The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is the biggest student association in Europe, born on the 16th October 1989 and legally registered in 1990 for supporting and developing student exchange.

We are present in more than 480 Higher Education Institutions from 37 countries. The network is constantly developing and expanding. We have around 14.500 active members that are in many sections supported by so called buddies mainly taking care of international students. Thus, ESN involves around 34.000 young people offering its services to around 190.000 international students every year. ESN is operating on three levels: local, national, and international.

ESN is working in Higher Education (HE):

  • offering services to 190.000 students
  • 14.500 active members (34.000  with the buddies included)
  • mainly on a volunteer basis
  • with an average annual growth rate of 12% since 2005

Aims & Principles

ESN works for the creation of a more mobile and flexible education environment 

  • 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?

  • Homecoming students

Homecoming students are the students who are returning from exchange.  They are being supported in reintegration process in their home countries by their local sections by keeping contact with an international environment.

  • Outgoing students

ESN also provides advices and give suggestions to all students who will be exchange students. Using our wide network of contacts we can connect outgoing students with students who already were on exchange in the same university/city and make their start as easier as possible.

  • Exchange students

The main focus of ESN is placed on current exchange students, who often face problems in their new environments. Therefore, ESN works to improve the social, practical, and academic integration of international students.

How do we do this?

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. What is more, by operating in three different levels (local, national, and international) ESN represents the needs and rights of international students.

ESN also provides relevant information and encourages the future exchange students to gain the international experience and gain relevant insight to different cultures.

Taking your part!

How can you join? Find your local section here, and join! As being a former exchange student, you can contribute with your experience, share your knowledge, improve your local community, and therefore the whole Network.  If, on the other hand, you are an incoming student, you will connect with beautiful people, get all the relevant information needed, and experience your new local community for real!

Why do we do this?

We believe mobility is more than an important right - it is a lifestyle! Mobility shapes and foster European citizenship, improve individual opportunities, broaden horizons, and enhance multicultural understanding. What is more, mobility is increasing trust between European citizens, and therefore strengthening the European society.

However, we believe, and it still shown by diverse studies, that young people still don’t have the right information and that there are still strong barriers to mobility. We believe we are the right Network and the right people to address these issues because we have the experience and knowledge of real-life mobility, we can talk about it in a different way than institutions do, and we can share emotions, challenges, fears, prides, successes, how we overcame the fears and obstacles, and what we have gained in the way.

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