As you embark on your soccer scholarship journey as an international student there is plenty of excitement and anticipation in what to expect. Having the opportunity to chase your passion whilst earning a degree in renowned locations around the U.S is a dream for many. There are many factors international students must think about when deciding to go over to the U.S on a scholarship.
Adjusting to a new life
Moving to another country can be exciting at first, but the sudden reality of knowing you have no family or friends in a new surrounding can be scary. The first week is difficult for many student-athletes. It is important to dive straight into life when you get to the U.S. Campus life is not like anything you’ve experienced. With it being so multi-cultural you meet people from all over the world. Especially with being on the soccer team, many of your teammates will also be international students. The college cafeteria will allow you to experience food from all over the globe.
Another part of the adjusting process is the weather and terrain. Going from the inconsistent weather that we experience in the UK to the beautiful weather in Florida can be a big change. With the heat and humidity combined, playing football in that condition can be hard to adjust to. It is important to stay hydrated as this will prevent you from experiencing illnesses. A good way to keep yourself hydrated whilst gaining energy is to mix Gatorade with water. The time difference may also have an effect on your body during the first days of you arriving in the U.S. During pre-season it is imperative that you rest and recover quickly. Adjusting to the new local time is crucial as it will allow you to perform and make a steak for a starting spot.
The demand of playing soccer whilst studying
Playing college soccer should not be looked down upon as the level required is very demanding, especially when having to juggle the commitments of your college work. 6 am wake ups in order to be at the gym for a morning session at 7:30 am is something for you to get used to. Having a strenuous training session followed by a series of classes can leave you exhausted by the end of the day, but it’s all apart of the process. On many college programs your coach would allocate a time slot each week which the team will use to study. This gives you the opportunity to stay on top of your work or revise for an upcoming exam. The camaraderie which is seen on a college program is something you must integrate straight in to.
All of your team mates look after each other, especially when it comes to the classroom. Every player plays a part of the overall team success therefore if someone is falling behind on their class work, one of the members of the team will help him get his grades up. Even as a freshmen you have duties to uphold. On campus student-athletes have a big responsibility to make sure they are setting a good example for the rest as you are seen as a figure-head.
Having the freedom and the independence of not having any parents around provides you with the opportunity to make your own decisions. As a student-athlete you spend a large amount of your time either on the soccer field or in the classroom, therefore when you have breaks it is important that you explore the U.S and soak up the experience. There are so many things and places for you to do and visit but here are a few which we think stands out:
LIVE MLS Matches
As an aspiring professional footballer it is important for you watch as much football as possible. This will allow you to know how far off from the professionals you are.
With sports such as: Football, basketball and baseball being such popular sports in the U.S watching it live is a great experience. Witnessing other athletes demonstrate their skills in their sport shows a level of appreciation. Especially because if you support a fellow sport team they will support you.
Beautiful scenery, warm weather and beaches is the perfect setting for a student-athlete needing a break.
The city that never sleeps. New York is such a huge attraction and there’s a reason behind that. The atmosphere within the city is electric and is somewhere which will leave you with a ever-lasting memory.