For most international students in Melbourne, studying in a foreign country entails more than just books and papers. The best way to truly experience Melbourne is to meet and get to know local Australians, which many international students tend to struggle with, due to differences in cultural perspective and lack of common grounds.
As a resolution to this, SportsHosts was created as a platform for foreigners in Australia, like international students and travellers, to connect with local Australians through the love of sports. Melissa Blair, brand director of SportsHosts, explained that sports are a fun, easy and social way for international students to break out of their own community and connect with local Australians.
Similar to Airbnb, SportsHosts.com operates as a website where visitors can browse different sports game days. After signing in, visitors can message the host of the game day for enquiries, view their profile or request to join the game day with them. Once accepted into the game day, both sides can decide on a meeting place and how to get to the venue together.
“We call it a game day because it’s not just about the match, it’s the entire game day experience. From the food that you grab together before the game, walking to the game together, attending the actual game itself or visiting the pub afterwards to grab a drink with local fans… it’s really about the entire cultural experience”, Melissa said.
“Even if you’re not a passionate sports fan, SportsHosts can be a great platform to learn about a new sport and gain experience new from a local perspective. International students will get to learn local slang words and understand the Australian interaction and mannerism. Moreover, it creates a safe and accessible way for you to be able to experience a true local experience without having to figure it out on your own”, Melissa further commented.
Essentially, anyone who is a local passionate sports-fan can become a host. However, the hosts do need to be verified, and give permission to have their profiles accessed on the SportsHosts website. Viewers can also read comments and reviews about the hosts, written by previous participants.
“Therefore, it’s a review-based platform that provides you with the safety reassurance that the person you’re meeting is credible”, Melissa explained.
What makes SportsHosts even more unique is the fact that it won’t cost a cent to sign up or request to join a game day.
“We make it for free because we want to create a genuine connection, so you’re not paying a local Australian to take you somewhere”, Melissa said.
As for the hosts, they sign up to experience something new and different. Local hosts genuinely want to show support for their favourite team and make new international friends.
Melbourne locals love their sports! So whether or not you’re a sports fan, it may be worthwhile to check out SportsHosts and experience a unique and exciting local experience.
For more on SportsHosts, visit their website now to become a host yourself or have the entire game-day experience yourself.