Time spent in a university overseas underpins a global outlook, provides a rich life experience and looks great on a resume but the process can be arcane, just how do you navigate an application to a uni that’s thousands of miles away not to mention language, time and culture differences?
Well, there’s a start up for that, launching this month Studee connects students from all over the word with universities and is the only website in the world with a multilingual team of NAFSA – the association of international educators – qualified advisors who speak to students, guiding them every step of the way from application to enrollment.
Students don't pay to use the service, universities pay the company a commission when they enroll a student, there are no upfront costs to get a university profile onto the website.
Tertiary study is a major investment and Studee has found prospective students want to know what their job prospects will be after completing a course as many will have to borrow money to study overseas.
International student mobility is continuing to increase with China, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Bangladesh being the biggest contributors. China is improving their domestic education system, giving their students more choice which could have an impact on international student mobility because they contribute nearly a third of all international students.
Africa has seen a significant increase in international student mobility in recent years but unlike a family in China where parents save a significant proportion of their earnings to pay for their child's education, Africa’s students don’t have the same financial backing.
Studee has a student advice centre based in Ecuador managed by Jihna Gavilanes who has over 20 years of experience working closely with universities to help recruit their international students. Locating in Ecuador means advisors are able to speak to many of their students at a key time (the evenings) due to the time zone.
Their team of 35 student advisors are all NAFSA trained and each advisor has an area of the world they look after, working closely with the universities, understanding their requirements for acceptance. Studee’s advisors then use that knowledge when speaking to students.
The company is in the process of building a way to match students with universities once the student has input their qualifications into their website. They admit it’s a large piece of the puzzle which has yet to be fully resolved.
Generally, the process of application to enrollment takes between 12 and 15 months, a student seeking a masters qualification can take less than 12 months.
Studee was put together by two of Britain’s leading digital entrepreneurs Chris Morling from finance comparison site money.co.uk and his old friend Simon Andrews, who he met in 2002 when they shared an office space in London.
Andrews has worked in the global higher education sector for over 20 years, building the Big Choice Group, an international business helping millions of young people with their careers.
To start the process students should visit studee.com and fill in a simple form and one of their advisors will be in touch either by phone, email or whatsapp. Alternatively, a student can visit the website and launch the Instant Messenger.