From 24th to 28th November, our Communication Manager, Erica Filote, represented ESN Romania at the Autumn General Assembly that was held in Sakarya, Turkey.

General Assembly is a statutory meeting in which representatives from all the ESN sections around the world gather and treat important topics regarding the development of the network. Three places are allocated to each country from our network. This event took place in the beautiful town Sakarya, where we combined the discussions, debates, the small sessions with lots of fun, new connections and good vibes.

The activities began on Friday, where updates since the last General Assembly and proposals regarding the modification of certain Amendments (such as the position of an Interim Board member) were presented. Then was discussed the Three Year Plan for the Network along with the future of the ESNcard, showing that we are slowly and steadily recovering from the pandemic. The first day ended with a small session in which the participants got to choose a group based on four different themes, such as: ‘’ESN Services’’, ‘’Projects & Engagement with the network’’, ‘’Positive Publicity in ESN’’ and ‘’Future of Regional Platforms’’.

In the evening, our hosts organised a Turkish dinner, where we enjoyed their delicious food in a remarkable environment.

On Saturday we viewed the report of this year's Budget and the one proposed for 2023. We also attended presentations of the reviewed Code of Conduct and of the PR Handbook. Later on, ISN Jordan (for Candidate Member) and ESN Ukraine presented their Membership application.

In the second part of the day, we had an open discussion on improving the next edition of Erasmus Generation Meeting, as well as a small session on groups. For example, in the ’’Membership and expansion in ESN’’ small session, we got the chance to express our ideas in means of making known and available the ESN association in the cities where there is no ESN section.

The second day ended with an International dinner. There we tasted dishes, sweets and drinks brought by delegates from different countries.

The last day was allocated to the voting sessions, but before that, we listened to other presentations, of which the ’’Erasmus Generation Portal’’. There we learned how to use the Grant Calculator for an Erasmus mobility, depending on the destination. Also, a presentation about the basics of student mobility and data in ESN was held. In this presentation were addressed the problems that students who leave with a study mobility experience, as well as data which put forward the major issues encountered when in a mobility (anxiety, stress) or why students don't take the chance to go with an Erasmus+ mobility (not being aware of the grant that they will receive from the University, poor support from home, fear of change,  missing their family & friends, or why they don't get selected for a mobility , few places from the University, high demandings - high level of English or in grades, not being able to equivalate the classes from the home and host University). We have finished this day with the approval of all the proposals, one new candidate member, ISN Jordan, and a new member, ESN Ukraine.

The event ended with a Gala dinner which proved that Turkish hospitality is not a myth.

I believe that through this event not only did we meet with old friends, make new ones, but we reminded ourselves that we are working together for the same purpose. Only by truly listening and putting in practice our values we can make a change, by Students helping students.

Author: Erica FILOTE