There, Swaneveld combines a study of economics with top-level football. The Virginia Tech team are some of the best in the country and the facilities are excellent. “I have no complaints here,” said the 21-year-old goalkeeper in conversation with VTBL.
Sport is taken very seriously in American universities. Swaneveld hopes to eventually break through as a professional football player through school. This is realistic luck is proven by his predecessor Ben Lundgaard, who is now under contract with Frank from Boer Atlanta United.
But for a possible professional adventure, the Dutchman mainly enjoys life as a footballer at the University of Virginia. “I’m having a good time here. It’s a beautiful school and the people here are top notch. As a foreign student, you are welcomed with open arms.
At the moment, there is a lot to be done in America on the subject of racism. Swaneveld learned little himself, neither in school nor in the field. “To be honest, I’ve never experienced it in three years. For the first year and a half I lived with three black guys and sometimes I asked them if they were there, they weren’t. But I think it’s a real problem in other parts of America. “
In American movies and series you can often see that athletes meet one woman after another at school, in reality it is no different. “The girls here find it very interesting when there is a foreign boy. If you’re an athlete too, you’ve come to the right place, haha.
Swaneveld is making the most of student life in America. “Americans have every reason to party. Here it is mainly house parties, and parties of two to three hundred people in a house are no exception. There is a party every weekend.
Despite the fact that high level sport is played, no one has problems with the games. “The coaches think it’s okay. When we win they often say, “Guys, take advantage of this and get out of trouble. Don’t get caught up ”. As long as they don’t know it, they agree. The sport is played very seriously, but we are students and not professional footballers.
Football and school
Anyone who thinks the young guardian is just partying is wrong. There are intensive sports seven days a week. “The class schedule is built around your training schedule. It is very different from what we are used to in the Netherlands. There are 30,000 people at the school here. It cannot be compared to student life in the Netherlands. “
Sport is very important in American schools, especially in combination with top-level sport “In the Netherlands you have to do your best to get a college degree. Some studies do not offer anything here and half of them are on the internet. Although most of the studies are of good quality and quite difficult, but if you can exercise well and learn less well, you choose a simple study and go through it on a loop. In my opinion, this degree is worth a little less than in the Netherlands. “
In particular, the players of the American football team are not known to be extremely intelligent. “The football team has about 100 guests, if you are being very honest most of them are not overly brilliant. They can only exercise very well, then they just do a simple study next to it. You really have to do your best and then ruin it ”
As an athlete, you won’t go wanting at Virginia Tech. “I think only Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord can match the facilities we have. We have it all. For example, there is a bar where we can get healthy food and we have a power room with two floors. It’s weird.
In August, Swaneveld begins his last season at Virginia Tech and then he hopes to prove himself to make the step towards the professional world. “My coach has introduced me to an agent before, but I haven’t spoken to any club yet. I only want to do that during this season. “
Standing out shouldn’t be a problem, as everything is broadcast and can be seen in America. “A separate network was recently set up for our competition, the school has invested thirty million. Absurd amounts, but for us it’s ideal.
The goalkeeper has only one piece of advice for Dutch athletes who have doubts about their decision. “Do it! If you get the chance, you should always do it. The experience is great.”
To get an idea of what it’s like to study in America, just watch Netflix. “It’s not literally like in the movies, but ninety percent is really like that. I had only seen the movies and after the first night I knew it was fair. The image you see in the movies is an actual image. “