We recently spoke to soccer player, Arianna Durling to ask about her overseas experience so far.
Upon a fantastic collegiate career with Rowan College which saw her earn multiple All-Conference honors, Arianna contacted Play Overseas in her senior year with the ambition of continuing her promising soccer career overseas.
|After registering her details on our website, we were able to successfully identify a number of different opportunities where she could continue playing a high level of soccer and pursue her master’s degree.
Since arriving in the UK back in September 2022, Arianna has been enjoying life as an international student-athlete, playing soccer and working towards her master’s degree in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise.
With the regular season finished, we caught up with her to ask about her experience in England so far and what words of advice she has for any student considering playing overseas.
How would you describe your experience as a postgraduate student in the UK so far?
Overall, I have had a very positive experience as a postgraduate student-athlete in the UK. Being able to continue playing the sport I love while getting a Master’s degree is the best of both worlds. I have met so many amazing people from all over the world and I look forward to the rest of this year living in England.
What three things have you enjoyed most about your time in the UK so far?
The three things I have enjoyed the most are studying amongst a group of individuals who share the same passion for sport psychology, being able to travel and see new places, and learning about different cultures. I grew up in New Jersey in the US and went to undergrad there so having the opportunity to study abroad in a new country has been a life-changing experience.
Compared to your time playing college soccer in America, what would you say were some of the main differences from playing in England?
There were a couple of main differences I noticed while playing soccer in England versus the United States. The main difference is that there is no 4-year eligibility rule in England. As long as you are attending university in the UK, you can play your sport. Since I already used my 4 years of eligibility in the US, I wouldn’t have been able to play soccer if I decided to get my masters there.
Another difference is the ability to choose the level and difficulty of your schedule based on your preferences. While playing sport at a UK university, there are different levels of competition. Depending on what you are looking for, you can decide if you want to play at the highest level and engage with an outside club, or you can choose a lower level while having more time for other commitments. I enjoyed the fact that I had the option to choose.
Do you have any words of advice for students who are currently considering the opportunity to play and study overseas?
I would definitely recommend this experience to someone who is considering the opportunity of going abroad to study and play a sport. You will have the ability to study what you want at a faster pace with lower tuition rates, play your sport, travel, and have a great social experience. If you do decide that you want to go across the pond, I would recommend starting the process as early as possible. The more time you have to prepare, the less overwhelming the process will be.
Finally, what was your experience like when working with Play Overseas?
I had a very positive experience working with Play Overseas. I was undecided on what university I wanted to attend at first, but they helped me to explore my options and come to a decision. They responded quickly to my various questions and made the intimidating process of moving abroad very simple and easy. I would recommend anyone who wants to go abroad to study and play a sport to work with Play Overseas.
Could you be next? Now recruiting for 2023!
If you would like to explore the possibility of studying a master’s degree in the U.K. alongside another year of college sport, submit an application for our free service via the link below to see what exciting opportunities we can find for you.APPLY