When my daughter Josefiina flew overseas last fall, I was heartbroken. But right after the first week, I was certain that we had made the right decision. It’s been wonderful to follow her experience on social media; she’s been so happy. Her language skills have improved a lot, and the schools has gone well, although it is challenging. Josefiina has found the love for the game of basketball again, thanks to great coaching at a boarding school. Everything is very well, and I know that after this experience, my daughter will do well in whatever she chooses to do with her future. While I miss my daughter, I am very happy when I see the smile on her face during our video calls. Big thank you to Universal Players for making all this possible!
– Mari, a student’s mother
I think that North American high schools are a great way for Finnish student-athletes to get to the next level, both academically and athletically. It’s easier to take care of the studies when the class size is small, teaching is more personal, and the overall atmosphere is encouraging. As athletes, the kids are very exposed, and gaining opportunities to reach the next level. As parents, we are very happy about the school; the school is safe, the kids are taken care of, the facilities are outstanding, the parents are kept updated, and the kids learn to learn. We have always felt that everything is going very well, and that our son is very happy. We are very pleased and glad for the whole experience, and we give straight A’s to the school and to Universal Players.
– Jouni, a student’s father
At a boarding school, my son Peetu, has learned many things that he could not have learned at home. He gained independence and learned to take care of himself using a foreign language. The teachers at the boarding school were very positive and they gave us parents feedback often, which was very nice and helpful. In Finland, the teachers usually tell students to stay quiet and listen, but at a boarding school, students are encouraged to talk, discuss, and argue, which I am sure will help Peetu a lot in the future. And most of all, Peetu learned to learn. At a boarding school, students have so many opportunities to experience new things, and it is up for the students how they use those opportunities. I can recommend sending their kids abroad to all parents, who want to open new doors for their kids.
-Petra, a student’s mother
To everyone, a girl or a boy, who is interested in combining academics and sports – go for it! Even a year abroad gives so much. It broadens your view of world, gives new friends, makes you more independent and above all, it improves your foreign language as you use it daily.
Private schools can be more expensive, but I personally believe that studying in a private school offers a high-quality education in a safe environment. Private schools’ wonderful community really makes it possible to combine education and sports smoothly. Teachers and coachers are doing everything, and beyond, to make each student successful. There is always support offered if one needs it and everything needed is right there available on campus. What could be better than living in a school dorm with all your friends! Everything is done so that the students could feel themselves comfortable and safe.
– Marika Latikka, exchange student’s mother
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