Meet The Student-Entrepreneurs Who Want To Perfect Your Study Abroad Experience

When YouTube co-founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley shed light on what led them to founding one of the most valuable enterprises of the past decade, they revealed that their inspiration to create the site stemmed from personal experiences.

It was simple; they had problems trying to share videos with family and friends, so they took it upon themselves to find a solution.

Years later, in a completely different sector, another duo of young entrepreneurs is having a crack at starting a business under the same principle. They've experienced an inefficiency that a lot of students might have faced, and now they are trying to fix it.

"The process leading up to a student studying abroad is a difficult one in itself," said Syracuse University senior Ryan Blum. "Finding safe and reliable housing is one of the biggest questions on parents' minds since chances are that you will not meet your realtor or see the apartment until you get there."

Blum is a co-founder of Study Abroad Apartments, LLC, a young startup that aims to help students maximize their experiences during their semesters overseas by providing them with the opportunity to arrange their own housing situations.

Blum is partnered in business with Ohio State University senior Brett Newman, a strategic communications and marketing major whose vision for the company came after spending a semester of study in Barcelona. He lists the lack of choice when it comes to where a student will live, not knowing what a living space will look like until arrival and the possibility of having to go back home if evicted as some of the inefficiencies in the established system he discovered while abroad.

"Instead of taking a risk with an unfamiliar business transaction overseas and succumbing to inflexible housing options, we offer a reliable, trustworthy, and convenient process in locating an apartment that best suits students,” says Newman.

With Study Abroad Apartments, the two, student entrepreneurs hope to add a total sense of transparency to the overseas housing selection process. Their company works with realtors in Europe to, quite literally, give students a picture of how they'll be living during their semesters away.

Prospective residents can view photos of the living spaces they want as well as of their potential neighborhoods. Furthermore, Study Abroad Apartments provides students with a sense of the activities that can be done in certain areas, as well-- all part of a package of services that they hope will not only give parents peace of mind, but also make them the American housing company that students choose to use before commencing their trips abroad.

“Our message to students is 'don't let yourself get stuck living next to people who hate Americans,'” said Blum. “Do not get kicked out of your program for violating the 3-noise complaint rule. When you use, you won't have to hassle with housing!”

To learn more about Study Abroad Apartments, visit their website, To inquire about their newly launched Campus Rep Program, email