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The U.S. Travel Experience For International Student-Athletes

by Coach Chris Goodman

What do international student-athletes get out of playing and studying abroad in the United States? Young men and women can learn independence and mature. They'll have to figure out time management. They'll get to engage in a completely different culture. They get to compete with incredible athletes on a daily basis in practice and games. This all also just happens to look great during a job interview. The value of the U.S. student-athlete experience can't be underestimated.

What about the U.S. travel experience? We aren't just talking about the opportunity to travel from your home country to the city and state where the school is located. That's just the start of the travel within America for student-athletres. U.S. colleges and universities typically have many road trips during their season and sometimes off-seasons. Teams will visit difference climates and sub-cultures within the United States. The travel experience might be one of the most fascinating parts of the international student-athlete experience.

Your actual college might be located in California. Your team could compete in tournaments or regular season contests in New York, Florida or many other destinations across America. It gives you and your teammates the opportunity to see new sights and sounds you would otherwise never be privy to. You'll still have a game to compete in. So you won't want to lose focus. But you'll still have an opportunity to see places not even many Americans get to visit routinely. Student-athletes at American universities also occasionally get to visit other countries for sporting events.

For instance, Boston University played in a hockey tournament in Belfast, Ireland in 2018. Senior co-captain Bobo Carpenter says trips likes these are pretty amazing. “It was surreal. You saw how green it was and all of the animals (sheep) all over the road. We got to see the Cliffs of Moher. We went over to the Aran Isles."

In March of 2019, the University of Penn football team will travel and study in China. "We are confident that this visit to China will broaden the cultural awareness of our students and create impactful, life-long memories," says Director of Athletics and Recreation Dr. M. Grace Calhoun.

The Notre Dame Lacrosse team visited Spain in 2018 with an emphasis on Spanish culture and local cuisine (and of course, lacrosse).

Locations like Alaska, Hawaii, Cancun and Puerto Rico are known for having basketball tournaments. Successful American college football teams might play in Bowl games or playoffs with additional trips. College golfers may get to play a list of well known courses throughout their career. Track athletes may get to compete in some of the top indoor and outdoor venues in the country. Track athletes get to compete in amazing coliseums. Cross country runners get to trek through beautiful terrains. Basketball, football and baseball players sometimes get to compete in professional venues. The travel is just an added bonus to the overall experience.

The scholarship to play sports will definitely include some travel with your team. It's just another added bonus of being a student-athlete at an American university.

Topics:study abroad