Students for Students

Students for Students are here for you!

​Some people assume that student life is nothing more than sleeping all day and partying all night. Unfortunately, things aren’t always so carefree. Students can experience all sorts of troubles in their lives, just like anyone who doesn’t go to university. That’s why we started the initiative Students for Students. This project aims to create a peer support network for students to help deal with any problems they might have. 

We believe our university should be a place where everyone feels welcome, no matter your background. Four amazing student counsellors have trained us to properly handle peer support – with topics ranging from active listening to handling crises and suicide – so you can be sure we know what we’re doing. Our goal is to be a shoulder to lean, talk or cry on for anyone who needs it. On top of that, we will organize events every now and then, either to help people with their mental health, or simply to have a good time! 

Need to vent about a bad day? Are you experiencing deeper issues you’d like to discuss? You can always contact us. No matter how big or small it may seem to you, we’ll be there to listen. You can tell us your story without fear of judgement! 

If you have any questions, you can contact us at If you’d like to contact one of our peer supporters directly, keep scrolling for our personal info. And feel free to visit our Facebook page or Instagram as well. 

Who are we?

Meet the peer supporters from Students for Students! Would you like to contact one of us? You can find our contact details on Blackboard (after login).

Laura Willems  

Study programme: Master of Medicine (Campus Drie Eiken)

Hobbies and interests: I am a person who likes to make things. That's why I like bookbinding, sewing clothes, embroidery and baking. This helps me to relax. I also like nature and everything green. I also have a real passion for communication and mental health.

“I have personally experienced that being a student can cause a lot of stress. That is why I think students for students is a fantastic initiative to support anyone who is having a hard time and to let all fellow students know that they are not alone!” 

Jolien De Vries     

Study programme: Communication Sciences (City Campus)

Hobbies and interests: I enjoy good food and drinks with friends. In addition, a lot of my attention goes to my dog Bas. The ultimate moment of relaxation is my annual ski holiday.

“Being a student sometimes entails a lot of difficulties. Do you need to ventilate or feel like a light chat? Then you can always contact us!”

Judith Hershko

Study programme: Computer Science (Campus Middelheim)

Hobbies and interests: I chose computer science because I find the working of a computer or any electronic device fascinating. Computer science is a fun way to combine creativity and innovation. Fun facts about myself: I love chocolate/sweets (the unhealthier the better); I like to run and swim; In my spare time I like to read books. Topics can range from French literature to the history of quantum mechanics.

“Being a student sometimes has its ups and downs. I joined 'students for students' to help other students. If the pressure just gets too much for you, or if you'd like to chat with someone, don't hesitate to get in touch. My door is always open for a student in need.”

Julie Echelpoels

Study programme: Bachelor of medicine (Campus Drie Eiken)

Hobbies and interests: I like to meet up with friends in my spare time. We go for drinks, go shopping and of course partying. After a long day I find it very relaxing to walk my dog Babette or read a book. Of course, I should also mention that I do a lot of sports, but between you and me, that's not for me ;-)..

"From my own experience, I know that sometimes it becomes too much mentally. You start to notice that things are always getting worse and worse until you hit a wall. It is important that before you hit that wall, you seek help from others. Because I can speak from experience, the wall is quite hard ;-). I sincerely hope that we as talkmates can provide a safe haven to just tell your story to. We are here for you!!!"

Adrian Nagy

Field of study: Master Digital Business Engineering

Hobbies and interests: I am a big football fan, and also go to the gym regularly. In my spare time, I game or like to read a book. Music cannot be missing in my daily life, and I also enjoy going for a drink with my friends at cafes.

"Life as a student has many ups and downs, and I have been through a lot myself. That is why I am here now, ready to offer a listening ear and a moment of calm in this sometimes chaotic life. I understand that academic pressures, personal challenges and the general busyness of life can be overwhelming. However, I am convinced that no one should face these challenges alone." "Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much."

Maarten Vanderhaeghe

​Field of study: Master Physics

Hobbies and interests: I try to spend most of my free time with friends and family. I also enjoy artistic pursuits such as drawing, acting, writing, poetry, etc. The most relaxing activities for me include reading books or magazines, and avoiding any kind of physical activity that can be considered a sport.

"Early adulthood and the start of higher education is a period of discovery. Our lives become much more chaotic, and it's possible that we discover aspects inherited from our youth that cause us a lot of suffering. These aspects can be overwhelming to deal with on our own, but I have good news: you are not alone. I have personally received help from others to overcome self-damaging beliefs and learn how to handle the overwhelming and busy environment in which we currently live. If this resonates with you, please feel free to contact me. I would love to provide a compassionate and understanding ear."

Daan Stinissen

Field of study: Final year of rehabilitation sciences. Fancy word for physio. 

Hobbies and interests: I fairly enjoy going to school because this direction allows me to engage in what I have a tremendous amount of fun with, namely sports. In my free time I like to go to the gym, jog, play korfball and train our U19 team.  

"I signed up for Students for Students because I received a lot of support from my peers when I recently went through a difficult period myself. I want to be able to do the same for other UA students. I have noticed myself what a positive impact talking about it had on my state of mind so please don't be afraid to send me a message."

Fien Deceuninck

Field of Study: Bachelor of Chemistry

Hobbies and interests: Besides cuddling with animals, I sometimes bake delicious desserts, read, draw, do crafts (e.g. origami, embroidery, crochet, knitting...) and occasionally paint with watercolo(u)rs. From time to time I also bring a touch of music into the house, as I sometimes play the piano. I also enjoy playing party games (including card games and board games) with family and friends. I enjoy reading and learning about both Chemistry, and other things like psychology. Besides being a student and peer supporter, I am also a student representative and have a brother and four sisters.

"After having many conversations and listening to others' stories, I know that just having someone to say something to can already do a lot. In some cases that may be anyone and in others you prefer to tell it to someone you don't know at all. I want to be a listening ear for those who want to tell their story and so that the teller can feel welcome and safe to come and tell something. I'm told I'm a good listener and I enjoy doing it, so feel free to contact me and if you do want to talk to someone else later or first, that's totally okay too. You are welcome, but certainly not obligated!"

Silas Tapia Lauwers

Study program: Bachelor of Physics (Groenenborger)

Hobbies and Interests: Ever since I was little, mathematics and science interested me, which is why I chose to study physics. I run, swim, and do athletics because it makes me happy. I also am a youth leader at a youth movement called Chiro every Sunday. I like to read books in the fantasy fiction genre and play video games. I like to go hiking/trekking in nature all over the world.

"I chose to become a student for students because I love helping others. I have been in deep pits in my life and got out of them every time by talking to people so I feel it is very important to make a place and time in today's world to listen to the worries and pains of fellow human beings. With this, I hope to be a bright spot in your dark sky. If you want to talk (briefly), feel free to contact me."

Aiko Nuyts

Study program: Medicine

Hobbies and Interests: I love music very much. I play piano and guitar myself, and I also enjoy going to concerts. Friends tell me that I am a good listener. Would you like to talk to me? Sure, but not too early, because I am definitely not a morning person ;-) But with a good coffee, you can get me out of bed!

"I started studying myself during the COVID lockdown, and it made it difficult to meet new people. Because I have experienced that the life of a student is not always as bright as it is portrayed, I would like to help other students feel better about themselves."