ERASMUS STUDENT NETWORK RIJEKA
The road has been long, but the section has grown from a crew of very few people to a well-organised team of 25 motivated active members who take their tasks seriously. One of our strong points is sharing tasks and cooperation so that all our members are kept active and involved.
We started with only a dozen Erasmus students, and now we welcome between 100 and 200 each semester and our schedule is always filled with events. Most popular are theme parties such as Oscars Farewell Party, but there are also more relaxed evening events like International Dinner, City Games, Bar Games and Pub Quiz which get great attendance, and sports events like Beach Volleyball.
If you want to join us, you will have to go through the recruitment process, for which you fill in the application form, then you are interviewed so we can better understand the motivation and expectations behind your application. If you are accepted, you then must prove your engagement to become an active member. Active participation is a must, accompanied by positive energy and a friendly attitude towards other members.
Our Local Board consists of four members: President (Alex Katunar), Vice-President (Marina Pavlić), Treasurer (Karmen Vujasinović) and Communication Manager (Laura Šlajhert), while the coordinators positions are: Social Inclusion, Public Relations, Party, Travel, Health and Well-being, Culture and Buddy Coordinator. You can join different teams (it all depends on which are your main interests) such as Public Relations, Travel, Culture, Social Inclusion, Health and Well-being, and Party Team.
Our biggest support comes from the University of Rijeka and currently, we are working on making partnerships and getting sponsorships.
We also closely cooperate with student and other organisations, some of which are Student Assembly of Rijeka (with which we cooperate during various fairs and festivals), student radio Radio Sova, which not only reports on the activities of ESN Rijeka but also airs a show which hosts Erasmus students, dog shelter Društvo za zaštitu životinja Rijeka and Lesbian Organisation Rijeka (LORI), which aims to inform and sensitise the public to accept sexual and gender minorities. In 2020 we started a Section Cooperation with ESN Udine. This is a great intercultural experience we plan to continue and with less strict Covid measures we plan on organising mutual trips where our volunteers and international students can meet in person.
We’re proud of organising several national and international meetings, especially since most of these were envisioned and fulfilled with a few very motivated individuals! Most worth mentioning would be organising LevelUp training in 2013, the Central European Platform of the Erasmus Student Network in 2015, and the National Assembly of ESN Croatia in 2016 and 2019 (and the upcoming one in 2022).
We are also proud to mention that at the Croatian Erasmus Event 2017, two members of the Organising Committee and more than half of the volunteers were from ESN Rijeka, and for the CEE 2018 and 2019 our volunteers offered their helping hands again.
Being a relatively small section in a small town means a stronger connection not just among ESN volunteers but also with incoming students, from whom the section gets very positive feedback on hospitality, helpfulness, and a friendly attitude. Being an ESNer doesn’t only mean being a Buddy, it means being a friend and somebody to rely on, and that is what students in Rijeka get from our section.
We are not only taking care of incoming students, but we also want to motivate students at the University of Rijeka to take a chance and experience the student exchange. That is why in June 2020 we launched the Mobility Season campaign where our goal is to share tips and tricks of our volunteers that already experienced the semester or year abroad.
ESN Rijeka has won plenty of awards at the National Assemblies but was also announced as a Section in the Spotlight for the event Cups for Cuba at the Annual General Meeting Berlin 2017 and was awarded inclusionSTAR at the Annual General Meeting Costa Brava 2018 for Erasmus Human Library. For the philanthropic action called Studenti za djecu grada koji teče (Students for the children of the city that flows), ESN Rijeka was awarded 3rd place for socialinclusionSTAR at Annual General Meeting Thessaloniki 2019. In November 2019, ESN Rijeka won the ComCom Stamp of Approval #94 for our Instagram feed from the Communication Committee of ESN International. In 2020 ESN Rijeka was awarded two 3rd places at the last Annual General Meeting Online: visibilitySTAR for This is Me in Sign Language (which was filmed at the 14th National Platform of ESN Croatia in Rijeka) and environmentalSTAR for Zero-waste November campaign (where we presented to our public how to live more sustainably and get closer to the zero-waste lifestyle).
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