One of DSU’s many societies is now representing DMU on the international stage.
DSU’s Erasmus+ Society have made a major leap in their development after joining a UK-wide network ofuniversities that forms part of the wider Erasmus Student Network, an organisation that helps students who want to, or are, studying abroad.
Alice Davies, society president, said: “ESN stands for Erasmus Student Network, an organisation that covers the whole of Europe, and it’s something that the UK is sort of lagging behind in a little bit.
“It helps the mobility of students who want to study abroad or do an internship as part of their degree and now we have signed up for ESN and got this status, we join this bigger network of 22 universities in the UK.
“It means we can participate in trips with other universities and with ESN there are student discounts for travel, some clothing brands as well.
“We wanted the international students that come here to really enjoy their time in the UK and in Leicester, and we thought it would help them more now we have ESN status as they’re connected to this bigger Erasmus student population in the UK.”
To join the UK network of ESN, Alice and society secretary Nicole Lewis had to make a presentation to the UK Erasmus President on why they wanted ESN status.
The society was formed this year in an effort to help international students acclimatise to life in Leicester, and to promote the Erasmus Exchange Programme.
Three members of Erasmus+ on one of the many events oragnised by the society.
Nicole said: “We basically introduce international students to the UK. We wanted to reach out to more students at DMU and help international students meet British students and mingle with them, get to know them.”
Alice and Nicole were inspired to set up the society after they both studied abroad for a year.
“We both did an Erasmus exchange year. I went to North Carolina and Alice went to Finland, and a couple of other members of our committee also went abroad,” explained Nicole.
Alice continued: “It was a study exchange. We both study English Literature, I’m a single-honours student, Nicole’s joint with Education Studies, and because of the courses I found it quite easy to match up with the partner university in Finland that I went to, so I got to study some different modules to what I’d ever done before, like Politics and History.
“There are things you’re interested in pursuing after your degree as well and you can try them out.
“It was an extra year to both our degrees, so we’re both now on four-year degrees, but I think if you ask anyone who’s been on Erasmus they’ll say it’s completely worth it.”
Nicole added: “I think the most important thing we wanted to do was to promote Erasmus exchange, because a lot of people when they find out we did a year aboard, they’re like, ‘oh, I didn’t know you could do that’, and we’re like, ‘well, everyone’s entitled to do that!’
“We want to promote that, to let all students know that they have that opportunity.”
Nicole said that studying abroad for a year opened her eyes to the possibility of new ideas and different career paths to what she had envisaged.
“It opens your mind. It changed my idea of what I want to do once I graduate. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to be a teacher, but now I’m definitely sure that’s not what I want to do.
“I want to go into politics, which is what I’m going to pursue my Master’s in. So, for me, it affirmed what I want to do in the future.”
Alice added: “It’s really good for opportunities within your studies as well, but a lot of what you learn is not part of the study programme. You have the experience of going to another country, and living there for one term or one year, and it really does prepare you for that sort of thing if you want to that after university.”
To get involved with DSU’s Erasmus+ Society, visit their society page here. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.