You may wonder why did I spell it “MEeting” instead of the usual meeting, well because it is not just your usual everyday meeting. It is actually something more. So, let me introduce you to the term itself.
Mov'in Europe (or shorter ME) is an international project (recently turned programme) of ESN started in 2014, running a multi-format campaign promoting various mobility opportunities to young people, students, and young graduates (volunteering, travelling, learning, studying, internships, working).
So, who runs this campaign? ESNers, of course. Why?
Because ESNers know there are so many ways to live, study, and work abroad. We have to make sure other people are informed about the different opportunities and are motivated to take the first step. It is our responsibility as the members of the #ErasmusGeneration. So, every year we have a MEeting or the Mov’in Europe community meeting where we gather and discuss important topics relating to mobility also known as MECM.
This year (27th – 30th October) ESN Zagreb had the honour of hosting Mov’in Europe Coordinators’ Meeting 2018. Participants were from more than 10 different European countries and all working in the field of bettering and promoting mobility.
And I was one of them. This was my first meeting of this kind and I have to say I had no idea what to expect. Now that it has been a few days from the event itself,
I would like to share some reasons why you should NOT attend MECM.
These individuals are not here to have fun. No, no, no. They are here to work AND to have fun. They know a lot about their field and they are ready to share it with everyone interested. They are also kind, funny, full of energy and love that can be felt everywhere. You will bond quick and it will be hard to say goodbye after just four days. Trust me, ESNers have a way of leaving their mark on you like no other.
You feel welcomed and accepted. It is easy to say that strangers can become your second family in a matter of a few short days.
This one is self-explanatory. You will have to spend hours (if you are not that close to the place of the event) making your way to the event and you will never get them back. But look on the bright side!
You get to explore yet another city, another culture, another world. And as a bonus, you get to meet another local ESNer that will be more than happy to go around with you and show you the hidden gems of the city itself. If you are in love with travelling and have an itch to scratch, this is the way to do it.
And yes, who else has the opportunity to cross paths with other cultures and gets to learn from actual locals?
MECM is an event made for learning and growing, so if you are not ready to do it, this is not a place for you. This event gives the opportunity to explore new areas of education and informal studying. You will be able to grab onto the new knowledge that you could use in your own life, whether that be business or personal.
4. Expanding your horizons
With all the above being said, I think I do not have to even say this, but let’s put it in here anyway. It is important to remember that the multicultural environment changes people. It challenges us like no other experience and it makes us rethink our beliefs, views and life in general. If you are not ready for this, you better be, these young people are here to change your perspective and broaden your horizons and there is nothing you can do about it.
5. Having fun
This one goes without saying. Surrounded by young people that are gathered to work for the same cause? You bet they will find a way of having fun. Because what is hard work without having a little fun. Especially, when you have young students gathered together working towards the same goal.
With new cultures, comes new food. So, when you come to Croatia or any other country be ready to try some local food because it also makes up for the part of the culture surrounding you. Also, and I must underline the importance of this, if you ever come to any Balkan country, go and grab a coffee and experience the tradition of drinking one cup of coffee for hours. It is an experience you do not want to miss out on.Unfortunately, I have no pictures to post here, you will simply have to come to Croatia and try it out for yourself and take a leap of faith when it comes to our food and drinks.
To sum it all up, if you are NOT ready to be changed or affected by ESN love and community, you should NOT come to this event. It is not for you, you are not ready.
But, if you are willing to give it a try, I strongly recommend you join us and just enjoy yourself. If these reasons are not enough, well, I could give you thousands more, but I will focus on just one – we are a family and ESN is a community where you are safe, where you feel like you belong and where you can change the future of education. Your hard work is recognised, and no one can take that away from you.
By working on the future, you will find something you might not expect – a bond with other ESN members that does not break. And who knows, you might even find your purpose – the purpose you have been searching for.
I know I have.
P.S. Participants were the ones that provided me with the photos posted, so I want to give a big shout out to the MECM participants and, of course, a big thank you.
Also, a big thank you goes to Coca-Cola, this event would not be this successful without their donation that raised the bar in terms of yummy coffee breaks and informal social programme.
Written by: Željka Gligora (member of CROmCom - the national media team)
Proofreading: Željka Gligora (member of CROmCom - the national media team)