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International students are pupils who move abroad for higher education. When student moves to a new country, they suddenly find themselves in a new culture. It takes them a while to adjust to new settings and cultures.
For short-term stay usually, people are not bothered to learn about the local customs, laws, and language. In contrast to that, when a student arrives in a new country, they are expected to stay a long time – from six months to four years. Long-term stay means it involves multiple procedures to be completed after arrival, such as bureaucratic obligations, making a tax code or applying for residency, and opening a bank account. Together with state/city requirements students wants to get to know the city, its people, market, shopping plazas, or nice restaurants. Also, a place or platform to socialize and mingle with other students.
Without socialization student’s life is like a fish out of water. To breathe in a new city or country they need people to interact and nourish their lifestyle.
Student Networks are non-profit organizations that aim to bring domestic and international students together through various activities, excursions, and beyond. Student networks, for most of the time, play a vital role in international students’ social life and keep their minds healthy by helping each other. One example, we would like to discuss here is Erasmus Student Network (ESN).
ESN was founded in Utrecht, the Netherlands in the 1980s. After its creation, it became internationally successful and many sections around the world were also formed. Today ESN is spread all around Europe and the World.
ESN platform is like a home away from home for many students. Their motto is “students helping students.” In reality, it is a powerful tool for students’ integration into new environments. They provide relevant information and encourage the exchange students to gain international experience and gain relevant insight into diverse cultures.
ESN organizes weekly/monthly based activities to allow students to make new friends, have some time off their studies, and get to know new destinations. The ambition of students’ networks and ESN particularly address our first question that how international students mingle into new environments by being away from home. It also offers many fun activities and excursions to famous destinations.
Student networks are important associations for international students’ well-being. Given the example of ESN, there are many relevant associations that focus on sports, mental health, career counseling, or politics.
International students out of their countries are encouraged to find those organizations or let them find you. To be part of these organizations in beautiful experience and healthy activity for mind and soul.
In sum, international students’ life changes after arrival to the new county – from applying for residency to opening a bank account, finding nice restaurants, or searching for grocery shops and getting information for the next party – all become easier after they become part of associations such as ESN.