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New Student Website Could Help Students Going Abroad Find Accommodation

An Ohio State University student has made live a website to help students going abroad find accommodation in their host countries, news source The Lantern reports. 

Brett Newman, a fourth-year graduate in strategic communication, came up with the idea after he himself had undergone a period studying abroad, in Barcelona, Spain. Together with business partner Ryan Blum, a fellow fourth-year student attending Syracuse University, the Ohioan set out to address the complains he heard from other students going abroad with regards to housing, by creating a platform to help them find high-standard accommodation in their host countries. 

Dubbed Study Abroad Apartments, the portal aims to help students going abroad not only find accommodation in a foreign city, but also get in touch with students in the same building who can help them with any questions or doubts they might have. Blum and Newman also arrange for the landlords on their list to pick the students up from the airport and drive them to their new living quarters. 

Focused, for the moment, simply on Barcelona – a city both men have first-hand knowledge of, which makes their mission easier – the website has already helped around 80 students from roughly 18 different universities relocate to that Spanish city, in less than a year of activity. Among the takers for this service were graduates from schools in Maryland, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Arizona, although none from either man’s alma mater. 

The purpose of this website has been somewhat contested by officials within Ohio State University, who consider the service redundant in the face of a similar function offered by the school’s Office of International Affairs. Feedback from other students, however, has been more positive, and the founders of SAA have plans to expand their services to London in 2014. 

Last year, approximately 283.000 American students underwent periods of study abroad, a figure which represents roughly 1% of all US graduates. 

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