How to request a mentor?
- You can request an ESN mentor when you register to our mentor-system match program, PAPAYA and search for ELTE.
- Please use your Facebook account as you'll receive your profile immediately and won't require our approval which will cause a lot of delays (e-mail registration will). Check if you're subscribing to your relevant faculty.
- Wait till you get a match!
About the Mentorsystem
As you might already know: our organisation, the Erasmus Student Network (from here on out ESN) is a voluntarily student organisation all across Europe based on the principle of students helping students. One main pillar of this is the so-calle ,,Mentoring or Buddy Programme".
When you are accepted as an Erasmus exchange student of a University that has a local ESN section, you are likely going to be "confronted" by a local student claiming to be a "mentor" or "buddy", trying to ask about you, your date and means of arrival, your plans for accommodation – basic but still important information that you might consider private, especially coming from a stranger. The question is : should you be worried? What does this guy/girl want from you? The first answer is of course no, and the second is that the person claiming to be your mentor is a volunteer student, whose aim is to become your first friend in the new environment so that you feel less lost and have always someone to turn to. This is what your first impression of the ESN Mentorsystem might be like: a friendly person trying to help.
What more is there to know about it? Well in our case, here at ESN ELTE, the local ESN Section of the Hungarian Eötvös Loránd University the Mentorsystem is based on the cooperation and coexistence of eight highly independent smaller circles of mentors from the same faculties. Each faculty has its Faculty Coordinator who is responsible for the coordination and education of the current and new members of the Mentor system, and also assigns incoming students to mentors. Moreover, they regularly organise events that can either be exclusive for the exchange students of said faculty or accessible on Section/University level, meaning that by taking part in these activities you are not only able to get to know people from the same field of study, but even if it’s just on Faculty level it’s a nice opportunity to bond with people, make connections, making it an essential part of the Mentorsystem so that the people involved with it can all actually get to know each other a bit better and develop friendships, which we can all agree upon, is an essential part of an exchange semester. Therefore it should not come as a surprise that the mentors themselves aim to help you get the most out of your experience here, in this foreign land, which is home to them, to show you the way of life that you have to get used to for at least half a year, and to make sure that this time will be a memorable part of your life.
But of course for you to actually be able to stay in Hungary without worries, you need to defeat the grim monster of bureaucracy and administration, meaning that just like in any other country you need to deal with and acquire quite a few important documents, without which you cannot start a 5-month stay in the country. That's almost as tedious and uncomfortable as it sounds, but the mentors/buddies are also there, as your number one friends, to help you deal with these initial problems, so that after having all the necessary "bads" dealt with, you can freely concentrate on your mobility, and how to get the most out of it.
You might still have your doubts: why are people doing this? Well most people are in it for the international experience, and all the valuable bonds they build with the exchange students. It’s a rewarding feeling, being able to help others, expecting nothing in return, given the chance to understand a different culture, different habits, and always being able to meet new interesting people, it almost makes being a mentor comparable to being an exchange student in your own country, you get the same intercultural experience, so yeah, you could say we are also in it for the fun ;)
We hope this article was sufficient in the way that, at least, in a nutshell, you understood what the Mentorsystem is mostly about, but if any questions remain unanswered regarding this topic or should any problem arise – don't hesitate to write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org