At ESN UofG, we feel that we are the perfect bridge between the Study Abroad & Exchanges Office and UofG students; our committee board are all returning exchange students, who are eager to encourage students at the University to consider doing an exchange as part of their degree. Our society’s key role within the University’s internationalisation strategy and its aims to increase student mobility were never more evident than at last week’s Study Abroad Fair.
Throughout the fair, our stand was overwhelmed with intrigued students - many had not heard of ESN and all the support we have to offer them. They were delighted to hear that we are Europe’s biggest student led organisation, and that if they choose to partake in an Erasmus exchange that they are likely to find another ESN section in their city who helping them to settle into student life abroad.
As students ourselves, we understand the concerns many are facing as they make the decision about whether to take the first step. Over the course of the day we answered a wide variety of questions regarding the application process, the academic workload on exchange, the financial cost of studying abroad and social aspects of doing an exchange. Through our own first hand experiences we were able to answer 99% of questions. Additionally students were able to ask ourselves questions that they may not feel the study abroad office could - and to facilitate this we printed off a range of “FAQ”s, such as “won’t I miss my friends in Glasgow?” which we could answer on a genuinely student-to-student basis. We then hosted a social, where students could mingle with their peers and our board members, and we displayed videos and photos of our mobility periods. We were delighted with the success of our contribution, and have since been answering further questions from those who attended as they prepare their applications.
ESN has quickly become an integral component of University’s international environment. We help show what a mobility-minded university that the University of Glasgow is. By having an ESN presence at every study abroad event, this will promote this idea further and the study abroad process will grow even more popular. What’s next for us? We are delighted to have been approved as the host of the next ESN UK national platform - a conference which brings together 60 young leaders in the field of mobility from 22 different UK universities. This will be organised by our own dedicated team, however we are still seeking funding to support this exciting venture. Any help whatsoever would be greatly appreciated!