Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is organising the Social Inclusion Days initiative where more than 500 local associations in 40 countries will host events to bring together international students and local communities through volunteering and advocate for inclusive mobility programmes.
This two-week initiative, running from 19th of November until 3rd of December 2018, will provide opportunities for international students to expanding their knowledge of their host countries cultures, and in having a first-hand experience with the local population.
In the framework of the SocialErasmus+ project, the focus will be on the learning experience of the students during their volunteering activity and internationalisation at home for local students. By bringing Erasmus students to local schools during Erasmus in Schools events where they will be holding classes on various topics, ESN offers a learning experience to both the Erasmus students and the local schools' student. Through their engagement, students enrich their curricula, gain competencies and learn how one can contribute to the improvement of society as European citizens.
“ESN’s mission does not end with international students. We believe in the transformative power of the abroad experience and with the Social Inclusion Days, we aim at enriching it by promoting an active contribution of international students to the progress of their host community. With these activities, which provide opportunities for interaction between locals and internationals, the investment the European Union makes in the Erasmus+ Programme reaches more people and contributes to a more cohesive European society.” - João Pinto, President of the Erasmus Student Network
While celebrating and enjoying their Erasmus+ experience, young people will have a chance to take part in activities such as food drives and donations, fundraisers, clothes donations, animal shelter visits, educational workshops in high schools, conferences, mapping universities for accessibility, raising awareness about disabilities and many more events that promote social inclusion.
“As a new exchange student in Thessaloniki, it was part of my adventure to get to know the culture of this city, its people and to become part of the community. Social activities like helping out people with disabilities, volunteering in schools, and many more helped me understand how to do just that .” - Greta Nehme, Erasmus in Thessaloniki 2017/18
Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is the biggest student association in Europe. Present at over 1000 Higher Education Institutions, it unites over 500 local associations in 40 countries. More than 15,000 volunteers take care of international colleagues under the motto “Students helping students”. ESN works for the creation of a more mobile and flexible education environment by supporting and developing the student exchange from different levels and providing an intercultural experience.