ESN4EXPO, the big challenge
We really couldn't let it slip
Erasmus Student Network Italy aimed at the participation to the "Universal Exposition" (the World's fair) even before the inception of the EXPO Milan 2015, when just a few people knew what EXPO would have been and represented for Italy and for those who believe in the internationalization process of our country.
In fact, in December 2014 already, the Erasmus Ambassadors from ESN Italy started to travel around Europe in order to tell the 37 countries belonging to the Network (from Portugal to Estonia) how big an opportunity EXPO would have been and what it would have offered to every university student. These opportunities came true thanks to the ingeniousness of the team led by Dr. Giancarlo Caratti, who led in turn the EU Task Force and promoted the voluntary programme at the EU pavillion directed by Dr. Matteo Fornara.
And that's how since beginning of May 2015, 60 students coming from all over Europe experienced the EXPO magic for 2 weeks, supporting the activities in the pavillion of Alex and Silvia, the farmer and the researcher who have fascinated everyone, young and old, by making the EU concept accessible for them. During this period, ESN worked hard together with CIESSEVI to organize an impressive social programme for the incoming volunteers, for them to be able to visit Milan "at its best": after the 5 hours of work at the EU pavillion, they could enjoy city tours, integration nights, typical Italian dinners and, why not, nights out in the Milanese "movida".
But this was just the beginning for ESN, the association that in the last few years has finally been strong enough to appear at the table of high level institutional interlocutors. On July 20th 2015, the General Manager of EXPO Milano 2015 signed an agreement with ESN Italy, represented by its President Fabrizio Bitetto, officially sealing the Network's participation to EXPO. After that, ESN Italy could produce its programme within the event: "Mobility as energy for life" has been the project that connected the World Exhibition to the world of the 22,000 international students about to arrive to Italy in the following semester.
The "Erasmus & Volunteers" day taking place on Sunday 11th October, realized in cooperation with the EU and CIESSEVI, represented the heart of the project dedicated to the Erasmus students. But not only that. ESN also organized nights to discover EXPO terraces, where students would tackle central topics of the Exhibition, as well as tours of the Clusters, jewels to be explored in the pavillions near Rho-Fiera.
The Erasmus students who lived in Milan and Italy during that semester will definitely remember their exchange experience in a very special way: they had the unique opportunity of exploring EXPO thanks to the creativity, organizational skills and even craziness of ESN Italy, which let their students live EXPO not as visitors but as protagonists.