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App built for Erasmus students visiting Ireland

The transition from home to host country can be a daunting experience for study abroad students. But two budding Irish entrepreneurs are looking to make that undertaking as smooth as possible with an app that compiles all the information international students require to feel comfortable in their new location.

The StudentGo app was born to help alleviate the stress of moving country. Photo: PixabayThe StudentGo app was born to help alleviate the stress study abroad students feel when moving country. Photo: Pixabay

The founders were presented with an award from NUI Galway for the 'Best BA Project 2016/17'

StudentGo is a mobile application that is currently aimed at students doing a study abroad in the city of Galway, Ireland. However the founders, NUI Galway students Conor Flynn and Fiachra Coyne are hoping to expand it to other cities throughout Ireland and Europe.

“StudentGo was born to help alleviate the stress of moving country and allow students to have the best possible Erasmus experience”

By conducting online surveys and drawing from their own experiences as Erasmus students in Spain, Flynn and Coyne pulled together all the information that they felt was necessary for a student in unfamiliar surroundings to acclimatise.

“With our move to Spain, we were thrown into the deep end, we found it really difficult to find even the most basic information about our new home,” explained Flynn. 

“The biggest problem was that we had no clue where to look for information, especially given the fact our city [León] was relatively small.

“We found that many others were encountering similar issues…those who went to France were also caught up in the whirlwind, so the idea for StudentGo was born to help alleviate the stress of moving country, reduce the settling in period, and allow students to have the best possible Erasmus experience.”

Initially developed as part of their final year IT project, the founders’ project coordinator Attracta Brennan suggested they seek additional funding for the app to take it to market, which they received from the International Affairs Office and campus-based entrepreneurship program, Blackstone Launchpad.

StudentGo, which is now available to download from Google play and iPhone app store, has received plenty of positive feedback from international student users, and the founders were presented with an award from NUI Galway for the ‘Best BA Project 2016/17’.

“Overall, the feedback from students has been extremely positive,” said Flynn.

“When we first introduced the idea to the international students last year, they loved the idea of an interactive, tailormade guide to their host city based on the experiences of the international students that had already attended the university.

“These students liked that we were planning to include information not only about the university such as timetables but also about finding accommodation, social events in Galway, and transport information around the city.”

“Our aim was and is to make lives of international students more relaxed, thus helping enjoy their experience in Galway to the absolute fullest,” added Coyne.

“We feel like we are beginning to understand the needs of international students more, and we would like to make our App available to as many students as possible.

“We have already begun to come up with a couple of ideas of how we could make the App even better so we feel that this is just the beginning of a journey that we are really excited to embark upon.” 

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One Response to App built for Erasmus students visiting Ireland

  1. How times change…
    For those of us who studied abroad before the dawn of the digital era, the whole point of the experience was to go somewhere by yourself (yes, parents waving you off at the local train station and not now driving you to your destination and spending several days with you to make sure you’re ok…) and face a mountain of daily tasks and difficulties in order to survive…and doing it all in a foreign language. The first few weeks were a nightmare, for sure, when trying to decipher the local dialect and accent against your perhaps limited level of language. Communications with home were mainly by post…the joy of looking in the mailbox each day to find news from home ….and the odd phone call made through the shared ‘phone in the communal halls of residence.
    I had the pleasure to study in both Spain and Germany. In hindsight, all of the trials and tribulations made me the person I am today and the study abroad experience was as much a character-building exercise as it was a language learning exercise.
    I’m not saying don’t make use of modern technologies in order to smooth the process (but there again the more info online there is to assist us the lazier people actually become….how many of us have wanted to shout “google it!” when faced with a simple question?) but ultimately going abroad on an exchange is not a package holiday and as such those participating should realise this and positively embrace the difficult challenges that await once you touch down. You’ll return home a well-rounded individual for sure and once your horizons have been widened they will stay that way for the rest of your life.

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