Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is the largest student organisation in Europe. It was founded on the 16th October 1989 and legally registered in 1990 for supporting and developing student exchange and mobility.

ESN is present in more than 800 Higher Education Institutions from 40 countries. The network is constantly developing and expanding, with over 15,000 active members working on a volunteer basis to take care of international students and advocate for student mobility.

ESN operates on three levels: international, national and local.


Aims & Principles


  • works in the interest of international students.
  • works to improve the social and practical integration of international students.
  • represents the rights and needs of international students.
  • provides relevant information about mobility programmes.
  • motivates students to study abroad.
  • reintegrates students returning from a period abroad.
  • contributes to the improvement and accessibility of student mobility.
  • values volunteering and active citizenship.

Who is ESN for?

Homecoming students

The students who are returning from exchange are supported in the reintegration process in their home countries by keeping contact with an international environment. Many local sections are set up by former exchange students, often because they have had good experiences from their exchange period or because they experienced a lack of help during their exchange. They also better understand the issues and challenges associated with studying in a foreign environment.

Exchange students

The main focus of ESN is placed on current exchange students, who often face problems in their new environments. ESN offers help in academic, social and practical integration. This is mainly done through activities in the local sections, which include cultural and social events. Additionally, many sections have introduced buddy systems, which match international students with home students.

ESN also provides relevant information and encourages home students to gain international experience and insight into different cultures.