A social network for people from abroad studying in the UK
- link: www.foreignstudents.com
- design: Jean-Michel Dentand
- documentation, project & client management: Dan Whiteman & coldpie
- information architecture, software, frontend build, hosting, support & phase 2 design: coldpie
Foreignstudents.com is a new niche social network aimed at students from abroad who are currently studying or who are planning to study in the UK. The aim of the site is to become the multi-lingual central hub for students offering useful information on employment, jobs, banking, travel and more. In addition, the site offers a forum for students to connect with each other by becoming friends, joining groups and by offering and asking for advice from one another. Beyond this the site allows outside providers (such as employers, course providers and landlords) to register and add listings for free.
The site uses coldpie’s social networking software which offers various features and modules:
Multi-lingual content and content management
All front-end content is editable via the back office system, allowing staff to add or remove pages where neccessary. All meta data, such as page titles, are editable too.
Foreign Students provide site content in English, French and Spanish (with more languages planned) and staff are able to add and edit multi-lingual content throughout the site. In addition staff are able to edit non cms content, such as button text and navigation links using the translation standard POEdit and Gettext
User features, search and tagging
The core elements of the site are its social networking features – allowing students to connect with one another and the website in general in a number of ways.
The site offers ‘tagging’ which allows students to associate keywords or phrases against themselves or the groups they create. This provides other members with the ability to find things which might interest them by searching or browsing. You can read more about tagging on wikipedia) or have a look at the main Foreign Students tags page to see what tags are being created.
In addition, members are able to edit and add to their profiles, upload pictures, become friends with other users, write on their friends profile pages, join groups and add or participate in discussion forums. In addition full mailbox functionality has been added to allow students to send private messages to their friends.
Classified listings for students and providers
As well as powerful social networking features the site also includes travel, jobs, accommodation, course and events classified listings. These listings can be added by providers (such as landlords, colleges or employers), members of the site or admin staff in the back office. Admin staff also have full control over provider and image approvals.
- Site wide search
- Voting system for advice listings
- Approval process for photos, listings and providers
- Ability to add affliate links and adverts
- Full helpdesk support and daily data and code backups