WHATSOC? Erasmus Society!
Southampton can be very exciting, especially for international students.
You might have noticed them sitting silently in some of your courses or talking perfectly French or German on campus – Erasmus and exchange students, polishing their CV with a stay abroad and experiencing the full dose of British culture. Despite them staying only for a semester or two, some home students spend their precious time organizing events and helping out international students. I spoke to Joseph, forth year Modern Languages student and president of ESN Southampton.
What is ESN and what does ESN Southampton do?
ESN stands for Erasmus Student Network. ESN is a network of students across Europe, who work together to promote mobility and intercultural communication and understanding through student exchange. Here in Southampton, we help Erasmus students settle in, put on parties and trips for them, as well as charity events, and we also help them meet local students (and vice versa) through our buddy scheme.
How can you get involved?
I would recommend joining our Facebook group, ESN Southampton 2015/2016 (Erasmus Society), as we regularly post about upcoming events, and students also communicate with each other on there. Our events are open to EVERYONE, regardless of whether you are an Erasmus student or an international student or local. Anyone can come along to anything, and we’d be really happy to see some new faces!
What do I get out of it?
Getting involved is a great way to meet new people from around the world! There is such a huge variety of people from all kinds of backgrounds who you can get to know and be friends with, and the Erasmus students always want to get to know the locals, so everyone is really friendly! Also, it can have more practical benefits, for example, if you want to practise a language or get to know people from a specific country, our buddy scheme is a great way to do that! I study German, and I have had the privilege to get 3 German buddies, and I love chatting away to them auf Deutsch.
What were the highlights of last semester’s events and trips?
I think everyone enjoyed the White T-shirt party and the Halloween party- some of us a bit too much (cough cough Matt ). And our trip to Oxford was a great success, and everyone had fun, even with the typically wet English weather!
What have you planned for the second semester?
We have lots of exciting things planned! There will be a trip to Bristol soon, another trip to the New Forest, a trip to Brighton and some socials and maybe another party!
What is the funniest story from your experience with ESN Southampton?
Georges and I took the Erasmus Students to the New Forest last semester, and almost lost half of them in the woods. Luckily no one got eaten by the ponies, and we tracked them all down in the end!
How it feels for non-English students to come to Southampton can be read here.