22 Dec Life on Campus for a Student-Athlete
What are the Living Arrangements?
Our son often asks us whether he could go to college in the USA to study and play one day. The answer of course is ‘yes’!
As he asks this question, in response we as parents instinctively ask ourselves our own set of questions. At which location will he be happy? Where is the safest place for him? Which college is going to provide him the best possible experience?
For years, as founders of Study & Play USA, we have fielded these very questions from hundreds of parents in our initial family meetings, the answers to which are evident through observing the successful outcomes of hundreds of our student-athletes over the last 18 years. We have written blogs about the importance of choosing the right people for our children to be around at college i.e the coach, teammates and academic support staff. But this blog explores the importance of the day-to-day living quarters in choosing a suitable college for our sons and daughters. After all, a student-athlete will spend time there studying, eating, socialising and, of course, sleeping in preparation for the next big day of college life.
In a perfect world, college goers arrive as freshmen and their whole world is on campus. They live on campus along with the bulk of the student body, in various dormitories each with their own full-service buffet dining halls, easy-to-use coin laundry and special areas to gather socially.
For international student-athletes, these dormitories are home to not only international freshmen but also American students. This creates an environment where all students are of a similar age and a similar situation; they are all away from home, most of them for the first time. This promotes a unique connection with each other and is why many lifelong friends are established in those first few weeks on campus.
We can’t just skim over the aforementioned full-service buffet without elaborating. Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be accessed within most dorms across campuses in the USA. All students are on a pre-paid meal plan, which is designed to satisfy a very hungry teenager and there is no shortage of variety for all needs and tastes. Although there are other food options around campus, for freshman, the dining hall often becomes a place for students and student-athletes from all around the world to meet and establish friendships.
When it’s time to go to classes or lectures, typically the dorm is located just a short walk away. Rarely do our student-athletes require transport, although some may choose to purchase an inexpensive bike to get around campus. The location of dorms in close proximity to campus classrooms is by design, in part for convenience but also for students to soak in what the campus has to offer. Students might stop by the student union, another meeting place with cafes and food vendors, the campus post office and more. A student band might be playing some tunes on the library lawn. College campuses are thriving communities and being able to get around campus quickly and easily can allow students to really immerse themselves into their home away from home.
In our initial family meetings with prospective student-athletes at Study & Play USA, this is one of many specific topics we like to discuss so that we can help identify what colleges are best going to fit each family’s needs and goals.
To book your initial obligation-free family meeting with Study & Play USA, click here