Newly launched social network 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.
Online PR News – 10-August-2014 – London/United Kingdom – Rafael dos Santos moved to London in 2002 from his native Brazil. As anyone who takes the big step of moving country knows, Rafael was immediately faced with culture shock: mixing with so many cultures, coping with a new language, sharing rooms with strangers, and feeling alone. These are common problems faced by anyone who decides to leave their home, travel the world and embark on a journey into the unknown. Despite these challenges, Rafael quickly adapted, working first as a kitchen hand and glass collector in London bars until his English improved, when he then secured a job as a teaching assistant at a language school.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, in 2010, 187 million young people between the ages of 15 and 30 lived in other countries for more than six weeks, spending over $1,000 each on accommodation. After several years of living in London, and with that market in mind, Rafael decided to put his first-hand experience to good use, and set up his own accommodation business in London. This business has proved to be very successful, and after nearly 10 years, is still providing high quality short-term accommodation to people moving to London.
Rafael is also the author of "Moving Abroad - One step at a time", which helps guide a would-be traveller on how to move to another country with the minimum of pain. Whilst doing research for the book, Rafael interviewed over 200 people to find out what were the biggest challenges faced when moving countries. He recalls a common theme “people told me over and over again, about the anxiety they felt when trying to find a place to live, and the fear of feeling alone ". . It was then the seeds for Room in the Moon were sown, a website that could help bring people together and make that transition easier.
Fast forward two years, and after much trial and error, the website was developed. This new site suggests connections between people moving to the same place, to enable the exchange of information and provide a point of contact when people arrive at the new city, minimising the culture shock. The site also offers rooms in various parts of London that can be booked online, staying for a minimum of four weeks. The network only launched in March of this year, but already boasts over 100 new registrations each day with and now has more than 4,000 members from 15 different countries. These members post videos, comments and photos about the city they live in, or have visited. The information that can be shared is very varied, including sightseeing tips, places to eat, advice on the good areas to live, courses, universities to attend, etc etc.
Recently, the British Government offered Room in the Moon the ‘Growth Accelerator Programme’ which is part of a mentoring programme for start-ups. Room in the Moon was also selected to be a participant of the accelerator programme: ‘Velocity’ in Louisville, USA – one of only 8 out of 1,200 applicants to be chosen. This programme comes with $15,000 in training support. Room in the Moon was also voted by the global Virgin Group as 'Start-up of the Week'.
To mark the launch of Room in the Moon, it has launched a competition, which will gives away a two-week scholarship to anywhere in the world for the person who gives the most tips and has the most connections in their profile on the website. The scholarship will cover costs of flights, accommodation, a language course, and even cash to help with living expenses .
To register, just sign up site www.roominthemoon.com/competition .