After many highlights and setbacks (injuries), Robin van der Heijden has completed his graduate degree in the United States! In this interview, he tells us about his four-year experience as a student-athlete.

Name: Robin van der Heijden
Sport: Tennis
University: Concordia Texas University
City: Austin, Texas
Major: Business Administration

1. Best college sports memory

Clinching the quarter final of our conference tournament my freshman year at Saint Francis University

2. Biggest U.S. culture shock

Ordering a large Coke at a restaurant and receiving a 2 Liter bottle

3. Biggest difference between you as a freshman and as a senior

I feel like I really grew to be more responsible and became a lot more mature. Looking back, I felt like I was a little kid when I just went to college for my first year.

4. Most-improved aspect of your sports game

My forehand maybe? My many injuries have definitely forced me to become a more aggressive player.

5. Thing you missed most about the Netherlands.

Family & friends, and some foods (drop & stroopwafels).

6. Thing you missed least about the Netherlands.


7. Favorite dining hall food?

The occasional French toast…

8. Favorite thing about being a student-athlete

The feeling of doing something valuable with your life. Whenever I am done with a tough practice or match, I felt a sort of satisfaction. Also, the team aspect is awesome!

9. Toughest part about being a student-athlete

Morning practice.

10. Plans for after college

Good question. Getting my Master’s in Business Administration at the same university in Austin. I won’t have to pay for that because while I’m studying, I will also be working in the athletic department. After that? No clue.

11. Thing you will miss most about the United States as a country

Whenever I go back to the Netherlands I miss the American food. It makes you fat, but it’s good.

12. Thing will you miss most about college sports?

Being part of a college tennis team was an incredible experience. It is an indescribable feeling to play for a team more than you play for yourself.

13. Funniest moment being an athlete?

Pffff… crazy bus rides and food malfunctions on the trips. Also, one time my opponent got so mad he threw his tennis bag over the fence of the court and it landed on the highway. That was pretty funny.

14. Tip you would you give your freshman-self?

Be okay with earning your spot and fight for it! Also, don’t fall asleep in class so much (so I could actually learn something).

15. Main reason you would recommend others to play college sports?

Besides enjoying your sport and being part of a team like you never have before, and besides the great opportunity of studying abroad while doing so, it is honestly just an amazing experience that you cannot compare to anything. It makes you grow up, learn a lot about yourself and others, and really makes you grow as a person. You will create memories like you cannot even imagine.

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