“Mobility is a lifestyle” was the perfect theme for this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the Erasmus Student Network (ESN). Students from all over Europe and around the world gathered in Berlin on April 20-24, 2017 to discuss their shared passion for international and cultural exchange and make decisions about how the network is run the following year, including voting on its leadership.
ESN is the largest international student association in Europe, founded in 1989 with the goal of supporting and developing international student exchange. ESN is present at over 800 higher education institutions in 39 countries, with approximately 15,000 members. For these students, mobility is certainly a way of life! ESN members often embark on multiple experiences abroad during their studies.
InterExchange is proud to be the exclusive partner of the ESN for J-1 Visa sponsorship of internships in the U.S. and we were thrilled to attend this year’s AGM. We were able to meet students and alumni from around Europe, who were excited to tell us where they have gone abroad and where they would like to go next. It was fun to hear about these experiences firsthand and watch as friends and former classmates reunited with each other in Germany.
"I am the current president of a new London section and newly elected vice-president of the U.K. board of ESN. Thus, the AGM 2017 has been my first international event. The schedule was definitely tight and intense, starting everyday at 8 a.m. with just a few short breaks throughout the day until 7 p.m. However, I believe it was very forming. It provides an inspiring platform for ESNers, where single sections can understand the vast extension of the network and feel part of a whole, where important decisions are being taken and where new friends are made. It's an amazing intense opportunity to bridge local with international.
"The power of youth and friendship becomes tangible. The intensity of the programme becomes bearable, instilling motivation to actions, debate, and critical thinking. Young people are free to be themselves and express their thoughts. And we work hard, debate, and reflect a lot, but we have fun! It's an experience that cherishes youth and ESN. And the sense of bonding, community, the tangible representation of the potential of the organisation straighten ESN itself and ensure that morale is kept up and that volunteers will keep loving what they do. I personally felt very engaged with the organisation and happy to take on board all the responsibilities my role as National U.K. Vice-President requires, despite the fact that I will be working full-time at the same time. And this is all because of the passion I have towards ESN." Manuela Fumarola from the U.K.
We hope this year’s AGM was as fun for delegates as it was for InterExchange as an exhibitor. We also hope ESN members will take advantage of the special discount we shared with them to save up to $200 on the program fee!
Want to expand your horizons beyond Europe? Consider the InterExchange Intern USA program.
Questions? We’re here for you always at firstname.lastname@example.org
Allison joined the InterExchange team in 2011 and holds a B.A. in International Affairs and an M.A. in Higher Education. She oversees the daily operations of the Career Training USA program where she has the privilege of working with students and professionals from around the world pursuing U.S. internships and training programs. Allison is originally from Massachusetts and studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina.