1. What does ESN mean to you?
ESN is an organisation which allows me to support others by gaining new skills, travel and meet interesting people. ESN is a place that allows designing creative projects and offers support of many intelligent people who I meet everyday and who are always happy to help with any problem.
2. How did your ESN adventure start?
I joined ESN in February 2017 during the second semester of my first year of studying. I was a member of a student science club. A few fellow members were also ESNers. One of them posted a link with an application form to join ESN so I thought it’d be worth tying out. I’ve always liked international environment, I speak four languages. I thought this could be a place for me. In the beginning I was doing graphics for some projects and helped with our stand during the Student’s Day. I became my session's webmaster very quickly and attended my first international meeting in September 2017 - National Platform ESN Sweden.
3. How did ESN change your life? Why have you joined it?
It’s hard to describe all the changes ESN made in my life. I used to be very shy. I was afraid of communicating to others. Majority of my free time I spent unproductively, in front of my computer, and I wasn’t planning anything. I never used a calendar. ESN helped me learn what I’m good in and what skills need enhancing. Many people showed me new, interesting ways to develop myself in order to gain new skills. I managed to change my lifestyle to more active. Now I plan everyday. I have new skills. Now I can present in public, I can group work, I can do graphic design.
4. If you were an ESN project, what would you be?
Section Questionnaire because I’d have the access to loads of statistical data which would allow me to draw conclusions about our organisation.
5. #FunFact about a life in ESN.
I attended Western European Platform in Fribourg. In Germany and Switzerland there are two cities close to each other which names translate to the same thing in Polish (“Freiburg“ and “Fribourg” are both “Fryburg” in Polish). Thank god I checked my bus stop’s address.I realised I had bought a bus ticket to Germany not Switzerland, where I wanted to go. I ended up going to Fribourg by bus from Freiburg, after a thirteen hour bus trip from Berlin. The motorway was closed so my bus was two hours late, I was late for the second bus. I was stuck in a tiny town by the German-Swiss border waiting to rebook my ticket and the next bus.
6. Did you go on the Erasmus+ exchange? / What is the most interesting experience you had so far?
Attending a variety of ESN events I have travelled to ten different countries, took a plane four times and drove more than six thousand kilometres by buses. I took part in a dozen Polish platforms and upgrades, in Warsaw, Cracow, Lublin and Gdansk. Some of my friends laugh that I am on an Erasmus exchange in my own country, though I’ve never been on a real one. I would like to do that during my MA or do an internship.
7. What inspires and motivates you the most?
When it comes to inspiration, it often comes from ESN platforms and upgrades. Sometimes there are days that I feel the lack of inspiration to do something. My motivation comes from the board, from my section. When I see how much we can achieve together, I try to do as much as I can myself!
8. Favourite place in the world?
There are loads of places which architecture and appearance I like enough to want to live in someday in the future - Bern, Fribourg (in Switzerland), Budapest or Berlin. If I were to choose only one, it would probably be Bern.
9. Did ESN help you discover some things you didn’t know you were good at?
To point out all my new skills I have gained in ESN, I’d have to write a few pages essay :). I’ve learnt how to present. At the beginning I was afraid to present anything at all, now it is not a problem anymore and I can do it in English and German too. Now I know how to manage a big project. I’m not that afraid to face a crisis situation, and I know how to react if one happens. I gained many hard skills about research and statistics, IT, web design and Google Suite workspace.