Erasmus at home
Erasmus Student Network Serbia is a non-governmental organization, a part of the Erasmus Student Network, the largest student association in Europe, which is present in more than 40 countries. ESN Serbia itself currently unites 3 sections from the largest cities in the country: Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš.
ESN Serbia is run by the National Board, which consists of three voluntary positions - President, Vice President, National Representative, whose work is supported by the National Communication Department, Web Project Administrator, HR Coordinator, and Research Coordinator.
ESN (Erasmus Student Network Novi Sad) is working to create a more mobile and flexible educational environment through student exchange, as well as providing that intercultural feeling at home.
In addition to providing all kinds of assistance to exchange students, ESN Novi Sad provides many opportunities for volunteers. The goals of this organization are: promoting the social and cultural integration of international students; promoting interculturality and diversity; promoting student mobility and accessibility; motivating and preparing domestic students for mobility and studying abroad; providing intercultural experience to those students who do not study abroad, but volunteer in the ESN local organization and promoting voluntary and joint activities.
The experiences shared by the exchange students contributed to me gaining a better insight into what student exchanges look like and how to prepare in advance for my future exchange. Communication between exchange students and volunteers is also at a high level. I can truly say that once I visit a country, I will be able to visit some of the friends I have made here, and vice versa
ESN encourages students to gain international experience by going on an exchange, but also by volunteering in a local ESN organization and thus gaining insight into different cultures. The activities organized in the local sections are numerous and relate to cultural and social events such as excursions and trips, competitions and games, movie nights, gahterings for getting to know each other, language cafes, Erasmus plus chat, parties and various cultural and artistic festivals and humanitarian events.
In half a year of volunteering at ESN, I progressed from an active member to application for event coordinator and planned application for coordinator, ie. ESN Communications Manager. The experience I gained is significant to me in many fields. I developed my communication and organizational skills, as well as other soft skills. I perfected my knowledge of foreign languages and volunteering served as a practice. The role of volunteers is manifold, so I had the opportunity to be a guide, event organizer, lecturer and promoter. Cooperation with volunteers has always been collegial, but also friendly. Working in a team is very important for further career advancement, which is why I think that volunteering in organizations of this type is a great opportunity for students.
The experiences shared by the exchange students contributed to me gaining a better insight into what student exchanges look like and how to prepare in advance for my future exchange. Communication between exchange students and volunteers is also at a high level. I can truly say that once I visit a country, I will be able to visit some of the friends I have made here, and vice versa.
All the events we had with foreign students gave us a different perspective of Novi Sad. By looking at Novi Sad from another angle, we broke a monotony of everyday life and got closer through various activities, cultural, entertainment and artistic. This intercultural environment is important not only to make exchange students feel accepted, but also to make us all feel united.
The acquaintances and friends I gained showed me that there are no boundaries that can separate people if they understand each other enough. Volunteering creates just that sense of connection, regardless of different backgrounds and borders between countries. Like I said, those boundaries are being erased. What we are left with are the people we return to, the encounters we remember, and those memories never fade. I am convinced that the meetings do not happen by chance ...
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