Sports and studying in America, a dream worldwide for many young people who are starting a study. Studying in America brings many beautiful things, such as a great life experience, worldwide friendships, speaking the English language fluently and an impressive resume! Did you know that you can also do sports and study in America after obtaining an MBO (post-secondary vocational education) diploma? You can read more about it in this article!

Hearing names like Harvard and Stanford with admission rates of between 5-7% throw most people’s heart. Fortunately, America is very big and there are hundreds of different universities. This wide range of universities means that there is a suitable university for everyone that meets academic and athletic needs.

It is therefore not for nothing that our student-athletes are currently active at more than 150 different universities in America! Curious how that is distributed? Check it out in the photo below that has recently been placed in our office!

USA Map – Slamstox Office

Are you currently doing an MBO education and would you like to become a student-athlete in the USA?

The experiences of Gianni and Gijs

Gianni Steijlen and Gijs Akkermans are both student-athletes who made the switch from MBO to the USA. Gianni is a soccer player at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Before he left for the US, he played for PSV, Helmond Sport and NWC-Asten. When he obtained his MBO diploma, he was ready for his adventure in the USA. Gijs is part of the male tennis team at New Mexico State University, by doing that he became an ‘Aggie’ and his first year in the USA is now almost over. We asked Gianni and Gijs some questions about the switch from MBO to studying in USA.

Which major did you do in the Netherlands and which major are you currently doing in America?
Gianni: I studied marketing and communication (level 4), at Summa College in Eindhoven. Now I study International Business.

Gijs: I studied at the Johan Cruyff academy, nowadays it’s called young talent academy. I studied marketing and communication, it was a 3-year training. The school is located in Nijmegen more Johan Cruyff academies can be found in different locations. The major I’m doing in America is called business administration. Maybe I’ll do another study after. I don’t know which one exactly, but I find finance or psychology very interesting.

Did your MBO program match the one you are currently doing?
Gianni: It was definitely a good fit. The MBO training was a good basis to continue studying and to obtain a bachelor’s degree in the USA.

Gijs: The major I’m doing now fits well with my MBO education. Because I have always been interested in marketing and now have subjects such as business, finance and economics.

Did you find it difficult to suddenly have school in English?
Gianni: No, I didn’t find it difficult at all. I think we have been taught a good level of English in the Netherlands from an early age, so our basic level of reading and speaking is above average. Everyone around you speaks English so you take over very easily.

Gijs: In the beginning I definitely had to get used to it, but you pick up on that quickly. Since I had some similar subjects in my previous major, I learned new methods again because of the language. This way you can develop further.

Gianni Steijlen – College Soccer player

In terms of study, what is a big difference between your education in the Netherlands and in the USA?
Gianni: The biggest difference is that in America everyone chooses their own ‘path’ in school. You can choose your own courses and in what period to follow them. In the Netherlands, all students follow the same subjects in year 1 and then continues to year 2, etc. In the USA you choose in which semester you do which subjects.

Gijs: What I found a big difference so far is that homework is way more important. All the homework you do during the school year with you as a final grade. But that’s actually nice since doing your homework well means you are well prepared for the exams.

What are your plans after obtaining your bachelor’s degree in the USA?
Gianni: After graduating I will try to do my masters in America as well.

Gijs: I find it difficult to already make plans after these 4 years. Fortunately, I still have some time to think about it. One thing is for sure: I want to continue playing tennis and see where I end up.

Gijs and his team

Do you have any advice for future MBO students who are going to America?
Gianni: My tip for MBO students is that they can be confident that they will succeed in America. Since you will probably a bit old, that will work in your favor.

Gijs: It is a very nice transition to go from MBO to college in America. You can develop yourself as a person, but also in your sports. The transition is certainly doable in terms of level of study.

Did you start thinking: “What Gianni and Gijs are doing, I want that too!”? Reach out to us and we will discuss your options together.

And did you know that ‘student-athletes’ are generally seen as hardworking, motivated people who are eager to achieve goals? This is also seen in the business world and that is why student-athletes often have an advantage. Curious about more information? Check out our after college page!