ESN UEK is a section that has always so much to do! You are probably wondering what we have been doing recently, which is why we have prepared for you a short overview of our activities during the winter semester 2018/2019.
We started the semester with a strong boost, organizing Orientation Week - a project that helps students who start their adventure at our university to acclimatize in Cracow. During this year's edition, coordinated by Milena Sałek and Weronika Czarna, over 260 foreign students took part in various events, such as ‘Let's Meet’ or ‘Eurodinner’. We also went for some sightseeing of Krakow together, bowling, roller skating, laser paintball or climbing - these are just some of the attractions that awaited our international friends! After a whole week of events in Cracow, we went for the Integration Camp - a weekend trip, during which Erasmus students and ESN UEK Members could get to know each other better. Project was coordinated by Dominika Łuczko and Magdalena Potrawska, who made few days in Polronin and Zakopane of a hundred foreign students and 20 ESN UEK Members simply unforgettable! All the participants returned to Cracow with huge smiles on their faces, full of energy for the entire upcoming semester!
But that, of course, was only the beginning of our activities during the semester. What initiatives have we organized together in the past months?
Studies abroad, especially at the beginning, are very demanding and need lots of courage. During that period, help of local students can be invaluable, so keeping in mind our motto ‘Students helping students’, we organized the next edition of the Mentor Programme. The coordinator of this year's edition was Anna Kawalec. Thanks to her efforts, 127 Mentors took care of our foreign friends during their winter semester in Cracow. We are convinced that the friendships they made thanks to participation in the project will last for many years!
The working group headed by Bogumiła Burakowska, in this semester showed us that art is not only for connoisseurs. Together with Culture Group, during the Patchlab Digital Art Festival, we got to know some examples of contemporary artists’ works combined with modern technologies. There were also organized visits to the National Museum and the Mocak Museum of Contemporary Art. Lovers of history, literature and the theater could take a part in the events such as Oskar Schindler's Factory or night walks around the historic Juliusz Słowacki Theatre!
During the semester, the PR Groups took care of the promotion of our numerous projects. Thanks to the work of PR: Proofreading & Editing Group, led by Agnieszka Eliasz and PR: Graphics coordinated by Gabriela Mucha, ESN UEK events had assured their promotion and reach all the students interested in the participation. Group Members, taking short breaks from their intense work, were taking part in workshops and gained new skills in the fields of their interest. The PR: Film & Photography Group coordinated by Jan Sarecki made sure that photographers were catching memories at the pictures during our events. Members of the Group provided us with the pictures of the events such as Country Meetings and Orientation Week.
The aim of the working group was to familiarize international students with the beauty, cultural richness and history of our country. Coordinators Emilia Burtan and Marta Skoczylas made sure that all of our adventurous and curious Erasmus friends would enjoy ESN UEK trips. Climbing and hiking lovers, in October, got to know the routes of the region during a trip to the Ojców National Park. On the other hand, a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum allowed them to discover the history better. The Travel Group also dealt with the organization and planning of the trips abroad, which always bring unforgettable memories to all the participants.
Our amazing Party Group coordinated by Dagmara Lasek made all the international students waltzing smoothly through the semester. Their events were organized once a week, and each of them had its own unique theme, such as Pillow Fight, Candy Party or 15th Birthday of ESN UEK. Thanks to this working group, our Erasmus students didn’t complain about the lack of entertainment, and what's more, they had the opportunity to integrate with other students while having fun together!
During this semester Michał Pałys together with the whole Sports Team took care for good health of our Erasmus friends. Every week they had the opportunity to try their hand at the sports hall. There were also hockey match or ice-skating events organized for all those hungry for some adrenaline and sports emotions.
SocialErasmus & ExchangeAbility
Members of the group headed by Adrianna Leżańska have always been eager to help! In this semester, they have engaged in such projects as Noble Gift, Animal Shelter, Erasmus in Schools and Share your time with seniors. Thanks to events such as Blind date, You do not need your eyes to see, Challenge your senses or Dinner in the dark, international students could get to know the world from the perspective of people with disabilities. Our big-hearted volunteers, together with other members of ESN Krakow United sections, also spent amazing time with children from orphanages during the Christmas Dream Cup!
Conversations with native speakers are one of the best learning methods, especially if it connects with great fun. Both of these things are related to the Tandem Project, led by Wiktoria Giemza, in cooperation with the coordinators from ESN Krakow United. Every Monday evening, in Bracka 4 Club, free and open for everyone language meetings were organized. Students could spend time together, get to know each other's cultures and learn useful phrases in foreign languages. It was hard to get bored there, especially since every Tandem had another theme!
Country Meetings is a series of events during which foreign students at our university were able to present their countries and show their traditions, as well as to talk about the cultural differences that they noticed when living in Krakow. During this semester, coordinator of the project - Dominika Komasa with her working group organized four meetings. During paste few months we had the opportunity to try Egyptian delicacies, see beautiful Georgian landscapes, take part in a quiz about Portugal and test our knowledge of the United States geography.
Tour de Krakow is a group currently coordinated by Aleksandra Karp and Joanna Kurdziel. It focuses on organizing trips to Cracow for other ESN sections and their Erasmus students. In this semester we had the opportunity to host groups from ESN VUT Brno, ESN Košice, ESN UAM Poznań, Buddy System Zlin and ESN UE Poznań. We were also supporting other sections, including one from Greece, in order to make their stay in our beautiful city nice and fun.
FR & ESNcard
For sure all the participants of Erasmus+ exchanges know what ESNcard is - it can be held by an exchange student, ESN Member or a Mentor. ESNcard allows them to take advantage of numerous discounts from our various partners. In our section, the FR & ESNcard Group, coordinated by Wojciech Ciźla, during the winter semester conducted activities related to establishing cooperations within ESNcard project, prepared Welcome Packs for international students and assisted them in matters related to ESNcard. In addition, they supported other ESN UEK projects, for example Country Meetings.
Many students, after returning from their exchange, have a desire to share their story and tell other students how they spent the last few months. Others who are just getting ready to leave for Erasmus+ have many questions about their upcoming exchange. Michał Cholewa, as the coordinator of the Re-Erasmus project, organized several meetings this semester, during which it was possible to learn what it is like to be an exchange student, in sunny Spain, rainy England, as well as Turkey, Slovenia and even South Korea!
Blog Erasmus Team, coordinated by Klaudia Wiktor, during the past semester regularly posted the articles of students staying on international exchanges on the blogerasmus.pl website. Students considering an exchange could also see how everyday life of an Erasmus student looks like, thanks to the Blog Erasmus Instagram account.
Local Education Officer
Students who wanted to leave for their exchange from the Cracow University of Economics were actively supported by Agata Borkowska. As a Local Education Officer, she prepared special "Erasmus step by step" guide. She was also available for all the interested students during her office hours and she made sure to dispel any doubt of the local students on ‘Wyjazdy z Erasmus+ UEK’ Facebook group.
Like every semester, a few months spent with our international friends, were concluded with a Farewell Party. This time, coordinators - Elwira Wójcik and Wanda Jaworska decided to warm up cold winter evening with the Dance Party. During the official part of the event, there was a gala full of memories, prizes and unforgettable moments. A tear in the eye turned around for many people! All the good things must come to an end... This way we closed the next chapter, which was the winter semester 2018/19.