Following each recruitment session, ESN counts the new volunteers and initiates them into what this great community and also its multiple departments really mean. Behind each new member lies a purpose, a story, a desire to achieve something. Everyone came here to play a certain role (or even many) and to discover a family made up of and for students only. Even so, the reasons for this initiative may vary from person to person, showing us how interesting unity in diversity can actually be.
Andra and Claudiu are two of the members who are taking the first steps in this organization and we wanted to find out more about their new experience.
- What’s the most interesting aspect of being an ESN volunteer so far?
Andra: In my case, the most interesting aspect of being an ESN volunteer is actually the reason why I joined this beautiful community. I think it is all about the people you meet once you become a part of this family. The people make ESN special. It is so amazing to find pieces of you in others, even if we speak about the locals or the internationals. The fact that everyone in ESN is so open, friendly, eager to help, very involved and always full of energy and happiness is very inspiring for me and is the magnet that attracts me the most to ESN.
Claudiu: The most interesting aspect of being an ESN volunteer so far has been meeting all sorts of new people. I found it interesting to meet foreign students, because I’ve not had such a chance until now, and it was a welcome surprise to find Erasmus students who speak Romanian or who are interested in learning the language.
Another exceptional experience was meeting volunteers who are PhD students, because I used to only associate PhD students with the beginner professors who hold seminars and laboratories at UBB. Also, I’ve noticed that the average age is a bit higher in ESN (~ 3rd year Bachelor’s – 1st year Master’s) than in my previous students’ NGO, where we have a lot of freshmen coming in every semester.
- Which one of the Intro Days activity would you repeat constantly if you had the chance?
Andra: I would definetly go on more city hunts. It gives you the chance to redescover your city along with the internationals, while you have so much fun and get to know the Erasmus people better through creativity and crazy ideas.
Claudiu: I would organize more activities that encourage socializing, such as the Language Tandem, the Games Night, the Hangout with your Buddy etc. I prefer this kind of activities, where we have an objective to focus on and which we can use as a pretext to start conversations.
- What determined you to become a volunteer in an organisation dedicated to Erasmus students?
Andra: The main reason why I wished to become an ESN volunteer so bad is because I somehow wanted to continue my Erasmus life at home. Also, I wanted to contribute in making the internationals feel as great as possible about their abroad experiece as I did myself when I was in Belgium.
I strongly believe that it is such a great opportunity to meet people from all around Europe, and not only, and to be a part of their international story, while they bring a lot of adventure, colours and excitement to your ordinary life as well.
Claudiu: I decided to become an ESN volunteer because the atmosphere in my previous students’ NGO at my faculty became rather stale. I have already seen and done everything there is to see and do in that organization and I wanted to try out something new and different. The prospect of meeting international students was very appealing and, as I’ve answered in the first question, I am very pleased with the people I’ve met through ESN.
- Which department do you represent and why have you chosen it?
Andra: I chose to be a part of the PR department since I have studied this field at university and also I am currently working in advertising. Considering this, I thought that this is a chance for me to bring value to this department by putting in practice my knowledge, creativity and love for writing.
Claudiu: I chose the Finance and Partnerships Department because I want to train my skills in this area. I consider myself an analytical and detail-oriented person, so I would fit into this department. Also, I hope to become a good negociator through my activity in this team and the partnership negociations with exterior companies and institutions.
- What expectations do you have for this semester regarding your volunteering activity?
Andra: I want to learn as much as possible from all the people around me, I want to be challenged, to step out of my confort zone at any given chance, to be proactive, involved and creative along with other volunteers from ESN. Last but not least, I want to leave a print, in what I do and in people’s hearts. <3
Claudiu: For this semester, I want to accomodate myself in the organization and see what opportunities it has to offer. I don’t think I will take any leadership roles in the near future, because I have other objectives until I finish my Bachelor’s, but I will volunteer as much as possible within the Finance Department and for the ESN activities.
Written by: Cristina-Elena Talpoș