When AEGEE-Oviedo was found­ed 30 years ago, the fresh Span­ish anten­na jumped imme­di­ate­ly in the sup­port work for Eras­mus stu­dents. The mobil­i­ty pro­gramme itself was very fresh too; the first stu­dents went abroad in 1987. There­fore, there were not many exam­ples to lean on for AEGEE-Oviedo. They learnt fast and did a great job, with a team of 12 Eras­mus coor­di­na­tors. Below you will find three arti­cles about their work in AEGEE-Europe’s main com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool in the 1980s, the AEGEE-News­Bul­letin, which was edit­ed by AEGEE-Oviedo, too. But that’s anoth­er sto­ry. Enjoy the arti­cles – maybe you get inspired for your own Eras­mus work, too!

12 Coordinators, One Team

AEGEE-Europe News­Bul­letin April 1991

Dur­ing two years of work­ing on ERASMUS at a local lev­el, AEGEE-Oviedo ERASMUS Work­ing Group has learned a lot from its own mis­takes and has got from prac­tice the right know-how. The close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the lnter­na­tion­al Rela­tions 0ffice and the Vice Rec­tor of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oviedo have been cru­cial for the devel­op­ment of the pro­gramme. Nowa­days the AEGEE-Oviedo ERASMUS WG is formed by 12 coor­di­na­tors, each one of them deal­ing with a spe­cif­ic pro­gramme. Some of the oper­at­ing pro­grammes are: men­tor, lan­guage cours­es, week­end excur­sions, vis­its to local firms, lodg­ing assis­tance, free legal advice, sports and leisure pro­gramme… From its expe­ri­ence in work­ing on ERASMUS, Oviedo is capa­ble to offer a for­ma­tion course unique in con­tents, struc­ture and style.”

(Pub­lished in AEGEE-Europe News­Bul­letin April 1991)

Free Membership in Our Antenna”

In order to give you an idea, what can be done with ERASMUS on a local lev­el, I am pleased to present the oper­at­ing pro­grams 1990/91 by AEGEE-Oviedo based on a report which was made by the ERASMUS respon­si­ble of AEGEE-Oviedo, Enrique Ries­go Lázaro. In the fol­low­ing you will find a descrip­tion of the main points.

MENTOR PROGRAM

Men­tor means tutor. The MENTOR PROGRAMME was born with the scope of pro­vid­ing the arriv­ing ERASMUS stu­dents with a very close assis­tance in the every-day lit­tle prob­lems dur­ing their first month of stay at our city. There are three main objec­tives the MENTOR PROGRAMME wants to achieve:

  1. Assure an eas­i­er adap­tion to our city for the ERASMUS stu­dents at all lev­els: cus­toms, ways of think­ing, ways of liv­ing, foods and so on.
  2. Inte­grate the ERASMUS stu­dents in the aca­d­e­m­ic rou­tine at their fac­ul­ty. This includes intro­duc­ing them to their teach­ers, tak­ing them in a trip around their fac­ul­ty (library, com­put­er room, class­es…).
  3. Inte­grate the ERASMUS stu­dents in the city social life.

In order to make this pro­gramme pos­si­ble, we have asked for vol­un­teers among the AEGEE-Oviedo mem­bers. The ide­al struc­ture of the MENTOR list of vol­un­teers is the fol­low­ing: a group of 4 or 5 vol­un­teers from each fac­ul­ty which has ERASMUS stu­dents; these AEGEE-Oviedo mem­bers will be able to com­mu­ni­cate in the native lan­guages of their guests. Con­se­quent­ly, Ger­mans are assigned to a mem­ber who speaks that lan­guage, Ital­ians to an Ital­ian speak­er, and the same orga­ni­za­tion for Eng­lish and French. The AEGEE-Oviedo mem­ber work­ing in the MENTOR PROGRAMME is the con­tact per­son for a reduced group of stu­dents who do have in com­mon the lan­guage and the fac­ul­ty and who will prob­a­bly have the same sort of prob­lems.

There­fore, our MENTOR vol­un­teer should be eas­i­ly reached by phone at any time, espe­cial­ly dur­ing the first weeks. He should be able to solve all the prob­lems, which might arise or to guide them to the prop­er place in order to solve them. In order to make the pro­gramme func­tion­al, we give the Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions Office the list of our MENTOR vol­un­teers, with their con­tact address­es and phone num­bers, so that Eras­mus stu­dents have this assis­tance ser­vice as soon as they check in at the Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions Office when they arrive to our city.

We also leave at the Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions Office the con­tact address and phone num­ber of the AEGEE-Oviedo office as well as plen­ty of infor­ma­tion leaflets on AEGEE. This way, both, those who already knew AEGEE and those who did not, are offered the pos­si­bil­i­ty of con­tact­ing us the fastest way.

WEEKEND EXCURSIONS

AEGEE-Europe News­Bul­letin Feb­ru­ary 1991

This pro­gramme began to work at AEGEE-Oviedo in the aca­d­e­m­ic year 1989/1990. Its aim is to enable ERASMUS stu­dents to know the region where they are going to be stay­ing for some months. This was the first pro­gramme we cre­at­ed as long as ERASMUS is con­cerned and it made pos­si­ble a good and inter­est­ing approach to a lot of ERASMUS stu­dents. As a mat­ter of fact, it was them who always kept ask­ing for more excur­sions, which is the present main rea­son for the exis­tence of the pro­gramme as it is nowa­days.

Accord­ing to the aim of the pro­gramme we estab­lish a com­plete cal­en­dar of excur­sions along the aca­d­e­m­ic course, and deliv­er it to the Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions Office so that they study its financ­ing. The excur­sions are set­tled on a fif­teen-day basis, usu­al­ly tak­ing place on Sun­day, and always dur­ing the week­end in order to fit the phi­los­o­phy of the pro­gramme as an activ­i­ty, which com­ple­ments the reg­u­lar aca­d­e­m­ic life.

With this EXCURSIONS pro­gramme it is eas­i­er for ERASMUS stu­dents to become aware of the cul­tur­al, social and eco­nom­ic real­i­ties of the region they are stay­ing at. Con­se­quent­ly this pro­gramme also helps a lot in the adap­tion of ERASMUS stu­dents to their new city and area.

VISITS TO LOCAL FIRMS

This pro­gramme has start­ed to work at AEGEE-Oviedo at the begin­ning of the present aca­d­e­m­ic year 1990/1991. We have devel­oped the pro­gramme in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Spon­sor­ing Work­ing Group, who got in con­tact with the firms so as to fix a cal­en­dar of vis­its. These vis­its might look inter­est­ing only for Busi­ness stu­dents but this is a false idea.

The vis­its to the region as well as a good cul­tur­al expe­ri­ence in gen­er­al terms. They are a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to have a clos­er encounter with the real world, which our Uni­ver­si­ty can­not always offer, espe­cial­ly when we are talk­ing about ERASMUS stu­dents.

Enrique Ries­go Lazaro

LANGUAGE COURSES

The AEGEE-Oviedo Lan­guage Cours­es were born with a dou­ble objec­tive:

  1. To offer our mem­bers the pos­si­bil­i­ty of learn­ing or improv­ing a for­eign lan­guage.
  2. To pro­vide the ERASMUS stu­dents select­ed for teach­ing their own native lan­guage with some extra mon­ey to com­plete their reduced schol­ar­ship.

The struc­ture of the cours­es is the fol­low­ing: we offer Eng­lish, French, Ger­man and Ital­ian; there are three lev­els for each lan­guage (Begin­ners, Inter­me­di­ate, Advanced) with a qual­i­fied teacher (always an ERASMUS stu­dent) for each one of the lev­els. The min­i­mum num­ber of peo­ple to form a group is 4, up to a max­i­mum num­ber of 10 pupils. There are as many groups as nec­es­sary depend­ing on the inter­est of the AEGEE mem­bers in each lan­guage.

This pro­gramme needs a per­son in charge of the enrol­ment to the cours­es, the sched­ules, the for­ma­tion of groups, the pay­ments, the selec­tion of teach­ers, the loca­tion of the cours­es’, the pub­lic­i­ty giv­en to them… It is quite an impor­tant pro­gram, not only for the lan­guage teach­ing to our mem­bers, but for the image that it gives our asso­ci­a­tion and for the cap­ta­tion of new mem­bers.

Along with the lan­guage cours­es and, as a com­ple­men­tary facil­i­ty, we offer the dif­fer­ent mag­a­zines we are sub­scribed to and our dic­tio­nar­ies to be used by both teach­ers and pupils dur­ing the lessons and at any time as need­ed. Final­ly, we would like to empha­size that the scope of this pro­gramme is not mak­ing mon­ey but sup­port ERASMUS stu­dents finan­cial­ly as well as enable our mem­bers to learn or improve a lan­guage.

FREE LEGAL ADVICE

Due to the con­tin­u­ous abus­es ERASMUS stu­dents were sub­ject­ed to when sign­ing con­tracts for hir­ing a room (in most of the cas­es they could not under­stand the con­tents of the con­tract and signed real­ly bad con­di­tions), we felt oblig­ed to cre­ate this one legal assis­tance ser­vice in coop­er­a­tion with the Post­grad­u­ate Law School. This way, when any of the ERASMUS stu­dents come to us with an unfair con­tract or any oth­er legal prob­lem we know we have pro­fes­sion­al sup­port to assist them.

LODGING ASSISTANCE

We know the lodg­ing prob­lem is one of the biggest ones an ERASMUS stu­dent faces at the arrival at our city, just the same as in so many oth­er Euro­pean cities. There are two insti­tu­tions that take care of the lodg­ing prob­lem, one is the Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions Office, and the oth­er one is C.I.V.E. These two offices can­not assure a com­plete solu­tion of the lodg­ing prob­lem of all the ERASMUS stu­dents arriv­ing to our city so we, at AEGEE-Oviedo, try to com­plete this ser­vice.

We try to col­lect a list with the address­es of the flats which have been hired to ERASMUS stu­dents the pre­vi­ous year and were sat­is­fac­to­ry as far as prize and loca­tion are con­cerned. The aim of this is to fix a cer­tain num­ber of flats, which would be hired by ERASMUS stu­dents year by year. Hav­ing the secu­ri­ty that their flats are going to be hired, the own­ers of these flats should be will­ing to col­lab­o­rate with us and keep them in our so called “ERASMUSLODGING” list.

SPORTS PROGRAM

Accord­ing to the Latin say­ing: “Mens sana in cor­pore sano”, we have set­tled a cer­tain num­ber of sportive encoun­ters with­in the aca­d­e­m­ic year. There­fore, we orga­nize soc­cer and bas­ket­ball com­pe­ti­tions, which are just a good excuse for both, ERASMUS stu­dents and AEGEE-Oviedo mem­bers to meet and exer­cise a lit­tle bit in a very friend­ly atmos­phere.

LEISURE PROGRAM

We orga­nize, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with our Pub­lic Rela­tions Work­ing Group, a cer­tain num­ber of cul­tur­al activ­i­ties and par­ties for ERASMUS stu­dents. There is a wel­com­ing par­ty at the begin­ning of the aca­d­e­m­ic year which is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to intro­duce AEGEE-Oviedo and a first encounter of our mem­bers with the cur­rent year ERASMUS stu­dents.

There is a Christ­mas par­ty just before every­body goes home for those spe­cial days, anoth­er wel­com­ing par­ty when both, new ERASMUS stu­dents for the sec­ond semes­ter arrive and the ones who remain for a whole aca­d­e­m­ic year are back from their Christ­mas break. Final­ly, there is a last good-bye par­ty at the end of May, just before they go home.

It is also our project to pub­lish an infor­ma­tive leaflet on all the cul­tur­al events which take place in our city every fort­night. This way, both, ERASMUS stu­dents and our mem­bers know accu­rate­ly the inter­est­ing cul­tur­al events they can attend to.

FREE LOCAL MEMBERSHIP

After the sit­u­a­tion of the ERASMUS stu­dents at Oviedo, the AEGEE-Oviedo CD decid­ed to offer them the pos­si­bil­i­ty of being mem­bers of our anten­na for free and that way par­tic­i­pate in all the activ­i­ties we orga­nize at a local lev­el. There are sev­er­al rea­sons, which reas­sure this deci­sion:

  1. The eco­nom­ic rea­sons of most of the ERASMUS stu­dents does not even allow them to pay the low AEGEE Inscrip­tion fee.
  2. Mak­ing them mem­bers of AEGEE at Oviedo, there is a good chance that when they go back to their city, they go to their local AEGEE anten­na, or if there is not one they may even be inter­est­ed in estab­lish­ing a new AEGEE con­tact.
  3. Once they know about AEGEE, they become an opti­mum group of pub­lic rela­tions since they talk about our orga­ni­za­tion to their oth­er local friends and always end up bring­ing new mem­bers.

INTERPRETER/TRANSLATIONS OCCASIONAL WORKS

Some­times, firms or per­sons bring to AEGEE-Oviedo tech­ni­cal trans­la­tions to be done. When­ev­er this hap­pens, we offer the job (and the pay­ment, of course) to the most qual­i­fied ERASMUS stu­dents. In some oth­er occa­sions, like when we orga­nize our “Healthy Europe” Con­gress, we need inter­preters, and the first resource we con­sid­er is the ERASMUS stu­dents stay­ing at our city.

In both cas­es, the qual­i­fied stu­dents select­ed for the job can earn some extra mon­ey, which always helps. On the oth­er side, we know we are offer­ing a prop­er and accu­rate ser­vice, which pro­vides AEGEE-Oviedo with a good image.

COLLABORATION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OFFICE

In order to opti­mize our work on ERASMUS we have estab­lished a good rela­tion of col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Inter­na­tion­als Rela­tions Office. This rela­tion includes:

  1. Peri­od­i­cal meet­ings with the Direc­tor of the Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions Office to talk about our projects, our already exist­ing pro­grams, bud­get, financ­ing of our pro­grams and final­ly just to exchange ideas to improve the ERASMUS pro­gramme in our city.
  2. A con­tin­u­ous flow of infor­ma­tion between our and their office.
  3. Financ­ing of some of our activ­i­ties (week­end excur­sions at the begin­ning of the aca­d­e­m­ic year).
  4. Direct col­lab­o­ra­tion in some of our pro­grams, such as the MENTOR pro­gramme (the Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions Office offers our address and the list of Men­tor vol­un­teers to the arriv­ing ERASMUS stu­dents).”

(Pub­lished in AEGEE-Europe News­Bul­letin Feb­ru­ary 1991)

Conclusions of the ERASMUS Academy held in Oviedo, 17–22 September 1991

AEGEE-Europe News­Bul­letin Octo­ber 1991

The first edi­tion of this annu­al con­gress, which took place in Oviedo, on the 18th, 19th and 20th of Sep­tem­ber 1991, at the Cham­ber of Com­merce of Oviedo, came to an end of its work­ing agen­da on Fri­day 20th.

The almost 160 par­tic­i­pants from dif­fer­ent var­i­ous Euro­pean coun­tries (includ­ing a good num­ber of stu­dents from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oviedo) con­tributed very active­ly towards the elab­o­ra­tion of prac­ti­cal results and con­clu­sions regard­ing stu­dent mobil­i­ty with­in Europe.

A doc­u­ment of the con­clu­sions obtained in the “ERASMUS Acad­e­my”, sup­port­ed by all the par­tic­i­pants and speak­ers (Euro­pean Stu­dent Asso­ci­a­tions, Uni­ver­si­ties, ERASMUS Bureau), as well as the expec­ta­tions of the afore­said con­cern­ing insti­tu­tions and bod­ies com­pe­tent in the field of mobil­i­ty, will be sent to:

  • Uni­ver­si­ties
  • Nation­al Agen­cies for ERASMUS grants (NGAAs)
  • ERASMUS Bureau
  • Com­mis­sion of the EC
  • Coun­cil of Europe
  • Euro­pean Stu­dent Asso­ci­a­tions

The main objec­tive of sen­si­bi­liza­tion of the par­tic­i­pants and aware­ness of the prob­lems of the mobil­i­ty pro­grammes has been ful­ly achieved. Activ­i­ties like these con­tribute in a very sig­nif­i­cant way to facil­i­tate inte­gra­tion among the Euro­pean Youth and there­fore to the con­struc­tion of a Unit­ed Europe.

CONCLUSIONS

1. The great devel­op­ment of the mobil­i­ty pro­grammes is allow­ing a great num­ber of Euro­pean stu­dents to get to know oth­er cul­tures, learn oth­er lan­guages and under­stand oth­er ways of think­ing but the mobil­i­ty bud­gets are not grow­ing at the same rate as the num­ber of pro­grammes.

2. All the parts involved (Uni­ver­si­ties, Euro­pean stu­dent asso­ci­a­tions, ERASMUS Bureau) agreed on the main prob­lems for the exchange stu­dents:

  • lack of infor­ma­tion for the stu­dent before going abroad
  • lodg­ings
  • small amount of the ERASMUS grant
  • dif­fi­cul­ties in the aca­d­e­m­ic and social inte­gra­tion
  • lack of lin­guis­tic prepa­ra­tion in minor­i­ty lan­guages.

3. All the par­tic­i­pants expressed their will to work towards prac­ti­cal solu­tions that were obtained in the expe­ri­ences of the dif­fer­ent “anten­nae” of AEGEE in Europe, par­tic­u­lar­ly in AEGEE-Oviedo (mod­el to be fol­lowed): men­tor­ship, legal and lodg­ing assis­tance, excur­sions, lan­guage cours­es…

4. All the exchange stu­dents (ERASMUS, Tem­pus, Lin­gua, Comett) are includ­ed in the pro­grammes of assis­tance that were obtained through­out the Con­gress as an homo­ge­neous result to be applied in the whole of Europe about assist­ing in ERASMUS at a local lev­el.

5. Coop­er­a­tion among all stu­dent asso­ci­a­tions at all lev­els is nec­es­sary: among all the Euro­pean asso­ci­a­tions, among these and the rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the Uni­ver­si­ties, elect­ed stu­dent bod­ies, fac­ul­ty stu­dent coun­cils. Joint actions of the Euro­pean stu­dent asso­ci­a­tions before the Com­mis­sion of the CEE are basic so as to achieve suf­fi­cient eco­nom­ic sup­port for putting their activ­i­ties into prac­tice.

6. The Tem­pus pro­gramme and the stu­dents of the East­ern coun­tries present pecu­liar­i­ties and prob­lems that need spe­cial atten­tion.

7. The best way of resolv­ing the above men­tioned prob­lems in point 2 is through a nar­row col­lab­o­ra­tion at a local lev­el between the Uni­ver­si­ty and active asso­ci­a­tions in the mobil­i­ty field. At a Euro­pean lev­el, a great infor­ma­tion flow and con­tin­u­ous com­mu­ni­ca­tion between the Com­mis­sion, ERASMUS Bureau, Nation­al Agree­ments and Euro­pean asso­ci­a­tions can solve many prob­lems.

8. Expec­ta­tions of the par­tic­i­pants regard­ing the com­pe­tent insti­tu­tions in the mobil­i­ty of stu­dents:

  • Uni­ver­si­ty: mate­r­i­al sup­port, infra­struc­ture and mon­ey, com­mu­ni­ca­tion flow…
  • Nation­al Agency: Dis­tri­b­u­tion of the pay­ment of ERASMUS grants on time, more infor­ma­tive sup­port at a nation­al lev­el
  • ERASMUS Bureau: mate­r­i­al (Direc­to­ries, Bul­letins) and infor­ma­tion sup­port.
  • EC Com­mis­sion: eco­nom­ic sup­port to the capa­ble and exper­i­ment­ed asso­ci­a­tions that can obtain actu­al results and solu­tions. Increase of the mobil­i­ty bud­get.
  • Euro­pean asso­ci­a­tions: Put into prac­tice. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and moti­va­tion of stu­dents and teach­ers.

9. The con­gress “ERASMUS Acad­e­my” gets estab­lished as the first prac­ti­cal forum about prob­lems in the mobil­i­ty field of stu­dents. It will be held annu­al­ly and next year will be orga­nized by anoth­er AEGEE anten­na a dif­fer­ent place in Europe, prob­a­bly focus­ing in the Tem­pus pro­gramme that will have a lot of impor­tance in the inte­gra­tion of Europe.

10. The sec­ond edi­tion of this meet­ing of stu­dent mobil­i­ty in Europe, to be held in 1992 will help to study the evo­lu­tion of the mobil­i­ty pro­grammes, to prove the valid­i­ty of prac­ti­cal solu­tions at a local lev­el obtained in Oviedo, and eval­u­ate the moti­va­tion of the /EGEE anten­nae and oth­er Euro­pean asso­ci­a­tions in their mobil­i­ty work.

Hop­ing that these con­clu­sions will be use­ful for a quick inte­gra­tion process of the Euro­pean youth.”

Enrique Ries­go Lazaro, ERASMUS Acad­e­my Coor­di­na­tor

(Pub­lished in AEGEE-Europe News­Bul­letin Octo­ber 1991)