Moving abroad to study in a different cultural setting can be a daunting experience and one that can lead to feelings of social isolation – but a Vietnamese startup company offering hands-on assistance for foreign students aims to remedy this. Student Life Care offers help to overseas Vietnamese students arriving in nearly 80 cities.
Tran Thanh Van, arriving in Melbourne, Australia described to the Viet Nam News how the service helped her.
An experienced overseas Vietnamese student that the company calls a ‘student hero’ met Tran at the airport and escorted her to a rented house. She was then shown around the city and university, got help opening a bank account, and helped to navigate the city’s public transport system. The company pays its ‘student heroes’, allowing them to earn some extra cash while studying.
The startup received an investment of almost AUD$425,000 after pitching on Vietnamese investment show Shark Tank. The investor believes that the service could be rolled out for students in other countries.
Bridging the language gap
The company’s activities have recently expanded to provide study, health and psychological help. A training centre in Hanoi, Vietnam talks students through the cultural differences they are likely to experience before they leave.
By providing a ready-made community, Student Life Care aims to tackle the higher incidences of depression that occur when there is a language or cultural barrier, especially when living away from home.