November 2018

Saturday 17 November is International Students' Day, which has been commemorated annually since the Nazis stormed Czech universities in 1939.
 
Since then the higher education community has used the anniversary as a time to shout about just how much the world gains from the exchange of knowledge across cultural barriers.
 
The British Council itself was founded in 1935 with a founding mission very similar to International Students' Day. With the rise of political extremism in Central Europe, we were established to open up lines of dialogue, with the belief that the positive forces of intercultural communication and mutual learning were the antidote to book burning and prejudice.
 
Ever since then we’ve worked towards the international exchange of knowledge that is the foundation of what is celebrated on International Students Day. We promote and facilitate opportunities for UK students to study overseas and we bring their overseas counterparts to the UK to experience the country and its education.
 

The connections we build can last a lifetime and have a real effect on both cultures. Take Elizabeth Cawein, Alumni Awards finalist, who came from Memphis, Tennessee to London to study Contemporary Music at Brunel University. While here she developed her expertise on how culture is a catalyst which sparks regeneration and civic pride. 

Now back in Memphis and running a music PR business, she continues to foster the connections that she developed while in the UK. In  2017 she established the ‘Memphis to the Mersey’ songwriters exchange to develop the relationship between two cities long connected by the cotton trade and their musical legacies. You can view her TED talk How to build a thriving music scene in your city.

And she is just one of the stories, we’ve enabled to happen. In 2017 we helped more than 17,500 students from UK universities to go overseas through our programmes which include Erasmus+, Generation UK–China and English Language Assistant.

In the week beginning 12 November, in the build-up to International Students' Day, we’ll be playing our part in the celebration by sharing some of these stories.

Follow us on @HEGoingGlobal or find us on the hashtag #InternationalStudentsDay