How We Democratizes Study Abroad With Diverseas

Diverseas is a Free Online Talk Service That Connects Returnees and Those Who Aspire to Study Abroad.

Hidetaka Ko
May 4, 2017 · 8 min read
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What is Diverseas?

Diverseas is a free online talk service that connects returnees and those who aspire to study abroad via our chat and video chat services like Skype calls.

Everyone who wants to study abroad will get the right information easily and for free. They can talk to advisors who share the same major and are from the same country or even speak the same languages.

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Landing Page

For example, in Japan, we already have more than 1000 users in total and 300 advisors who have studied in over 70countries from Japan. Moreover, about 250 consultations on study abroad were held in Diverseas.

So, I’m super excited to announce our internationalization by this blog. We’re expanding countries and languages (currently in Japanese and English) to take Diverseas to a new level.

This product is not specific to the Japanese market. The goal is to go global and be available to any students who want to study anywhere. ( Although now, all of our current advisors are Japanese )

Diverseas was born based on my three experiences. Here’s why.

1. Experience in Love with A Girl from Korea

I fell in love with a girl when I was a freshman in college. She was an international student from Korea. One day, she said to me, “Study abroad is so hard for me. I want to die. I want to go back to Korea.”

This made me sad.This got me interested in solving problems that international students face.

By the way, she said to me, “You are my best friend, but not really a boyfriend friend.” 😂

2. My Failing Experiences with Study Abroad Agent

Does anyone who is interested in studying abroad in the future or those who have studied abroad remember the struggle to find accurate information about study abroad?

Or have you ever regretted using a study abroad agent?

I also had failing experiences with study abroad agents when I decided to leave Japan for college.When I decided to study in the United States, I used a service provided by a Japanese study abroad agent.

After finishing the procedure, when studying abroad started, I attended a language school in the USA because it was the only choice provided by the agency. For me, the language school in the United States was really boring.

I had three reasons.

  1. Classes are Japanese high school level.
  2. The required hours in school are quite long.
  3. Pretty expensive.

This everyday life was far from what I imagined. At this time, I suffered very much from the gap between expectation and reality.

But, a week later, I started receiving messages from a friend who attended community college. I met him on the internet when I decided to study abroad.

Surprisingly, he recommended that I start out at community college, and not a language school. This was the opposite of what the study abroad agents advised.

Thanks to him, I transferred to the community college from the language school within reasonable time limit.

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As time passed, I realized that my friend was right. Upon entering community college, one good thing after another happened compared to language school like the following:

  1. Everyone is good at speaking English.
  2. Instead of studying English, I can learn computer science in English.
  3. The cost of the buses in the area where I live are free.
  4. I can play futsal every week with members of 20 countries.
  5. Flexible schedule.
  6. Thanks to the international student community, I can find super good properties and cars at super cheap prices.
  7. If I go through a year, I can obtain a CPT where I can intern legally in the same field as my major.
  8. Cheaper than language school.

So, I came to think:

Why did not the study abroad agent teach me the existence of community college from the beginning?

When examining the cause, I discovered an interesting fact. The study abroad agent was partnered with the language school behind the scenes.

So, when the study abroad agent introduced me to a language school, they received some referral fees.

Even if you go to overseas universities or colleges, no profit will be given, so they will never tell unnecessary information for them.

Of course, the fact that I did not know about the college was due to my lack of research and there is no doubt that the study abroad agent was very helpful in terms of procedures.

But, I felt intense discomfort in this distorted situation brought about by the study abroad agent because they had been in the US for many years, despite knowing the existence and goodness of college.

They were non-transparent and prioritized their own interests over my future.😠

Big Problems of Study Abroad Agent

As I looked at the business model of study abroad agencies, I found that there were two major problems.

  1. They only introduce language schools affiliated with them (for free or against a fee)
  2. Only in the city.

And, upon further research, such problems are occurring all over the world in the study abroad industry.

International students from around the world are suffering from such damage, not limited to Japan.

This is a major opportunity loss for the whole industry. I’d like to solve this unfair situation for international students in the study abroad industry.

*Of course, there may be good study abroad agents. However, from my experience and according to people I talked to, there seem to be in fact many agencies with such unfair practices.

3. “Get Out of Here. You Are Not Japanese.”

This is the first time I encountered racism in my life. 😢

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Have you watch this movie?

Both of my parents are Korean, but we don’t speak Korean. We are Japanese-Korean. My background is one of the main reasons why I support diversity. My last reason is based on my roots like above.

Today, How Do We Deal with Racism?

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Brexit happened in Britain and Donald Trump became President of the United States. Among their supporters, there are people who think that racism is likely of low priority compared to other social problems.

I’m currently studying abroad in the United States. Every time my friends talk about Donald Trump, it tends to turn into a discussion about racism. Regarding racism, everybody in the U.S. seems to have something to say.

But there is no one and only easy solution.

My answer to this question is related to the last reason why I made Diverseas. I’ll give my own answer at a different article like below.

If you have enough time to read, I hope you also read this article.

That’s Why We Made Diverseas

Diverseas was born based on my experiences like above. My friend who recommended me to college is the co-founder and an engineer in our team.

Diverseas is a free online talk service that connects returnees and those who aspire to study abroad via our chat and video chat services like Skype calls.

Everyone who wants to study abroad will get the right information for free.

They can talk to advisors who share the same major and are from the same country or even speak the same languages(as seen below).

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More than 250 advisors who have studied in over 65 countries from Japan.

Anyone Can Study Abroad Anywhere

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You can Share Your Overseas Study Experience!

We want to help all international students from all over the world. Then, those who experienced studying abroad with Diverseas become advisors (“mentors”) and help new people to study abroad, thereby forming a global study abroad community — a flourishing ecosystem.

Not only people from Japan who studied in the US help people from Japan who want to study in the US. People from all countries with all kinds of study abroad experience should help people from all countries who aspire to study abroad in all kinds of ways.

We’re Looking for Many Advisors!

While there are many study abroad consultants and events around,
most of them are only held in big cities such as Tokyo.

Compare to those who live in the cities, there are less opportunities for those living in provincial areas to meet and greet with study abroad returnees.

Just like job hunting, consulting with study abroad returnees is the most beneficial if you want to study abroad yourself.

We cannot deliver diverse information and experience worldwide by ourselves.We hope to deliver accurate information and experience about studying abroad that fits your interests alongside the advisors.

“Anyone can study abroad anywhere” — based on this motto, and to achieve this ambition, Diverseas came into be.

Start Your Adventure Today!

The marvels of studying abroad cannot be measured in terms of parents’ appreciation, college deviation value or employment rankings.

It is your personal growth and expansion of your horizon that create the true value of this experience. If this is what you seek, I wish Diverseas is the best place to start your adventure! 😉

Thanks a lot for reading. I’d appreciate a click on the “Recommend” button at the end if you liked this article.

You can sign up for access from this page.

If you have enough time to read, I hope you also read this article about the last reason why we made Diverseas like below.

Like This Article? Please Retweet :)


Diverseas is free online talk service that connects…

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