Student well-being and development program

We’re in over our heads. 

The world is becoming better in many ways. With every passing year, we get new technology, medicine, information, and more. Things are better than they’ve ever been, but people are not. As things develop, life becomes increasingly complex and demanding - and it’s clear that many of us are not up to the task. We struggle with addiction - from drugs to porn to social media. We struggle to know what is right - fake news, climate change, veganism, and other moral dilemmas. We struggle to be happy - anxiety, depression, and suicide are at all-time highs . And it’s no exception for university students. 


On top of the complexity of simply being a human in today’s world, university continues to require more of students with each passing year, specifically placing a heavier load on international students who have to deal with a new country/culture, more difficulty finding jobs and securing work visas, and a much higher tuition that increases financial pressure. It seems all too obvious to say, but it’s clear that university feels like a burden for many students.


But it doesn’t need to be this way. Our program is built on the idea that the proper support of an individual’s well-being and development is just as important as their grades or the papers they write. Students aren’t just students, they’re humans first. And a better, more responsible community is necessary.


It’s time to take responsibility for ourselves and the people around us.

"An interesting project that has a lot of potential. The people you meet here become family."

Moe Abdul Hamid

UTwente Student

This program is for you if…

  • You’re looking for a stronger sense of community

  • You feel disconnected or isolated from your fellow students

  • You feel unmotivated or have low energy when it comes to studying or completing assignments

  • You want to meet like-minded people and learn to connect in more meaningful ways

  • You’d like better ways to track and receive feedback on your development in different areas

  • You struggle to keep up with the university workload or lifestyle

  • You’d like to personally improve or develop in certain areas, but you’re unsure where to start 

  • You’re  experiencing homesickness as the result of being an international student 

  • You want to learn new skills to better manage your time or improve your grades

  • You’re seeking a group of people where you can talk about serious or personal topics without being judged

PLEASE NOTE: our program is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment that can be provided by your own physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, therapist, counselor, mental health practitioner, licensed dietitian or nutritionist, or any other licensed or registered health care professional.  Do not use our program in lieu of professional advice given by qualified medical or mental health professionals and do not disregard professional medical or mental health advice or delay seeking professional advice because of information you have received here.



Book an enrollment call - Use the booking link to schedule an enrollment call with our team. Please note, these calls are for serious applicants only.


Interview - We’ll use this interview to find out more about you and to answer any questions you have about the program. It is important that both you and our team feel like this program is a good match.


Welcome to the tribe - With the approval from our team, you will be officially welcomed into the program. The program will officially start in early January 2020.

How to Apply

Our Philosophy


University acts as liminal (transitional) space for individuals to move from a member of a family to a member of society. This is done by learning a craft or profession in which the individual can make a living. But it’s not just your resume that gets transformed at university - it’s your entire self. Your experience at university will set you on a path for the rest of your life. This is a big deal. So, universities should work to create humans, not just workers. Students are humans first. And humans need to be autonomous, curious, healthy, responsible, critical, connected...the list goes on. Because this is what tomorrow will require of us. 


"...the demands for psychological wellbeing and good social net­works have become greater. A deeper welfare is necessary, one that increases our average psych­ological health and wellbeing and thereby our function­ality in this bizarre new global society. We need to be stable, flexible, mature versions of ourselves, because we spend our lives playing on an incr­ea­singly complex and multi-dimensional arena, where social skills and the quality of our relations make all the difference."


- Hanzi Freinacht, author of The Listening Society


This means taking a student’s interior world or psychology needs to play a role in their education. A student’s mental health is a responsibility shared with the individual, the body of students, and the university. We want to bring these relationships into balance because the current formula is clearly not meeting the needs of students. 

"The Collective Unconscious is a really open, thoughtful organization. Through its various events, I was able to meet a lot of loving, open-minded people. We have had many eye-opening philosophical debates and lots of times of togetherness. I feel very included in this community."

Garrett Szmyd
UTwente Student

Program Overview

Custom growth plans - We’ll help you create a plan built for your needs, your goals, and your schedule.

Workshops - You’ll have access to a variety of weekly workshops designed to promote well-being and development.

1-on-1 coaching - You’ll be assigned a facilitator that is responsible for helping you set goals, tracking your progress, and making sure you’re getting along alright.

Peer-to-peer coaching - You’ll be encouraged to support the growth of fellow tribe members using honest communication, feedback, and mutual respect. 

Squad support - You’ll be part of a group of up to five other students, led by your facilitator.  They’ll have your back and you’ll have theirs.

Community - We guarantee a group of people who you feel comfortable being yourself with. Come as you are. 

Deliberately developmental - Rooted in psychology and philosophy, our program is designed to promote development.

Inclusive - Anyone from anywhere can be a part of this program. If you are serious about your well-being and development, as well as wanting to help the people around you, then we have a spot for you.

Always growing - Our program can always be better. We encourage you to give honest and constant feedback about your experience. 

Built by students - Our program is built for students, by students. We developed it as a response to problems we face both personally and academically. 

"The collective is a great place to find out more about ourselves and the people around us. The activities proposed are unique and helpful in many ways. I think we are really lucky to have such a space at the UT."

Valentina Barone
UTwente Student

Custom Growth Plans

Self-determination theory (SDT) identifies three internal needs that promote well-being and development when adequately met. Together, we’ll identify areas where you’d like to grow and create an actionable plan. 

Autonomy (ownership) - Desire to be causal agents of one's own life and act in harmony with one's integrated self. This can include the areas of: 

  • Masculinity/femininity

  • Self-exploration

  • Antifragility (resilience)

  • Vitality

  • Meaning (orientation)

  • Self-esteem/self-acceptance

  • Sexuality

Competence (skill) - Seek to control the outcome and experience mastery. This can include the areas of:

  • Time management/productivity

  • Nutrition

  • Physical fitness

  • Memory

  • Mindfulness (flow)

  • Emotional acuity

  • Addiction/substance abuse

Relatedness (community) - Will to interact, be connected to, and experience caring for others. This can include the areas of:

  • Communication

  • Relationship (romantic)

  • Friendship

  • Responsibly to others

  • Curiosity (as opposed to isolation i.e. without social contact)

  • Boundaries

Program team

Austin Piedmont

Program founder

My motivation to create this program was quite simple: I was tired of watching myself and the people around me struggle with university life. I also found it ironic that while studying psychology and learning about what it takes to help a person flourish, none of these concepts were actually applied in a way that could help the student feel better.


So I asked a question - what if we take responsibility for ourselves and the people around us? What if we look up from our books and make an impact now? Many people have told me that this program is ambitious, but I believe it’s long overdue. Basic community support, developmental practices, and tools for well-being is something that every student deserves access to.

- Austin

Julia Piedmont


Hi, my name is Julia. After experiencing an incredible transformation myself, I started my journey into developing personal tool kids that helped me cope with some difficulties I was experiencing. I studied psychology in hope to support others in their development. When I heard about this program, I felt this would be a way into a good direction and am extremely grateful to be part of the Facilitator team.

Janina Eggers


I am Janina and I am a facilitator because I am interested in aiding others to bounce back from setbacks, make meaningful connections with others become a better version of themselves and build a more contented life. My background is Psychology.

Christina Böhler


I‘m Tina! I‘m a psychology student and I’m very interested in the factors involved in personal development and well-being. I'm excited to be part of a community that supports each other in this way. I  not only looking forward to coaching but also experiencing growth for myself.



Hey, my Name is Nils! I am a facilitator because I enjoy studying people and myself and I always could count on people during my own struggles. Right now I feel the urge to contribute and give something back! My background is medicine and psychology.



Hey! I'm Julian and I am a facilitator because I enjoy supporting others in finding solutions to improve their mental well being. My background is a Bsc. in Psychology and soon I will begin my masters in positive psychology. 

Alexandra Coroiu


I'm Alexandra and I'm a facilitator because I want to be part of an open environment that allow people to find personal growth. I am interested both in my own self development and helping other people. I hope to make a positive impact on student life through this program. My background is in computer science, but I am interested in social sciences and visual arts.

"Julia and Austin are very welcoming people. They make sure to greet and get to know everyone who joins a session. Their openness and warmth are admiring and I hope to learn a lot from them!"

Eva De Wit
UTwente Student

"Got very helpful insights to some personal doubts and issues. Definitely recommend for people who are looking for a comfortable place to talk about things that trouble you and a second constructive perspective about those always helps."

Emilio Cuesta
UTwente Student

"Nice atmosphere and great space for connecting with like-minded people. Grateful to Julia and Austin for creating this project and bringing something new and valuable to the UT."

Anna-Maria  Stoynovska
UTwente Student

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