The USA offers a rare opportunity to excelling athletes who wish to continue playing competitive sports after high school: the possibility of combining academics and sports in college. If you are considering becoming an international student-athlete in the USA, here is some information that can help you make the decision!
Popularity of College Sports in the USA
The hype around college sports in the USA is unlike any other in the world. Colleges and universities have often been in their cities for generations, creating strong ties with the local community. Therefore, college athletes not only have the support of fellow students, but of everyone in the community. Be ready to receive the encouragement, loyalty and passion from everyone you meet, not just on campus, but all over the city! How big college sports really are can be a bit overwhelming at first, but you will quickly appreciate the high level of organization, funding and facilities available to you.
Myth #1: You won’t have to go to class
TRUTH – Although coaches can excuse a student from class for travel or for games, class attendance is mandatory and enforced.
Myth #2: Grades don’t matter
TRUTH – Student-athletes have to maintain a certain GPA and pass a certain number of credits to remain athletically eligible to compete.
Myth #3: You’ll get a full ride
TRUTH – Although some athletes do manage to obtain a full athletic scholarship, this is not a common thing. Go Campus offers the best possible scholarships to all its student-athletes!
College sports in the USA are regulated by governing associations (NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, …) which determine the terms of eligibility for competing in athletics, and supervise a number of colleges and universities. Each institution is ranked by divisions, with Division I being the highest level. However, there are many advantages in applying to schools in Division II or III. These divisions often offer better scholarship opportunities to students and the lower intensity of competition will allow you to actually have a life outside of training. They are great options for student-athlete who value their academic, social life and experiencing the full American college life! Go Campus is proud to partner with schools in all divisions and to help you find the best fit!
Adjusting to Reality
No matter which division to choose to join, the level of competition will be much more intense than what you may be used to in your home country. You will have to learn how to balance 20 hours of training with 20 hours of studying each week. Just like any other international student, you will also be adjusting to a new culture with new food, new traditions and a new system! Don’t worry, your American teammates will be there to help you, and will be excited to hear more about the culture and traditions you bring with you!