Eddie Koppoe - BSc (Hons) Sports Management and Development
My time on a study abroad scheme with Brock University in Canada was incredible. I know this term gets thrown around quite a lot but it’s 100% true for me: this was a life changing opportunity.
As soon as I arrived on campus, the atmosphere was great. Students at Brock are very proud to be at the school and they are also very welcoming to international students. Students in class were great too! At Brock, students were so eager to share their experiences and engage in meaningful discussion. I feel that this just made everyone learn better and really improved my confidence when speaking in front of the class and helped me to articulate my thoughts and answers.
Before my year abroad, I wasn’t too sure exactly what I wanted to do with my degree after graduation.Without going abroad and studying a new subject, I would have never discovered my interest in sport finance. I actually spoke to my professor on my return about where it could take me and what jobs I could look at doing after my undergraduate studies concluded. Now I am thinking about potentially extending my studies and doing a Masters in sport finance – all because of my study abroad experiences.
Without going abroad and studying a new subject, I would have never discovered my interest in sport finance.
My biggest worry about going abroad was essentially being “the new guy” again. But I never once felt overwhelmed or like an outsider. Firstly, Brock is home to tons of other international students on all courses, not just sports management. In my first semester, my roommate was Australian, my group mates were German and my best friend was Ghanaian. Secondly, Brock hosted loads of events for students both on and off campus. They do everything from group trips to Niagara Falls, to “The Apprentice” like business competitions for students to pitch real ideas to real entrepreneurs.
I was invited to spend Thanksgiving with my friend’s family. This was a lovely chance to observe a true Canadian holiday up close, especially as we don’t really have a holiday like that back home in the UK.
Part of the reason why I wanted to go to Canada over other places, was to observe the sport culture they have in North America. Both professionally and at the collegiate level. I was already a massive fan of American Football and Basketball but I managed to fall in love with Baseball and Ice Hockey too. Every other Friday night, the bleachers in school gym were packed with students, faculty staff and parents cheering on the Brock Badgers Basketball team. It was so amazing to be a part of that school pride that you see on North American movies and television but is something that is much harder to observe in the UK.
My experience led me to my new role as Exchanges & Study Abroad Ambassador at the University of Portsmouth Global Office. I will now have the chance to share my experience with other students, encourage those who are thinking about going abroad and support students who are already on their year abroad. I am loving this role so far! I have a chance to really impact students and their degree. And if I can help a student make a decision that will change their life, then I think that’s a job well done.
I always looked forward to new opportunities which gave me the chance to connect with people I’d otherwise have never met.