The Board

ESN Joensuu is made up of the board, the active members and the regular members. We are all equally as important, but it is the board that makes the big decisions and together with the active members gets the ball rolling to make student life fun for everyone! Every autumn and spring we are recruiting more board and active members. Please come to the ESN Joensuu General Meeting organized at the beginning of each semester to find out more and perhaps join the board yourself! There is something for everyone and the positions are open to all those who are interested. Current positions are:


  • President is the leader of the club and supervises everything going on in ESN Joensuu.
  • Vice President and Local Representative helps the president with their duties and keeps in touch with ESN Finland.
  • Treasurer takes care of ESN Joensuu's finances.
  • Communication Manager is responsible for our social media accounts and spreads the word about upcoming events.
  • Two Event Managers, who are the masterminds behind the events.
  • Photographer and Graphic Designer takes tons of cool pictures during the events and designs promotional material like posters and tickets.


If you aren't in the board, you can still help with organizing all the fun events whenever you have time as an active member! If none of these sound like your thing, you can just come to the events and have fun as a regular member like everyone else!

You can reach our board and active members via the ESN Joensuu Facebook page or by email: 


Arla Paananen

Hi everyone! I’m Arla and I’m the secretary of ESN Joensuu. The spring 2018 I spent in Norway as an exchange student and got an idea there to start to get to know the international students and the exchange students back here in my home uni. Now I got the opportunity to join the ESN here in Finland and I’m already loving this new point of view of this whole study life!

ink emoticon_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ESN JOENSUU ALUMNI (Many thanks to all of you)


Bilal Soomro

Hey everyone! I'm Bilal and I am doing a Master’s Degree in Information Technology at the University of Eastern Finland. I started off by attending all the events organized by ESN Joensuu which got me very interested. I decided to join ESN Joensuu board meetings and was elected as the new Events & ExchangeAbility Coordinator in Spring 2018 and have been involved since. I am hoping that being part of ESN will enable me to meet more new people, organize fun activities that everyone can enjoy and make valuable contributions to ESN Joensuu projects. Besides the ESN stuff, I am into sports, music, memes and naps.


Madeleine Frohnholzer

Hey everyone! My name Is Madeleine and I’m from a small town in the south of Germany. I just started in September with my Master’s in Tourism Marketing and Management at the University of Eastern Finland and I’m super excited to be here. In my free time, I enjoy being in the nature, hiking, running, reading books and baking, especially for Christmas. Besides that, I’m a total travel addict and basically save all my money for travelling to places I haven’t been yet. This is not the first time I’ve been to Finland. During my Bachelor studies I did an exchange in Lapland three years ago and ended up staying the whole year.  I totally fell in love with the snow, the beautiful nature, the northern lights and Finnish Culture. So, it was not much of a surprise that I decided to come back. I’ve already been involved in ESN at my previous university in Germany and totally enjoyed helping our exchange students, planning trips and just having a fun time together and making their stay a memorable one. To me ESN is a place where you can get to know likeminded people, make new friends and experience different cultures and events together. (-:


Heli Siponen 

Terve! I'm Heli and I operate the money and finances here in ESN Joensuu, I also act as the link between ESN Joensuu and Timetravels in the role of trip coordinator. I graduated from UEF back in 2015 and also work as the the secretary for international affairs at ISYY, so you can find me at the Student Union's office :)


Sikander Khan

Hi Folks . I am Sikander and have been a part of ESN Joensuu from Fall 2017. And in a short while have gone from being an Active Member to being elected as Secretary. Currently I am in my second year of Master's degree in 'Resources Law and Policy' at UEF. Being a part of ESN is provides one oppurtunity to learn alot and also have a loads of fun and make tonnes of friends from all around the world.


Isabel Bodmann

Hi there! I am Isabel, Business student from Germany. I joined ESN Joensuu in August 2018 as a volunteer and now I am elected board member as photographer! I am "only" here for the autumn semester, but it already feels like ages because I get to know so many new friends! I am happy to be a part of the ESN Joensuu Crew and hope you'll like "THE SNAPS"


Cristiana Maiorino

Hey everyone! I’m Cris, a 24 year old Italian girl. I am an exchange student in the UEF, I’m currently studying digital marketing as a Master’s Degree in Rome. I love watching tv series and anime, in my free time I like doing cosplays and taking pictures of amazing landscapes wherever I go. I am also a cat person. Coming to Finland was a dream come true for me. When I was 16, I fell in love with a metal band, Sonata Arctica, and I soon discovered their music came from the cold Finland. In 2016 I saw them live in Rome and promised myself I would get to see them in their country too. I won’t get the change to meet theme here, but at least I made to Finland, home of Auroras and Santa Claus. An ex member of the ESN Joensuu suggested me to join ESN as well, because she was sure it would have been a great experience, meeting new people and making the difference for all the international students. Let’s see if she was right!


Hugo Schönwetter

Hi everyone, My name is Hugo Schönwetter and I’m 25 years old. A golden age I would say; not too young and not too old. I’m from the Netherlands and grew up in Gouda, a city the same size as Joensuu. My last 3,5 years I lived in Utrecht, the city where I follow my wonderful study; Sociology. My study path is a bit different then the most of the regular students. After high school I started a  ‘Social Work’ study at the university of applied sciences in Utrecht. When I finished my study I decided to gain work experiences (and naturally a lot of money). Last semester I was active by the ESN as event managers and this semester I am the president. I like to inspire people and try to find solutions in a positive and constructive way. I am sure that all the students will have a wonderful experience this semester, whereby our activities and effort can contribute. The ESN is an unique organization, whereby students from different background work together to create a student community.
Together we build bridges,


Sajed Rabbani

Moi!Terve!Hello people. I am Sajed known as Oni(nickname). I am from Bangladesh and I am doing my Masters in Photonics at UEF. I joined ESN Joensuu in Autumn 2015 as an active member and now as a President (aye! Aye! goes with my subject). Before joining ESN Joensuu I was an active member of ESN Lappeenranta. So, I was kind of familiar with the events and mentally prepared that I will join ESN before coming in Joensuu. To me ESN is a place to meet new people and a platform to do good works for the community.


Furkan Karsavuran

My name is Furkan Karsavuran. I am an Erasmus + Exchange student in Joensuu/University of Eastern Finland. I'm from Manisa/Turkey(a city which is very close to Izmir in the western part of Turkey). I'm Turkish. I study English Language Teaching in my country, but in University of Eastern Finland/Joensuu I study English Language and Translation. I'm the communications manager of ESN Joensuu. My job in ESN Joensuu is generally about social media. I really like to help people and I have the experience of being a volunteer as a teacher before in my country. If you want to ask about anything about ESN and any other things In Joensuu, I'll be really glad to help you. You can contact to me on ESN Joensuu (Susi Van Wolf) Facebook or Instagram pages or send an email to . I'll be really glad to answer and help you.


Vanessa Krauss

Hello ppl:) My name is Vanessa, I am from Germany and I am studying teacher for primary school. I am really proud to be part of ESN and to organise events with and for ESN. I love to meet new people, play sports and have fun with my friends. That's why I joined ESN: to have fun and to offer the students many opportunities to meet new people and have fun!! And as I want to become a teacher I am very interesting in see how all the organisation on the local, national and international level works. I am looking forward to all events and organisation stuff for this semester! 
See you :)


Nazrin Ahmadova

Hi :) I am Nazrin from Azerbaijan. I am doing my master in Educational Management at Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania and came here as an Erasmus student. I decided to join ESN for making my exchange life funnier and unforgettable. I do believe that ESN is a place where you can improve yourself and at the same time make a lot of new friends.


Marte Gielis

Hi everyone! I'm Marte and I grew up in Belgium. I'm a student of teacher education and I'm doing my Erasmus at UEF in Joensuu. I will be in Joensuu only for the spring semester, unfortunately... But hopefully I will graduate in June and then I can call myself a primary school class teacher! That's one of the reasons why I joined ESN. I think that the qualities we learn by organising some activities can be very useful in teacher's (and everyone's) life. I will do my best to make beautiful pictures for you all! See you!


Heikki Katajala

Hey, I'm Heikki and I'm studying English language and culture at the University of Eastern Finland for now third year (finishing my bachelors soon(ish)). One of these days (but not any day soon) I will be an English language teacher. In the last few years I've been actively in touch with the "international side of Joensuu" by first just being an exchange student's tutor. In January last year I joined ESN as an active member and then, you know... One thing lead to another and here I am. In my free time I like to annoy my neighbors by playing guitar (and singing). I also like to read what our lecturer in fiction calls "the F-word" books - Fantasy. So fret not when a Martin or Tolkien (or Rowling) reference makes it way into conversation. For ESN Joensuu I believe that our team for this semester is great, and that we can do great (and fun) things together.


Vedrana Lothlórien

Moi :) My name is Vedrana. I am current event manager and SocialErasmus project coordinator. Also, I'm an exchange student from Croatia currently on my last year of masters studies, Genetics and animal breeding, or Biology and Environmental sciences here at UEF. I came here in last spring semester and I enjoyed so much that I decided to come back and stay for one more. Erasmus has really influenced on my life, in positive way. I've met a lot of different people, from all around the world, and made a lot of new friendships. With meeting new people I discovered new cultures and customs. And I discovered myself. ESN Joensuu took a big part in those things and that was the reason I decided to join and become a member. Now I can help new generations to enjoy in their exchange as well, because that's unique and amazing experience that mostly happens once in a lifetime and more people should take part in it.


Quynh Phan

Hey, I am Quynh Anh and you can call me Queen. I am studying International Business at Karelia UAS. My participation in some events hosted by ESN Joensuu last semester motivates me to join the Board of ESN this semester so that I could organize events for international students. Spending time with ESN has brought me not only a lot of fun as I can meet new people from all over the world, but also stress as I am responsible for finding new partners for ESN Joensuu. But after all, this is wonderful experience in my student life in Finland.


Noman Ahmed

HelloJello! I am a graphic designer with 6 years of experience and currently a Master student at University of Eastern Finland, With a Bachelor degree in Electrical and Computer Science from GIKI, Pakistan. I have a book pain syndrome because of my love for books, not only reading them but also the design part. 2016 was the best year of my life in which I drank 2 bath tub of coffee (800+ cups), ate 100+ Pizzas and read 150+ books. Besides that I always strive to improve my design skills and knowledge. My background in digital design has given me the opportunity to understand user flow, interaction, and what makes a user experience great. 


Larisa Agavriloaiei

Born in Romania, raised in Italy, first Erasmus in Germany and now here I am, in freezing but amazing Finland.
Currently I am in my second year of International Business. Besides pretending being cool, acting like a businesswoman, I am very much interested in everything that has to deal with languages and linguistics (yeah, that boring discipline that studies how languages work).
As a true Italian I love coffee, carbonara and sunny days (still asking myself what I am doing here...)
During the last year I have become quite familiar with the amazing world of Erasmus Plus projects, taking part and organizing also some of them. That’s why, when I came here, I decided to join the ESN, which has been one of the best decisions so far.
Hope to continue enjoying the time here and make people enjoy it as well, by organizing lots of nice events!


Lina Muncyté

Hey-Diddly-Ho! My name is Lina and at the moment I’m (STILL) doing my MA in English Literature and Culture at UEF. I’ve done my share as an exchange student back in the day and I see this as a way of giving back to the wonderful international community that I've been surrounded by ever since I became a university student back in 2007 (yes, I'm so old that back in my day the parachute pants were the bees knees). I'm very passionate about what I do in this organisation and I'm so lucky to have met so many incredible poeple ever since I joined it (also they tolerate my terrible pun jokes which always means that we're basically BFFs). I believe that anything is possible if you set your mind to it - I wouldn't be in Finland if I hadn't done so myself (also, I wouldn't be an expert at blueberry picking and mushroom hunting, but that's another sory).


Maksim Karanovic

My name is Maksim (Max in short), and I'm from Novi Sad, Serbia! I'm a student of Biological Sciences and currently on my exchange year at the UEF in Joensuu.
The Red Cross employee; Medical Technician; Major music and film festival employee; Amateur sound-tech; In love with everything Fantasy/Scifi related.
Currently enjoying the company of the wonderful ESNers in Joensuu, and doing my best to keep up the good work of the previous generations.


Joan Carreres

Moi, my name is Joan Carreres, who was born in València (Spain). This is my third year in Joensuu, since I came here in 2012 for my exchange. Currently, I am doing my master in Environmental Biology (save the World!!!). I joint ESN Joensuu back to September 2015 as an active member, where I became the “shopping King” of ESN. Also, I joint the board two times as a comunication manager and yeah, why not a third one?


Clara Reinthaler

Hei! My name is Clara and I am the current Project Coordinator. I am an exchange student from Austria and currently in my third year of studying Education. I came here last semester and really enjoyed Joensuu, the nature, but especially the people here. Travelling abroad is, in my opinion, always a very nice opportunity to meet new people and create a better understanding of the world. For that reason, I would like to encourage, but also help people to travel abroad and go on Exchange. A year or semester abroad is a unique experience that you will remember a lifetime (hopefully because it was awesome and not the other way around J )  ESN Joensuu organizes many events that help integrate people into the new community of Erasmus people and locals and that is why I wanted to be part of it. 


Kim Murgraal

"Hello everyone, I'm Kim Ordén a 24 year old goofy guy that got stuck in exchange and is trying to fill gaps of not being there with hanging out with exchange students in Joensuu. I'm originally from Espoo, but moved to Joensuu to study game programming in 2012 in Karelia UAS.  i have been involved with international activities in Joensuu since i was an international tutor in 2014. Currently i'm working full time as the CEO/Producer in a game company called Firetail Games, which we founded with our friends in early 2016. I also play bass guitar, which makes me more or less have no value as a human being. I joined ESN Joensuu board to be the sponsorship manager, and i think I can take well care of this because it mostly requires negotiating with local companies. I speak fluent finnish and I'm used to calling and emailing people because of my work experience. I hope I will bring  alot of value to ESN Joensuu as a board member. Ps. I'm also a fennoswede, so I play golf and own a sailing boat"


William Lefiot

Hello everybody ! I am a Erasmus student from the south of France. I study Computer Science and I hope I will have my bachelor at the end of this year. I joined the ESN this semester to meet new amazing people, create some event and be more involve in the student life. Enjoy Joensuu !


Soukaina Alaoui

Salam! Bonjour! Hello! Anyong! I am Soukaina (Souki for short), the Communication Manager at ESN Joensuu. I am an MBA student who came on exchange to the beautiful Finland. I love languages, music, theatre, all sorts of arts, books, euh….and food (of course duh! ;D). I was able to travel and explore thanks to the Erasmus + program, so I am participating in ESN to give back a little.


Annelot van Rooij

Hi! I am Annelot, a cultural anthropologist in the making from Utrecht, the Netherlands. I will be in Joensuu for a semester taking social science courses. I want to make the most of my time here in Joensuu and I missed the busy live of organizing things at home so I decided to join ESN. I am the current Event Manager and Social Erasmus coordinator! Let's make it an amazing semester :) 


Abdelbaar Mounadi

Hehooo! I am Abdelbaar MOUNADI from Morocco. My friends call me the free bird (meaning the eagle in our culture), because I am always on the move. I love books, documentaries, travelling, fire-camping in the wilderness, and people. I love seeing people happy, and being a part of their happiness is my passion. And I love coffee. I ended up doing my exchange here in the beautiful city of Joensuu by rare piece of luck and joined the international community of ESN Joensuu in the same way. Now, I am the vice-president and Local Representative -and the trolley driver- of ESN Joensuu. I am benefitting so much and learning a lot from all the amazing people in ESN and UEF alike…


Alexander Sokolov

My name is Alexander, but well,always preferred to be called Alex, I study International Business in Karelia University of Applied Sciences on a fourth year. When i started studying in uni, i was thinking that i'd become some big bad boss, getting paid a lot, and caring about things ... not that much. but now after getting a little more insights on what is going on in the business world i have gotten way more interested in doing something rather important and responsible with my marketing skills. Hence my interest in educational and environmental marketing grew very strong. The Autumn 2015 semester i was the active member of ESN Joensuu, helping to organize several events by mostly collecting prizes for the competitions and games. Since I was rather successful at doing that, I decided to apply, and was voted to become the ESN Joensuu Board Member as an Event and ESN Card manager where my tasks were organizing the events and getting new partners for the ESN Joensuu. I am looking forward to start my work as the board member.


Christina Cagnina

Hello! I am Christina, but my friends like to call me Chrissi. I am an Erasmus student from Germany and study teaching education in my third year. How to recognize me: I have always a smile on my face and I like to laugh!  During my semester abroad here in Joensuu, I would like to leave a mark in Finland – this is why I decided to join ESN. I also would like to promote Erasmus to my fellow students because it is a wonderful experience. My plan is to take all my ESN knowledge back to my homecountry to give Erasmus students coming to Germany a good time.


Pavla Wernerová

Hi everyone! My name is Pavla and I am an exchange student at the University of Eastern Finland. I come from the Czech Republic and I study English Language and Literature. I love travelling, tasting exotic food and reading classic English novels. I also love different kinds of sport. Most of the time, I am shy but I can go pretty crazy sometimes. This is already my second Erasmus exchange because I love Scandinavia. For the first time, I fell in love with Sweden so I decided to visit its neighbour. I enjoyed being a part of ESN in Sweden so here I am again in ESN Joensuu.


Dalva Lamminmäki

Hei! My name is Dalva Lamminmäki. Currently I am a student in Folklore Studies at the University of East- Finland specialising in the study of folk healers in Finland. One of my interests of study is folk metal lyrics, tradition, mythology and the worldview behind them in Finnish folklore. This autumn is my third semester as an international student tutor. Best thing in ESN is to meet amazing people all around the world and to know about other cultures. And I always like to say “A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles”.
Just yell “COFFEEEEE….” and I will be there. Finns drink a lot coffee, and I do my share of that really well. Here is a Finnish language lesson number 1: Coffee= Kahvi.


Katri Herranen

Hello there! My name is Katri and I have been the communications manager of ESN Joensuu during the spring semester 2016. I am a second year law student in the University of Eastern Finland. I was born and raised in Kitee, the promised city of Finnish baseball and “Kiteen Kirkas” aka. Finnish vodka. Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Despite of the fact that I’ve accidentally got hit to the head with a baseball racket, I still have some brain cells left. I might seem a little shy and quiet at first but once I get comfortable I’ll start babbling and making oh-so-funny jokes. I enjoy deep conversations about random topics and love tea, puppies and chocolate. My hobbies (some of them) are daydreaming, playing football and ice fishing. If you have any questions about ESN Joensuu, please feel free to contact me to my


Azra Tayebi

This is Azra ....Some friends call me "earthquake" and I sometimes call myself "poor blind girl" (do not worry it's a joke J )

If you happen to be in one of streets in Joensuu somewhere after midnight and if you see a girl with white cane in her hand walking and singing, probably that's me! I have been living and studying Information technology in Joensuu since September 2013. I was an active member of ESN Joensuu since 2014 and  the ambassador of ExchangeAbility project since last January. Beside theater, dancing and singing, I love group work. I enjoy working with people who love what are they doing and ESN is one of the best places to meet such people.

We are going to rock it, so come and join us!


Heidi Savokallio

Educational Officer of ESN Finland

Morjens! I’m Heidi, the small Finnish girl who (unlike your stereotypical Finn) doesn’t mind small talk or looking people in the eye. I LOVE the English language, traveling, furry animals (you can meet my baby, Helmi the dog, in some of the ESN events), yummy food and good wine. I don’t like cloudberries, sausages and biscuits. I’ve been an active member in ESN for one year already, and now I finally got the courage to take a bit more responsibility in the form of an event manager! I’m looking forward to some amazing times with all you ESNers and will do my best to help you enjoy your time in Finland to the fullest!


Pablo Guillerna Franco

National Representative for ESN Finland

Hi guys! I'm Pablo from Spain, I'm 23 years old, and I am an Elementary School English teacher coursing my Master's Deegree Programme in Early Language Education at the University of Eastern Finland. I have been involved in ESN for quite long already covering different positions of our board, for a while I thought my career in ESN Joensuu was over, but then suddenly this little geek I have inside me came out and made me apply for the IT Manager position. I will be responsible wether if our website looks amazing or rather is a complete disaster! :P 

I have many interests but one of them is learning more about education, and getting to know new people every day! so if you see me around don't hesitate to come around and give me a hug and say hello! (I know it is not so typical Finnish, but well I'm not a typical Spaniard either) 

Looking forward to see y'all in our events! 


Elías Chaves Jiménez

Hello everyone, I am Elías, a double degree student in Business Administration & Law that have just arrived to Joensuu to live one of the most amazing experiences in the world and willing to learn from everything and everyone! It's a little bit complicated to sum up my hobbies and personality so if interested come around and meet me, easy-going guy! Visual Content Creator for ESNJoensuu. Made in Spain.


And last but not least: some of our greatest ESN'ers ever

Mónica Sánchez Torres

Former President (The "Presi")  of ESN Joensuu 

I became part of ESN the first year I arrived in Joensuu. The previous year, I was an Erasmus free mover in Vienna and I took part on many of the activities ESN Vienna arranged. Once here, I thought it was time to pay back by becoming part of ESN here in Joensuu.  I’ve hold several local positions within the organization but now I’m just an active member. What I like the most of ESN Joensuu is that the organization works hard on making Joensuu a more international place, and even if it’s dark and -23 outside, it gives international people are reason to go out and be social.


Laura Marie Carman

The platinum member of ESN Joensuu who brings daylight to everyone even in the Finnish November

G’day! I’m Laura Carman from Australia. I am a secondary teacher studying my masters in UEF in Early Language Education for Intercultural Communication. I am an intruiging mixture of extroverted craziness, excited eagerness and list making teacherness and also a hugger so prepare for FREE HUG MAULS. This semester I want to organise more fun cultural evenings and also make sure our technology is up to date!  So if you see a girl wandering around singing to herself and seems in another world, that'sprobably me so ask what you like and ill try and answer! BOOM.