The 11th edition of the ESNsurvey is here! For those not familiar with it, it is the biggest Europe wide research project conducted solemnly by volunteers. The Erasmus Student Network uses the results to advocate for improvements of exchange programmes in Europe. As every year, we hope that thousands of students all around Europe will fill in the survey and tell us their experiences and perceptions related to student mobility. This year we decided to focus on two major target groups:
 

1) homecoming study exchange students
2) students with no mobility experience



 

Both groups take part in the process of internationalization of higher education, a process that we, as ESN, want to understand as much as we can. We want to find out which conditions and interventions at universities contribute to a friendlier atmosphere on campuses and how a university can improve the intercultural relations between local and international students. We set this year’s topic to be:

 

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLINESS OF UNIVERSITIES

 

I. Homecoming study exchange students will be asked about:

  • Host university services

Are services essential for international students (such as an Orientation Week, Buddy Programme, etc.) available at host universities?

  • Academic and coursework activities

Are study programmes adapted to a multicultural university environment?

  • Campus discrimination and academic support

Are international students treated fairly and equally during their studies abroad?

  • Social activities

Are free time voluntary activities available and do internationals attend them?

  • Friendships

How many friends do international students have?

  • Fulfilling plans

Are the objectives that students set before going abroad fulfilled?

  • Re-integration

How do home-universities work with returned study abroad students?

 

More than just trying to see into these sub-topics, we will aim to explore the relationships between each of them and to understand their importance in the process of international student adjustment. Additionally, by gathering information about demographics and the study abroad context, we want to discover the effect of certain variables such as nationality, country of study abroad, length of study abroad, finances, accommodation, etc.


 

II. Students with no mobility experience will be asked about:

  • Home university characteristics

Are students offered to participate in services for international students?

  • Academic and coursework activities

Are study programmes adapted to a multicultural university environment?

  • Social activities

Are free time voluntary activities with international students available for and attended by locals?

  • Friendships

How many international friends do local students have?

  • Multicultural attitudes

What are the attitudes toward foreigners and opinions about a multicultural society?

 

The local environment is gradually recognized as having a more and more important role in influencing the experiences of international students. Therefore, it is included in the study to represent the local point of view.

 

Apart from studying the individual issues and understanding the links between them, the two groups will be compared and the overall concept of internationalization at home will be explored.