international students day 2021



World Students’ Day is observed annually on October 15. The day commemorates the birthday of former Indian president Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931, to a Muslim family in the pilgrimage center of Rameswaram on Pamban Island, India. In a landslide victory, he became the 11th president of the Republic of India on July 18, 2002. During his five-year tenure, Kalam was deeply loved by the people and fondly called the “People’s President.”


World Students’ Day is celebrated on October 15 because the date marks the birthday of India’s former president, late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. However, there is controversy surrounding the origin of the holiday. Although some sources like claim it was established and is currently observed by the United Nations (U.N.), there is no evidence pointing to that fact. In reality, the only international day observed by the U.N. on October 15 is the International Day of Rural Women. Furthermore, it has been alleged that the National Information Officer of the U.N. Information Center, Rajiv Chandran, stated that the U.N. had never declared such a day. Nevertheless, World Students’ Day aims to recognize the impact Kalam had on India’s educational sector.

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931, to a Tamil Muslim family in the pilgrimage center of Rameswaram on Pamban Island, India. He graduated with a physics degree from Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli. After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology, where he studied aerospace engineering, he joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defense Research and Development Organization. He experienced a brilliant and illustrious career as a scientist, becoming India’s most famous nuclear scientist in the 1990s.

Kalam became the 11th president of the Republic of India on July 18, 2002. He was deeply loved and fondly called the “People’s President” during his five-year tenure. Post-presidency, he lectured in several higher institutions. He was a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong; an honorary fellow of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; and chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, as well as many other positions. Kalam received seven honorary doctorates from 40 universities, indicating his brilliance in his field. On July 27, 2015, while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, he suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away at Bethany Hospital.



  1. Learn from Kalam’s life

    From being an average student to becoming India’s 11th president, Kalam achieved many great feats during his life. He was living proof that our past does not define our future. Motivate yourself by learning important lessons from his life.

  2. Study Kalam’s quotes

    Kalam made many profound statements that have been immortalized in the minds of many people. Study some of his inspirational quotes and apply them to your life.

  3. Use the hashtag

    Raise more awareness about World Students’ Day on social media. Feel free to use the hashtag #worldstudentsday.


    1. Don’t take rest

      “Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in the second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.”

    2. Dreams can come true

      “You have to dream before your dreams can come true.”

    3. Be determined to succeed

      “Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.”

    4. Change your habits

      “You cannot change your future, but you can change your habits, and surely your habits will change your future.”

    5. Never give up

      “If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L. means ‘First Attempt In Learning.'”


      1. Kalam lived an inspirational life

        During his school days, Kalam was regarded as an average student. Yet, he went on to become India’s most famous nuclear scientist. This proves that no matter what, we can overcome our past and become excellent in life.

      2. Kalam was the people’s president

        During his term as president, he touched the hearts of the people. In a time when political leaders were often corrupt and self-centered, he charted a different path and positively impacted the country.

      3. Kalam changed history

        During his career as a scientist, Kalam became known as the “Missile Man of India.” He made history when he worked on developing ballistic missiles and launch vehicle technology. He also had a massive part in the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.



International Students’ Day is on November 17. It’s a day when we remember the bravery of thousands of students in Prague who fought for national pride and the right to higher education. In 1939, Nazi forces arrested and executed nine protesters without trial and sent over 1,200 students to concentration camps. Many did not survive. International Students’ Day commemorates their sacrifice. And while we seem worlds apart today, the right to education and peaceful protest remains a struggle in many countries. On International Students’ Day, let’s strengthen the resolve to protect the rights of our youth and support them by directing them towards the right resources such as — a platform providing information on scholarships and resources for acquiring education.



For insights into International Students’ Day, let’s first trace the events leading up to it. When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, the Third Reich staked aggressive claims over territories outside Germany’s borders. The Nazis first annexed Austria in 1938, Hitler’s home country. Next, they forced Czechoslovakia to give up parts of its territories. Germany occupied the Czech regions, forcing Slovakia to split into a satellite state.

In 1939, students of the Medical Faculty at Charles University in Prague held a demonstration to commemorate the formation of an independent Czechoslovak Republic. The Nazis brutally suppressed the gathering, resulting in a student Jan Opletal’s death.

Thousands of students turned up at his funeral procession – an event that transformed into an anti-Nazi demonstration. The Nazis responded by shutting down all Czech education institutions. In a shocking display of brute power, they arrested over 1,200 students and sent them to concentration camps. But the worst was yet to come. On November 17, the Nazis rounded up nine protesters, executing them without trial.

Historians believe that the Third Reich allowed the funeral procession because they anticipated a violent outcome. It would give the regime the validation they needed to close down all Czech universities, dealing a severe blow to rebellion from academics and student activists.

November 17 is International Students’ Day, to remember the courage of student activists during the 1939 Nazi storming of the University of Prague. The first observance took place in 1941 at the International Students’ Council in London. It was there that students decided to introduce International Students’ Day, to be observed every November 17.

Since then, many organizations and international student groups have continued to observe the day. The day is a public holiday in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is formally called the “Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day.”

What is International Students Day?

November 17 is International Students’ Day. The day commemorates the courage of student protestors in Prague. On this day in 1939, Nazi forces executed nine protestors (eight students and one professor) without trial. They also arrested over 1,200 students and sent them to concentration camps.

What are the benefits of being an international student?

International students have a global outlook since they encounter multiple perspectives and therefore multiple possibilities. Studying in international universities helps students see the world and meet people with diverse interests.

What does November 18 celebrate?

National Naturopathy Day. Observed in India, the day celebrates and seeks to promote positive mental and physical health through Naturopathy, a drugless system of medicine.


  1. Organise events at your university

    International Students’ Day is a reminder not just about the power of the youth but also about the strength of diversity. Encourage your university to organize events that celebrate multiculturalism. Bring different groups together for an engaging day of discussion, film, music, and art from around the world.

  2. Talk about it

    Spread the word in your circles. Share resources and information on social media. The more people you can reach, the better.

  3. Chat with someone new

    Walk over and introduce yourself to an exchange student or a new student in the class. Maybe even invite them home for dinner. There’s nothing like a personal connection to break stereotypes and preconceived notions.


    1. Where no university flag has gone before

      Charles “Pete” Conrad, a Princeton graduate, was the third man to walk on the moon in 1968; he planted a Princeton flag on its surface.

    2. Iranian women in science outnumber other countries

      With over 70% of female students in pure sciences and engineering, Iran has the highest female to male ratio in universities.

    3. The first university mascot

      Yale’s ‘Handsome Dan’ was the first mascot in the history of U.S. universities.

    4. M.I.T. students can technically become pirates

      M.I.T. students who complete sailing, pistol, fencing, and archery classes can officially receive a pirate’s license.

    5. The world’s largest scavenger hunt

       The University of Chicago holds an annual four-day scavenger hunt, complete with a 200-mile road trip, cryptograms, challenges, and a three-course meal.


      1. Never take things for granted

        Today we’re reminded about the privilege of education and the importance of dissent. It inspires us to keep asking the big questions, no matter the consequences.

      2. A celebration of youth

        Students are tomorrow’s leaders, thinkers, creators, and moral centers. Higher education helps everyone make a difference in their own lives and the world. International Students’ Day celebrates young people and their rights to education.

      3. The importance of student activism

        It’s a day that commemorates student activism. Throughout history, student-led activism has challenged the authority of fascists and despots. Student-led events at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Prague’s Velvet Revolution, or the protests at India’s Jawaharlal Nehru University will forever inspire generations to come.