ESN Latvia

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Erasmus Student Network Latvia
Sections ESN Riga, ESN Jelgava, ESN Liepāja, ESN Valmiera
Date of inclusion in ESN International CNR Vilnius, 2003
National Board President - Arvīds Zirnis, Vice President - Rūta Mēlbārde, National Representative - Inna Klasa, Communication Manager - Aivis Majors, Partnership Manager - Raimonds Rubenis, Treasurer - Jānis Šubrovskis
National Coordinators Education Officer - Anda Zamure, Movin' Europe Coordinator - Linda Toča, ESN Sea Battle Coordinator - Inna Klasa, Responsible Party Coordinator - Linda Dzene

ESN Latvia is part of a European wide Student organisation Erasmus Student Network. It is built on students helping students principle that works for the creation of a mobile and flexible education environment by supporting and developing student exchange and providing an intercultural experience also to those students who cannot access a period abroad.

ESN Latvia has 4 ESN sections. ESN Riga was established in 2003. First, section was registered with initial legal name “ESN Latvia” but later was renamed ESN Riga. ESN Riga has started from two independent organizations. Early in its development, ESN Latvia merged with another international student focused organization from the University of Latvia. ESN Jelgava gained candidate section status after 10 years of ESN existence in Latvia. The vote of full membership took place at the pre-AGM Milano CNR, it was approved and ESN Jelgava became 2nd ESN section in Latvia. Since October 2008 ESN Riga is a full member of the National Youth Council of Latvia (LJP) [1] Youth Council highly valued ESN experience promoting youth mobility in Europe. ESN Riga carried out different projects – Give 20 fundraising project for children education and wellbeing in Bhutan, PRIME, ExchangeAbility. Another success story was SocialErasmus project started in 2011. Now both sections – ESN Riga and ESN Jelgava are implementing different ESN projects – Mov’in Europe, ESNSurvey, ESNcard, Responsible Party and others.

History of ESN Riga [2][edit]

Latvia became the 25th country of ESN in 2003, when an active Latvian business student Gints Turlajs, who had just returned from studies in Denmark, went to Council of National Representatives [3] meeting in Vilnius to present his newly established ESN section candidate. Thus Gints Turlajs became also the first National Representative (NR) of Latvia. ESN Riga was legally registered some month later, initially as ESN Latvia and was renamed as ESN Riga only in 2005. ESN Riga merged with a similar exchange student focused organization EsiLU from the University of Latvia and by next year it not only had a lot of local activities for students, but also took an active role in ESN International.

In the end of 2004 Natlaja Tocelovska – another ESN Riga leader – took over the position of NR. Soon afterwards she organized the International Board meeting in Riga. Latvia was represented by 5 people delegation in the following AGM Gdańsk and consequently Natalja Tocelovska was elected treasurer of ESN International. During Natalja's term as a treasurer in Brussels, ESN Riga activist Inese Grate was NR of Latvia, but Natlaja still managed to do the president's job for ESN Riga and returned to the NR position after AGM Kraków.

By the summer of 2007 ESN Riga had well established relationships with the international department of the University of Latvia and the Students Union and large experience in organizing trips to Latvia and abroad, as well parties, cultural and sport events, and different other activities for exchange students. After four years of being president and three years of being NR Natalja Tocelovska left ESN to focus on her career and a new team – Santa Jastrebova, Madara Apsalone, Anastasija Belostocka, Linda Ribakova and Martins Misans- took over the leadership with broader vision of ESN Riga in Latvia and on international level, and Madara Apsalone became the new NR of Latvia.

The same summer ESN Riga started collaboration with the Academic Programme Agency (APA) of Latvia and soon extended communication also to other universities, with its activities targeting over 70% of all the exchange students in Latvia. APA also helped ESN Riga to organize the first two-day networking meeting for all the exchange students in Latvia called "Europe in one House", which under the name of "Goodbye party" later became a tradition for ending each semester.

In spring 2008 ESN Riga organized its first ever trip to Russia and decided to participate in the PRIME project. In summer ESN Riga released its first yearbook and in the following fall became a full member of the National Youth Council of Latvia. Youth Council highly evaluated ESN experience defending youth mobility in Europe and in some month ESN people were already involved as experts in the National Youth Week of Latvia and "Young People within the building of a European knowledge based society" French Presidency in EU conference.

History of ESN Jelgava[edit]

Activities[edit]

Buddy System[edit]

Other activities[edit]

ESN International projects in Latvia[edit]

PRIME[4][edit]

Despite 20 years of existence, the Erasmus Programme is far from being perfect: according to the ESN Survey 2007,[5] about 50% of the Erasmus students didn't get full recognition for their studies abroad. For this reason, ESN International upon request from the European Commission had developed the PRIME - Problems of Recognition In Making Erasmus - project: to identify obstacles towards recognition of studies abroad. ESN Riga was participating in PRIME project and had conducted international coordinator's survey in 7 universities - the University of Latvia, the University of Liepāja, Riga Medical College, Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy, Riga Stradiņš University, School of Business Administration Turiba, Vidzeme University College. National Academic Programme agency gave its support to the project and ESN Riga organized the result dissemination conference.

Partners and memberships[edit]

ESN is a full member of the National Youth Council of Latvia (LJP).

Notes and references[edit]