What is ESN?

Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is one of the biggest interdisciplinary student associations in Europe. It was founded on 16th October 1989 and legally registered in 1990 with the aim of supporting and developing student exchange opportunities.

ESN is present in more than 480 Higher Education Institutions from 37 countries. The network is constantly developing and expanding.

ESN is working in the field of Higher Education (HE):

  • offering services to 180.000 students
  • mainly on a volunteer basis
  • with an average annual growth rate of 12,3% since 1990

ESN is operating on three levels, LocalNational and International.

ESN works for the creation of a more mobile and flexible education environment by supporting and developing the student exchange from different levels, and providing an intercultural experience to those students who cannot access a period abroad ("internationalisation at home")

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?

Homecoming students

Students that are returning from exchange are supported with the 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 the issues and challenges faced in a foreign environment.

Exchange students

The main focus of ESN is  current exchange students, who often face challenges and problems in their new environments. Therefore, ESN offers help with the academic, social and integration process. This is mainly done through activities in the local sections, which include cultural and social events such as trips to various sights of cultural interest within the country, film nights, language projects and international food festivals and last, but not least, parties. In addition, many sections have introduced mentor systems, which help the international students with academic and practical integration matters.

ESN also promotes mobility opportunities and encourages  students to gain international experiences by participating in exchange programmes.