Sena Wogormebu is one of the FirstPointUSA class of 2015 who started life as a student athlete in August last year. We asked Sena about here 1st year in America and she kindly answered all of our questions in great depth. It's important to note how she had to adapt to the style of play and the demand for high fitness levels that come with American College Soccer
- Can you tell us a bit about your sporting background pre-scholarship?
Before getting the scholarship
to the University of West Alabama
I was playing at any opportunity that came my way until I found an Arsenal based company called Kickz
which organised games twice a week. I started off playing with the youths my age before being asked to join the older group of boys. From there it was requested that I joined Islington Borough Ladies Football Club
who I remained with until leaving for college.
- Were you happy with the College offers you received and what made you choose?The University of West Alabama?
I was very happy with the offers I received. Overall I had spoken to over 30 coaches in the States who all expressed great interest in having me as part of their team and program. I was initially promised a full scholarship
to attend Louisiana Tech University
, which is everything one looks for. When trying to secure a scholarshi
p the ultimate goal is to get a full one. However that fell through due to delays with my SAT
, which resulted in that scholarship being handed to someone else. At this point I only had a few options open seeing as it was getting very late in the whole process. The coach from the University of West Alabama
who had seen me play about 5 months earlier at the FirstPointUSA football match called and made an offer which was not full but was the highest offer I had gotten after the full scholarship and was something I didn’t want to turn down.
- What’s been the highlight of your first year in the States?
Honestly speaking, my first year in the States was a bit of a struggle. Having to adjust to the American style of play and in particular the fitness was my greatest struggle but I have had such an amazing time so far. Being out of my comfort zone and all the struggles has helped me grow so much as a person. There have also been many good times but to narrow it down to two would have to be our quarterfinal match at home. From double overt time into penalties where it was left to one penalty kick to determine our qualification and we scored. Everyone; the team, the coaches, the athletic training team and the fans (who were mostly students from the university) all ran onto the pitch and jumped into a huddle. It was a great victory and wonderful feeling and atmosphere. Also when travelling to different States for away games. It’s just great to have that opportunity and also be able to experience different places in the States, as it is such a huge country.
- What are the facilities like at The University of West Alabama?
We have great facilities at the University of West Alabama – a gym and swimming pool, athletic training room, basketball courts, football field, weight rooms, library, study rooms etc. The accommodation is also very nice.
- How does the focus on college athletics compare in the US to the UK?
Sport is really huge in America. It's not only a sport. I feel like people use it as an opportunity to represent and support their hometown and it somewhat becomes part of the American culture. When I heard about soccer scholarships I couldn't think of anything better. When I researched, I found that they don't offer sports scholarships in the U.K. but they did in the U.S. Being a student athlete in the U.S. to me is the next best thing to playing professionally.
- Have you had any opportunities or plans to make any money while in the US?(student/weekend jobs or coaching etc)?
There are some restrictions when it comes to working due to the terms and conditions of the student visa. International students are only able to work a maximum of 20 hours a week and can only work on campus. There are opportunities on campus such as becoming a residence assistant, student tutor or mentor which you will be paid for which is something I hope to make use of next semester.
- How have you managed your time between studying/training/socializing?
I have been very disciplined and structured in order to manage my time. My coach has also put things in place such as study hall, which is a few hours weekly where the team study in silence together. Soccer training and classes are structured around each other. We train before and after class and with the time remaining I use that to study and socialize.
- Would you recommend FirstPoint USA?
I would defiantly recommend FirstPointUSA
to anyone looking to secure a sports scholarship
to the U.S. This company employs friendly members of staff who know what they are doing. The team made my process in securing a scholarship
a lot easier for me whereby they clear explained the process to me and laid everything out. It was just for me to make the payments, complete the paperwork and show up when needed.
If you'd like to follow Sena and study and play sport
in the USA then apply