Finland became part of the Erasmus Student Network in 1993 with its first ESN section, ESN HYY, in Helsinki. In 1994, ESN Åbo Akademi joined the network as the second Finnish section and the number of sections has since been going up steadily, reaching 16 sections in 2011.
Today, Finland has five ESN sections in the Helsinki area, three in Turku, and the rest of the sections are in Vaasa, Tampere, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Jyväskylä, Kuopio and Joensuu. Most of the Finnish ESN sections are part of their student unions and are working as international committees of their student unions.
In their activities, the sections all over the country organize sauna evenings, parties, pub nights, language buddy activities, sport and cultural events, and usually trips to Stockholm, Lapland, Tallinn, and St Petersburg to name a few.
All sections’ activities differ from each other depending on the local conditions, but most of the sections operate closely not only with their student unions, but also with their institutions’ international student tutors.
On the national level, Finnish sections cooperate mainly regionally but plans have been made to have more national cooperation. Finland offers excellent chances for big and small events all over the country.
On the national level, ESN cooperates with SYL, CIMO (Centre of International Mobility), Allianssi (Finnish Youth Cooperation) and SAMOK, the national student unions in Finland.
Currently, ESN Finland does not have a budget or income. Sections participate in national and international events using their own funds or with the financial support of their higher education institution or student union. The National Representatives Meeting and travel costs are funded by the Centre of International Mobility, CIMO (a national Erasmus/Socrates agency).
ESN Finland’s highest decision-making body is the National Platform, which is a meeting consisting of one or two representatives from each section and takes place twice a year. Recently, ESN Finland established a National Board to take over domestic ESN responsibilities, to support the Finnish sections, and to represent ESN in Finnish contexts. The first official National Board was elected at the National Platform in the spring of 2009.
ESN Finland has also actively taken part in international ESN events. Annually, ESN Finland joins the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Northern European Platform (NEP) with around 15-20 participants. The ESN sections in Helsinki have also organized the AGM in Helsinki in 2004, a CNR (Council of National Representatives) meeting in Helsinki in 2005, and a Nordic Network Meeting in Helsinki in 2006. In 2001, Jyväskylä hosted the Nordic Network Meeting. NEP 2010 was organized in Turku and NEP 2013 in Tampere.
Many Finnish ESNers have also been members of ESN's International Board:
- Giuseppe Lugano from ESN HYY (Vice President of ESN International) in 2004
- Hanna-Maija Saarinen from ESN Åbo Akademi (President) in 2002
- Janna Koivisto from ESN JYY Jyväskylä (Vice President) in 2001
- Mikko Arvas from ESN HYY Helsinki (President) in 2000
- Catharina Lindström from ESN Åbo Akademi (Secretary) in 1999
- Marco La Rosa, ESN HYY Helsinki, External, 2010 - 2011
More information can be found from www.esnfinland.eu.