Section in the Spotlight: ESN Split

ESN International news - Sun, 01/05/2016 - 10:48
We hope you are ready to squeeze back into your swimsuits because this month we are travelling to the sunny Croatian coast. Close your eyes and imagine the sound of sea waves as you welcome Section in the Spotlight of May: ESN Split!   Their journey began in 2012 when they were accepted as a member section of ESN Croatia at the National Platform in Zadar, followed by receiving the official certificate of membership at AGM Maribor 2013.    ESN Split has an impressive internal structure. Currently, the section counts 50 members and each of those members plays an integral role in the work they do. Every candidate member has to hand in a CV and fill in an Application Form which the Local Board later reviews in order to decide if the candidate should become a regular member. After they have been accepted, new members experience a teambuilding event called Integration Day where they learn about how ESN is structured, from the local to the national and international levels. Speaking of their Local Board, they are divided in two parts: Presidency, which consists of the President, Vice-President and the Secretary, and Local Coordinators who each lead their own teams of 3-10 people. Fun fact - their current PR Manager did his Erasmus exchange in Split, and later decided to continue studying in their town and join their ESN section!   While a good relationship with the International Office secures funds for ESN events, they mainly fund themselves by selling ESNcards. However, they are in the process of applying for city funds in order to expand the scope of their activities, and they are still awaiting the results of two projects that have been written with their neighbouring section, ESN Dubrovnik. Thumbs up for section cooperation!   ESN Split celebrates its fourth birthday this year, and they say this is their most successful year so far. We can confirm that just by looking at all the creative events they organise for their Erasmus students: varying from theme parties to cultural activities and field trips. Apart from being successful with international students, they are also successful in engaging their local community. Their flagship project, “You’re a student? Travel!”, shows a successful cooperation with another NGO in their district, Square of Youth Kaštela. They have also established good cooperations with other associations, especially when it comes to implementing international ESN projects. It seems that ESN Split is slowly mov’in to the stars!   While we are on the subject of international ESN projects, this section loves implementing them! They are successful at organising SocialErasmus Week, participating in national events and organising at least one SocialErasmus activity each month. This year they have managed to raise the number of ESNcard partners from 13 to 25, received a “Mov’in Activity of the Month” recognition for one of their Mov’in Europe activities in January, and received an award, given by their National Board, for the best Responsible Party organised.

They are also presented at the national level of ESN Croatia - one of their members holds the position of Treasurer in the National Board, and the other is a National IEG Coordinator. As they grow, they aspire to send more people to the national and, possibly, international level. Their members are always present at national and international events, and they hope to serve as the Organising Committee of an international event in the near future.


ESN Split takes pride in how close they are to their Erasmus students - they are interested in making long-term friendships, not time-limited gatherings that originate from necessity.    “Even Erasmus student often say that we live Erasmus with them.”   There’s only one way to describe ESN Split’s current situation - they are going places!   by Tajana Mohnacki
Categories: ESN International

Open Call: Web Developer

ESN International news - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 14:38

Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is the largest student network in Europe with its international headquarters in Brussels. ESN is present in nearly 500 Higher Education Institutions in 38 countries. ESN has been supporting student mobility since 1989 and conducts transnational surveys and research projects focused on mobility and the internationalisation of higher education and student accommodation.

ESN is looking for a Web Developer to join the Secretariat in Brussels.

Required skills and experience

  • Background in computer science, engineering or related fields
  • Experience with Drupal and module development
  • Knowledge of PHP, HTML(5), CSS(3), JavaScript/jQuery

Main tasks and responsibilities

  • Developing a Drupal-based online platform
  • Writing project documentation
  • Assisting the Web Projects Administrator office with IT-related tasks

Terms and conditions

  • Full-time position
  • One-year contract from May 2016
  • Transport costs partly covered and health insurance in Brussels covered

Why work at the ESN Headquarters

  • Casual, friendly, multicultural environment
  • Professional web development environment
  • Work using latest technologies and tools on web development

For a more details, please refer to the PDF attached. 

To apply, please send your motivation letter and CV to by Wednesday 4th of May 2016 23:59 CET. Please use the subject line "Web Developer". Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions regarding the position.

Attachment Files:  2016 04 Open Call Web Developer.pdf
Categories: ESN International

21st April: ExchangeAbility Day!

ESN International news - Wed, 20/04/2016 - 17:25

On April 21st, the Erasmus Student Network will rally volunteers from its 500 sections in celebration of ExchangeAbility Day 2016.

ExchangeAbility Day is a new initiative of the ExchangeAbility project that will bring Europe together through events and activities that raise awareness about obstacles faced daily by students with disabilities. The initiative also aims to promote mobility to students with disabilities.

Studying abroad is becoming more popular and an ever increasing amount of students go on a student exchange every year. However, when it comes to students with disabilities, the numbers are not increasing at the same rate. That is why the Erasmus Student Network believes that it is high time to improve the conditions for these students. A parallel goal of the project is to make ESN more inclusive and accessible as an organisation.

On ExchangeAbility Day, ESN sections from all around Europe will organise events and activities under the ExchangeAbility project, focusing this year on the topic of accessibility. As a follow-up of this day a social media campaign entitled 'What is accessibility for you?' will be organised on April 24th to raise awareness on this topic. ESN volunteers and Erasmus+ students are encouraged to post photos or short videos explaining what accessibility means to them. The aim of the ampaign is to raise awareness about accessibility and its importance for the inclusion of students with disabilities in mainstream culture.

ExchangeAbility Day 2016 is set to prepare the Network for the year 2016-2017, when it assumes the status of Flagship Project of the Erasmus Student Network. To follow the event, use the hashtags #ExchangeAbilityDay, #WhatIsAccessibility and #THISisESN.

Categories: ESN International

Be our new neighbour

ESN International news - Fri, 15/04/2016 - 13:35

A nice (net)working place for organisations active in the field of HE and in an awesome place which is well located, with easy access to the European Commission, European Parliament and public transportation (2min walk to Maalbeek, 3 min walk to Schuman).

Both ESN and European University Foundation as organisations active in the field of youth and Higher Education already being in the building. We’re looking to host: NGOs active in the field of youth and HE, Innovative (social) start-ups, representation offices in Brussels.

120 Rue Joseph II, 1000 Bruxelles
Two newly renovated office rooms of 22,6m2 and 20,8m2
Approximately 1700€ including all charges A few minutes’ walk from metro stations Maelbeek and Schuman
Walking distance to both European Commission and European Parliament Access to common area and meeting rooms
Friendly neighbours and NGO environment
Moving in: early July 2016

For more information: and

Attachment Files:  Be our new neighbour.pdf
Categories: ESN International

Students’ verdicts on university teaching revealed in U-Multirank survey

ESN International news - Fri, 08/04/2016 - 08:08

U-Multirank, the largest global university ranking tool, will today give a voice to students by revealing the universities they have rated satisfactory for teaching and learning.

Based on a survey exclusive to U-Multirank of over 105,000 students around the world who have rated their own study programmes, the announcement will be made at today’s Annual General Meeting of the Erasmus Student Network in Warsaw, Poland. 

These findings are drawn from the annual student survey conducted by U-Multirank as part of its exhaustive research into ‘learning and teaching’, just one of the five ‘dimensions’ or areas of performance by which it measures more than 1,300 universities in over 90 countries around the world. By splitting performance into these dimensions, U-Multirank can reveal the diverse strengths that different universities offer whether in learning experience, research, internationalisation or social and economic impact. This provides students with a much richer picture of excellence from traditional rankingsthat focus on research reputation. 

Safi Sabuni, president of ESN, welcomed the latest edition of U-Multirank:

“With its multi-dimensional approach, U-Multirank gives a voice to students for students. There is a real need for university comparisons that look across all different aspects of performance excellence, whether it’s internationalisation or teaching and learning, especially given the increasing number of mobile students.” 

The fourth U-Multirank rankings will be released in 2017. Institutions that would like to participate can express their interest on the U-Multirank website

Categories: ESN International

When a hobby turns into a life-changing experience

ESN International news - Tue, 05/04/2016 - 12:35

ESN changes lives every day. The number of new, inspiring people you meet and the range of activities and enthusiasm turn your life around so much that you can’t imagine leaving all of that behind one day.

Stanislav Staněk is a great example of how volunteering can change your life. He was an active member in ESN until the end of 2015, and during his time in the organisation, he was the president of ESN Czech Republic, a workshop coordinator and an Eduk8er. His work in the network was inspiring for many members who came after him. While finishing his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry and working as a teacher and a researcher at the university may be his priorities at the moment, he admits that his career in ESN made non-formal education a more appealing field to him and that he plans to steer his future in that direction.

“I realized that empowering people through nonformal education is the most rewarding activity and I will forever be grateful to ESN for helping me discover it.”

ESN exceeded his expectations in an unimaginable way because it offers much more than meets the eye. There is so much space for personal growth and the most difficult part is to choose the right path for yourself―he says that creating an environment where young people can grow and gain valuable skills for their future shifted his point of view and opened his mind. Also, being part of a community that is creating something really beautiful and meaningful is simply magical.

He claims that ESN changed his life for the better―it pushed his boundaries in many ways, which helped him grow personally. When it comes to learning experiences, he says that he had learned a lot about communication and team cooperation, and something more about being open-minded and tolerant.

Being in ESN also gave him a chance to learn about other cultures and travel to different countries. Since his first experience in Liège, Belgium, he knew that the Eduk8 project is the right thing for him, and the training in Cluj-Napoca, Romania rocked his world even more. He realised that that is what he wants to do in life, and to this day he cherishes it as his most valuable ESN-related experience.

We are all very well acquainted with formal learning and all of its advantages and disadvantages, but ESN allows us to bash in all the glory of informal learning. We experience the teachings and skills development in a different way and, in return, our life adapts a different shape.


Categories: ESN International

Launch of the ESNblog

ESN International news - Sun, 03/04/2016 - 17:33

Today marks the launch of the ESNblog, a brand new platform by the Erasmus Student Network, catering to Erasmus+ exchange and internationally minded students and youth. With content specially tailored for an international audience, the ESNblog will serve weekly doses of informative as well as entertaining articles to help you make the most of your mobile lifestyle.

As part of the launch, the Erasmus Student Network has published a series of articles for Erasmus students - with topics from how to make the most of your Erasmus+ experience, to the top destinations for Erasmus students.

Visit the ESNblog now - the voice of the Erasmus generation!

Categories: ESN International

Section in the Spotlight: ESN Timisoara

ESN International news - Thu, 31/03/2016 - 16:31

We think it's prime time we leave Poland and see the other municipal beauties ESN’s network has to offer. Let’s hit the road to the scenic Timisoara where we can find this month’s Section in the Spotlight. Let’s all give a round of applause to ESN Timisoara!

Being founded only back in 2011, ESN Timisoara is a relatively new section, yet they already have had a significant impact on the network, starting off with organising the National Boards Meeting in 2013 to the Eduk8 Starter just last month. As you can see, these guys don’t rest on any laurels!

In terms of flagship projects, ESN Timisoara organises something truly special. In the true spirit of students helping others, ESN members and Erasmus students alike work together creating beautiful trinkets, which in turn are sold to obtain enough funds to support children in local foster homes. This lovely project has already been recognised by ESN international and has been awarded with a Star Award in 2015!

Their originality and desire to help others is not limited to just one great event. Just last christmas they launched yet another project called “Santa’s little helpers”, where homemade decorations were sold to raise enough money to buy presents for the local orphanages. It looks like SocialErasmus has a special place in these guys’ hearts!

What really makes these folks special is not necessarily just their eagerness to share ESN’s values but the way they treat each other.

“Our section is not just a team, but a family with goods and bads, we work together to greater deeds.”

This family spirit is what propels this section into a league of their own. A team may accomplish any given task, but a family will stay together, regardless of the situation and leave no woman or man behind. Members of ESN Timisoara put this ideology into practice when they organised The Eduk8 Starter. As many sections know, organising a multinational event creates enough stressful situations for a couple life spans. ESN Timisoara were put to the test during this event, but because of their teamwork, commitment and family-orientated attitude they prevailed together!

This family spirit is accentuated by the fact that each year the local board organises a three day training camp where members have a chance to embrace ESN’s values and join the family.

In many ways ESN Timisoara does not meet our expectations of a section worthy of the Section in the Spotlight Award, it exceeds them. Seldom do we encounter a section so eager to do more despite having done so much in such a little amount of time. Their ambitions to excel above others while maintaining traditional values such as treating each other like one big family really gives ESN Timisoara that special shine which makes them this month’s winner. ESN Timisoara, we salute you, and wish you all the best in the future.

by Chris Ptasinski

Categories: ESN International

A Volunteer’s CV - how to get it right

ESN International news - Tue, 29/03/2016 - 12:51

Sure, you’ve seen these articles before: “10 tips on writing a successful CV”, “Top tips for writing a perfect CV”, and all the others. And we truly hope you’ve read them, we’re not here to tell you you have to do it completely differently. What we want to show you is how you can make your volunteering experience boost that already amazing document describing who you are in the big world.

Let’s get it going, here are the do’s and don’t’s of a volunteer’s CV.

Volunteering can be work experience

We couldn’t stress this one out enough. Although many CV frameworks say that volunteering is a separate block in a CV, what matters in the end is what you’ve been doing. And what you’ve been doing is giving you the skills and experience that is needed in the big world. Have you lead a team of people? That is a work experience just like any other job, don’t underestimate yourself. Have you dealt with customers or organised events? These are the skills that might give you the extra edge you’ll need!

Don’t overthink the structure

A good CV is a simple CV. There are so many “creative” CV out there, however, think about if you find what you need in those. Imagine you’re reading 20 CVs a day—if you don’t find what you’re looking for in the first 5 seconds it’s most probably going to trash. Keep it simple is the general rule, just like with so many other things. Intro, work experience, education, skills & languages, and interests do the trick in 99% of the cases. One block below each other, just like we are used to read. No need to challenge Monet’s painting with what needs to clear and readable.

Make it look good

Readable is actually the key word in here. Make sure you adjust the CV to the medium you’re sending it in. Is it a printed CV? Invest in some quality paper. Are you sending it via email? Save it as a .pdf file to make sure it looks the same on every computer. What about the design? You don’t have to be an award-winning graphic designer to make your CV look good. Read a little bit about typography. Think about what are the important bits and what is their structure. Usually this comprises of what was your position, what was the company, how long you did it, and what you did. Still feels like an overwhelming task? Try some of the online tools, such as Europass, EnhanCV, or Kickresume.

Here’s an example using just the basic formatting tools any text editor gives you:


President at ESN Reykjavík
Erasmus Student Network Iceland
January 2015 – January 2016

Leading 8 different teams of total 70 colleagues we take care incoming exchange students to Iceland. During my mandate we managed to organise more than 30 events for the exchange and local students and expanded our core team to include 3 more volunteer positions. This experience awarded me with great leadership and stress-reliance skills that make me an efficient team coordinator.

Be concise

And that’s it! Have you noticed how to-the-point the position description is? The person reading your CV is not interested in all the stories, as much as the phrase Curriculum Vitae might be misleading. They want to hear about what you accomplished. What did you do in those volunteer positions? Have you overcome a major crisis? That’s worth mentioning. Have you increased the traffic on your website by a significant amount? Say how much. Numbers work magic when used in the right place.

Be relevant

Every CV you sent should be tailored to the needs of the position. And yet it’s so easy to fall into the I-need-to-show-everything-I’ve-ever-done trap. Stop for a moment. Is it really relevant for your employer to see where you’ve done your secondary school? Possibly the cashier job you took in the 9th grade might not be too interesting if you’re applying for a programmer position. On the other hand, showing the opportunity you had to develop your soft-skills through your volunteering might be gold. Your CV should fill no more than one, maximum two A4 pages. And these pages have to be gold. Not gold for you but gold for the employer. Have you thought about adding your three most relevant skills you have and how they can help the company?

Leave the fluff out

Ever heard of the term “buzzwords”? Well, they don’t work anymore. It’s exactly those words that make you look like an accomplished vacuum cleaner salesman. Being a “team player” and seeing “synergies” are basically meaningless these days. Instead, focus on actionable words, such as “improved”, “created”, and “increased” when mentioning your volunteering experience.

Include references

Now to give your words the actual value, the “improvement”, “creation”, and “increase” need to be supported by facts. The easiest way to do this is to include a contact for someone who worked with you or managed you. These people will be more than happy to vouch for you, wouldn’t they? Leave a contact for your volunteer colleagues and they will most probably be contacted, supporting the statements you made in the CV. Also don’t forget to link your online profiles, such as a LinkedIn account or your website.

Show your interests

This is a part of the CV that is commonly given zero interest by the HR people. Mainly because “music”, “friends”, and “travelling” take the most common top spots in this list. Why don’t you show things that can help you impress the employer? Here’s where all the extra volunteering comes in the spotlight. How about your active involvement in the youth rights European scene or being an avid blogger? In the end, any small detail can push you forward.

Keep it up-to-date

This should be a tradition. Going back to your CV every couple of months and reviewing it. Life changes rapidly. Updating the dates, switching the 2-month long experience from 5 years ago for something more current. You might even find some better ways to phrase some bits here and there. It is the process of constant iteration, improving it little by little that makes an outstanding CV.

Don’t forget the work experience

This one goes without saying, right? Most of what we said here applies to the work experience. This doesn’t mean though you shouldn’t treat your volunteering experience the same way. After all, what you did matters the most, not whether it was for money.

And that’s it. Run your CV by this checklist before sending it out next time. You’ll make the hiring people a little bit happier. And you know what a happy hiring person means.


Categories: ESN International

Statement on the efforts of ESN Spain

ESN International news - Mon, 21/03/2016 - 17:30

This Press Release was originally published by ESN Spain.

The Erasmus Student Network is the largest student organisation in Europe, founded in 1989 to support and develop student exchange programmes. ESN is a non-profit organisation present in 500 Higher Education Institutions in 38 countries, with 15,000 volunteers offering their services to 200,000 international students. The mission of ESN is to represent international students on local, national and European level and to advocate for better conditions of student mobility and volunteering. In close cooperation with universities, National Agencies of Erasmus and the European Commission, ESN provides opportunities for cultural and self-development under the principle of ‘Students Helping Students’.
Since the accident happened, twelve representatives from the local ESN sections in Barcelona that organised the trip (ESN UB, UAB, UPC and UPF) and the National Board of ESN Spain went to Tortosa from Barcelona, Almería and Valencia. These representatives have been working in close cooperation with the Police to help identify the victims and offer support to affected people. The priority of the Erasmus Student Network has been to collaborate with the police, the authorities and the affected universities, especially the University of Barcelona
The Erasmus Student Network Spain would like to, again, thank the volunteers and emergency services for their diligent work in these sad circumstances, as well as all the members of our Network that have shown solidarity from all over Europe. In addition we would like to thank the University of Barcelona for their collaboration in these unfortunate circumstances.

We wish, for all those involved, strength in this moment of deep sorrow and again send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

Press Release downloadable in English, Spanish and Catalan.

Categories: ESN International

Statement on traffic accident near Freginals, Spain

ESN International news - Sun, 20/03/2016 - 15:02

This Press Release was originally published by ESN Spain.

Erasmus Student Network Spain is deeply saddened to inform about the traffic accident suffered by a bus in which exchange students and volunteers from the organisation were travelling. The accident took place in the early morning on the AP-7 highway, near Freginals, when the students were on their way to Barcelona coming back from the “Fallas” festivity in Valencia. Unfortunately, there have been several fatal victims and injured students.
The emergency services are currently working in the area and have moved the injured people to the nearest hospitals. Volunteers of the Erasmus Student Network are in close contact with the authorities and work together with them. At this point, the authorities are responsible for the publication of any additional information.
Taking into consideration the sensitivity of the issue, Erasmus Student Network Spain would like to request the public for discretion in respect for the families and friends, to whom we send our deepest condolences. In addition, we would like to thank all the volunteers and emergency services for their diligent work in these sad circumstances.
The official telephone number of the authorities for further information is 012 from Catalonia or +34 900400012 from other places.

Press Release downloadable in English, Spanish and Catalonian.

Categories: ESN International

International experiences can lead to an international job

ESN International news - Fri, 11/03/2016 - 15:49

Daphne Scherer is another example of a person who has used her volunteer work for ESN to her benefit. Today, she works for the European Commission.

Born in Genova, Daphne is Italian by nationality but has enjoyed a life in an international context, both through studying and working as a volunteer. Already in 2003, Daphne had her first experience abroad, when she attended a high school cultural exchange. After one year in the US, Daphne started her undergraduate degree in Italy.

However, she still wanted to be a part of an international community. Even before enrolling at the university, she joined the local ESN section. For three years, she was responsible for the Tandem project and organising language cafés. Like many ESNers, she also used the opportunity to practice her foreign language skills while volunteering.

Even after several years working for ESN locally, Daphne wasn’t satisfied with her international experiences. So, for her Master’s, Daphne moved to Denmark where she attended the University of Aalborg and graduated with a degree in Culture, Communication and Globalisation. ESN Denmark was a big part of her time in Aalborg. After graduating, she moved to Paris for the European Voluntary Service.  

During her EVS, Daphne got even more involved in ESN. First, through the PRIME project in 2009 where she worked on the continuous challenges concerning recognition procedures for outgoing exchange students. Daphne also worked on preparing the PRIME project in 2010, and operated as a National Representative for ESN Italy and Vice-Chair for the newly established International Committee for Education. Through her work in ESN, she got the possibility to attend the Bulgarian Education Summer Training II in Bulgaria and was part of setting up the Eduk8 project.

Her volunteer work in ESN helped her achieve her goals. More than anything, her previous experience with the PRIME project helped her gain a position at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture. In her position, Daphne is working with higher education and Erasmus.

For Daphne, having always dreamt about working in the field of higher education, the dream has come true. She has no doubt about what helped her achieve this:

“This was always my dream and ESN gave me the opportunity to seize it!”


Written by: Jesús Escrivá Muñoz, Sara Panis, Stefan Jahnke
Edited by: Olav Mydland

Categories: ESN International

Warsaw, Host City of AGM 2016

ESN International news - Wed, 09/03/2016 - 21:25

From 7th to 10th April 2016, Warsaw will play host to the Annual General Meeting, the largest student conference of its kind in Europe. The event is organised every year by the Erasmus Student Network (ESN).

As a de-facto representation of the Erasmus generation, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) is the largest European student conference focusing on the theme of mobility. Organised by the local member association ESN SGH, this prestigious event will be held in Warsaw this year, turning the city into the ‘Capital of Erasmus’ for four days. During this time, Warsaw will host a delegation of 1,200 students representing 500 Higher Education Institutions from 38 countries to debate not only the future of the organisation itself, but also the broader role of internationally oriented youth in Europe.

"We need youth to know that no matter their education, economic or
ethnic background, their voice matters!" -
Safi Sabuni, President of ESN

Indeed, with more than 25 years of experience, ESN is the largest student organisation in Europe, actively involved in the fields of youth mobility and student exchange. The organisation contributes to the construction of an active and dynamic academic environment by supporting and developing academic mobility and the creation of better job prospects for youth.

As such, a central feature of the AGM will be an International Infomarket boasting the participation of representatives from hundreds of universities from across Europe, as well as a host of young international companies. The infomarket will be the most comprehensive study fair organised in Poland, catering to the local student population. Further supporting the theme of youth employability, over 50 workshops under the banner of non-formal education will also be on offer at the AGM.

In line with its motto ‘Students Helping Students’, ESN actively supports European integration and intercultural exchange through its numerous activities and the work of its volunteers. One of the most symbolic moments of the AGM will be the International Flag Parade, with delegates dressing in country colours to walk down the streets of Warsaw in celebration of ESN’s core values - unity in diversity, cooperation in integration and the love for Europe as an area of peace and cultural exchange.

To follow the event on social media, use the hashtags #AGMwarsaw and #THISisESN. Updates will also be posted through and

The press release for AGM Warsaw 2016 can be downloaded in various languages below:

Attachment Files:  AGM 2016 Press Release (CZ).pdf AGM 2016 Press Release (DE).pdf AGM 2016 Press Release (EN).pdf AGM 2016 Press Release (FR).pdf
Categories: ESN International

Section in the Spotlight: ESN UEK

ESN International news - Tue, 01/03/2016 - 10:21

We won’t be crossing any borders this month, but a four-hour trip from Warsaw takes us to the friendly neighbouring city with a rich history, that goes by the name of Krakow. Raise your glass for the Section in the Spotlight of March: ESN UEK!

With a long, shiny history, the section was founded in 2003 (a whopping 13 years ago) and have since been making the Erasmus experience better for more than 3,000 students.

ESN UEK has experience with hosting both national and international events, as well as receiving recognition for the work is not unfamiliar to them. They are proud owners of STARlight 2014 (Best ESN Section) which they snapped at AGM Milano, and they keep on shining! Need further proof? Magdalena Wlodarska, former President of ESN UEK, was elected as the new National Representative of ESN Poland just last month!

Today, ESN UEK has 85 active members. The section organises two recruitment drives per year - a long and tedious process but, thoroughly worth it because it produces creative, capable and hardworking members.

“Members of ESN UEK never complain about boredom, as they always have a chance for self-improvement.”

New members are offered the chance to learn more about the structure of ESN and meet senior members at the biannual “Newbie Training Camp”, while more experienced members participate in training camps where they have a chance to improve their skills. Non-members are offered the chance to participate in a mentorship system intended for new Erasmus students, and at the International Open Day as volunteers. 

In cooperation with other student organisations from the University, ESN UEK organises the annual Juwenalia Concert. Besides the concert itself, other activities also take place at the event, such as Fashion Night, the only fashion show in Poland organised solely by students.

They have not one, but two flagship projects. Tour De Krakow consists of sightseeing and city games for all visitors and Blog Erasmus, a nationwide blog, is a source of information for all Polish students when it comes to Erasmus. The blog offers information about internships, exchanges and the ExchangeAbility programme. Talk about Mov’in Europe, huh?

There are several teams in ESN UEK dealing with Erasmus students and their stay in Krakow. Members of the sports, travel, culture, party and social teams work hard to make life in Krakow an unforgettable experience for all students. Watch out for this one - PR managers, apart from Facebook, Instagram and weekly newsletters, also use Snapchat to keep Erasmus students informed about upcoming events.

If you ask me, ESN UEK is not only the Section in the Spotlight for March; the lights are on them the whole year through! They clearly have no problems motivating their members to do their work or to climb up the ladder. Keep up the good work!

“We take great pride in keeping in touch with the community.”

by Tajana Mohnacki

Categories: ESN International

Introducing.. HousErasmus+!

ESN International news - Fri, 26/02/2016 - 12:14

Supported by the European Commission, the Erasmus Student Network is embarking on a brand new project that aims to improve the housing situation of international students.

Over the course of two years, we will investigate the challenges international students and trainees face when looking for accommodation abroad. Through in-depth analyses of current experiences, we will extract best practices and propose recommendations to policy-makers, universities and housing providers, as well as students and trainees themselves.

Our goal? To ensure that affordable and quality housing is accessible to young people on mobility experiences, and that the fear of not finding a place to stay does not stop young people from taking part in the beautiful international adventure that we all cherish so much.

As part of this research, ESN is launching a survey for current and former international students and trainees to gather input on the obstacles faced during mobility experiences. We need your help to spread the word and ensure that we gather information from all over!

To thank you for your participation, our partner Uniplaces is giving away 2 iPads as prizes for the lucky winners that will be selected at random! Of course, your help will also contribute to our efforts in helping to provide proper and affordable accommodation for international students all around Europe.

The HousErasmus+ Team

Categories: ESN International

Growing into a Unicorn - Part 2

ESN International news - Fri, 19/02/2016 - 17:03

In the last article in the series we were introduced to Lucy - an up-and-coming nurse - learning the three categories that are crucial to becoming a unicorn in the job market. This article will be all about learning. How to acquire the right skills, knowledge, and attitude.

Have you been told the same story by your parents as the rest of us? You probably have. It’s the one that goes “Study hard, get good grades, and you’ll get a job.” Not that completely wrong, it’s just that there is a difference between education and learning. As Joi Ito said, "Education is what people do to byou, learning is what do to yourself."

What exactly is learning and how is it different? Learning is the pursuit of knowledge, pursuit of getting new skills, pursuit of becoming better. Learning is not confined to childhood or classrooms, schools or universities.

Think about learning as a game of Tetris. Finding ways the separate pieces of information fit into each other in the best way possible. You play on your own, there is no opponent, nobody is trying to make you lose. And yet, if you recall there is no way to win Tetris. Your score just keeps increasing the longer you play.

Why is it that everyone keeps mentioning studying? Mainly because it’s the most common way of learning, especially if you’re following a traditional education programme. Let’s open our eyes though. There is so much more to learning than just studying!

Formal education

Let’s start with the obvious. All of us have gone through some sort of formal education. Perhaps this setting sounds familiar to you: The teachers stand in the front of the classrooms, you listen to them, push yourselves to study for the exams, and get rewarded by a shiny diploma in the end. While some people flourish in this system, many others don’t.

This is not to spread doom and gloom about formal education. Formal education definitely has its place in the society - mainly for acquiring knowledge, such as Lucy’s medical one -it’s just important to point out that formal education on its own is not enough nowadays; there are also other ways to learn.

Non-formal learning

When all done well we are learning without even knowing it. The roles of the teacher/student become very blurry, the learning environment is very flexible, the learning itself might not even be the main activity.

Imagine this setting: Lucy the nurse participates in a workshop on dealing with patients. The participants discuss the different approaches there are to certain situations and act out a couple of scenarios live using the participants as actors. The leader of the workshop is on the same level with everyone else and only acts to steer the workshop in the right direction.

While there might not be a clear outcome of the workshop, Lucy has still learned a lot, mainly from the participants themselves, from experiencing the situations hands-on, and from being in a buzzing engaged environment. Non-formal education is the best way to go to improve your soft-skills and attitude. Ever heard of Eduk8? ESN has a whole learning programme focused on improving these aspects of ESNers!

Informal learning

That’s not all though. Just like there were three categories to look for in the last article, there are three ways to learn. This last one is totally up to you - also called learning-by-doing. It’s where you have to push yourself to learn more, purely fueled by your own curiosity and will. It’s where there are no curricula or teachers. It’s where you take the challenge and jump right into a task outside your comfort zone. It’s Lucy spending her own free time to practise and improve her skills. It’s keeping yourself on top of your industry, learning every day.

There you have it, the three ways to learn and improve your skills, knowledge, and attitude. Remember, keep these in balance and look for diverse ways to learn new things! Now when we know what to look for and how to learn, the only thing missing is learning how to convince the employers it’s what they want. We will cover these in the next articles.


Categories: ESN International

Open Letter to President Tusk

ESN International news - Thu, 18/02/2016 - 11:29

The Erasmus Student Network, along with 13 other pan-European youth organisations, have called upon the European Council to preserve the principles of the Schengen Area.

In an open letter to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, leaders of the organisations highlight the need for sustainable multilateral solutions to European border control. This is in light of recent responses by European Member States towards migratory pressure.

Open borders are one of Europe's greatest milestones - we want to keep it that way.

Please find the letter below in PDF.

Attachment Files:  Open letter to President Tusk.pdf
Categories: ESN International

Volunteering: Beyond Relevance, Gaining Competence

ESN International news - Tue, 16/02/2016 - 16:40

Every success story begins with a first step forward and things following naturally. As a volunteer experience, ESN has been a stepping stone for many, now successful, individuals. This was also the case for Damien Lamy-Preto, who works for Education First in France as a Business Developer.

After his Erasmus exchange, Damien decided to join ESN in addition to his studies and work in architecture, but ESN completely changed his career. He has been involved in ESN for almost ten years, starting from a section member, to the section President of ESN Nancy. Later, he continued his journey as the National Treasurer of ESN France and lastly he became the Treasurer of ESN International.

Through his experience in ESN, Damien developed an entrepreneurial spirit. He believed that developing himself as much as he did was only possible due to the love he has for the mission and vision of ESN. So much of what he achieved was due to the effort he put forth and his belief that ESN could be great.

His hard work and involvement was rewarded with trust from the network, which allowed him to further learn and develop as he was working to keep that trust. After years of experience, on all levels, he is still convinced that ESN can always do better if the belief and trust in ESN, and its members, continue to grow.

Thanks to his volunteer experience in ESN, Damien pursued a career that was very different from his studies. He compares his choice with other students who followed an MBA path to build up their careers and now when he looks back he believes he made a good choice. In his own words:

“In ESN, nothing is impossible. The work fields of ESN are really broad: Education, Management, Finances, IT and so on. I found a real possibility to grow personally and professionally and thanks to the size of the Network this was a long and fruitful adventure.”

In ESN, he had the chance to work with many different institutions and companies which helped him build extensive personal relations and networks. He developed numerous skills in finance, languages, education management, and leadership, but above all, he values his friendship skills, which he believes will be essential in his future.

He is convinced that if it hadn’t been for ESN he wouldn’t have had these vast opportunities to improve himself at the level he did and he would have also never gotten in touch with Education First, where he works now.

Damien’s experience is a great example for every volunteer in ESN. From time to time, your volunteering work might not always seem important to you, or be relevant to your field, but you are learning a lot and developing competences you do not even realise at the time. All of this self-improvement will be helpful in your near future.

ESN is so much more than meets the eye. Search no more for what is relevant. By adding value to the network, you will also be adding value to yourself. ESN itself might not be the reason a company will employ you, but the skills and experiences you acquire from volunteering in ESN will. 


Written by: Jesús Escrivá Muñoz, Sara Panis, Stefan Jahnke
Edited by: Cüneyt Akso

Categories: ESN International

Growing into a Unicorn - Part 1

ESN International news - Mon, 08/02/2016 - 22:52

A unicorn. The synonym of success in the professional world. After all, the term itself was coined for the most successful startup companies in the world. But this article is not about Silicon Valley or startups. This article is about you.

It’s not easy to spot a unicorn - especially the mythical one - and yet becoming ‘a unicorn’ seems to be a universally applicable goal. Stand out in the crowd and shine. Don’t we all want this? Sadly, there’s no universal recipe, but we can all work on understanding ourselves and selling our assets in the best possible way. This article is the first in a series on how to become a unicorn yourself - in the job market.

If you’re sitting in a classroom, look around you. These people are just a tiny fraction of all students of your age. Students that will enter the job market at the same time as you will. In fact, around 20 million students graduated in 2015. Now look around the class again. These people will enter the job market having the same education as you.

Our generation is constantly told we’re special. And we are, when it comes to our families. Out in the wild we’ve got to show something extra to stand out if we want to succeed.

It’s easy to say “something extra”, but what exactly should it be? Well, let’s actually take a step back and start from the very beginning. Ask yourself a question: “What am I bringing to the table?” Let’s take the example of Lucy. Lucy is applying for a job to become a nurse. Lucy gave the question a thought and came up with the following answer: “I know how to handle medical equipment, I have an excellent overview of pharmaceutics and I am a gentle yet firm person.” Sounds simple enough, right? Let’s take a close look at Lucy’s answer.


The first thing mentioned by Lucy - “I know how to handle medical equipment” - is a skill. Skills are simply the ability to perform a certain task. Do you know how to cook scrambled eggs? Congratulations, that’s a skill - and very valuable one for having a delicious breakfast.

However, not all skills are relevant for all tasks. Cooking eggs might not be the core skill for being a nurse; that’s why it’s important that we know which skills are the ones we can proudly present to the world. Knowing your skillset well is a must - and knowing which of those skills to show at the right time, that’s what makes you stand out. Don’t worry, we will show you how later on.


Skills are closely tied with knowledge - a good example is Lucy’s 'excellent overview of pharmaceutics'. Knowledge is usually associated with what you learn during your time at the university, but having knowledge itself doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good or useful.

What you’re looking for is pairing the knowledge with the relevant skills, that’s where the sweet spot is. On top of that, in today’s fast-paced world, it’s the ability to acquire knowledge quickly, the ability to jump into an issue without knowledge and learning along the way, the ability to go 80% using the resources we have, that makes for an A-player.

That concept sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it?


What would skills and knowledge be without the third to the Triforce. Being 'a gentle yet firm person' is Lucy’s secret sauce. You’ve probably heard the words 'soft skills' already. Being a team player, being resilient, being persistent on one hand and patient on the other. These are what binds the whole A-player together.

Skills and knowledge on their own are simply not enough today; it’s the extra mile, expressed by the attitudes we are showing to the outer world, that makes a difference in the end. And of course - as you have probably guessed it already - they are the hardest ones to obtain. The soft skills and attitude are completely up to you, to your personal growth.

There we go, the three categories we should focus on to become a unicorn in the job market. So, do you have the right skills, knowledge, attitude? We will look into how to acquire these in the next article.


Categories: ESN International

Responsible Party Enters 6th Year

ESN International news - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 18:49

For the 6th year running, Erasmus Student Network (ESN) and Pernod Ricard have renewed their partnership on the Responsible Party project. Since 2010, the Group and the pan-European association ESN, supported by the European Commission and assisting exchange students in more than 37 European countries, have jointly organised Responsible Parties during which student 'ambassadors' explain to their peers why responsible consumption is important.

Within 5 years, more than 250 000 students were reached in 28 EU countries as well as in Turkey, Serbia and Switzerland. As of September 2015, an independent scientific study is being conducted by researchers at the Univeristy of Louvain (Belgium) to measure the programme’s efficiency as well as obtain information on the drinking patterns of both local and exchange students.

After the partnership renewal, Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard and Christian Porta, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Europe / Middle East / Africa, invited representatives of ESN to join them for a moment of convivialité to answer questions on the social responsibility of wine and spirits producers. Coming from 18 European countries, twenty students took the opportunity to question them directly about Pernod Ricard’s commitment to corporate social responsibility.

For more than two hours, the students initiated debate on the Group’s commitment to be a 'responsible actor'. Alexandre Ricard and Christian Porta had the opportunity to explain how protecting youngsters from binge drinking is on the fundamentals of the Group’s initiatives, and reminded them that there could not be conviviality in excess.

Another topic that piqued the students’ interest was the internal control of advertising. How can we make sure that all of our brands’ commercial communications comply with both the Group’s and the industry’s commitments? Alexandre Ricard and Christian Porta explained the role of the Responsible Marketing Panel, a committee of internal experts who review more than 500 campaigns a year before they’re released.

Commenting on the event, CEO Alexandre Ricard explained,

"This gathering is an excellent opportunity to know ESN’s expectations in terms of corporate social responsibility. I’m glad to see those young adults are attached to promote responsible drinking and volunteer their time to raise their peers’ awareness with the Responsible Party programme and contribute to its success.”

Signing the partnership with Alexandre Ricard, Safi Sabuni, President of ESN, acknowledged the time that Alexandre and Christian both dedicated to the evening.

“It’s a real pleasure to see two leaders taking the time to interact with students. ESN representatives were impressed by their honesty and humility, and are happy to partner up  with Pernod Ricard in the Responsible Party programme,” she commented.


Erasmus Student Network is the biggest student organisation in Europe, founded in 1989 to support and develop student exchange. ESN is present in more than 500 Higher Education Institutions in 37 countries, involving around 14,500 volunteers and offering its services to 190,000 international students. ESN works for the creation of a more mobile and flexible educational environment by supporting and developing student exchanges on different levels, and provides an intercultural experience to those students who cannot access a period abroad ('internationalisation at home'). For more information visit

For more information, contact:
Gaffar Rampage
Communication Manager

Categories: ESN International