What Is ESN?
ESN VMU (Erasmus Student Network of Vytautas Magnus University) is a part of Erasmus Student Network (ESN), one of the largest interdisciplinary student associations in Europe, which operates in Vytautas Magnus University. The main aim of the organization is to work in the interest of international students, improve their social and practical integration, give the opportunity for local students to learn about other cultures, develop their intercultural tolerance and teach them to appreciate volunteering and active citizenship. The organization works under the principle of SHS – Students Helping Students.
ESN VMU – Who? Where? When?
The section of the international organization ESN was established at Vytautas Magnus University in March of 2009 led by the initiative of VMU students who came back to Lithuania after their exchange studies. On 19th of December, 2012, ESN VMU was provided the official status of an organization of Vytautas Magnus University during the meeting of the VMU Rector’s Council.
Goals of ESN VMU
- Encouragement of volunteering, active citizenship and all-around improvement of VMU community;
- fostering human values and traditions;
- improvement of the international students’ social, cultural and practical integration at VMU, in Kaunas and in the entire Lithuania;
- helping to reintegrate university students who come back after exchange programs or internship placements;
- promotion of mutual respect, cultural understanding and tolerance of local and international students;
- enrichment of the local community by the various experiences of international students.
How to Join ESN VMU
If you are interested write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and become a member of the rapidly growing ESN VMU family! It’s time to ESN your life!
Projects and Activities
Since its inception, ESN VMU has implemented a large number of projects, events and initiatives dedicated not only to the international students but to the entire community of Kaunas as well.
- Close collaboration with the International Office allowed ESN VMU to contribute to the implementation of the project “Erasmus for Lithuanian Schools”, which was initiated by the Education Exchanges Support Foundation. The project, which included twelve schools in different parts of Lithuania, sought to promote tolerance, intercultural understanding and international awareness.
- The social project “ESN VMU for Kaunas Zoo” was a part of the international project Social Erasmus in our university, which supported the Kaunas Zoo by helping the wildcat.
- Erasmus for Lithuanian Schools: project initiated by VMU International Office, which included 6 different schools in 5 different cities of Lithuania. The main aims of this project were to encourage intercultural tolerance and understanding at the same time giving pupils the opportunity to get in touch with different cultures.
- Photo exhibition “Best Shots of Exchange” was held at Vero Cafe @ VMU, which showcased the best moments of student exchange experiences captured by both local and international students.
- The first-ever blood donation campaign “Be a Hero – It’s in Your Blood” was organized in Lithuania for international students studying in higher education institutions of Kaunas;
- “Cultural Nights” are the already traditional evening events, which were held for five semesters in a row so far. The main purpose of the project is to introduce Kaunas community to various cultures of the world, provide an opportunity for locals to get better acquainted with representatives of different cultures and try to break the existing stereotypes. In the spring of 2012, during the Annual General Meeting of ESN in Granada, “Cultural Nights” were rewarded as the best project in the entire Erasmus Student Network. During the national event “Mentors’ Days 2012”, organized by ESN Lithuania and Education Exchanges Support Foundation, the project was named “The Best Project” in the national “GoPublic” awards.
- ESN Lithuania together with Invest In Lithuania organized a project entitled “Multilingual Lithuania”. The main goal of this project is to invite Lithuanians to attend international students’ language courses for free. It is a great opportunity not only to learn a desired language but also to get acquainted with different cultures and to make new friends. Last season VMU students were able to choose from 15 languages, including Azerbaijani and Arabic.
- “Erasmus Forest” is ESN International project which aims to grow the Erasmus Forest in the entire European continent. ESN VMU have managed to plant 500 trees together with international students!
- ESN VMU and LSMUL Blood Donation Centre in Kaunas Clinics say: “Be a Hero – It’s in Your Blood”. This project was organized for three times now. It encourages Lithuanian and international students to give blood voluntarily and rejects any stereotypes about different types of blood.
- Nursing home visiting is one of many Social Erasmus activities. The main goal of the event was to devote attention to the senior citizens and to provide them with an opportunity to meet representatives of various cultures. ESN VMU members and international students organized a great talent show to the home’s residents.
- For the international students’ cultural integration, ESN VMU organized “Museum Days”. International students were able to explore different museums in Kaunas. Moreover, in collaboration with other sections in Kaunas, ESN members organized trips for international students to Vilnius, Trakai, seaside, Riga and even Saint Petersburg.