French tennis player moves to America to pursue a student-athlete lifestyle

When Antione Noel was deciding where to go to college, the French tennis player looked for a place where he could focus on his sport as well as his studies.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo contacted Noel and offered him a scholarship to come to California and play tennis for their division one team.

“I thought about it for a while, and I decided that Cal Poly was the best choice for me”, said Noel. “It is not easy being so far from home, but I want to play tennis and get a good education.”

Sports are a huge part of the culture of most countries. School and education, on the other hand, are taken more seriously in some countries than in others.

Here in America, our university systems almost exclusively work off of block schedules, so students can work their day around the classes they are taking. In other countries around the world, students are in class roughly from the moment they wake up, to the time they go to bed. France, South Africa, Greece, China, and Russia, along with many more, are examples of these types of places.

In a study conducted by Johan P. Olsen, The Institutional Dynamics of the European  University, the author talks about how the European University system is designed to create drastic change in its students. They are pushed harder and longer than other schools because they are supposed bring about radical improvement.

“America is the place where all athletes want to be”, said Jeff Park, the athletic director of  Texas State University. “Here in America we build around an athletes schedule, which allows them to do more with their lives than just play sports.”

Pursuing a career in sports while trying to obtain a degree outside of America is not an easy task. When classes take up your entire day, you have no time to practice and improve your skills.

Antoine Noel is a french tennis player who wanted to go to college for business, but was not ready to call it quits on his tennis career yet. He made a life changing decision to leave his home country, including his entire family and friends, and fly oversees to America to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

At Cal Poly, Noel has continued down the path he has always desired. He has been thriving on the tennis team, winning a crucial match against UC Davis advancing the Cal Poly Tennis Team to the conference finals.

“The people in America are so much nicer than in France,” Noel said. “They are always willing to help me. I can do what I want here, and people are willing to help me get where I want to be with my career”.


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