Winter is coming! From Norway to Spain, everyone is already wearing their coats! Nevertheless, the sun is still shining in Greece and it shines brightly on the Section in the Spotlight of December: ESN UOPA!

Dreams do in fact come true. You do not believe us? In June 2013, eight dreamers, some of them having tried the Erasmus experience, others with a passion for mobility and multicultural activities, decided to create ESN UOPA. They were determined to form part of the Network, working hard in order to become a full member section of ESN, which happened just a few months after the first members of ESN UOPA had joined forces! Nowadays, the section has 21 active members being lead by a board of six. All of them united, motivated and willing to help their incoming international students.

“Our thought and idea, is that working as an ESNer has to be fun and to enjoy ourselves through our work, so we are considering our section as a family, the Bee-family!”

One of the most important values of this section is their friendship, not only between their section members but also within their Erasmus students. Once you are in and with ESN UOPA, they do their best to make you feel like a part of their family. During their Introduction Day, this section makes sure to spend a fair amount of time in Ice-Breaking Games, where they get to know the Erasmus students as well as each other and all the members of the section.

Another example of this ESN UOPA’s willingness to bring people together and to share and care is their idea of creating a Local Platform. This event was born in order to motivate all their members to go further and reach higher, both on a national and an international level. They enjoy sharing experiences, providing information about the network and of course, having workshops and team-building sessions.

In ESN UOPA, everyone is constantly learning from each other. Erasmus students get to know a lot about the Greek culture and they have the possibility to actually live it. This section organises Greek traditional dinners, history lessons, dances, and visits to different museums and historical places in Patras and surroundings areas. ESN UOPA wants to make the international students feel like not only part of Greece, but of their own family as well.

“What makes our section unique is the fact that we actually DO care for our Erasmus students! We are there for them as their friends, their family, their brothers/sisters!”

In true Christmas spirit, this section reminds us of one of the most important values that we should not forget: to care for each other. Furthermore, they have also shown us that everything starts with an idea but it is up to you to make it happen. ESN UOPA might be a small section but by working together, it has achieved and will keep achieving big goals!

by Alejandra Dubeibe