Who is a member?
You can be a part of ESN UMB BB by becoming a member after we choose you during one of the recruitment events we do each semester. The majority of students who have already joined the ESN UMB BB volunteer as buddies, which means they are Slovak students helping the foreign ones before, during and after their exchange mobilities. There are also other students who volunteer their time by being in charge of the whole section and being active members – the President and Vice-president of the section, the Communication Manager, the Local representative & treasurer, Event Manager, Graphic Designer, Webmaster, Buddy Coordinators, Fundraiser and Coordinators for the SocialErasmus and Mov´in Europe initiatives. They run the administrative as well as technical workings of our section and make sure that we are still a very active and progressing part of a bigger organization.
What does it mean to be a buddy?
The main aim of Buddy System is getting in touch pairs of one Slovak and one exchange student. Buddies are usually recruited from home students at a given university either coming home from their Erasmus (if they do not want to lose the Erasmus spirit), thinking about going on Erasmus (if they want to experience international atmosphere right at their home University and get ready for Erasmus life) or wanting to join the ESN just because they would like to gain new friends, experiences and useful skills for their future life. Buddies´ job is to pick up their assigned exchange students upon arrival to the city, to take them to the dormitory and help them arrange all the formalities at official places (International Relations Office, Police, Hospital, etc.) This is the formal description of what it means to be a buddy for a foreign student. However, we all know it has its lighter side and that is all the fun you are going to have spending time with the Erasmus students at trips, preparing events for them and improving your foreign language skills.
What are the main duties of a buddy?
- contact Erasmus student before arrival and give them answers on any questions they has
- let ESN know exact date of arrival of his student (important for booking accommodation)
- pick the student up on bus or train station and help with accommodation in the dormitory
- help with all the official papers the student might need, such as confirmation of stay etc.
- help with general orientation in the faculty and in the city
- being a help for Erasmus student during the whole semester
What are the advantages of being a buddy?
- first and the biggest advantage is getting new and really amazing friends (it is really hard to explain how amazing it is to make friends with someone from a different country with whom you have made unforgettable memories in a foreign language)
- possibility to manage and be a part of interesting projects
- personal development - attendance at trainings, workshops and conferences
- direct contact with international environment
- practice foreign languages
- sometimes ECTS credits granted by the home university
- easier entrance in the job market
- influencing EU policy makers in area of education
- offers through ESNcard - discounts, prizes...
- fun events with your “second family”, that is, the ESN