Erasmus Student Network
ESN is one of the biggest student organisations in Europe. It was during the Erasmus gathering in Ghent 1989 that the need for an organisation that offered support to exchange students while abroad. On the 16th of October 1989, the first local association started. With an even developing and expanding network, we are now present in more than 800 Higher Education Institutions in 40 countries. More than 14.000 active volunteers in dedicate their free time all over Europe, often supported by 'buddies/mentors' that are linked to an exchange student to offer advice on their host towns. ESN involved thus around 34.000 young people and offer services to around 200.000 international students every year, on a voluntary basis.
Beyond this, ESN devotes itself to support the creation of a more mobile and flexible education environment by supporting and developing student exchanges and by providing an intercultural experience also to the students who cannot access a period abroad under the idea "internationalisation at home".
ESN is operating on three levels: local, national, and international.
Erasmus Student Network Belgium
ESN Belgium is a non-profit organisation (ASBL/VZW) and the national branch of ESN in Belgium. Our mission is to foster student mobility in Higher Education in Belgium and to provide opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development under the principle of Students Helping Students.
Each year there are over 10 000 Erasmus students in Belgium, and over 50.000 International full degree students in Belgian University towns. ESN Belgium offers them support in different fields, going to support in finding accommodation and offering practical advice, to organising social & cultural events for both international and local students to foster mutual cultural understanding.
Currently there are 17 local sections as we call them, in 10 cities (Brussels, Gent, Antwerp, Leuven, Liège, Louvain-la-Neuve, Mons, Hasselt, Kortrijk, Namur) covering around 5000 Erasmus students.
In order to coordinate the network in Belgium, support and inform the sections and represent ESN Belgium on the international level as well as towards partners and stakeholders, a National Board is elected every year.
The Belgian network also develops national events and projects, such as the Welcome Days or the National Trip to Amsterdam.
More information about ESN ; https://www.esn.org