Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is one of the biggest interdisciplinary student associations in Europe, founded in 1990 for supporting and developing student exchange. ESN is working in Higher Education (HE) and offers services to 150.000 students mainly on a volunteer basis with an average annual growth rate of 12,3% since 1990. ESN works for the creation of a more mobile and flexible education environment by supporting and developing the student exchange from different levels, and providing an intercultural experience also to those students who cannot access a period abroad.
ESN on the international level represents needs and expectations of students that in terms of exchange study abroad and share knowledge of students and different sections. The international level presents ESN as a compact complex. Performance of the whole organization is managed by International Board that has its headquarters in Brussels and is responsible to Council of National Representatives. Members of the International Board are: President, Vicepresident, Treasurer, Communication Manager and Web Project Administrator. All of them are voted for one year by all the representatives of individual ESN sections on „Annual General Meeting“.
National level of ESN joins sections from one country. Therefore in ESN exist for example ESN Poland, ESN Finland, ESN France, etc. Each section has on the national level its representative (National Representative, NR) and if it has, then also once a year National Board is voted – president, NR Treasurer, PR Responsible, Knowledge Manager, Fundraiser IT Responsible and other members.
Local level is represented by individual sections on the universities. Each section has its own structure and activities which usually depend on size of the section or amount of foreign students. Generally local sections serve as mediators that offer to foreign students help, necessary information and are trying to make students‘ stays more pleasant. They help with formalities at the university, discovering of new city, culture and its language and often they organize trips, sport or cultural activities. They also facilitate contact between native and foreign students. Activities and management of individual sections is performed by volunteer students of the local university.
Erasmus Student Network Czech Republic (ESN CZ) connects and supports international student clubs in the Czech Republic which help international students coming to study at Czech universities. ESN CZ is non-for-profit and non-political association.
All together sections of ESN CZ help roughly 2000 international students every academic year. So far there are 12 members of ESN CZ (and of ESN):
15.09.2002 Buddy System on UEP was accepted into international student organization ESN as one of the members. Official name of the organization was hereby changed to „ESN VŠE Praha – Buddy System“. Membership of our organization has brought us increase of credibility, improvement of offered services for Czech and foreign students. Last but not least benefit is the possibility of international cooperation and international development of Buddy System members.
ESN operates on 3 different levels: a) international level; b) national level; c) local level.
Information about all sections can be found on ESN International website. You can find some more information below.
a) International level
The main target of ESN International is support of university students‘ mobility. This target is being achieved through these steps:
ESN International has 3 decision bodies:
b) National level
If there are a bigger number of sections in the country, national level is created which associates sections and helps to the development of ESN on national basis. ESN Czech Republic has legal identity since October 2007 and in its lead are 7 voted representatives: President, National Representative, Treasurer, PR Responsible, Fundraiser, IT Responsible and Knowledge Manager.
Currently ESN CZ represents 12 clubs from 7 cities of the Czech Republic and helps roughly 2000 international students every academic year. More information on: http://www.esn-cz.cz/
c) Local level
By this level are understood sections of ESN on individual universities. On the University of Economics, Prague it is ESN VŠE Praha – Buddy System.
In 1987 a plan to create an extensive mobility scheme for higher education was approved by the European Community (EC). One part of this was the Erasmus Program - for students in order to provide the opportunity to spend part of their studies abroad.
In 1989 the Erasmus Bureau invited 32 former Erasmus Students for an evaluation meeting in Gent, Belgium. This meeting was a starting point for Erasmus Student Network. The problems that became obvious in the evaluation were the main tasks for the founders of ESN to work on. Behind all this stood the idea "students helping students", which is still the most important motto of ESN volunteers.
On 16th of October 1989, the first section using the name Erasmus Student Network was founded in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Following that, ESN sections were founded in various European universities, and with financial support from the EC, in October, 1990 the meeting for the official founding of ESN International was organized in Copenhagen, Denmark with 49 participants from almost all member states of the EC. ESN International became a legal association. Desiree Majoor from Utrecht, Netherlands was the first president in ESN history.
By 1994 ESN already had 60 sections in 14 countries and it was growing year by year.
19 years after the creation, ESN network consists of almost 300 sections in 32 European countries as well as in Azerbaijan. New technology has tremendously improved collaboration between sections and frequent meetings strengthen the ties between ESN members as well as serve the possibility to exchange ideas and work together for a better future.
In September 2005, ESN established an official seat in Brussels, where now five Board members of ESN plus the ESN Secretary are working full time. ESN House is a place where the Board lives and where the ESN volunteers can stay while exploring the European capital.
The interest among students to spend part of their studies abroad is continuously increasing. As the Bologna declaration, signed by European Ministers of Education in 1999, states the aim to reach 3 million exchange students by the year 2013, ESN network is more needed than ever to strengthen the Erasmus Program. Nowadays, when more exchange programs are being created, ESN continues to assist not only those who are abroad as Erasmus, but all the exchange students, also those from Asia and Americas.
Fall Sem 2012
a student guide with all the important information about your stay in Prague!