This amazing Section located in the capital of Lithuania has an average of 100 volunteers every year who are very committed to their exchange students as well as to the causes and values that ESN spreads. From thematic events to blood donation campaigns, visiting children in hospitals, and raising awareness for global issues, ESN Vilnius Tech has everything to offer for an awesome mobility experience.
When you ask ESN Vilnius Tech about the key to a committed and successful Section, their Vice-President responds clearly: “It is teamwork and keeping our volunteers motivated”.
The Section has three active working groups to cover different activities: Events Committee, Social Projects, and Media, each with their own head. Every member in the Section belongs to a maximum of two committees and the members’ group. On top of this, they have temporary committees for specific activities, to give the opportunity to every member to be the head of their own working group. Good delegation skills are only the starting point of their success: in ESN Vilnius Tech, they emphasise valuing their volunteers’ work. They meet very regularly to do team-building activities and carry out training sessions to motivate and encourage their volunteers. Something which never fails to motivate them is the “Members’ Awards”, celebrated at the end of the year.
There is something for every student
The Section’s schedule is packed throughout the whole year with activities that would make any student want to do an exchange in Vilnius. The Social Projects Committee carries out two visits to an animal shelter every semester and takes the international students to local schools to present the Erasmus programme to kids in the community. They also have other events such as forest clean-ups and cultural visits, quiz nights every Tuesday, and a recent project in collaboration with other Sections from Vilnius called “Erasmus Olympics”.
The highlights of the Events Committee are the Cultural Evenings. In this event, incoming students get the opportunity to introduce their country’s culture and history with a small presentation. This is one of the most successful activities, as it is carried out every other week and all nationalities get to be the main characters for at least one night. The students even bring typical food or do a showcase of their traditional dances.
At the end of the semester, they also have the “Erasmus Awards”, which helps keep engagement and participation high and is a time of the year students wait for!
The two events the Section is most proud of are their legacy events. At the end of winter, they organise the “Farewell Dine and Shine” in a big ballroom in the city, where they also celebrate the “Erasmus Awards”.
What keeps them busy for most of the second semester is the “Wild Wild Fest”. This summer event takes place during the first weekend of June and it is filled with a lot of activities, sports, team building, social plans during the night, and even barbecues. Students get to spend the best time of their exchange in the middle of nature in a forest for two days. But that is not all - to always ensure an eco-friendly and sustainable activity, the Section provides bio sinks and toilets as well as reusable cutlery and other utilities that will have another life and be reused for future events. Plus, as nature is the main character, the volunteers stay after the event to leave the place as clean as they found it.
Being engaged in a community is also the Section’s strong suit. They are part of the Athena Alliance with other ESN Sections of Europe, which is currently one of the most active alliances that has existed in ESN. They actively promote cross-university mobility and have a buddy system for the alliance that works during the summer months.
Their relationship with their university has gotten much better throughout the years. The financial support they receive allows them to organise a bigger number of activities. They also do regular collaborations with the other local Sections from the city and organise events together such as the “Erasmus Olympics'' or even the trip to Lapland, another highlight that attracts students every year.
ESN Vilnius Tech is a very active Section devoted to their incoming students - socially aware, united, and never failing to have fun with what they are doing. Their members show the true meaning of being a volunteer: uniting people in diversity and breaking cultural barriers.