4 days of great music, amazing weather, tens of thousands of people and... ESN? Yes, it's the ESNfest!
At this year's Open'er Festival, as many as 34 organisations have entered the NGO zone, among which the ESN Poland Association with the ESNfest project has also appeared for the first time in many years. The aim of the project was to bring young people, in particular students and high school students, to the subject of mobility, including the Erasmus+ programme exchange.
At our stand we presented both the Erasmus Student Network and our ideas and values. Festival participants had the opportunity to take part in activities organised by us such as trivia regarding European countries. A demanding challenge was to read a phrase or a saying in a foreign language. Another attraction was the map with all the cities in which there are sections of ESN. Curious festival-goers asked about places where they could go on Erasmus. Open'er Festival participants, who visited us, could help themselves to festival sunglasses, stickers and pins that we have prepared. The participants of the event also had a chance to take a look at leaflets informing about our activities and mobility programmes.
Each participant could talk to us about exchanges, our experiences related to going on Erasmus or other mobility project. We were prepared not only for students interested in studying abroad - in our leaflets there was also a handful of information about other travel options, not necessarily being an Erasmus+ programme. Among the visitors of our festival stand there were also travel and foreign cultures enthusiasts who were happy to reminisce about their old adventures abroad. To our surprise, our average visitor did not yet turn 18, but they thought about an exchange or participated in it. At our stand we also hosted foreigners currently on exchange - some of them were even members of ESN! We were also surprised by the Polish ESNers and alumni visiting us.
During the four days of the festival, we met members of other organizations participating in the Open'er NGO, such as AIESEC or the International Association of Medical Students IFMSA-Poland. We had the opportunity to talk and even make a photo together.
For the first time In Open'er history there was also a series of debates dedicated to various topics, such as the future of the European Union and the problems it faces. Our volunteers willingly participated in discussions focusing mainly on the impact of culture on EU development. What's more, the ESN zone was visited by Mikel Landabaso - communications director at the European Commission. We had the opportunity to talk together about the goals and values of our organisation, present the activities that we have prepared, and finally take a picture together.
We estimate that during the four days of the festival our stand was visited by about a thousand people, both young and a little older. However, they were brought together by a passion for the broadly understood topic of mobility. We hope to see you at Open'er Festival 2019!