Contact: Roxana-Ștefana Coțofanu
Erasmus Student Network is one of the largest student associations in Europe. In 2020, there were 534 local sections, in 42 countries, and more than 15.000 volunteers internationally. The main principle of the association is ”Students helping students” and it offers opportunities for personal development and a multicultural environment.
Currently, in România there are 14 local sections in the biggest cities. Erasmus Student Network Iași is one of the oldest romanian sections, one of the biggest with 77 active volunteers, students at the five big universities that the city has. The association is divided into 5 departments, as it follows Design, Copywriting, Photography, Human Resources and Events, and they can be part of multiple departments if they want.
The activity of ESN is meant to create a flexible education environment and the purpose is reached through supporting student mobilities and promoting the intercultural experience. The international students that come for an Erasmus mobility in Iași are our main focus and our goal is to help them integrate and adapt to the new academic, social and cultural environment.
Throughout the academic year, we organize events that respect the six Causes of ESN ( Culture, Education & Youth, Environmental Sustainability, Health & Wellbeing, Skills & Employability și Social Inclusion), on many occasions doing so by collaborating with other local romanian sections.
Foreseeing the difficulties that the foreign students may encounter when coming to Iași, we use the Buddy System which offers them the chance to connect with one of our volunteers, their first friend in Romania who helps them with everything they might need (accommodation, transportation, classes, getting to know the city). Throughout the year, we organize various events (cultural, social, trips, movie nights, traditional dinners, theme parties) that help the integration of the Erasmus students and offer them a complete international experience.
Also, another focus of ESN Iași is organizing projects funded by European funds like ”The First Step in Career Planning” ( December 2020 – January 2021), ”Social Puzzle” which will be implemented in the future and ”Get out, Get healthy!”, a project that is currently on the waiting list. All the projects were written by groups of volunteers and the local board.
Esn Iași hosts many cultural, social and charitable events in which the Erasmus students are directly involved, with the purpose of integrating them into the local community. The activities are dedicated both to the Erasmus students and the volunteers. At the start of which semester, we organize 2 sessions of Welcome Weeks, one for the Erasmus and one for our newly recruited volunteers, to familiarize them with the ESN environment. These weeks can include city tours, team activities, events in nature.
Among our well-known events, there are Games Nights, Jam Sessions, Meet your Buddy- social event where Erasmus students officially meet their ESN buddy, Meet My Country Party, International Dinner and when the semester ends Goodbye/Prom Party- where the Erasmus King and Queen are crowned and the most active volunteers are awarded.
We also take part in events organized at the national level, with all the other ESN Romania sections like ”Halloween in Transilvania”, ”Escape to Vama Veche” and national platforms in all the cities.
At the moment, we have multiple local partnerships with hair salons, dentist cabinets, game arenas, yoga centers (Discover Iași, Street BarberShop, SunShine Care Yoga, Unicity, Dr. Nechita Radu, Galaxy Arena and Mara Donuts), besides our international partnerships.
Recruitment campaigns are made at the start of every semester and more information can be accessed on our Facebook and Instagram pages.