Student-athlete interview: Feize Türkmen, USA, field hockey
After Feize finished high school in the Netherlands she was determined to study abroad. She was only seventeen years old when she went to the States. Now, more than three years later, it is hard for her to imagine what life would have been like without this experience.
She started her journey at Cheshire Academy, a prep-school located in Connecticut and is currently in her junior year at Southern New Hampshire University.
Her story will give you a glimpse of Feize’s life as a student-athlete at a prep-school and university in the United States.
The journey begins
Let us return to the beginning of her journey, which started at the UStudy GO USA Field Hockey showcase.
Feize’s excitement to play field hockey and study abroad grew even more and after all the paperwork, HAVO exams, and field hockey ‘tasks’ were taken care of she was admitted to Cheshire Academy.
Feize attended the two-year International Baccalaureate program and received her IB diploma which made it possible for Feize to get access to all universities in the world.
She did so well at Cheshire Academy that she was offered both academic and athletic scholarships at Southern New Hampshire University.
One of the reasons she wanted to study in the America was the fact that she could combine studying and playing field hockey in such a way that she could get the most out of both.
“You get a lot of support as a student-athlete in the states”.
For example, the school provides you with extra help and resources such as tutoring or study hall hours to make sure that you can optimally prepare for classes and exams.
“This makes it easier to simply focus on the game or practice”.
Fauze is currently majoring in Sports Management and taking classes ranging from Finance and Business Application to Sports Marketing and English.
What a normal day looks like…
You may wonder what a normal day looks like for Feize with so much studying and field hockey.
Well, in the morning she would go to classes just like any other normal student. When classes finished, she would go to the locker room to change into her field hockey gear.
After a 2-hour practice the whole team would take showers and then they would eat together in the dining hall. In the evening they either studied in the library or hung out with each other. And the next day, the whole shebang would repeat.
Although Feize was on a tight schedule, when she had some free time, she tried to visit Boston city to do some sightseeing and shopping, or to simply drink some coffee with her friends and teammates.
Differences and growth
Now that she has lived in the States for nearly 4 years, Feize recognizes the differences between Americans and the Dutch.
One of the biggest differences if you would ask Feize: the clothing. She laughs and says:
“They wear big hoodies and leggings with running shoes to class!”.
Funnily enough, she admits that she has started wearing the same clothing. “It’s just so comfortable”.
Another difference, one that Feize has come to love about the American culture, is the connection with her fellow students and more specifically with her university.
“It really feels like you belong to a community when studying at Southern New Hampshire University,” she says. “Students feel genuinely proud to represent their university.”
She explains that students at her University wear all sorts of merchandise such as sweaters, jackets, hats, and, believe it or not, even socks. That is something that you will definitely not see at the Dutch universities; and that is what makes studying in America so different and unique.
Feize’s journey in America has not come to an end yet, but she already knows that studying and playing field hockey in America is something that she would definitely recommend to other students.
“You grow so much as a person by living in a different country and being able to see things from a different perspective.”
If there is one life lesson that she has learned it is that stepping out of your comfort-zone is definitely not always easy, but in the end all the funny memories and amazing experiences will all be worth it. And that is something that no one can take away from her.