How It Started
I, Chinomso Choice Eyegheleme, a student from Nigeria majoring in Electrical Engineering, met Cat Tran, a student from Vietnam majoring in Computer Science, in Binghamton University. I worked as a study abroad consultant in my country before coming into the US, guiding and informing prospective international students. During which some of the students got admission into Universities in the US, Canada and the UK. Lots of pleasant testimony came our way as soon as they arrived, but after a while, stories of loneliness, depression, homesickness and feelings of misfit begins to kick in. Some of them joined their international student societies available in the University, hoping it could make them feel get a sense of belonging.
Shortly after I entered the US, I felt the loneliness first hand, slurring my tongue speak, metaphorically walking on eggshells because I am not accustomed to the sensitivity of such a diverse environment. Even when you socialize, you can barely keep up, the food, the games, the conversation, all of it is foreign. After struggling for a few weeks, I met a Nigerian student, I automatically went back to default settings, talked normally, became comfortable, asked questions about similarities to our homeland and native food substitutes. I felt as if I found something I lost, I felt a huge relief. ConnectExpat looks to make this relief accessible, literarily at your fingertips.
We facilitate the integration of international students into their new environment by connecting them with other students from their country of origin and in their current location. We also bridge the gap between international students and prospective international students, allowing predecessors to guide and inform prospective students from their country of origin.
This solution is old and sustainable, Chinatown is one of the oldest and largest of this solution. A community of people coming together to preserve their culture and tradition, to provide and get help, a home away from home. ConnectExpat looks to build such a community for international students from every country.