1. What does ESN mean to you?
It is an organisation of uncountable number of opportunities. There is no other place as ESN with so many opportunities to try out new things that you would have never thought of or fear. If you want to learn something new, you consider if your studies are really something for you, you will fit in ESN. There is no other organisation where you can try doing something without any experience. You study foreign languages but you think of finance - here you can do something about it!
2. How did your ESN adventure start?
I joined around a year after coming back from my Erasmus exchange. I thought that it would be cool to take part in something new. That’s why from the very beginning I was very eager to help with all the local projects. A few weeks later (as the only new member) I travelled a day earlier to my section’s integration trip. I met loads of fantastic people from all over Poland and decided that this is something I want to be a part of for longer. Around a month later I was selected to be a part of local board. Later that year in autumn I joined InterCom and the rest is history.
3. How did ESN change your life? Why have you joined it?
I joined ESN because I had too much free time after dropping out of uni (at that time I studied two subjects, I attended a language course and worked part time). I remembered that during my Erasmus exchange there was an organisation taking care of international students, though I’ve never really taken part in any of them. I saw a post on my Facebook wall about recruitment and decided I wanted to see what ESN was. It has changed my life in every possible way. I leant loads of new things, I got to do an interesting job. On the other hand, I finished my studies with a slight delay. But I met a wonderful girl in ESN. It was worth it.
4. If you were an ESN project, what would you be?
I would rather talk about the causes. Then definitely it would be skills and employability. I’ve always tried to tell everyone that ESN is a wonderful place for learning and making mistakes which makes us very valuable potential employee. If I have to pick one project that it’s National Erasmus Games. I’ve helped organising it for more than 3 years.
5. #FunFact about a life in ESN.
During my first few weeks in ESN I took part in preparations to local National Erasmus Games (ESNOLYMPICS). Due to different difficulties we didn’t know how to organise one of the disciplines so we were thinking of something easy to organise. We agreed on doing a relay because it didn’t require too much logistics. Unfortunately we had no idea where to buy the batons. We ended up using carrots as batons, bought in a grocery store nearby.
6. Did you go on the Erasmus+ exchange? / What is the most interesting experience you had so far?
I spent half a year in Italy - summer semester of 2013. I don’t know it this is the most interesting experience, but definitely the one I remembered the best was a trip to Sicily organised by ESN. Around 200 people have participated in it, a few buses, and in all that maybe around 15 non-Spanish people. We felt incredibly awkward when even ESN stopped talking in English (which was kind of normal) but stopped talking in Italian too and switched to Spanish so that all the Spanish understood them. And none of us, other foreigners had a clue what they were saying.
7. What inspires and motivates you the most?
I ask myself the same question. It’s about the new challenges that me and my team face. When I see we can do something interesting that hasn’t been done before but will help someone in the future and will give us satisfaction, it’s worth doing it.
8. Favourite place in the world?
Somewhere I haven’t been to yet. Rome but without the tourists - in March or October.
9. Did ESN help you discover some things you didn’t know you were good at?
I didn’t really discover but developed them. A simple example: I used to be a huge introvert. The moment I became a member of local board I realised that my job is not only checking if the left side equals the right in Excel but also creating a pleasant atmosphere in the section so that freshers want to stick with us. When I realised I’d have to change, things escalated quickly. I started presenting speeches before different groups of people, organising trainings. All that gave me a fair amount of satisfaction and to this day is one of my favourite thing about ESN.