I think that a boarding school is a great option for students who seriously want to continue their sport during their year abroad. For me, hockey plays a big role, therefore it has been very nice to play in tournaments across Canada and also in the U.S. These tournaments and the opportunities to practice hockey like this, would not had been possible at a public school. Practices and workouts have been tough and diverse, and there are many opportunities to train other sports as well. I had always wanted to try rugby, and here I finally got to do that. We practice every day after school, and we have tournaments on weekends. Getting along with coaches and teammates have been easy, and the professional coaches and staff are very committed, which has helped me to develop as a student-athlete.
In the beginning, I was little nervous, but very soon I noticed that everything is going very well, and the school was great. The level of American football is higher than in Finland, so if a student wants to play on a high level, he should go to a boarding school. I can recommend a boarding school to any student who wants to experience something new and different.
Since I was in the middle school, my dream had always been playing soccer and going to school in the U.S., so I was very excited when Universal Players helped me to find a perfect boarding school for me. I was anxious to meet my new team and start the pre-season in the fall. Schoolyear started very well, people were very kind, and I felt very welcomed. I learned A LOT of English, made many new friends, developed as a players, and most of all, developed as a person. My journey has been wonderful, and I am very thankful for everything that has happened to me, for what I’ve learned, and for the people I’ve met. There are so many opportunities out there, and I can guarantee, that going abroad to study is never a bad idea, and you will never regret it!
At first I was very surprised how active all my friends at school were with various after school activities. Personally I have played soccer, ran track and played lacrossse. Once the school’s soccer season was over, I also competed with the local travel team in the winter and in the spring. Through my participation in sports I have gained a lot of wonderful friends which have been a big part of this unforgettable experience that I have had so far. I am so happy that I chose to go with UP and that they helped me into this wonderful school.
New Jersey, USA
I would recommend an exchange year to everybody. I cannot find words to describe my year and all the great experiences. During my year, I learned so many new things, things that cannot be learned anywhere else. It was also a great feeling to come back home, and think that I just spent a year abroad, and also made it back home! During my year, I got priceless memories and friends for lifetime.
New Hampshire, USA
I spent a year in Fountain Valley School, in Colorado. I chose this school because the school had its own horses, stables, and all the other needed facilities, so I could continue my sport in great circumstances. All riders became very close during the year, and it was great to experience that team spirit in a sport that you usually practice alone by yourself. Competition trips for example to Arizona and Florida were very fun!
So I decided to take a chance, leave Finland and everything I knew behind, and hunt for new adventures. UP Global presented me Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, which I knew nothing about and which name I could hardly pronounce. By UP Global recommendations, the school was perfect for me, so I decided to go for it. And where did I find myself on the first day of my year abroad…
I found great friends from the three varsity sport teams – cross-county, basketball, hurdles – and I got to practice and compete under very inspiring coaches. While traveling to competitions and to trips set up by the school, I got to explore the great outdoors and scenery of Hawaii. I got to spend many sunny days on the beach by the turquoise ocean, to hike to the waterfalls, to try standup paddleboarding, to swim with wild dolphins, and the list goes on and on…
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