SocialErasmus - Final Conference Brussels 2012

On the 24th of September 2012, the final conference of the ESN flagship project 2012, SocialErasmus, took place in Jasques Delors, European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.

Reach higher! Go further! Go Social! That is the slogan of SocialErasmus. The SocialErasmus project, based on three pillars (charity, education and environmental actions), integrates international students into local communities. Participants from civil society organizations, the European Commission and the ESN Network met in EESC in Brussels to share best practices and to discuss the future of the project and the future of international student mobility .

The agenda of the final conference was full of perspectives and fruitful blocks. Mr. Michel Erlandsen, the International Coordinator of SocialErasmus, presented the results and the outcome of the whole SocialErasmus project and the SocialErasmus Week that was carried out in May 2012 in 20 European countries. What we would like to mention is the speech of Mr. Tomasz Jasiński (Member of European Economic and Social Committee). SocialErasmus was awarded in 2011 with the first prize of the Civil Society Prize 2011, granted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) with the theme “Dialogue and participation fostering EU values: integration, diversity, solidarity and tolerance”. In 2012, SocialErasmus became the flagship project of ESN.

In the afternoon, the final conference continued with the Panel Discussion with the topic: “ The Importance of Social Integration” that was chaired by Mr. Miroslav Hajnos (President ESN Slovakia). Experts expressed their opinion about social integration of international students in the European Union and continued with open discussion with all participants.

The experts of Panel Discussion.

  • Mrs. Maria-Kristin Gylfadottirz, Policy Officer, DG Education and Culture, Unit C1 Higher Education; Erasmus. European Commission
  • Mr. Frank Wittmann, President of Europa Macht Schule
  • Mr. Emanuel Alfranseder, President of Erasmus Student Network AISBL
  • Mr. Rok Primožič, Vice Chair of European Students' Union

Experts first explained how their organization/ institution was involved in the social integration of international students; how they implemented practices of social integration and described their best practices. In addition, they commented on cultural differences and mentioned other attributes that influenced the integration. Experts discussed the social and cultural orientation of students of non-EU countries in consequence of the globalization of the European Union. Last half an hour was devoted to an open discussion between the experts and other participants who could ask questions and give comments to different parts of the panel session.

At the final conference, ESN Slovakia was represented by

  • Mr. Miroslav Hajnoš, President ESN Slovakia
  • Ms. Miroslava Svabova, National SocialErasmus Coordinator and Eduk8 Trainer.
  • Ms. Julia Marcincinova, Local SocialErasmus Coordinator and Local president ESN Košice
  • Ms. Andrea Hanakova, Local vice-president ESN Košice
  • Ms. Jaroslava Krutakova, Former President ESN UMB Banská Bystrica