One of the top themes that came out of the the Education challenge was: "Pay Attention to the Needs of Non-Traditional Learners" http://bit.ly/2islOpY
A big issue that is currently impacting the state of California is the needs of international students - http://lat.ms/2jwAhR8
Hypotheses - At a recent meet-up We came up with a set of hypothesis that we decided to test in our research
- Issues with culture and language
- writing & research
- Teaching undergraduates
- Lack of Immigration support from the university ( Visas / Work Permits )
- Challenges to access in financing
- Student Loans
- Challenges with family issues ( long distance relationships )
- Creating a local support system
- Differences in the education system
We tested out this hypothesis by designing a research plan over the course of 2 weeks that gathered insights in the field through interviews and well as qualitative research surveys. We uncovered some interesting insights.
The needs for international students moving into the bay area, fall under 2 specific groups.
- Setting up
- Social Life
- Community / Social Norms
- Building a Network
- Ability to work ( Visas )
With this in mind, we set out to understand how might we improve the transitional experience [ In & Out ] for international students moving into the Bay area.
In the Brainstorming phase, one of our biggest inspirations was Whatchado platform for telling stories about professionals in their careers and how they achieved their goals.
Could we apply some of those learnings to develop a collection of stories from international students coming from different regions to give us their own view-points of the aspirations, struggles and accomplishments in their own words that might help create a better transitional experience [ In& Out ] for new students.
We'll be prototyping this idea over the next few weeks and invite you to join us, We'd love to hear your feedback and see how this idea can be refined further.