The Kuopio International Student Organization (KISA) joined the Erasmus Student Network in 2011, and since then has been steadily expanding in events, active members, recognition, and publicity. Our president Miia is a student at the University of Eastern Finland studying biomedicine. Under her leadership over the past year, KISA has participated in a number of local, national, and international events.
Our local events (usually organized biannually) include everything from Finnish traditions like sitsit and the smoke sauna to international cultural events, such as our international food festival. At the national and international level, we send delegates to many programs that are headed by the National and International Boards.
On the last weekend of October, five ESN KISA members (president Miia, local representative Isabell, vice president Gwendolyn, and active members Oleg and Aigerim) participated in the National Platform Helsinki 2015. This was the first time that Gwendolyn, Oleg, and Aigerim attended the NP and it was nothing short of eye-opening for all of the KISA attendees. From the workshops to the parties, the icebreakers to the plenaries, all of the events planned by the NB and the Organizing Committee were extremely beneficial for the expansion of KISA’s scope with international students here in Kuopio.
Those of us who attended for the first time had the opportunity to meet people from all over Finland (as well as many other parts of the world!) and hear about what is happening in other sections. We left with many ideas about new programs to implement in Kuopio, like ExchangeAbility events and trainings in Eduk8 for interested board members. Hearing about these programs firsthand provides insight that simply cannot be obtained through reading a description online. We all look forward to attending the next NP!