As the number of American collegians studying abroad each year increases, UAbroad.com, a new online community, has been launched.
The aim of the site is to ease the transition of going abroad and enable students to stay connected and informed while living and traveling in foreign countries.
“Around this time every year, students leave for a semester abroad, and many go into the experience blindly—not knowing other students and lacking information,” says Claudio Paone of UAbroad.com. “UAbroad addresses the social aspects of studying abroad, providing the connections and information that students will need in an unfamiliar country.”
Through its web site, UAbroad has created a tightly knit community of students who engage in discussions and help each other out with their shared experiences. By signing up with a valid “.edu” email address, students can post questions and answers in travel forums, communicate with members individually, play host to fellow American students, and maintain lasting friendships.
Launched in November 2005, UAbroad.com was set up by three friends, recent graduates (Boston University and Bentley College) who participated in abroad programs during their college years. Based on the founders’ own experiences, UAbroad caters to the record number of American college students who go abroad to study each year.
In 2003-04, the number of students studying abroad for credit increased by 9.6 percent, building on the previous year’s 8.5 percent increase. The numbers are only expected to increase in the upcoming years.
“Studying abroad was by far the most rewarding experience in my life,” says Lauren Lynch, who recently studied in Ireland. “UAbroad is a great tool for students to use—you can locate students to travel with and find students to host you in nearly any abroad location.”