- Aug. 7, 2014 - Newly launched social network connects people even before they leave home and offers rooms in the country they are moving to, solving the two main problems faced by anyone moving to a new country – the concern of where to live and the fear of feeling alone.
Rafael dos Santos (http://www.rafaeldossantos.com)
moved to London in 2002. Like anyone who decides to take the giant leap of moving to another country, Rafael was faced with culture shock when he moved to London from Brazil. Cultural differences, a new language, having to share a room with strangers and feeling alone are some of the biggest problems faced by people who decide to study abroad, travel the world or get a job in a new country and need to leave home in search of the unknown. But Rafael quickly adapted, initially working as a kitchen hand and glass collector in bars in London until he got the opportunity to work as an assistant teacher at the school where he studied English. Having lived in shared houses with foreigners for his first few years in London, Rafael came up with the idea of opening his own property rental business in London in 2005, catering particularly for the huge number of young people moving to London from abroad. According to the UNWTO - United Nations World Tourism Organisation in 2010 - 187 million young people between 15 and 30 years old lived in other countries for 6 weeks and spent over $1000 on accommodation.
Rafael is the author of "Moving Abroad - One step at a time (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mudando-Pais-Passo-Cada-Vez/dp/09...
)", which explains all the steps of moving abroad: from the culture shock of arriving in a new country right through to the eventual return home (which itself often brings about a reverse culture shock). It was while he was carrying out the research for the book that he had the idea of creating something that would help those who want to take the plunge and move abroad but are afraid to do so. "I carried out interviews with over 200 people to try to understand what the biggest challenges are for people who are thinking of moving country. It became clear that he two main concerns are: where to live and the fear of feeling alone," Rafael says. This gave Rafael the idea of creating a social network that suggests connections for people moving to a new city or country and offers accommodation as well - Room in the Moon was born!
Room in the Moon is a network that suggests connections between people moving to the same city or country so that they can share information and have a point of contact when they get to the new city, reducing loneliness and helping to overcome culture shock. Room in the Moon also offers rooms across London (and in future will offer rooms in other cities too) that can be booked online for a minimum of four weeks. Room in the Moon, launched in March this year, is attracting about 100 new registrations each day - 1 every 12 minutes - and after just four months it now has more than 4000 members from 15 countries. Members post videos and photos about the city they live in or cities they have visited. Sights, events, food, the best areas of town to live in, courses and universities and transport are the most frequent topics covered by members’posts.
The British Government has offered Room in the Moon a place on its Growth Accelerator Programme as part of a mentoring programme for startups. Also, Room in the Moon was selected as a participant (one of only 8 startups to be selected - out of 1200 applicants) of the accelerator Velocity in Louisville, USA with an investment of $ 15,000 and provision of intensive training and mentoring in the USA. Room in the Moon was also featured as Virgin Group’s 'Startup of the Week' in June. To mark its launch, the Room in the Moon has launched a competition, which will give away a 2-week scholarship to anywhere in the world to the person who gives most tips and has most connections in their profile on the website. The scholarship will cover costs of flights, accommodation, language courses and even cash to help to pay for food, transport and living costs. To register, just sign up site www.roominthemoon.com/
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