Connecting mobility exchange students at Dublin City University 2018
The key driver of engagement on the CampusConnect app service is the capacity for students to connect with like minded peers - it is a dedicated channel where prospects can find out what they need to know directly from others.
There's a natural information gap between those who have done (current students) and those who have yet to do (prospects).
While most of our focus to date has been on connecting Dublin City University's international offer holders with peers and on site student ambassadors, the mobility team at DCU recognised the similarity in the challenge matching students on their mobility exchange programmes. The picture we were presented highlighted the complexity of the challenge.
Each year an exchange cohort of domestic (typically Irish) students are abroad completing their exchange programme. At the same time there is a cohort of current DCU students in Dublin, who are plotting and planning their exchange year abroad. Deciding on where to go, what to study, when to go.. etc..
Matching these cohorts up was a manual adminstrative task but one that is now being managed on the DCU CampusConnect service. Users can connect with those currently abroad to ask questions about everything from climate, to language, culture, and the academic formalities. Users abroad can share information, pictures, posts on what to expect and document some of their experience for the next cycle.
Here's a sample of the kind of content available on DCU CampusConnect from Jia a DCU exchange student (second from the left) currently enjoying her exchange year in China.
What's your name and where are you on exchange?
My name is Jia and currently in Beijing.
What have been the biggest challenges?
Some of the big challenges has to be the language barrier and cultural differences. Rarely anybody speaks English in china so you really need to be on the ball with things, for example setting up a bank account and WeChat wallet etc was very complicated. Beijing is very fast paced and very busy and nobody really will have time for you.
What have you enjoyed most?
I have really enjoyed my experience so far. I have made some really amazing friends from all parts of the world such as Korea Japan Papa New Guinea India etc. Being in China has been an amazing life experience. There really is no country in the world like China (you’ll understand when you get here). The nightlife is amazing in Beijing. Also I was really fortunate to have travelled south east Asia for 7 weeks which was a blast!
What's next for Jiang after this? :)
What’s next for me? I plan to just finish final year. The plan is to hopefully find a job abroad in maybe London, America or Australia. I also plan to hopefully return to China to work if the opportunity ever arises.