Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is the biggest student association in Europe. It was established in 1989 for supporting and developing international student mobility. ESN is now present in over 500 Higher Education Institutions in 40 European countries and is constantly expanding.
The mission of ESN is to create a more mobile and flexible education environment by supporting and developing student exchange. At the same time ESN also wishes to provide an intercultural experience to those students, who are not able to study abroad. ESN works in the interest of international students and aims to improve their social and practical integration.
Aims & Principles
In synthesis, ESN:
works in the interest of international students
works to improve the social and practical integration of international students
represents the needs and rights of international students on the local, national, and international level
provides relevant information about mobility programmes
motivates students to study abroad
works with the reintegration of homecoming students
contributes to the improvement and accessibility of student mobility
cares about its members
values volunteering and active citizenship
Who are we for?
The students who are returning from exchange are being supported in reintegration process in their home countries by keeping contact with an international environment. Many local sections are set up by former exchange students, often because they have had good experiences from their exchange period or because they felt a lack of help during their exchange. They also understand better the issues and challenges in a foreign environment.
However, the main focus of ESN is placed on current exchange students, who often face problems (and feel abandoned) in their new environments. Therefore, ESN offers help in academic, social and practical integration process. This is mainly done through activities in the local sections, which include cultural and social events such as trips to various places within the country, film nights, language projects, international food festivals and last, but not least, parties. In addition to that, many sections have introduced mentor systems, which help the international students mainly in academic and practical integration.
ESN also provides relevant information and encourages the future exchange students to gain the international experience and gain relevant insight to different cultures.