We recently caught up with women’s soccer player, Caitlyn to talk about her experience with Play Overseas and her first week as a student-athlete in the UK!
After graduating from Western Washington University in May 2016, Caitlyn pursued her professional soccer career overseas. After representing Team USA at the World University Games in Taiwan and playing a season in Denmark for Football Club AaB, she decided that she wanted to return to education. However, Caitlyn was not ready to give up playing competitive soccer.
So in the fall of 2018, Caitlyn reached out to us at Play Overseas and informed us that her main goals were to continue playing at the highest level, while also getting the chance to explore a new culture, spend time in a new country and earn a masters. We got to work and presented Caitlyn with a number of different options where she would be able to pursue her masters and play a high level of soccer in the United Kingdom.
One year later and Caitlyn is now on campus at one of the U.K.’s most picturesque universities and she has been kind enough to provide an insight into her first week overseas!
What’s been your impressions of your first month living overseas?
My first month living in Scotland has been wonderful! I instantly fell in love with the city of Stirling and the beautiful campus. I have lived overseas before so it has been an easy transition.
How do you find the level of soccer?
The level of soccer is good, the style differs from what I am used to but I have already started to adapt. Being a grad student and having played four years of undergrad, I am one of the oldest and more experienced players on the team, my teammates are different ages and have varying backgrounds so it has been fun to get to know everyone and see what each player brings to the field.
What are your thoughts on being a grad student-athlete, allowed to both play for the university and club team?
It is a unique opportunity and I am grateful to be able to bring my experience and knowledge to a team of younger players and also compete in the Scottish Premier League. Balancing school and playing soccer is not always easy. Both the coaches and my program faculty have been accommodating and very helpful to ensure I am able to balance a hectic schedule. Everyone here is supportive and wants me to be successful in every aspect of my post grad experience!
What’s been your favourite memory in the first month?
My favorite memory is actually from the first day of the school year, meeting my classmates has been the highlight of my first month. There are students from around the world represented and it’s amazing to hear different languages and learn about new cultures of people who have the same passion for fish and biology that I do. I have already met many people who I am sure after this year will be lifelong friends.
What are your ambitions for the rest of the season?
I want to help the team compete at the highest level and be at the top of the league standings at the end of the season. I have played overseas and in championships throughout my career, so I know what it takes to be successful. I hope I can share my experience and knowledge with my new team and can work towards being the best we can be.
Caitlyn was been a pleasure to work with throughout the process and we cannot wait to follow her journey now she has arrived in the U.K. If you would love to pursue your sporting passion whilst working towards your masters degree, apply online today and explore the opportunities that may be available to you!