IFMSA @ the Informal Forum of International Student Organizations

In IFMSA, we always thrive to collaborate with other student organizations, to increase our impact, join our voices and achieve the highest levels of meaningful youth participation. Our collaborations with student organizations have started a long time ago, and every year, we join our efforts together in attending different meetings, working on joint campaigns and initiatives and promoting each others’ events and projects. So how do we get the chance to meet, decide upon our common fields of interest and plan our collaborations?

IFISO is an informal forum, where many different student organizations have the chance to be together and share knowledge and experience. Both through training sessions and through general discussions. The goal of this forum is to facilitate contact between student organizations; in order to enhance collaboration between them. Annual IFISO meetings are normally held twice a year, hosted by local committees of member organizations. Leaders of international student organizations come together during these meetings to share ideas, best practices, and network. So many international organizations that are run by and for students attend this conference!

IFMSA was present in IFISO spring meeting in Graz, Austria, from the 6th to the 9th of April. IFMSA was represented by Batool Al-Wahdani, IFMSA Liaison Officer to Student Organizations. This IFISO meeting was attended by representatives from 15 International and European student organizations including pharmaceutical, veterinary, physics, engineering, geography, history, law, agriculture and many other student organizations.

Throughout the Spring IFISO meeting, the representatives attended many sessions on topics related to all student organizations including Grants, Advocacy and Meaningful Youth Involvement, Strategic Planning, Quality Assurance and Capacity Building, International Knowledge Management and Transfer, and Collaboration with International Institutions.

This meeting was a chance to meet a lot of our student organization partners and discuss the status of our collaborations. Three organizations from the World Health students’ Alliance were present in the meeting, and we were able to discuss the alliance’s participation in World Health Assembly. We also planned our collaboration with the European Federation of Psychology Students on Mental Health week. In addition, IFMSA had the chance to assess the possibility of collaboration between medical and law students, in which they can provide for us legal review and consultation for some of the issues we face in IFMSA.

Batool, our Liaison Officer to Student Organizations, giving a session to participants of IFISO.

IFMSA had the opportunity to present a concept note about “The International Students’ Forum”. During the last IFISO meeting, IFMSA has suggested adopting the idea of organizing an international forum attended by students from all the IFISO partner organizations, in which they can discuss topics and issues related to students worldwide including Meaningful youth participation, student mobility, training, and students leadership. In addition, using this meeting as a platform to join the voices and efforts of youth and strengthen their multidisciplinary collaboration. During this IFISO meeting, we had two sessions to present and discuss the concept note of this forum and gather input from organizations. The concept note was edited and finalized to be shared with the boards of IFISO organizations for an official review, to decide which organizations want to take part in organizing this forum.

Finally, we would like to thank the organizing committee who hosted IFISO Spring meeting, the International History Students Association, and the European Geography Association. IFMSA will follow up on all the discussions and initiatives started in this meeting, and we hope to strengthen the collaboration between student organizations and will always work on it.

Batool Al Wahdani,
IFMSA Liaison Officer for Student Organizations

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