ESN AGH is one year away from celebrating its 10th anniversary. They were founded in 2005, by a group of friends, and the section quickly managed to triple its size. A fast growth means that changes have to be made; the section decided to introduce some structural changes such as a project manager and local committees, which improved the work of the section and made it possible for the members to plan events on a larger scale. Today, ESN AGH is composed of 60 driven members, led by a board of three. This section values passion and motivation and these qualities form the core criteria when recruiting new members. At the end of the recruitment, the new members get to experience an integration camp, full with workshops and team building activities.
The section invests in its members during the whole year, believing that motivation and appreciation is the key to hard working members. A reward system has been but to place, where each week, the section rewards people who have stood out with a positive action. This positive vibe is recurring in the work of the section. ESN AGH arranges a variety of activities for their international students; this section has decided to invest time and effort into activities that contribute to or cooperate with the Polish society.
Share Your Christmas is an example of an activity where the international students get to interact with local families, who invite the exchange students to their homes to celebrate a typical Polish Christmas. The members of ESN AGH also take part in social activities, such as sending birthday cards to children who suffer from different illnesses. Another example of their successful SocialErasmus activities is Erasmus Date Auction, a fundraising event where people bid for a date with one of the exchange student or ESN members. This event managed to gather 1,500€, which the section donated to a charity supporting families in need.
Other international projects are going strong in this section as well. Mov’in Europe is promoted in different ways and has attracted a lot of attention and interest from local students thinking about going on exchange. The section’s PR team also promotes the ESNSurvey and collects as many responses as possible. Furthermore, ESN AGH uses Eduk8 trainers at their integration camps and they themselves have three members who have participated in this project and are now trainers.
One of the main events of the year has been ESN TEAM, cooperation between ESN sections of Italy and Poland. ESN AGH was one of the sections involved in the organization of this ESN version of the Olympic Games. 15 countries were represented in this tournament, which took place in, you guessed it right, Cracow. Not only were the days filled with different sports activities, but the participants also got the opportunity to get to know Polish culture. To add to the list of different collaborations, ESN AGH also cooperates with sections from Vienna and Budapest. The regular get-togethers of these three sections are perfect meeting points where exchange knowledge between them takes place. ESN AGH shows that teamwork and keeping the ESN spirit alive definitely pays off. Through their border crossing cooperation they are able to give their exchange students a better experience, but also as a section, gain new knowledge. Still, they have not forgotten the importance of paying it back to their own community and uniting people from different cultures.