EAIE Geneva 2018, Europe's largest international higher education conference, took place during 11-14 September 2018 and welcomed over 5700 higher education professionals from 95 countries.

The event brought together higher education institutions, national agencies, student service providers and many other participants, as well as the ESN delegation of 6 people - the only student organisation present at the event. The programme was full of interesting sessions, networking events, debates, keynotes and workshops, all under the common motto “Facing outward”.

For 4 days, the Erasmus Student Network representatives had the pleasure to facilitate 7 different sessions. Their contribution focused mainly on showcasing ESN’s projects and services or addressing the causes ESN deals with.

Jeroen van Lent (Web Project Administrator) together with Hugo Urción (Partnership Manager) kicked off with a poster session about ErasmusIntern.org, presenting a platform where trainees can meet with numerous Erasmus+ traineeship providers all over Europe.

Two further sessions with Kacper Olczyk (Communication Manager) were dedicated to the digitalisation of mobility. Removing paperwork from the administration of student exchanges was the topic of the Erasmus Without Paper session, giving the participants a chance to learn about the latest developments of the project. The second session was about the Erasmus+ App, the digital tool aiming to improve the mobility experience through numerous functionalities.

Together with ESN France and the University of Vienna, ESN showcased the benefits of internationalisation at home through buddy programmes - building a bond between the incoming exchange students and local volunteers.

Additionally, ESN gave its statement towards various societal problems. Challenges that students face within the divisive social climate were addressed by ESN’s Vice-President Tijana Stojanović, who presented ESN’s project SocialErasmus as a solution to this problem. The unfortunate housing situation of students going abroad was a topic of another session and ESN offered the best-practice examples and recommendations to better support students in their international experience.

One of ESN’s highlights at this year’s EAIE was the presentation of the SocialErasmus+ project and the official launch of the SocialErasmus Charter. This project, encouraging international students to volunteer during their studies abroad, aims to drive social inclusion between local communities and those on academic exchange. At the end of the session, the SocialErasmus Charter was officially signed by the President of ESN, João Pinto and Lloid Huitson from the European Commission. Everybody else is invited to sign the petition at www.socialerasmus.org/charter!

EAIE Geneva 2018 was once again a very inspiring and valuable experience. Next year, the EAIE will travel up north to Helsinki and ESN will not be missing among the participants. More information about the upcoming edition can be found here.