tiistai 26. marraskuuta 2013

ESTIEM Council Meeting Portugal - Aveiro&Porto


After two weeks of resting and a getting a hold on to my daily routines I have now finally decided to tell about the amazing week I had in Portugal. The idea for attending the Council Meeting (5th to 10th of November) occurred to me in the beginning of August when I was still in Finland getting ready for my Erasmus here in Madrid and I saw some sort of an open call for trainers to hold trainings at the CM. At that time it had been about two years since I last time attended an ESTIEM event and I thought to myself "well since I'm in the same approximate region and I have lots of time on my hands, then why not?" I wouldn't miss this golden opportunity to attend the biggest ESTIEM event of all time for any reason.

To my surprise my proposal for "Oral presentation technique" training was accepted and it was time to develop the training in more detail and get my plane tickets (Madrid-Porto-Madrid only 30 euros!). I exchanged several e-mails with older trainers before November and as the date was getting closer and closer I was getting more and more excited to go.

Torre dos Clerigos, Porto

ESTIEM events are not exactly well known for a sufficient amount of sleep per night. Keeping this in mind I would not recommend taking a 09.20 flight if you are still recovering from a two day long hangover caused by a certain trip in Barcelona the previous weekend. Just a friendly advice from someone who made this stupid mistake. I arrived to the rainy Porto around 09.30 local time and to the YES!-hostel, where other ESTIEMers were sleeping, little before 11. A welcomed nap in the hostel lounge and the room was filled with Germans. To be honest I was little scared to come to Portugal alone since from 230+ attendants I only knew about 5 people beforehand. Therefore I was really lucky to bump into one them, Olli from LG Oulu/Aachen who I met in Madrid a month back, in the YES!-hostel.

Our German/Finnish group had a quick lunch at a local café/restaurant where for the first time I was struck by one fact - people in Portugal can actually speak English! During my 2-3 month stay in Madrid I have gotten so accustomed to not being able to use English anywhere that I was completely baffled by this elderly lady, who was serving us, speaking perfect English. We proceeded to the train station where we met so many ESTIEMers that our little group had grown into a mob. We actually had pretty much the whole train wagon to ourselves. During the train ride I really enjoyed ESTIEM girls singing around a guitar and right before we arrived to Aveiro they ended the singing in a beautiful intrepretation of Hallelujah. I was a little worried that the singing might disturb other passengers so I thought ending in a ballad was really nice. Then IN COME THE DUTCHIES with their very loud (yet surprisingly good quality) loud speaker and their some dutch BOOM-BOOM song. Normally I would have enjoyed it (let me know what the song was or send me a youtube-link!) but this time I felt this mixture of "hey that sounds fun, let me join you!" and "aww dude, there are other people in here, wait for bloody 90 seconds." I guess this is their way of saying "Welcome to CM, newbies / WE ARE HERE, B*TCHES!"

LG Lappeenranta, day 1

We shortly joined the rest of the ESTIEMers at the local gymnasium and were divided to Families to get to know each other. I was assigned to family 3 with Louise Berglund from LG Stockholm working as the family elder or whatever. We had some fun get-to-know games and my first few beers which relieved my "I don't know any people"-anxiety. My week has officially begun!

Family 3!

Work hard...

We ESTIEMers have this motto "Work hard, Play hard" which means that no matter how long and hard we play the previous night, we always get up in the morning to work hard the whole day only to play hard again in the same evening and repeat. As I don't exactly remember the chronological order of things that we discussed during our General Assemblies I will just divide this blog at this point to first talk about the Work hard -bit which is what the whole CM is about and get back to the Play hard in just a moment. ;)

The days in Aveiro were filled with General Assemblies (GAs), Working Groups (WGs) and trainings. During GAs there were guest speakers from the university of Aveiro, BEST, IIE, ESTIEM Alumni and many others, annual reports, board applications, project leader applications, rule exemptions, fun moments and many things I honestly cannot remember anymore. I am proud to say that although I slept on average 3 hours per night I was able to stay awake in almost all GAs! (I was caught only once by Csaba Hartmann resting my eyes *cough*)

Europe3D report, Yusuf Tasli
 Never say no to Panda! -Board 2013

While I was listening to all of the presentations I was for the first time struck by the fact how big ESTIEM actually is. I mean I have always known that ESTIEM is a huge organisation, but seeing how many local groups were represented (close to 200 delegates representing different universities from all around Europe) and seeing how many central LEADERS there were in the organisation (to my approximation around two dozen, maybe more), this was the first time I actually FELT how big deal this organisation is. I was, and still am, very, very impressed.

LG Kaunas


Then there were the trainings and WGs. Due to some unfortunate events my training was not held due to all the participants gone missing. I was at first little upset about it but on the bright side I got a chance to take a nap while others were working. On the downside no one woke me up before the end of the second part of the trainings/WGs. But hey! More energy for the International Night! Also considering how tired I was after sleeping only one hour the previous night I was honestly a little relieved as I was not 100% certain that I was able to deliver the training properly. Next day I attended WGs of Knowledge Management Committee (KMC) and Training Committee (TC). The conversations were really interesting and I was happy to contribute.


Naturally the most interesting parts of the CM were the board and project leader elections. I don't see any point in listing the names of the picks as those who were there already know and those who weren't there don't care, but I was very impressed by how high quality candidates there were to all positions. Honestly speaking I could've picked any of them although in some cases there were some personal preferences. I will take this opportunity to congratulate everyone who made it and thank those who weren't picked for their enthusiasm and passion towards contributing to ESTIEM!

 Old leaders
Newly elected ESTIEM Board 2014
But what does the frog say?

... Play hard!

The parties were AMAZING!!! I will let the pictures speak for themselves :) Unfortunately I don't have pictures from all evenings (maybe a good thing), but memories will last!

 Why stand in the queue for burgers when you can sit, drink beer and watch FC Barcelona vs. AC Milan?
Traditional Portuguese live music. Enjoyed it very much!
 International Night
 International Night
 International Night, LG Finland
 International Night, LG Netherlands
 International Night, LG Russia
 International Night, LG Poland
 International Night, LG Germany
 International Night, LG Sweden
 International Night, LG Turkey
International Night, probably LG Ukraine, maybe Belarus
 On the way to the Farewell Dinner, Sagres
 Farewell Dinner, Cergal
 Finnish table... before anyone got any food
 LG Finland representing
 Kossu relay races LG Finland vs. Board 2013 vs. Board 2014
I am still wondering what is happening over here...
Farewell Dinner afterparty

I would have many drinking stories from the whole week, but I think I will save them for later... ;)

Porto, a city of old and new

After a very long sleepless, eye-opening, inspiring, fun and productive week in Aveiro it was time to head home. My flight was leaving on Monday 06.30 in the morning so I had time to check out what Porto has to offer. I was accompanied by Senni, Ida and Topias from LG Lappeenranta and we all agreed that the city is very aweinspiring with its fascinating mixture of old and new architecture, steep height differences and awesome views. Again I will let the pictures speak for themselves...

Me, Ida, Josetta, Senni, Amar and Felix. In front of me Francesinha, unbeatable Portuguese cuisine

Senni, Ida, Topias and me

Aand that's about it. I joined the ESTIEM hangout (no pictures available) to chill for the last time before heading to the airport with a night bus. This week has truly been the most memorable of my life not only because I had awesome time but also because it jump-started and revived my interest and enthusiasm towards ESTIEM. I started this week as a deactivated member (not attending any events for two years because of focusing on other things) who joined the event out of curiosity and convenience (living in Madrid the airplane tickets were really cheap) and who had not met more than 5 people before this event. I left as a supermotivated new active who has after the event joined the Training Committee (I am still determined to deliver trainings despite bad luck in CM) and Europe 3D team (SUPERawesome project and because you don't say no to Panda) and is going to join Knowledge Management Committee aswell in 2014. So a lot of going on, but I am certain I can manage it. Also I met a lot of awesome people from all around Europe and I am very excited to join this big big family and am looking forward to a mind-blowingly awesome 2014.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and I'll see all of you awesome people somewhere in Europe! :)

- Lassi

maanantai 4. marraskuuta 2013



Ajattelin kirjoittaa nopean kuvapainotteisen postauksen menneestä viikonlopusta Katalonian sydämessä aina yhtä ihastuttavassa Barcelonassa. Noin puolitoista kuukautta sitten Lappeenrannassa pari vuotta sitten olleet entiset vaihto-opiskelijat alkoivat keskustella miitistä Barcelonassa. Kyseisen keskustelun bongattuani miun ei tarvinnut kahdesti miettiä kelkkaan hyppäämistä Barcelonan ollessa alusta asti suunnitelmissani visiitille ja olihan se pirun hienoa nähdä vanhoja naamoja parin vuoden takaa. Siitä se ajatus sitten lähti. Miittiin osallistui noin parikymmentä henkilöä eri puolelta Eurooppaa.

Kuten kuvista näkyy, niin viikonlopun aikana tuli nähtyä monia arkitehtuurisesti mielenkiintoisia kohteita, mutta siitä huolimatta lempipaikakseni valikoitui satama. Jokin siinä vedessä ja hirmuisessa ihmisvilinässä vaan viehättää aurinkoisena päivänä. Kyllä sitä rupesi tämän reissun jälkeen väkisinkin pohtimaan, että pitäsköhäs sitä muuttaa Barcelonaan valmistumisen jälkeen... Tai ehkä aiemminkin työharjoittelun tms. muodossa. Yöelämä Barcelonassa on oman kokemukseni mukaan yhtälailla rikasta ja vilkasta kuin mihin olen Madridissa tottunut. Oikein kiva ja lämmin reissu oli, pitääpä katsella palaanko jo ennen joulua pyörähtämään uudestaan pakoon jo hieman viileäksi käynyttä Madridia. ;)

Tämä nyt oli tämmönen nopea teksti ja jatkan nyt Portugaliin pakkaamista. Huomenna on nimittäin luvassa aamulento Portoon, mistä jatkan matkaa Aveirossa järjestettävään ESTIEM Council Meetingiin. Paluulento onkin sitten maanantaiaamuna. :) Paljon kuvia ja tarinaa luvassa, stay tuned for the next week!

- Lassi