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ESN Slovakia is proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Erasmus programme in Europe and the 15th anniversary in Slovakia in a high style. Five towns, 1500 kilometres, 5000 leaflets, materials, lots of prizes, more than 50 000 new faces and uncountable amount of feelings from amagnificent project called ErasmusWeek has left us – all of these shows for itself. We wanted to present to the general public, how Erasmus changes our lives, moves us forward and gives us opportunities, which are not available at home university.
ErasmusWeek started on 7th May 2012 in Prešov, where a 6 member crew in a van full of optimism and good mood arrived in the following formation: the President of ESN Slovakia Mirko Hajnoš, Coordinator of SocialErasmus Slovakia Mirka Švabová, Representative of Erasmus Mundus Lucka Loposová, member of ESN Banská Bystrica Laci Juščák, cameraman Ján Háber, and French student studying in Slovakia Maxence Guillemin.
The opening of the ErasmusWeek took place at the Rectorate of the University of Prešov in Prešov and the mayor of the town, rector of the university, president of ESN Prešov, and president of ESN Slovakia were involved. After the opening speeches we discussed the Erasmus programme, during which Slovak students were present. Then, there were quizzes and at the end piano and violin concert.
The following stop after the flourishing start of the tour was Banská Bystrica. By the time we got there we enjoyed beautiful views of a rainbow after rain, children´s playgrounds and we were taking pictures and videos for perfect portrayal of this tour. Banská Bystrica began with a three hour workshop on three different themes on a summer terrace in the town center. Mirko Hajnoš taught us how to use our communication skills abroad. Jana Šamková from the National Institute was speaking about Erasmus mobility in the European Union and Lucka Loposová continued with effective learning. Within the SocialErasmus and its activity “EnergyDrink” we were playing games such as “live memory games”, “happy labyrinth”, “colourful world”, and a lot of physical activities during which we made our tired bones moving. Activities were attended by children of different ages. Train “Prétorium” was driving children all around the town center and at the end of the drive we took a photo with them in a shape of SocialErasmus logo. For football enthusiasts we organized international football match among Slovaks, Poles, French, Italians, and Spanish. In the evening we showed local people authentic flag party followed by “tornado” of happy students walking down the street.
The third day we spent in Nitra, where we looked at the 25 best pictures in a gallery of our memories. Pictures had been sent to us by Slovak and foreign students and they portrayed students´ lives during Erasmus stay. These pictures were also shown in the other towns that we visited on the tour. General public had a possibility to see what it looks like abroad. We all let helium balloons fly from Nitra´s air-space to the rest of the world. At the Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra we discussed various topics that interested local students. Our next steps led to the foster home called “Slniečko” (sun in English) where we played games full of energy, fun, knowledge, as well as deepened our relationship and knowledge of English. Fourty-five minutes of hiking to Nitra´s hill Zobor was followed by an international barbecue in front of an A. Bernolák dormitory.
In the capital city Bratislava we organized press conference on the topic “Erasmus has been changing our lives for 25 years.” The discussion brought us many stories and facts which had changed lot of students´ lives. Experiences of Slovak students replaced experiences of students studying in Slovakia and at the end a foreign student with health problems told us about her Erasmus experience studying in Slovakia. The anchorman of the discussion was a member of the European Committee representation. After the official part we all moved to a shopping centre Eurovea, where we chatted with passers-by and created memory wall and little children drew pictures for us. We ended the day in Bratislava by an international party in a bowling disco club with a bowling tournament.
We completed the tour in Košice.There, we created European city on the main street in front of Aupark Shopping Centre. Passers-by could taste foreign cuisines and meals, which were prepared by Erasmus students studying in Košice. We divided children into teams and together we created SocialErasmus logo, learned to dance Slovak folk dances and salsa dance. The whole one week long event ended by final ErasmusWeek party in 2space club, where we and representatives of universities in Košice wished Erasmus all the best and chose the best pictures from the gallery of memories. The winner got a special prize. All together we celebrated what had been changing our lives in the right way – that is Erasmus.
The whole project was published on the Internet and we regularly updated our blog with the latest news and pictures. We did all of these things to help Slovak students who are interested in Erasmus. The mission was completed and we are still trying to keep up with Erasmus. We are looking forward to being a part of another amazing project full of great ideas like ErasmusWeek.
Check pictures of the whole ErasmusWeek in our facebook album.