Wherever you decide to study, you will come across student organizations with a variety of committees you can join and become a part of. The same goes for ESN, which you can find in almost every country in Europe. In the beginning, the only thing I knew about ESN was that it represents a big community of people and that it organizes fun events. What got me to apply for the PR&Graphics Committee was the idea of being able to promote and present such organization as ESN to my peers and leave a personal touch on the branding. Writing a blog to me was being able to let my creativity and thoughts out while entertaining students and giving ESN an image I envisioned when applying. There are so many more amazing things about the experience of being a part of a committee and here are some of them.
This might sound the cheesiest, but people I have met and worked with over the course of a year now are all truly nice and positive. Every ESN event I have been to has something in common and that is the crowd which ESN attracts. It is way different from other organizations and events. People are interesting, friendly, fun to talk to and to party with. ESN represents a very open-minded and engaging community, and whether you are a part of a committee or not, you will feel welcomed and appreciated. However, becoming a part of one will open many more doors and opportunities for you to integrate with others and find a group of people you will enjoy spending time with and creating new and fun content for the ESN community.
The experience you gain from this is numerous. First of all, choose your committee wisely. It is important that you are passionate and interested in doing what your committee’s main tasks are. The previous experience about the matters is always welcome, however, having no experience should not discourage you to try something new. Just within weeks, your fellow committee members will help you out and teach you what they know so that you can all help each other out and achieve the best results. There are two sides to PR&Graphics. I came with knowledge and skills about creative writing and blogs; on the other hand, I was not the most skilled in editing or design and within a few weeks I’ve learned the basics which I have improved over the months. It is very rewarding seeing something you design being put up on walls around the university. I have also learned a lot about marketing and strategic promoting. No matter what your committee of choice is, guaranteed you will take a good few skills with you when you leave. Another aspect of experience relates to joining the events you thought you might never do or try. You will travel around different places in the Netherlands and the region, try new fun and challenging sport, visit a cultural event, try delicious international food.
Fun is going to follow every moment. Within the committee, apart from long and sometimes stressful meetings, you will still joke around, meet outside the ESN business, go for picnics or brunches, have dinner nights and predrinks. If you opt for guiding an introduction week group, you will be hanging out with different people every day, some of which you will meet later on for sure. Every event ESN organizes is planned so it ultimately makes everyone satisfied. Various preferences and opinions are taken into account in order to give you entertaining content and memorable evenings.
ESN has a good reputation around the world. Devoting a year or more to this organization will also help boost your CV and professional image. You will show how you can manage working on big projects and devoting your time to something voluntary apart from your studies. It will also show people all the professional skills you have gained, whether it is organizational, communication, marketing or financial. Although when applying this should not be your main priority, ESN will give back to you for hard work in many ways, even when it comes to your academic development.
5. Free Time
If you come to study abroad alone and especially if you have anxiety or are very shy and insecure, becoming an ESN member will push you out of your comfort zone and help you overcome nostalgia and loneliness. It is a great way to spend your free time, instead of sitting alone at home or procrastinating. It fills in your days and keeps the dynamics, encourages you to communicate with people and make friends. Your Fridays do not have to be reserved for Netflix when you have with whom to spend it with.
This year for me meant so many things, and being a part of this amazing organization made it just that much better. I haven’t met a person so far who had negative experiences with ESN, but rather everyone I have talked to said the same thing, they wish they could be a part of a committee for a little longer. It is not going to be a burden or excessive amount of work, it is going to be enjoyable and fulfilling and worth your time.
Written by Elena – PR Committee