In autumn 2008, I was studying in Italy when I received the wonderful news that my request to go on Erasmus in Belgium had been approved.
The initial excitement, however, soon gave way to anxiety and a lot of questions to which I could not find answers. Although the academic staff of the hosting university had been very helpful in providing me with all the information concerning the school and the study plan to follow, I had other questions which I hesitated to ask the staff because I believed they were not exactly pertinent to the study.
Some were important questions about applying for a visa and then a residence permit in Belgium, since I was still a "non-EU" student in Italy. Others, on the other hand, were simple, yet relevant questions: how do I find accommodation? How can I get to the city centre from Charleroi airport? Which neighbourhoods are the best for students? Where can I find a pizzeria that makes real Italian Pizza 😊. How can I find a part-time job to earn some pocket money?
It has now been 14 years, yet these same questions are increasingly important for all students who are preparing to start their academic career either abroad or in their own country. Back in 2008, I would have really liked to have been able to contact students who were already in Brussels or were about to arrive, just like me. Students with whom I could communicate freely even by asking those questions I hesitated to ask the academic staff. Students with whom to meet once I arrived in Brussels.
Goin’ - Connecting your students was born from the need to answer these questions, providing a safe space for all students sharing the same study destination, so that they can get in touch with classmates even before arriving in the chosen city/university.
As a result, students feel less anxious, more integrated, and above all benefit from an excellent student experience that will lead them to become the best ambassadors and alumni of their university.