A big group of people holding ESN flags and posing for a picture.

Embark on a journey that crosses borders and cultures. Erasmus Student Network (ESN) organises an annual gathering that goes beyond traditional training events.

Picture this: more than 1000 volunteers from over 500 local associations, spanning 45 national member organisations, converging in 5 distinct regions. This convergence, known as the Regional Platforms, is more than just a meeting - it is a celebration of diversity, knowledge, and the power of collaboration. This year's iteration unfolded across five vibrant locations: Padova, Maribor, Vilnius, Athens, and Karlsruhe. Each city served as a unique backdrop, contributing its distinctive charm to the dynamic tapestry of this exceptional event.

In the heart of a vibrant gathering, ESN volunteers from across the globe convened for an event that transcended borders, languages, and experiences. The air was charged with the shared enthusiasm for fostering positive change and enhancing the impact of the Erasmus Student Network. As the event unfolded, participants delved into a rich tapestry of presentations, workshops, and sessions that were not just informative but transformative.

The programmes of each Platform were diverse, but all of them reflected the multi-faceted nature of ESN's mission. A series of riveting presentations set the stage, covering everything from social media mastery through mental health to exploring the intricacies of turning event ideas into reality.

An important element that was introduced to the participants is the Erasmus Generation in Action project. It showcased that the impact of ESN extends far beyond the confines of university campuses, reaching into the very fabric of European democracy.

In addition, the Organising Committee and the participants of the North European Platform have committed to taking significant steps to minimise the environmental and economic impact of discarded food. In pursuit of sustainable development goals, they decided to reduce the amount of waste after each meal. The first step was to estimate the number of participants to avoid over-ordering food accurately. As part of this initiative, cooperation was established with a local shelter for the homeless, providing them with appropriately packaged and marked meals. The organisation expressed great joy and gratitude for their contribution, informing at the same time that the donated meals were consumed on the same day.

Moreover, during the training, a special focus was placed on proper waste segregation by obtaining more waste bins from the University for compostable and recyclable materials. This diligence in waste management is another aspect of activities that underlines ESN's commitment to caring for the environment.

The success of the Central European Platform in Maribor was truly a collaborative effort with the Organising Committee comprising individuals from all local ESN branches in Slovenia. A remarkable highlight of the event was the culinary celebration, with approximately 940 delicious meals served to eager attendees. Undoubtedly, the event reached new heights as the CEP Maribor emerged as the Biggest Regional Platform of the year, demonstrating the widespread enthusiasm and commitment of the participants.

Beyond the numbers, the event organisers prioritised safety with a forward-thinking approach. The opening ceremony set the tone by introducing the concept of a safe event, emphasising the importance of fostering a secure and inclusive environment. This commitment to safety was further manifested through the implementation of a social contract for the event, underscoring shared values and expectations. To bolster these efforts, a dedicated safety team was also in place. This ensured that the CEP Maribor not only stood out as a gathering of vibrant exchange and cultural celebration, but also as a benchmark for responsible and secure event management within the Erasmus Generation community.

In this unique convergence of minds, the events unfolded as a dynamic exchange of knowledge, ideas, and inspiration. ESN volunteers left not just with newfound skills but with a deeper sense of purpose, ready to continue their journey of making a lasting impact in the lives of students around the world. Regional Platforms were a testament to the fact that ESN isn't just an organisation - it's a movement, a force for positive change driven by the passion and dedication of its volunteers.