As an international student-athlete, choosing the right college can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to consider academics and athletics, but you also have to take into account the cultural and social aspects of living in a new country. Here are some tips that will help you make the best decision you can:
Consider your goals
What do you hope to accomplish academically and athletically during your time in college? It can be helpful to make a list of schools that have strong programs in both areas. You can then narrow down your options from there.
Research the campus culture
As an international student, it’s important to find a campus where you feel comfortable and supported. Look for schools with strong international student organisations, as well as a diverse student body.
Consider the cost
Tuition and living expenses can add up quickly, so it’s important to consider your budget when choosing a college. Most schools offer some kind of financial aid but it all depends on whether the school is part of the NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA. Scholarships are also available if your athletic and academic ability matches what the college is looking for. Before you start the process, it’s important to understand scholarships and what they cover.
Consider the location
Think about the type of environment you want to be in and look for schools that fit your preferences. Do you want to be in a big city or a small town? Would you prefer to be near the beach or further inland? Do you mind being in the cold for part of the year? These are all important features to consider.
Talk to current students and alumni
If you’re already talking to the coach, ask them to put you in touch with some current members of the team. It’s important to get a feel for their experiences and they can give you valuable insight into what it’s like to be a student athlete at that school.
Ultimately, choosing the right college is a personal decision that depends on your individual goals and priorities. It’s also important to be open minded. No college will be able to tick all your boxes, so we advise that you make a list of the top 3 priorities you want from your college and go from there.
At College Sports America, we try our hardest to find our athletes the perfect college that matches their ability in both their sport and academics. Interested in finding out more about your options? Get in contact today for a FREE evaluation of your abilities.