Students in Le Mans (Pays de la Loire region) have launched a new community web platform. Using World like Home and its network of volunteers, expatriate students can still feel at home, though their studies take them far away.
Moving away from home is always a bit difficult, especially the first time. Being far from family and friends, in an unfamiliar place, tussling with administrative procedures, finding a place to live, and getting your bearings in a new town is not easy. And the situation becomes even more complex when all this must be sorted out in another language!
So to help, students in Pays de la Loire have created the website World like Home. It puts expatriate students in touch with volunteers whose role is to help them to feel at home wherever in the world they may be: perhaps by going to meet them when they arrive, put them up for a few days, help them find health insurance or a bank, or helping them with the enrollment procedures at their new institution.
For the time being, the site is available in French, English and Chinese. A first partnership has been concluded with the University of Maine, and others are in the pipeline.
A facultative financial compensation
To help cover expenses, financial compensation of up to €100 can be claimed by the volunteers who welcome the students. World like Home takes a 9% slice of this, enough to fund the service.