Practical information for newcomers

Is the IJK your first international congress? If yes, please have a read through this page:

Registration form

Firstly, you need to inform us that you’re coming, and what you need – do not show without announcing yourself! On the website, you will answer all the question in the registration form, and pay at least the minimum upfront payment. If you sign up earlier, you often have to pay less. Don’t worry if you’re not entirely sure about your needs. You can always contact the organizers to change your preferences (well, maybe not on the last day).

Your trip

The first and the last day of the congress are not full– they’re half days. The idea is that you travel to the congress on the first day and return on the last day. You must plan and pay for your return trip on your own. Please note that many travel agencies raise their prices the closer you get to the date: if you want cheap tickets, book at least four months in advance. If you’re lucky, you can sign up for a caravan. A caravan is a group of Esperantis who travel to an event together using buses, trains or even bicycles. This way you won’t just travel on the cheap, your event will begin even underway!

The reception

Upon arrival you should first go see an organizer to check in. Say your name and they’ll check what you ordered. If you still haven’t paid the full amount, you’ll pay the rest here. You’ll receive a room number and a name badge. You need the name badge to receive your meals and access various locations.

In the reception you can also buy tickets to excursions, T-shirts related to the congress and receive answers to all of your questions.


You can choose how you prefer to sleep. Most people choose to sleep in dorms for four to eight people. There are rooms only for women, rooms only for men and rooms for all genders. You can order a one or two bed room, but in this case you will have to pay more. If you choose to sleep in a room, we can provide bed sheets for you, but everyone must bring their own towels. You can also sleep in a tent on the outside, however be aware that in this case you must bring the tent yourself. Obviously, if you so prefer, it’s also possible to stay in a hotel or hostel outside the congress buildings.


The IJK will provide all your meals, if you so prefer. However, you must preorder these in your registration. It is not possible to buy meals on-location from the congress café. Alternatively you may buy groceries and cook by yourself, or eat in a restaurant, this is called being “self-responsible” (memzorganto).

Many participants order all meals. For this reason the dining hall is a great place to meet new people and chat with them. Those who like to stay up all night sometimes do not order breakfast, however.

Your own program

Almost all programs are organized by participants of the congress. You can organize one as well! Think about your talents and interests: maybe you’ve danced a folk dance for a long time, are talented at frisbeeing, like to knit or paint, love quizes, are active in a film club, made a unique trip or studied an interesting topic. Consider whether you’d be interested in organizing a course, lecture, discussion round, game or workshop. Plan, prepare and bring the necessary material.

It’s entirely okay not to organize a program. Not everyone has to.

The food festival

It’s a tradition at many international Espernato events to host a fair presenting the culinary talents of the world. The organizing team will provide you with tables, and you’ll have to bring the rest! All participants will be sharing a part of their own country: you could bring sweets, biscuits or something to drink. If you want to, you can tell a story of write a sign to inform people about what you’ve brought along. It’s not a formal event, however, so don’t feel any pressure to have a professional presentation. It’s also not important if you bring enough for everyone. There’ll be an abundance of food, and not everyone wants to taste everything. Choose something that’ll last outside a fridge for a few days and that can easily be portioned for multiple people.

It’s not rare that we invite the locals – the inhabitants of the town who do not speak Esperanto – to the festival. It doesn’t matter if you can’t communicate with them. They can watch and taste.