International Students’ Day

4 minute read
International Students Day

International Students’ Day is celebrated every year on 17 November. This day marks the right of students to access resources available for a better education. Going back to the roots, the day was originally commemorated to remember the students of Czech universities who were killed and sent to concentration camps by Nazis in 1939. A number of universities celebrate International Students’ Day sometimes on a day other than 17 November, to mark a non-political celebration of the multiculturalism of international students studying at their respective universities. Read on to know more about the history, significance and celebrations.


The date marks the anniversary of the Nazi attack on the University of Prague after the affirmation against the German occupation of Czechoslovakia including the killings of Jan Opletal and worker Václav Sedláček. It all began when the Nazis stormed the students, murdering nine student leaders and sending more than 1,000 students to concentration camps. The Nazis eventually closed all Czech universities and colleges. 

Charles University - University of Prague
The University of Prague is now known as Charles University; Image Source: Wikipedia

In 1940, the initial idea to mark the atrocities imposed on students in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia was discussed among Czechoslovak Army troops in England. The idea of commemorating the day on 17 November was discussed with the British National Union of Students of England and Wales and other international students fighting the Nazis from England. 

Constant efforts were made to convince students from different countries to acknowledge 17 November as a day for encouraging resistance against the Nazis and the fight for freedom and democracy across the world.

Students of Great Britain, India,  America, the then USSR, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, China, Holland, Norway, Poland and Yugoslavia came together to honour the tortured and executed students who were the first to raise their voices against the Nazi oppression.


International Students’ Day promotes student harmony, diversity and multiculturalism. On this day, students pay homage to the bravery and determination of the students who fearlessly defended their university during the Nazi Stormining in 1939. On this day, students are made aware that they have the right to raise their voices against the atrocities, freedom and equality. Many universities across the world celebrate this day with utmost enthusiasm. 

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How is it celebrated?

On this day, universities organize events like cultural performances, sports activities, academic workshops and competitions such as essay writing contests, quizzes, debates, and other fun activities to keep the students active and entertained. Students are also provided with expert talks from dignitaries on various issues discussing issues faced by the international student community.

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Why should we celebrate International Students’ Day?

Apart from honouring the sacrifices made by the brave students of Czech Universities, here are some other reasons why we should celebrate International Students’ Day:

  • International students leave their families behind to make their dreams come true.
  • The lively spirit to move beyond boundaries and gain confidence.
  • Millions of international students enrolled in higher education institutions worldwide get the chance to experience global diversity.
  • Importance of access to educational resources for bright international students who study abroad through scholarships.
  • International students and their vital role in the global economy.
  • Addressing discriminatory problems faced by students abroad.

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International Students’ Day Wishes 2023

  • Looking back at your life, there are a few things you are always going to miss. One of them is your life as a student. No matter how boring the history classes may seem right now, the time spent with friends will remain in your memories forever. Happy International Students’ Day!
  • Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.” So, this International Students’ Day, let’s take a pledge to make the world a better place together.
  • There is no shortcut to success; therefore, you should never compromise your studies. Happy International Students’ Day to you.
  • On the occasion of International Students’ Day, I wish all the students great success and a bright future. 

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When is International Students’ Day celebrated?

International Students’ Day is celebrated every year on 17 November.

Why is International Students’ Day celebrated?

International Students’ Day is celebrated to mark the bravery of students of Czech universities against the Nazi Attack in 1939.

Why should we celebrate International Students’ Day?

Apart from marking the sacrifices made by the brave students of Czech Universities, we must celebrate International Student’s Day to address the international student community.

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