Want to meet people and have fun in your new city? Join InterNations for free!
What is the point in renting a room above the Seine, only to watch the autumnal leaves gently wilt into water from the window? Or to enroll at the Saint Petersburg State University and yet never look upon the Winter Palace or Saint Isaac’s Cathedral?
Erasmus students fly the nest and live in some of the greatest cities in the world, places that have captured and inspired the minds of authors like Becket, Flaubert and Hemmingway. And yet, the pressures of often being alone for the first time and the nervousness of imperfection in a new language can lead to a form of hermitage. Among fellow students, just as nervous as you, it is easy to fall into a rut, spending hours together and reserving yourselves only to the library, student bars and the ubiquitous Starbucks, never truly experiencing what is right outside the door.
It is into this environment that the Erasmus student, the budding world traveler, can discover InterNations.org: the world’s largest expat social media website. InterNations is a platform, both online and offline, that is populated by Global Minds- people who not only live, work and study abroad, but who very much immerse themselves in the local culture, explore the avenues, sights and sounds of their adopted homeland, and capitalize on every part of being an expat.
Perhaps the greatest way to describe exactly what this internationally renowned website is and does, can be found in the reasons for its creation. InterNations was founded by two young entrepreneurs and world travelers, Malte Zeeck and Philip von Plato. College friends, the two met again after having lived and worked variety of different countries and ultimately came to the same conclusion. Although being an expat can be one of the greatest and most important parts of life, it can also be extremely difficult. Without friends or roots, it can be easy to become lonely, get lost and even to motivate oneself to do the simple things.
Created from this very simple realization is a platform that boasts almost 1.4 million members, stretched across 390 cities in more than 195 countries. For Erasmus students nothing can compare to what InterNations has to offer. It is both an informational resources and a social network, where real people meet in real life. In fact InterNations can lead the prospective Erasmus student to the city of their dreams. With its well-researched and perpetually updated Expat Guide, students can find out all they need to know about what countless cities have to offer. Moreover, if you need even more detailed answers to questions like where can I buy a cheap bike in Munich, you can take advantage of the experienced member base and post in the world forum.
And yet what defines InterNations as a social media company above all others, is its offline presence. Where for most companies, the aim is to keep you online as much as possible, for InterNations being online is simply the starting point. The website hosts two main categories of events to help global minds come together and make the most of living abroad. The first is the InterNations Activity. Activity Groups are like small clubs, in which members can either start a new hobby in the company of fellow beginners of a kindred spirit, or continue a life-long pastime in a city where you would otherwise not know where to go. The best part of the Activity Groups, as any member will tell you, is that the regular meet-ups become as much about talking to your new friends as it does about theatre at the Champs-Élysées or playing soccer in Oslo. The post-activity drinks aren’t the shabbiest either!
The second category is the InterNations Events. While Activity Groups consist of small groups and cater to specific interests, the Events are as varied as the members. The best way to explain what they are is possibly to list just a few:
- Dinner and Cocktail Night with legendary South Seas cocktails
- Dance Party: Ballroom dancing
- Beach Party at a premier club
- InterNations Berlin Burlesque
Ranging from the small and private to the loud and extravagant parties on a Great Gatsbyscale, Events are where one can experience new things in a new city. At both Events and Activity Group outings, students on Erasmus can take advantage of all facets of the InterNations philosophy. As well as making the most of their year abroad, they can feel at home by connecting with people from their country of origin or speak to expats from other countries and discover some interesting things (and network) for future excursions :)
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