D&I Used Service Design Thinking and Method to Welcome International Students

In the morning of February 27, 2015, College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University (D&I) held a welcome party for 32 new international students of inter-school exchange programs, who come from 9 countries and regions and will begin their study at Tongji University in 2015 spring semester. In order to provide a more convivial environment and to improve the service quality, D&I for the first time adopted service design thinking approaches to organize registration and reception, endeavoring to take into account international students’ actual needs and provide them with necessary support and to help them get accustomed to the life here as soon as possible.

The service system for international Master Degree students is initially executed. Before the arrival of those international students, D&I has been trying to gain a good grasp of the different needs of all the personnel involved and problems encountered in the joint programs. D&I interviewed and sent questionnaires to graduated, current and future international students, their supervisors, and related staff. Based on their feedback, D&I built its international student service system in a more effective and user-friendly way, with new service procedure and new service contacts. This welcome party was one of important service contacts in the whole process of service system. Apart from regular procedures, D&I also carried out “Welcome Together” activity this time. It includes the activation of the We-Chat Service Platform for International Students and the distribution of tailored-designed-and-made “welcome packs” (containing a campus map that marks the location of the teaching buildings and dormitories, study & living guidebook, and Chinese New Year gifts). Meanwhile, by preparing for the welcome party colorful cards, drawing boards and brushes, D&I offered a creative presentation model to make these new students better acquainted with and by others. Each drawing board presented the portrait of an international student with his/her name on it. There the students were invited to picture creative sketches of their future study and life in Tongji University on the colorful cards, and then pinned the cards onto their corresponding drawing boards, therefore completed the self-presentation through experience design. This presentation model was well received by the students, in so far as they took pictures with great interest besides their portraits one after another, wrote down their hobbies on the cards and expressed hopes and expectations for their future life and study in Tongji University. The above-mentioned portraits will be applied to every contact of the service system for international students.

This welcome party marked the start point of the design of D&I service system for international students. D&I has actively made efforts to integrate innovation with education and service, catering for the international innovation-oriented talent cultivation mode of Tongji University. Based on its education requirements, D&I will gradually present a series of innovative service modules and develop more creative activities in the future.


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