Which American university did you attend, and what did you study there?
I spent one year at Michigan State University, and then transferred for three years to the University of Virginia (which is where I graduated).
Did you join a varsity sports team in the US? And if so, which one?
I played field hockey.
Why did you want to study in the US?
Because hockey was a strong passion of mine. I wanted to be a part of the sports experience in America, where you can practice your sport in a more professional environment and be involved in it every day. And also that I was able to combine it with my education.
What was the most challenging aspect of being an international student in the US?
If you are open-minded about Americans then you can find a way to fit in with everything. The only thing is the temptation to eat unhealthy food is very strong.
What new opportunities has studying in the US opened up for you since you finished your studies/returned home?
As businesses look for internationally oriented employees with a good level of English, you will have an advantage. You are more readily invited to join in on discussions. In my own work I have a number of international clients and my English studies have helped me a big deal in my relationships with them.
What were some of the highlights of your time in the US?
The entire experience was a highlight. We made it to the NCAA tournament (top 16 in America) in my sophomore and senior years. Then we won another round and made it to the Elite 8. I trained every day with the best world champion level coaches that I’ve ever worked with – Michele Madison and Chris Spice (gold winner in the Olympic games and World Champion from Australian women as the assistant coach). There were two trips to California that I still remember very well. We played against Berkeley, Stanford and the University of the Pacific. We also had to fly up to Boston, a very cool city. We stayed in a 5 star hotel where the Yankees baseball team were also staying. I was chosen three times for the All-American team, which were personally honorable awards. But also what was very important for me was that I mad friends for life, and after graduating I went back for the wedding of an old team mate.
How do you think studying in the US is different to studying at a Dutch/European university?
In the US you mostly live on campus, or just outside campus, in a small town. Your first year is spent living in a dorm which is a friendly and intimate experience. Your team becomes something like a family to you. You do a lot of things together and spend a lot of your social lives together. You are very closely guided in your studies. You cannot allow your studies to fall behind, otherwise you might not be allowed to play, and that becomes a good incentive to work hard. You can always ask for help and get extra tutoring. In your first two years you can study pretty much anything, and if you don’t yet know what you want to focus on then this is a good way to find out. After 2 years you then choose your ‘major’. In the end I opted for sociology.
What did you think about the application process of getting into a US college or university? How was UStudy helpful to you?
The application process was quite complicated, but I was happy that UStudy was able to help me out with it, and to help me find a scholarship and ensure that I was ‘eligible’ and that I didn’t forget to complete or submit any documents.
What are you currently doing in terms of study or work?
I’m currently working in a business 2 business marketing company called spotONvision.
What are some of your goals for the future?
I would love to go overseas again to work!
Read more about Inge and her experiences as a student and hockey player at the University of Virginia.