FirstPoint USA Class of 2013: Chloe McIlwaine

4 min read
Chloe McIlwaine secured a field hockey scholarship this year to Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, through the FirstPoint USA program. Last week we interviewed Chloe about her time with FirstPoint USA and what she's looking forward to about starting her post-grad in the USA: Chloe McIlwaine footage 30.10.12 from Firstpoint USA on Vimeo.  
1. What are you looking forward to most about starting your student-athlete life in the U.S?
I'm so excited about every aspect of getting to the U.S. Being a post-grad I think I'm in an advantageous position as I don't have the worries about leaving home etc. So I'm really excited to get out there and see how different uni life in the US is compared to that in the UK. The whole setup regards sporting performance in the US is something every athlete dreams of!
2. What made you choose to do a post-grad in the USA?
The world is such a big place, and when you are young it is the perfect chance to see it. What more could you want than playing the sport you love in a country that thrives off sporting achievements, while getting a qualification!
3. How have you been preparing for your time in The States?
Other than the extreme pre-season package I got from my uni (I know it will be worth, eventually - just keep telling myself this!), I've been just chatting with the team members I'm going out to. They all seem so friendly, adding me on Facebook, helping me out with queries etc. Any questions I ever had, someone was always there to help out with, whether it was at FirstPoint USA, or the uni itself. I leave on 7th August so now the real drama begins...how to pack your life in 2 suitcases!
 
4. What has been the highlight of your time on the FirstPoint USA program?
My highlights would be the day I travelled up to Glasgow to meet Nicola Pitticas and record my skills video. That day felt very real, everything kind of hit me. All I was doing was saying to myself "Chloe, come on, focus in, this video could change your life. You can do it. Believe." I loved that day.
5. Were you happy with the offers you received, and what made you choose your college in the end?
As a post-grad my options were cut drastically, plus I only joined the program this year which is very late given that most people give themselves a good 2/3years! But i spoke to a number of universities in the US, and RMU just stood out for me. The location, the course I was being offered, the full scholarship, everything just screamed inside me that this is the place for me. Its a tough decision signing to a place you haven't even visited. But trust me, you'll know when the right place comes along.
 
6. Would you recommend FirstPoint USA?
100%. If you are reading this contemplating joining the FirstPoint program, stop right now. The company went above and beyond to help me along my way. I leave 7th August, and to this day I'm still getting emails from the staff to check everything is going OK, or asking if they can help me in anyway. Every detail they care about: from the first email you send, to going to a showcase, to selecting a uni, to sorting a visa, to stepping on the flight - they are there. I am very thankful to all the staff there!
 
7. What advice would you have for anyone considering a sports scholarship to the USA?
You only get one shot at life. The world is a vast place. Go see it. USA have the most amazing sports facilities and opportunities available, why would you not want to go to country that are willing to treat you like an Olympic athlete every day you are there!? Christopher Columbus said: "You can never cross the ocean, unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore", take the leap and FirstPoint will be there to catch you, and help you all the way.
 
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