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Alsu from Kazan on obtaining athletic scholarships and learning at Eastern Michigan University
Alsu from Kazan on obtaining athletic scholarships and learning at Eastern Michigan University
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Alsu from Kazan on obtaining athletic scholarships and learning at Eastern Michigan University

EI: Hello! Tell us a little about yourself: where are you from, how did the idea to study in the USA?

Hello! I'm from the city of Kazan. The idea to study in the United States having once received the proposals from coaches, representatives of the American universities that offered the opportunity to receive higher education and to train a sports team of the University. (I would like to note here that the invitation to international athletes is a common occurrence and student sport is very developed. Besides, athletics is one of the leading sports in the student the field). Also I always dreamed to speak English fluently, so an opportunity to pursue higher education in America, simultaneously combining this with the athletics, I was very interested.

EI: What was the most important thing to you when choosing a University and what attracted you to the University of Eastern Michigan? You play sport and have achieved notable success, and American universities provide great opportunities for learning and training. The choice of University had something to do with sports?

Since I'm not just a student, and the student-athlete, for me, first and foremost, it was important to get into a good team with a sufficient level of competition. At the University of Eastern Michigan, in addition to this the team also was able to transfer my credits (subjects) to continue learning. I two and a half years studying at one of Russian universities. Thus, after transfer to Eastern Michigan University, I was able to continue training with virtually no loss of time, combining study with intensive workouts, which for me was an important point when choosing a University.

EI: it was Hard to go to Eastern Michigan University? How long did it take the admission?

To go to University was relatively easy, as my English allowed me to overcome the required threshold for the TOEFL. In my case it was the only exam I had to pass. The paperwork, including the visa process, took a lot of time and patience, but I think that when you move to another country this can not be avoided in any case. In General, the whole process took a few months, so my advice to all who have decided to study in the States to start the paperwork in advance to avoid unnecessary haste and bustle.

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EI: Tell us about the first days at the University. What seemed easy and what is difficult? How did you overcome the difficulties, who has provided the most assistance?

The first days at the University was a bit shocking, especially given the fact that this is, by and large, was my first trip abroad – and once on the other side of the planet. There was a small difficulty with the language, they just speak English and be involved in the educational process at the American University – to put it mildly, a little different. But language is only a matter of time, a month or two I was already much easier, and teammates often helped with the study, especially in those cases when I don't understand.

Besides, Eastern Michigan University many international students from around the world, for example, now I have friends from Belgium, Latvia, France, Nigeria, South Africa, Israel, Asia and even from his native Russia. It is very nice not only to train and learn, but also to communicate with people from all over the world, which in turn, I believe helps to expand the horizons.

EI: You learn individual program - what it covers, what subjects to study? Tell us about your typical school day.

Since I was a transfer student, I had to find the corresponding major at the University of Eastern Michigan to continue training. I was offered an Individual Training Program, which includes three areas, one of which is Physical Education – it's about the same that I studied in Russian universities. I have the option quite satisfied, as my goal, in particular, was to improve the level of English in a variety of fields, and the study of several areas at the same time gave me the opportunity.

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The education system here is quite flexible – you can adjust the schedule for themselves, which for me as an athlete is very important, given the frequent trips to competitions and daily training. Study at EMU (Eastern Michigan University) runs mainly from Monday to Thursday (have a couple on Fridays, but I never got one, and it's probably only for certain cases), that for me as an athlete is very convenient, since almost all competitions are held here at the end of the week.

On average, the day I usually have two or three pairs; all buildings are close by, and the interval between the pairs 15 minutes duration pairs on average 1 hour and 15 minutes. Besides, I live near campus is a 3 – minute walk, which saves a lot of time.

EI: University life American universities - a topic for a separate discussion. What it's like to be a student in America? How to spend free time students of Eastern Michigan University?

Student life in America is very rich. Inside the University often hosts various events. The University has a Department responsible directly only for international students, also organizes various meetings between students, where you can socialize and have fun. Besides, often held separate events for athletes, which I often am. And recently, I took part in the exhibition (it, by the way, was arranged by my friend from Russia, she is studying at EMU for master's degree). I graduated from art school, so participation in this exhibition gave me the opportunity to once again return to the drawing. Such events allow students to Express themselves in various fields, including different from their main activity, as it was in my case.

EI: Eastern Michigan University provides an international student scholarship, which allows to compensate for the difference. Have you participated in this or other scholarship programs? Please, tell us more.

Since I am a student-athlete, I had the opportunity to receive an athletic scholarship, which fully covers the cost of training. This scholarship, as I know, can only be granted to athletes included in the team of the University.

EI: thanks for the interview. Success in school!

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