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ESN supports exchange students before, during and after their study abroad period. By taking care and assisting the exchange students during the whole exchange experience, we can make your time and experience abroad easier and more exciting.
The first step towards an exchange is to get the right information. ESN provides information both about the academic aspects of an exchange (see Why study abroad?), as well as about practical issues connected to the stay (such as accommodation, administration, costs of living or local culture).
Before going on exchange, contact the local ESN section of your host university (if there is any), have a look at their website where you can already find a lot of information and details concerning your stay or do not hesitate to contact them directly to ask about anything else you need to know.
If you for any reason cannot go on exchange, you might be interested to join the ESN section in order to get the international experience at home. In this way, you will be able to get to know international students, brush up your language skills and find out about different cultures and habits. It is also a good preparation for your own international experience - to see the situation of the international students from the other side and to know what to expect during the first days abroad.
One of the main tasks of ESN sections is to improve the social integration of exchange students and to represent their needs and rights. More than 390 ESN sections all around Europe organise an infinite number of activities for international students in order to integrate them in local community and support them.
The activities are numerous - some of the examples follow: mentor / buddy / tutor system, orientation / welcome week, language exchange projects (such as Tandem or Language Cafes), cultural and social activities, trips, and events. For more details have a look here and on the website of your local section.
If you face any problem, injustice or if you feel you were treated unfairly by your home or host university, or if your Erasmus Charter was not respected, please contact your ESN section, which will represent your needs towards the involved institution.
You have an opportunity to express your opinion about the exchange experience by taking part in the annual ESNSurvey. The ESNSurvey is opened every year during the summer period. Your comments will be passed to the European Commission, many European universities and other stakeholders.
Students returning from an exchange are often facing a challenging reintegration process in their home countries. They are also offered a support and help by ESN - joining a local ESN section will give them the opportunity to continue living the exciting international experience.
Many local sections are set up and run by former exchange students. If you want to join an ESN section, just find one in your city. If there is no ESN section yet, there is nothing easier and more intriguing than starting a local section on your own, possibly with help of your friends and other former exchange students. Easy guidelines on how to set up an ESN section is to be found here.