Derived from the fundamental mission of integrating people from all over the world, Erasmus Student Network, designed six causes through which it was targeted each main part of the Erasmus life: Culture, Health and Well-being, Education and Youth, Skills and Employability, Environmental Sustainability, and Social Inclusion.
With the help of five inventive volunteers, coordinated by one of the most inspiring members of ESN Iasi, Social Inclusion Days came to life within the ESN Iasi community and the results were greater than expected. After fulfilling the first steps, choosing the best idea and creating the team of volunteers, we were all set to work.
Social Inclusion Days is about each Erasmus student who navigates through university and wants to know more about the society that has become his home for a while, but also wants to engage in activities meant to help his personal development.
From the 20th of November until the 4th of December, ESN Iasi celebrated unity in diversity and intercultural awareness, through meaningful activities which gathered lots of foreign students and volunteers, creating a lasting bond and uncovering many parts of the Romanian culture and society.
Looking at the bigger picture, we organized six events echoing the causes: Charity Party with Little People Association, Breaking Barriers for Social Inclusion, Chit-chat Mental Health for Health and Well-being, Countryside trip for Culture, Human Ecology Workshop for Environmental Sustainability, Negotiation Psychology for Skills and Employability.
Social Inclusion was coordinated by Adina Pogor, who had two special ideas. The Charity Party had a noble purpose, helping the association Little People which tries to brighten the world of the kids who battle cancer, proving that besides having fun on a Saturday night, we can help the world become a better place for these little fighters. On the other hand, Breaking Barriers “was meant to gather the students in an informal place in order for them to socialize in a different way. Having their eyes covered the entire time, they could not be misled by appearance and they had the chance to get to know each other without prejudices. “said Adina.
When speaking about Health and Well-being, Maria Fotache chose to ‘explore’ the mind and the feelings of these all-time happy students and came up with the idea of an event that helped them express their worries and thoughts. We also acknowledged that the people we surround ourselves with can have a major impact on our lives. She claimed that this chit-chat aimed at trying to get the students to open up about their struggles and insecurities. “It is important to know we are not alone, and no matter how we feel we should let the people around us know. “, Maria.
One of the most complex causes of SID is Culture. And ESN Iasi thinks Adelina Paliuc had one the best ideas on how to get the foreigners to experience the Romanian traditional lifestyle. Countryside trip represented for many the best day of the entire Erasmus experience. Sticlaria, a village near Iasi, welcomed us warmly and our encounter with the traditions was so intense and exciting, that we will never forget about it. Traditional food crowded the tables and the unforgettable cart rides made the students fall in love with the old Romanian customs.
The changing world has many side effects, many of which are mirrored by the behaviour of the environment. In order to raise awareness on this matter, Claudia Ursache designed a workshop on human ecology in collaboration with the organization ‘Mai bine’, which promotes a sustainable way of living. During the workshop, the participants learned about how each of us has an impact on the environment, and about the alternatives that exist for cosmetics or things we use on a regular basis.
Last but not least, Negotiation Psychology was a workshop dedicated to the Skills and Employability and Education and Youth. It was held by the advisor himself, Stefan Vasilache, who showed us an insight on how to master the techniques of negotiation. Many secrets of a good negotiation have been revealed, and we came to a step closer to being persuasive negotiators. From making a good first impression through our behaviour to saying the right words, we all got to see how important it is to have such a skill.
Our mentor throughout these wonderful two weeks, Roxana Cotofanu, motivated the coordinators, the organizing teams and the Erasmus students to understand that beyond our differences we can do amazing things, we can leave our mark.
Social Inclusion Days means lots of initiative and hard work, but also lots of happy students, integrating and being part of this incredible rollercoaster that is Erasmus.