The Saturday ESN cowboy style party at the canteen on Molde Campus. Photo: Krystof Diatka

Cowboy and cowgirls on what ESN means for them

Being an international exchange student is a complicated task. Luckily there are student organisations which help those students with problems they encounter. One of them is ESN – the Erasmus Student Network.

This weekend ESN held a National Platform meeting which served as a presentation and feedback get together for all seven branches in Norway. For the first time in the history of the Molde University college, one of the rooms in the A-building served as an  accommodation for delegations from the different branches. Lets discover ESN through interviews with three members about the organisation, their stay in Molde and about the Responsible Party initiative of ESN.

Magnus G. Haugdal in his cowboy on the horse costume. Photo: Krystof Diatka
Magnus G. Haugdal in his cowboy on the horse costume. Photo: Krystof Diatka

Magnus G. Haugdal is a member of ESN Kristiansand. He ran for the position of national board secretary and won the election. Dressed as a horse rider, he roamed the ESN cowboy style party during National Platform handing out water from the a barrel on his back in the spirit of the Responsible Party project.

What does the Responsible Party project bring to ESN ?

I believe it is a very helpful initiative, since international students  tend to perceive ESN to be all about parties. It is the part they see the most, but we are so much more than that. Through Party Responsible ESN can show that we can take those parties responsibly and professionally.

How do you enjoy sleeping in the university building?

I expected it to be worse, but I was pleasantly surprised that we all had proper mattresses to sleep on. I was afraid they were going to be a sleeping pads. I am really impressed with ESN Molde and Molde University College that they let us do this. Most universities and colleges in  Norway would not allow that.

 What does ESN mean for you?

ESN is second just to my cup of coffee in  the morning. I cannot really imagine my life without it.

What do you think about Molde?

I am really impressed with the college here. It seems to be of high quality. They care a lot more about ESN here than they do in Kristiansand. When I applied for my bachelors I did not realize one could study logistics in Molde, but if I knew it then i would seriously consider applying there.

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Christina Havn. Photo: Krystof Diatka

Christina Havn studies in Bergen and leads the national board as President. She has been with ESN since 2012.

What is the main benefit of the Responsible Party project ?

To make people aware that one does not have to get totally wasted at a party, but they can have fun anyways. The ambassadors of the project distribute free water and offer option to measure the alcohol level in your blood. Besides that they hand out free paraphernalia and organize party activities so it creates a special atmosphere.

What does ESN mean for you ?

Apart from studies, friends and family, it means everything for me. I even recruited a couple of my friends because I was afraid I am going to have to choose between them and ESN.

What is your presidency like?

I have to say that it was a problematic period of my life due to certain family issues I do not want to mention. That made me miss out a lot. So I was not able to fulfill the agenda I had for this year because I started giving it full 100% in August. But I am very proud of the rest of the board, because they stepped in when I could not fulfill my duties and they supported me.

Where would you like to see ESN Norway heading in the future ?

I would like to see more ESN branches being established. And to get more recognition of already existing branches for the hard work they do.

What do you think about Molde?

People here are so nice! For example the bus drivers. I was quite surprised by that because in Bergen they are all grumpy.

Maria Mastrangelopoulou. Photo: Krystof Diatka
Maria Mastrangelopoulou. Photo: Krystof Diatka

Maria Mastrangelopoulou who originally comes from Greece is a founder of ESN Oslo and have been a part of it for more than three years now.

What is the story behind  you founding ESN Oslo?

Well, I stared in the ESN University of Oslo, but there was another  branch at Oslo and Akershus University College which was inactive for two years and under my presidency we managed to join those two sections and become ESN Oslo. Lately we have absorbed a third branch at BI Oslo.

What is the most important about the Responsible Party project ?

I think it is important that people keep control so everyone could enjoy themselves and avoid the problems it leads to if they do not. From my experience people are more responsible about their surroundings and are more careful at those parties, so it is working.

What do you think about the sleeping condition you have at Molde University College? 

First of all I have to say that Molde Unversity College is very generous to offer this option. And I am very grateful for that. It is the student life at its best.

What does ESN mean for you ?

I think that ESN is one of the best organisations ever founded. I mean you get to meet so many people from different countries and you learn so much from them and then they go back home and bring knowledge and experience with them.

What was the biggest achievement during your ESN time?

I am fairly proud about building up the ESN University of Oslo branch, because when I joined it was pretty much ruined. We built many partnerships and we promoted it enough that people started acknowledging it. But  merging all three branches in Oslo would be my proudest moment.


A part of the National Platform meeting was an election to fill three open positions in the national board of ESN. Elise Sætre is the new Vice President, Magnus G. Haugdal was elected to be Secretary and Luiza Oancea is now the boards Communication Manager.