We would like to thank Charlie for taking the time to answer our questions.
Charlie Hunter: My Scholarship So Far
5 min read
Charlie Hunter secured a soccer scholarship through FirstPoint USA in 2012, to American University, Washington D.C. We caught up with Charlie to see how his first year State-side has been, and what advice he has for any future student-athletes: 1. Can you tell us a bit about your sporting background? I have always been an avid footballer, with experience trialing and training with the likes of Watford, Luton Town, Queens Park Rangers, Brighton & Hove Albion, before joining Conference South outfit Boreham Wood FC, and representing England Schoolboys and Colleges at Under 16, 18 and 19 levels, as well as representing my county side and winning National Schools and College titles with my Boreham Woodís Academy. 2. What originally made you choose First Point USA, and are you glad that you did? Iím glad that I chose FirstPoint USA because they seem to be the biggest company that do what they do, with the most contacts and connections. As soon as my profile was live, very good offers flooded in from Universities at the top end of Division 1 soccer, from all over the country. 3. Are you happy with the offers you received, and what made you choose American University? I was very happy with the offers I received, and my subsequent choice to join American University. My numerous amounts of offers allowed me the choice of all kinds of Universities; academic based, social based, great weather, the city, the beach etc., and also allowed me to play them off against each other to know who wanted me the most, but also to get the best deal I could. American University has allowed me to gain a great education, whilst play soccer at Division 1 level in one of the most historic cities in the world in Washington D.C. 4. What has been the highlight of your first year in the U.S? My biggest highlight has got to be scoring the winning goal away at Lehigh to clinch the Patriot League regular season championship, and also seal our unbeaten conference season (first time in American University Menís Soccer history). 5. What has been the biggest adjustment you've had to make? Probably the style of play because of the college rule changes was my biggest adjustment. Because of the substitution rules, as well as the phenomenal fitness levels of the athletes at college level, the pace of the game is relentless and really takes some getting used to. 6. How would you recommend 2013 new international student-athletes prepare for their first year in the U.S? I recommend coming in super fit, but also to believe in your ability. I have seen so many Freshmen put a lot of pressure on themselves to do well, and subsequently they havenít risen to the standard. Take a deep breath and believe in your ability because thatís what got you to college level. If you come in very fit and prepared to work hard, your technical ability will speak for itself. 7. Have you had any opportunity to work while at Uni? There are opportunities that arise from time to time around campus for international students to work, however with the balance of school, soccer and relaxation time, there is little time inbetween to find the hours to work. However if you are organized and have a good class/practice schedule it is still practical to do. 8. How have you managed your time between studying, athletics and your social life? Personally in my first semester I found it difficult to juggle the aspects of the life of a Division 1 college athlete, however I learned quickly (you have to), and I would say now I efficiently balance studying, athletics and socialising, to get the most out of all of them. Itís so important to use the resources available to you. As an athlete there are many people and departments in place that are there to help you with such problems if they arise. 9. Would you recommend FirstPoint USA? Yes, as I said before I believe FirstPoint are the biggest company in their industry and their contact list in enormous! 10. What advice do you have for anyone considering applying for a sports scholarship? If you are considering a sports scholarship in the States there is a very extensive criterion that you have to meet. Whether that be GCSE grades, SAT scores, playing ability, eligibility status, gap year rules etc. It is so important to know the rules of the game before you start playing it. Finding the best school academically and on the soccer field is hard, but itís a game youíll have to play if you see your future stateside. I was lucky enough to find a school that not only competes on the soccer field, but will also give me a degree to compete for top end jobs internationally come 2016.