About Erasmus Student Network

In 1987 a plan to create an extensive mobility scheme for higher education was approved by the European Community (EC). One part of this was the Erasmus programme - for students in order to provide the opportunity to spend part of their studies abroad. In 1989 the Erasmus Bureau invited 32 former Erasmus Students for an evaluation meeting in Gent, Belgium. This meeting was a starting point for Erasmus Student Network. The problems that became obvious in the evaluation were the main tasks for the founders of ESN to work on. Behind all this stood the idea of "students helping students", which is still the most important motto of ESN volunteers.

On 16th of October 1989, the first section using the name Erasmus Student Network, was founded in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Following that, ESN sections were founded in various European universities, and with financial support from the EC, in October, 1990 the meeting for the official founding of ESN International was organised in Copenhagen, Denmark with 49 participants from almost all member states of the EC.

ESN International became a legal association. Desiree Majoor from Utrecht, Netherlands was the first president in ESN history. By 1994 ESN already had 60 sections in 14 countries and it was growing year by year. 

20 years after the creation, ESN network consists of 280 sections in 32 European countries as well as in Azerbaijan. New technology has tremendously improved collaboration between sections and frequent meetings strengthen the ties between ESN members as well as serve the possibility to exchange ideas and work together for a better future. In September 2005, ESN established an official seat in Brussels, where now the International Board, the Secretariat, and interns are working full time.The vision and mission of Erasmus Student Network were discussed and approved at the Annual General Meeting in Utrecht in March 2009. 

We are present in more than 900 Higher Education Institutions from 40 countries. The network is constantly developing and expanding. We have around 15,000 active members that are in many sections supported by so called buddies mainly taking care of international students.Thus, ESN involves around 40,000 young people offering its services to around 220,000 international students every year.


Enrichment of society through international students


ESN is the key volunteer student organization in international higher education in Europe.We provide opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development under the principle of SHS - Students Helping Students.


The values of Erasmus Student Network that all members stand and work for are: unity in diversity, diversity in the unity (we all have different backgrounds, but share one common aim and goal), students helping students (we passionately commit ourselves to volunteering for the benefits of others), fun in friendship and respect (we enjoy relations based on respect), international dimension of the life (we are open-minded, mobile, like to discover and explore, to co-operate and to interact to break borders), love for Europe as an area of peace and cultural exchange (we live and benefit from the cultural richness of Europe to the utmost), openness with tolerance (we understand and accept others and learn from them), cooperation in the integration (we share an holistic view towards internationality).

More Info at: https://esn.org