For many students the beginning of a new semester represents the beginning of stress, classes and accumulation of learning materials. However, for the members of ESN BelUPgrade the beginning of a new semester presents an opportunity to meet and socialize with students from, not only Europe, but from all over the world, who came to Belgrade as participants of student mobility programs. To prove ourselves as great hosts, our members work hard even before the semester begins. The first of many events we organize during the semester is Welcome Week. Welcome Week is challenging as we have to organize seven events each day for a week, which will satisfy the taste of many students who come to Belgrade, and allow them to get to know each other and us as well.
This semseter's Welcome Week lasted from the 30th of September untill the 6th of October. The PR and EVENT team have worked hard to plan and organize all the events, with the help of the BUDDY team which was in charge of motivating Erasmus students to participate in our events that will provide them with the best Erasmus experience.
Everyone's favourite Beer Pong was the first event on the schedule. Beer lovers were devided into teams of two, which were made by randomly drawing numbers from a hat. While the teams were competing, other students were cheering loudly, each for their favourite. In between cheering and playing, we all had enough time to get to know each other.
As for the tournament, after 4 long hours of intense competing, we finally got the winners! Local students, Milena Milošević and Jovan Sremčević, won in the uncertain final. Their reward was tradicional Serbian drink rakija made of honey which they, as good hosts, shared with everyone present.
As Welcome Week wasn't reserved only for getting to know each other, but getting to know the environment and culture our guests had come to, Wednesday was reserved for a tour of the Museum of Applied Arts, SANU Gallery and the Ethnographic museum. While we were walking through the hallways of the museums, admiring the works of some of the greatest Serbian artist, such as Ljuba Popović, we got acquainted with the cultures our guests come from, but we also got the chance to hear the specifics of the regions of Serbia out members come from. The last stop of the day was Ethnographic museum as a prelude to the big surprise we had for Sunday.
Besides Beer pong the most popular event is definitely karaoke. This time, in cooperation with Mastershow karaoke crew, we organized the event in C cafe. In addition to our main icebreakers at karaoke nights, we heard some new faces. Hey Jude by The Beatles was the track that made the most of the rapturous atmosphere and made us all sing along with the preformer. The end of the evening was reserved for our favourite part, the award ceremony, a group photo with the winners of the night, congratulations and overall satisfaction.
Friday of our Welcome Week was reserved for a night out. Our goal was to show Belgrade's night life to our guests. First stop of the night was Prohibicija bar, where we chilled, talked and just got to know each other better over some drinks and good music. After midnight, the next stop was Barrio Latino and Fiesta Latina! We enjoyed reggaeton hits and bachata songs for the rest of the night. We spent the night laughing and swaying our hips to latino music!
EU TRIVIA NIGHT
We all know how important it is for exchanged students to connect, so that their time in a foreign country is enjoyable. In addition to its educational character, the goal of this quiz was to encourage participants to work together, as a team, and thus become better acquainted with each other and be more tolerant of one another. The contestants were devided into teams that carried the names of dishes typical for our region. Even though the focus of the quiz was on Europe, European Union and Erasmus programe, contestants had an opportunity to share their knowledge from various different fields such as art, music and sport, but also to find out some interesting facts about the country they are staying in, as one of the categories was dedicated to Serbia. The top three teams were rewarded with brandy and sweets.
INTERNATIONAL DINNER + SURPRISE
International dinner is an event that traditionally closes the Welcome Week. It was designed so that all of the students bring a meal or some drinks that are specific to the country they come from. We tried meals from all around Europe, we even had an opportunity to try some Vietnamese dishes. This time we wanted to do something different for our Erasmus students, so we invited girls from cultural arts society Šumadija to teach us how to dance the traditional Serbian dance KOLO. Although not all of us are talented for dancing, we were all eager to try to learn it. It didn't matter that not all of us were able to learn all the steps. The evening was filled with positive energy, laughter and good food, and nothing else is needed for a great night!