Why We're Here
We want to understand the international and exchange student experience transitioning between their home country and UT Austin and how they utilize the International Office to facilitate this process. 
The International Office does not make the international and exchange student experience a priority, and it does not do an adequate job facilitating communication between UT Austin and its incoming and current international/exchange students.
How might we help the International Office and UT exchange/international students communicate?
The International and Exchange Student Experience
Our first action item was to interview at least 10 international and exchange students around campus in order to understand how they interact with UT, the international office, and other sources of information in order to make their exchange/international experience as smooth as possible. We interviewed 6 exchange students and 4 international students. Our group attempted to interview employees with the International Office, but we were often met with no response or difficulty retrieving the answers we were seeking.
After our 10 in-depth interviews with various foreign UT students, two emails sent to the international office, and one visit to the office, we began developing observations, themes, and key insights that were prevalent throughout every interview and experience.
Key Insights
The office needs to take into account that students are traveling from overseas and require a lot of time to get all of their requirements met.
The office should be most available remotely to incoming students who are still overseas, but the easiest way to currently talk to them is to physically go to the office.
The office does not communicate exactly what is required of the students, but then penalizes them for submitting something incorrectly.
International students come to Austin not only for the education but for its culture, nightlife, and music.

The office needs to facilitate more social/community based information events and activities to allow students to immerse themselves into the Austin life.

The office needs to provide resources to students who don’t have the ability to take on campus tours to see dorms firsthand.
Some of the biggest issues from these insights that we noticed was the International Office is extremely slow when communicating with students. One student missed the International Orientation before the fall semester began, because she booked her flight months ahead of time and the office only communicated the dates that students should be on campus one month before classes began.
Another student could not get his visa on time, because the office forgot to send out the visa paperwork to him.
Ideation to Design Intent
From the glaring issues derived from our insights and observations, we decided to focus on the slow communication process and impossibly convoluted International Office Website. As one student put it: "UT is kind of lazy when they try to communicate with me."
The navigation system and information on the website caused more confusion and more questions rather than helping the students who were seeking answers. This led us to formalize on our design intent, and begin the process of how we could revamp communication between the office and international/exchange students.
Intent Statement
Our intent is to create a personalized and efficient experience for prospective and current students at UT Austin so they can avoid sifting through excess of information, and can easily access immediate help and answers for their questions. Additionally, students would be updated on events happening in Austin, and events specific to international/exchange students.
UT INTERNATIONAL: User Flow and Interface
UT International is a UT hosted application for prospective and current international and exchange students to communicate with the office, get information about important dates, and view action items such as check-list to do items without the inconvenience of slow communication via email, or having to physically go to the office to get direct communication, which is nearly impossible for prospective students unless they were to visit campus.
The application features a one-time sign up using your UT ID. The student could then choose a language they would prefer the application to be in, and be welcomed to the app. With UT International, the student can learn about important dates such as International Orientation, international student events happening on campus, view important action items through their checklist, and even create appointments with advisors and communicate with the office through the app. Additionally, UT International provides a photo-document scanner for students to upload important documents such as passports, medical records, etcetera, that would be linked with their UT ID.
To view our full prototype, click here
UT International created by Michelle Tamir, 
Elisabeth Dubus, Emily Park, and Jordi Romano.
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