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Stories for International Students

Can we collect stories from various students across the globe that share aspirations, frustrations, lessons learnt about moving to the bay?

Photo of Nikhil Gangaraju
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One of the top themes that came out of the the Education challenge was: "Pay Attention to the Needs of Non-Traditional Learners"

A big issue that is currently impacting the state of California is the needs of international students -

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
    • banking
  • 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

- Careers

- 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.

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

Our Idea is focused around addressing the needs of International Students transitioning into the Bay Area - We will focus on building our a collection of stories to talk about the issues associates with [ Entrance and Exit ] into the education system in the bay

This idea emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm
  • An OpenIDEO outpost or chapter

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

We're looking to build out a collect a set of stories that deal with specific topic areas that international students deal with

If you are an international that falls under these categories, we'd love to hear from you!
 - Current Grad students ( Moving to the US or Living in the US)
 - Former Grad students ( 1-3 years ) 3+ is ok too

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We're planning to build out a collection of videos to test out with the international student community. We plan to use an open platform such as youtube for our initial prototype and refine our idea from there.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Billy Korompilias

Hey there!

I think out-sourcing education can overcome all these obstacles that you reference there are. That is why a platform like this one is doing exactly that with great success, it needs though improvements in user experience and in including education in the design thinking process for innovation.

All these play together on the same field I believe. The future of education is Discriminative knowledge and Innovation from my perspective and I think applying a framework as a community building game like Intelligence Circles - Investigating Capsules (IC)  which is designed for overcoming all these obstacles in education, could prove to be a precious tool for your causes.


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