Step 1: Create a team
To create a section you first need a group of enthusiastic people who wish to work on the ESN idea offering services and taking care of international students at your university or in your city.
A good way to find interested people is by engaging your friends, promoting it on facebook or sending an email to the several faculty mailing lists of your university.
Another source of contacts is the International Relations Office and Student Union. They know the names of the outgoing former exchange students and can help you with recruiting members.
(An additional task after gathering members for the new section, the next task could be to register the organisation legally as a vzw/asbl (ngo) in Belgium. This has several benefits regarding the insurance of your volunteers and the liability of your organization).
Step 2: Cooperation with your university
It is much more easier to work as a section in ESN, when you have the support from your International Relations Office of the university. Universities normally appreciate having an ESN section, since it takes away some work from welcoming the international themselves, and it generally improves the experience of the students’ stay at your university.
Usually, they are willing to put you in contact with visiting international students, e.g. by giving you a presentation during the orientation days or cooperation with a buddy system. Sometimes they also help you with financing, getting office, and finding a place to host the activities.
Step 3: Principles of ESN
ESN is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation and works following the principle of ‘students helping students’. We try to offer services for international students to improve their stay abroad, but we also support the idea of ‘internationalisation at home’ by including local students in our activities, and bringing both groups of students together. Our aim is to improve the quality and quantity of student mobility. We suggest you to take a look at our vision, mission and values.
Step 4: Help and support of the National Board of ESN Belgium
To help you with creating your section you can contact the national board of Belgium. We will give you any needed advice, put you in contact with already existing sections and help you to become a formal member section of ESN.
Since a new section needs to be approved at the National Platform, which is the meeting of all sections on the national level, we encourage you to contact the national board in advance!
For any questions or advice, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!
Step 5: Application
To apply for the membership in ESN you should fill in the application form that you can find below.
After your successful application and approval we will welcome you in ESN with all necessary information and documents!