Yes! It’s time to relax and spend time with yourself. Reading, listening to music, going on a walk in the park, taking a bubble bath, watching your favorite TV show or just staying in bed covered in the fluffiest and coziest blanket doing nothing, the feeling is the same no matter what you choose: pure happiness.
Well, actually, this time I’m referring to a different ME time (no, I am not shouting at you, sorry if it seems so). ME comes from Mov’in Europe. What is Mov’in Europe? Basically, it’s a project (or program nowadays), which focuses on promoting mobility (mostly, but not exclusively Erasmus+) among young people, students and young graduates because #MobilityIsALifestyle.
Now, let’s talk about MECM or the Mov’in Europe Coordinators Meeting (the actual purpose of this article). MECM is an annual (sometimes biannual) meeting of the national and local Mov’in Europe coordinators and the international team and its purpose is “to give space (digital and physical) to exchange of knowledge, best practices, ideas and feedback” (ESN wiki is my friend).
MECM 2018 was held in the charming capital of Croatia, Zagreb, at the end of September (shout out to the amazing OC, you guys are AWESOME). We spent almost 4 wonderful days together doing lots and lots of ESN and non-ESN related activities.
As someone who doesn’t know anything about ESN or as an ESNer who has not participated in an international ESN event or national one yet (like myself), you might say “Okay, I got it, Mov’in Europe, mobility, MECM etc. but What were the people like? What activities did you take part in? How was Zagreb?” Let me answer those questions.
What were the people like?
Since my Erasmus+ mobility (in Prague) I’ve been STARVING for another international environment (that’s one of the reasons I joined ESN, if you’re like me you should DEFINITELY join your local ESN section). So being surrounded by people from all across Europe was utterly exhilarating, not just because of my own craving for multiculturalism, but because of THESE specific people. Seeing young people this devoted to a common cause (mostly promoting mobility) and being actively involved in events that promote the blue spirit (blue is the color of ME, forgot to tell that) was a pleasant surprise. So what can a surprised local ME coordinator do? Adapt. I adapted to this new form of energy and enthusiasm through socialization, exchanging thoughts and opinions, talking and smiling while, of course, making friends and memories.
What activities did you take part in?
First of all, our schedule was carefully planned and we had a lot of activities going on. Every night/evening we had a social activity such as icebreaking games, exploring Zagreb’s nightlife, International dinner and Karaoke night (it felt SO MUCH like my Erasmus in Prague).
On the other hand, we had lots of ESN and ME related activities which were divided in 3 categories: common sessions, workshops and brainstorming/best practices.
During the common sessions, we had the chance to express our expectations and wishes about this event, we had an intro to Mov’in Europe, a presentation about the Causes of ESN and we also came to better understand how ESN is related to culture (these are just some activity examples).
We had several workshops (7 in total), for instance about Motivation, project management (called the Magic of project management, in which we learnt about WBS-work breakdown structure, and SMART goals-this one was my favorite), Campaign promotion and communication, grants and Intercultural competences.
Furthermore, every delegation had to present their best practices so that every section can learn from other sections about how to promote ME in the best way possible and what events to organize to do so. It was simply amazing. Also, at the end of each day, we had small reflection groups where we discussed about what we liked best, something we would like to point out, something that we didn’t like, how our relations with the people were and other small things.
How was Zagreb?
Zagreb is such a vibrant city. Considering that it is a capital city, the city center is a bit small, but then you have everything nearby. We had our accommodation right in the city center (5 minute walk from the main square), really close to the world’s shortest funicular. Although we didn’t manage to fully discover Zagreb’s everyday life, we still managed to check out some pubs and cafes. We took several walks together to enjoy the architecture and the view from the Upper town. Do I recommend that you visit Zagreb and experience Croatia through it? Hell yeah. Would I like to go back? DEFINITELY.
So, dear reader, you might wonder why I started with the “me time”. Mostly because, looking back to MECM 2018, I realized that for me this whole event was not just ME time but also me time (pretty confusing, huh?), aka pure happiness. It’s been more than a month since MECM, but I can still feel the MEnergy inside me.