks at different times and locations, to make sure every participant can enjoy a night out in their terms and still get home safe with a group of friends. Overall, we promoted joint activities, raised awareness on the topic, created communication campaigns and ultimately empowered our 18 sections, which engage each year more than 70.000 international students each, to collaborate with Pernod Ricard and actively take in empowering young adults in fostering safe and positive celebration.