In the academic year 2020/21, over 600,000 international students have enrolled in both undergraduate and postgraduate education courses across UK’s universities. Taking this statistic to a global scale, this amount is just a fraction of past or present international students who all decided to move abroad at some point. In 2022, travelling abroad to study once more became available after a pause caused by the global pandemic. During this time the perception of the public towards studying abroad has changed. Today’s applicant is more likely to be hesitant about studying abroad and if this decision is right for them. This has shown in recent studies where researchers found that international students are 3 times more likely to drop out than their domestic counterparts due to being dissatisfied with their new environment and having socialisation problems.
Through the research process, a clear message came out right on day 1 - that not every culture is the same and it has different needs. That is why it was really important to find a middleground solution that would be accessible to all. Two main target audience personas were indetified, that of an applicant who is looking for options to go abroad and a first year international student, who just recently moved away and is possible dealing with cultural differences for the first time. With this fact and different ideation methods, prototypes for the final platform were formed.
Culture Clash tackles this issue and helps an international applicant make more informative decisions relating to studying abroad and help them decide if it is the right pathway for them. Through a virtual platform, they have an opportunity to explore what it would be like to live abroad before committing. With the Culture Clash Box Set, they are given a blueprint of how to successfully acclimate in their new environment, helping alleviate any fears and problems relating to relocation and socialisation.