By: Raven Ash
Quincy University may be a small private university comprised of only an approximate 1,200 students and located in a town with a population of roughly 42,000; however, it also acts as a temporary home to many students from across the globe while classes are in session.
For many international students, Quincy University gives them an opportunity to gain an education while showcasing their athletic abilities on athletic scholarships.
“Many of us hire agencies to send our film to different schools and coaches,” Felipe Santana said.
Santana is a member of the men’s soccer team who moved to the U.S to attend Quincy University from Brazil.
Because the university’s athletic scholarships typically cover a majority of tuition, several international student athletes used scholarships as a main determining factor for packing their bags for Quincy.
“I would say the determining factor for Quincy was the scholarship opportunities and the soccer facilities. They are both quite good,” Craig Chrisholm said
Chrisholm is another men’s soccer player who left his home in England. Chrisholm also had the opportunity to attend multiple schools in the U.K. Some of these options included Newcastle University, The University of Manchester, and The University of Leeds.
Other international students admire QU because of its small-town atmosphere and feeling of safety on campus.
“I chose Quincy University because I love the fact that the town is small, which means it is safer. Also, I liked that it was a big change in environment because I am from a city back home. I am from London, England,” Dami Adeyinka, a member of the women’s basketball team, said.
For most students, it is a difficult process leaving home for the first time when they leave for college. But for international students who may live 5,000 miles away from Quincy University’s campus, saying good-bye to their family and friends is especially difficult.
“Leaving for the first time was exciting, but leaving after break was much harder because it just wasn’t enough time back home,” Joakim Ostvold, an international student from Norway, said.
With leaving their home countries comes many changes. International students face culture shock with everything from food, social interaction, politics, weather and language barriers.
Santana was taking classes in English eight years prior to coming to the U.S, however he explained how English was still a challenge when he arrived. His teammates commented on how much his English has improved since arriving here in Quincy.
Many international students are amazed by how different Americans act than people from their home countries.
“People at home tend to stick with their own groups and here everyone is so friendly to one another. Like in Walmart, random people will smile at you and that does not happen at all back home,” Chrisholm said.
Thanks to the kindness that the students and staff at Quincy University have shown international students here on campus, their transition to the United States has been a positive opportunity to learn and showcase their athletic talents.