Going to University in America was always just a dream. I was 12 when I first heard about a female footballer who moved to America to gain a degree and to play. From then on I was so inspired and motivated to do the same and to have the same experiences that she had.
Starbridge helped me get in contact with coaches and programs that would suit me as a player. Over time I was in contact with multiple coaches discussing options and what they had to offer at their universities. Whilst this was happening I was also studying the ACT. This is an exam this is required to get out to the US to study. I knew that my university required a certain score in order to offer the scholarship that I needed therefore I was striving to achieve that.
I chose to go to Union University in Tennessee. Tennessee is based in the South, it’s a state that is very hot in the summer yet very cold in the winter. I had to adapt to the climate change and work extremely hard on my fitness to keep up with the pace of American soccer as they are very athletic and physically strong. This is something that was challenging for me however can certainly be achieved through the strength and conditioning coaches, the nutritional advice, physio therapy and the team bonding that gets you through the training everyday. As a team we trained 3 times a day which is indeed tough but benefitted us on the field. Unfortunately I managed to get injured last season however the rehabilitation process that I went through was amazing! They helped me get through my injures and I was still involved with the team.
The facilities were incredible within the university and at other colleges that we played at. I have now found a love for a variety of sports that I’d never watched before like baseball, volleyball and basketball. As a team on campus we support one and other and this is something that I loved because we were a big athletic community.
Moving out to the states was a maturing yet exciting experience. I didn’t really know what to expect however as soon as I arrived all the girls on the team, as well as the teachers were very welcoming and I felt at home straight away. I feel I have not only grown as a player but as a person too I’ve been challenged to be a better player on the field and within the classroom.
Academically I had to be gaining a 3.0 in my classes otherwise I couldn’t play. This was something that motivated me in my learning as I wanted to be playing and travelling over the weekend.
I had to adjust to things like the currency, the strong southern accent, the culture, dress code and climate however for me I didn’t experience a huge culture shock as I was always busy with classes or soccer! I managed to get myself a little job on campus within a gym. This helped financially and I was able to do this around my training and school schedule.
Over the past 2 years I have travelled across America playing the game that I love, Ive experienced going to different states with friends and I have now discovered what I want to do when I leave after 4 years.
Not only have Starbridge helped me get out to the states but they’ve kept in touch ever since and are now helping me transfer to Minot State in North Dakota. They’ve helped me tremendously through the whole process with my video footage, talking to coaches and helping me with paper work and the visa process. I told them what type of college I was looking for and they put me in contact with places that suited me best. I simply couldn’t of done it without them and I’m very excited for my next adventure and I can’t wait to get back out on the field and to have a whole new experience up North.