ESN UMB Banská Bystrica

ESN is the largest student organization that operates under the auspices of Matej Bel University, which means that any student of any MBU faculty can become its member. How do we work? We, volunteers, are trying to help foreign students with almost everything. Every member has some rights and obligations to make our organization work well. "Buddy" helps a foreign student before coming by contacting him/her and offers consultations to whatever a foreign student needs before arrival. Immediately upon arrival, a buddy will pick up his/her foreign student at the station and help with accommodation, ISIC student card, city orientation, and so on. An active member, in addition to all this, engages more in the running of our section. Helps with organization or organizes activities for foreign students to make their stay full of experiences and beautiful memories. The section board is managed by the section management itself and consists of many functions, each of which includes a set of other duties.
ESN offers a wide range of activities for foreign students because we want to attract everyone. Right from the beginning of the semester we have a "Welcome Week" ready for our foreign students. This means that there is one activity running from Monday to Sunday. During this week, first friendships are born, and foreign students are better acquainted with us, our culture, or the city itself. During the semester, we plan sports activities at the Tajovského SOU gym, which is a nearby vocational school. They can choose from various sports, most often from volleyball, football or basketball. Since Erasmus + is a cultural and educational program, we try to bring our Slovak culture or history closer to foreigners. Thanks to our students, we are able to provide simultaneous interpreting in the SNP Museum. Cultural events include so-called "Haluškovica", where foreign students will try to cook our traditional food. During the Slovak evening we will offer them other Slovak traditional dishes and show something from Slovak culture and music. They also do not have to go for fun, every other week we organize themed parties. Certain ESN projects are certainly worth mentioning. As a part of SocialErasmus, we go to walk the dogs in Zvolen, donate blood, sell daffodils, or visit the house of St. Elizabeth where we help with cleaning or are playing with kids. Another project is ExchangeAbility, through which we are trying to point out that even people with disabilities can travel abroad. Through the "Blind Date" event, students have the opportunity to feel on their own, at least for a while, what it is like to be blind. The last project we would like to mention is Mov'in Europe, which is primarily dedicated to promoting mobility. Within this project we organize our biggest event "International Village" every semester, which takes place at the Town Hall in Banská Bystrica. Participants have the opportunity to learn about the countries and cultures of our foreign students and then try their traditional meals. At the end of the semester, we just organize a farewell dinner and a party so that students have the chance to finish the semester with all of their newly found foreign friends here.

Annamaria Košútová