The life of a student athlete can be pretty challenging. On top of their regular academic workload, student athletes often have to endure hours of rigorous training sessions to make sure that they stay in great competitive form. In the end, time management is the name of the game. Student athletes try to balance acads, training, and (if they’re lucky) sleep into a 24-hour day — seven days a week. This strict routine is their best shot at succeeding in the country’s most competitive collegiate sports leagues. It’s also the reason why many student athletes abroad do their best to stay physically fit even when they’re away from home.
Of course, replicating the training offered at home isn’t as easy as it sounds. In their respective universities, student athletes have access to the right facilities and qualified trainers who know their training program by heart. They can also rely on the support of teammates to boost their morale.
In contrast, student athletes abroad often have to deal with limited access to the proper facilities and minimal guidance from qualified trainers. While most do what they can to compensate for this, not being able to comply with their full training routine can affect an athlete’s conditioning.
So does this mean that student athletes should write off studying abroad altogether? Of course not! Schools like Saint Louis University – Madrid (SLU – Madrid) go the extra mile to accommodate the additional needs of international students who also happen to be student athletes.
Empowering student athletes to explore opportunities
There are many perks of being an international student. Beyond academic learning, studying abroad also lets you develop crucial skills that you can apply in real life situations. Your adaptability, communication, conflict resolution, and interpersonal skills will all benefit from this experience.
“I decided to study abroad because it has always been a dream of mine to travel through Europe, but it is difficult with my rigorous swim schedule.” – Erica Morris, a swimmer from SLU-Madrid
Even for athletes like Erica Morris who have really strict training schedules, it’s hard to miss the appeal of becoming an international student overseas. Still, the challenge is in keeping up with their rigorous training schedule.
Saint Louis University – Madrid empowers competitive swimmers to pursue study abroad opportunities through its partnership with Spanish multisport club Real Canoe, C.N. The partnership allows these swimmers studying abroad at SLU-Madrid access to facilities at one of the top training centers in Madrid. This is one way SLU-Madrid helps student althletes abroad: by facilitating partnerships that will allow them to keep up with their strict training routines. Swimmers from Xavier University who are currently staying in SLU – Madrid have greatly benefited from this partnership since Real Canoe, C.N. is equipped with advanced facilities for the sport.
Xavier Students like Matt Geraghty are grateful for the opportunity offered by SLU-Madrid which allows them to study abroad while still being able to keep up with the workout requirements expected of student swimmers.
Creating a solid support system for student athletes
Aside from offering the student athletes access to its facilities, Real Canoe, C.N. also places the student athletes under the guidance of Coach Miguel Mazariegos González during training. Since the drills that Coach González provides for them are relatively similar to the ones that many competitive swimmers report doing back at their home universities, the student athletes have less reason to worry about maintaining a form fit for the competitive scene.
“As an athlete, I know firsthand what it’s like to feel as though you’re missing out on fun because of your sport. This is a great opportunity to continue with your sport but also have an experience that you wouldn’t have otherwise.” – Erica Morris, a swimmer from SLU-Madrid
With their training sessions being held together, the students from both SLU – Madrid and Xavier University have formed strong friendships. Erica Morris is grateful for the experience which has boosted their morale and even made them look forward to competing against each other in the future.