Callum Smith - My 1st Year in the USA

6 min read
1. Can you tell us a bit about your sporting background pre-scholarship? I played for my school football team, I won county championships with my Sunday league team and had represented my borough and county team. 2. What originally made you choose Firstpoint USA and are you glad you did? I had seen Firstpoint USA on a Google search and decided to give it a go by filling out the small application form, I was asked to come to trial out and I got through that stage and went on for the interview stage where I was given all the information I wanted and then some. John Crawley spoke about his experience over in America when he was there and he sold it very well. I am very glad I chose Firstpoint USA I looked into other avenues but I believe honestly FirstPoint USA is the only avenue to go down if you are looking to receive a scholarship to America. 3. Were you happy with the offers you received and what made you choose? Sacred Heart University in Connecticut? I was very happy with all the offers I received, it was very exciting waking up in the morning and looking at your email and reading all the universities that were interested. I received offers from at least 20 different schools from all over America which shows how renowned and respected Firstpoint USA are. The reason I chose Sacred Heart University was because it was a Division 1 school which is the best standard of college football out there and I wanted to be performing at that level. Another reason was because of the financial aid I received from them. I also had the privilege to visit the school and was very impressed with the campus and resources they were able to supply not only for athletes but for every student. Sacred Heart is a relatively small school with roughly a 6,000 population and I think this is important as I am in a classroom with only 20 other people instead of an auditorium full of hundreds or maybe even thousands of people. This means I can get more attention in my academics and excel in my studies as well 4. What's been the highlight of your first year in the States? There are many highlights; I think I have improved as a player and have met so many new people. I think experiencing a new culture and being able to travel all over America as a college athlete is an experience not many people get to go through. ??5. What are the facilities like at Sacred Heart? The facilities are unreal at Sacred Heart. Athletes have loads of quality equipment for their sports. Injuries are healed as soon as possible and lots of attention is given into making recovery swift and easy. There are staff members who are dedicated to making sure athletes do well both on the pitch and in class. In the classroom there is just as good equipment including laboratories, computers, and projectors. The school always has at least 3 plans and construction sites that are underway to make sure the school stays just as modern and efficient. 6. How does the focus on college athletics compare in the US to the UK? Athletes get priority in a lot of things in college including members of staff who are there to make sure you are doing well in class. Priority is also given when housing is being distributed. There is a huge difference in how many people watch college sports. There are some colleges that receive more attendance than premier league teams. I dont believe that there would be much difference from a professional athlete compared to a big college athlete in lifestyle. There are fans who go to every game and support the team like it was a premier league team. College sports are broadcasted week-in, week-out, on channels like ESPN. 7. Have you had any opportunities or plans to make any money while in the US ?(student/weekend jobs or coaching etc)? In my first year I didnt have an income but when I go back I plan to get involved in one of the hundreds of jobs that are available for all students on campus. It isnt difficult to get a job on campus. 8. How have you managed your time between studying/training/socializing? It is very hard to get that balance. However, when the team is in season, the football takes priority. Academics always holds a strong importance whatever time of the year it is. It isnt hard to get caught up in socializing too much. It is very easy to make friends out there but as an athlete you need to know when is a good time even more so than a normal college student. There is undoubtedly more than enough time to socialize. ??9. What advice would you have for anyone considering a sports scholarship? If possible, go out and visit the university. This will have a huge effect on your decision. Researching the university on Google as well as the surrounding area will also help you to make your decision. Ask your coach what expectations he has of you when you show up for pre-season and make sure you meet the requirements, this will have a huge effect on your place in the team. The first few weeks are the hardest to adapt to and you will feel homesick but you need to just get through that and you will have the best time of your life. 10. Would you recommend Firstpoint USA? I would recommend anyone, if it is an option, to go out to America and study and perform out there. I think that the only option you should consider in how to get out there is Firstpoint USA. The contacts they have out there are second to none and the help you will receive during the process is instant and to a very good standard. The experience is what separates them from the rest and that gap is only going to get bigger.  
Wed like to thank Callum for taking the time to answer our questions!
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