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A startup that gives support to study abroad..We talk to Lizzie Fane, of thirdyearabroad.com fame…

A startup that gives support to students to study abroad…

When I first heard of thirdyearabroad.com, I had that feeling you get, when you know another good idea has gone. A now, obsolete eureka moment, where you think to yourself, why did I not think of that one!’. Third year abroad is student equivalent of mumsnet, a place where students can gain advice, support, information & guidance on their third year abroad. Makes sense really doesn’t it really? How to study abroad, just got a little bit easier!

We contacted Lizzie recently after reading about her business adventures, and having only Graduated in 2008, this is a young entrepreneur, who has ended up setting a business up in the midst of a recession, and making a pretty fair crack at it in the process…

Cheers Lizzie for speaking to TheEmployable…

Tell us all about thirdyearabroad.com – first and foremost what and who is it for?

ThirdYearAbroad.com is the UK’s biggest network of students who study or work abroad during their degree. Living abroad for the first time is a scary prospect, so the site is a place where they can be reassured by finding out everything previous students wish they’d known before they left. They can ask questions in the forum, create an online guidebook, read insider guides to their new city, find useful articles about accommodation, money and insurance, and meet other students going to the same destination so they can share advice. The site also provides final year students and graduates with career guidance, case studies and job opportunities.

Take us back to the moments after you had your Eureka moment for your business – what did you do next to start making it a reality?

The idea began as a dashboard for universities to keep track of their students, and quickly turned into an online year abroad guidebook; for each city you could find out about accommodation, student discounts, enrolment and extracurricular activities to help you make the most of your time abroad. But I soon realised this would require a lot of research and that it was the students in each city who were best placed to write the content. Year abroad students visit the tourist attractions and make local friends within their first few weeks. It occurred to me that if they could pass on advice to future year abroad students about how to settle in their city, they could make a real difference to the future of the year abroad and the numbers applying. I decided to start an information network. I incorporated Third Year Abroad Limited and bought the domain name – after two years working for startups, learning the ropes, doing market research and amassing content, I launched ThirdYearAbroad.com in 2010.

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