WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO STUDY ABROAD?
The first plan was to become a professional tennis player, but education was similarly important to me, so I decided to join both. Stay playing tennis and earn a degree at the foreign university. This is not possible in many countries. Many athletes who continue with education at the university retire from sport. And the years of hard work in sport become useless. So, the best way for athletes who want to keep playing their sport and study at a foreign university is to get a sport scholarship.
HOW WERE YOUR BEGINNINGS?
Of course, the beginnings were not easy. At the university I was the only student from Slovakia, so English became my primary language. People had different thinking, traditions, culture. I was far from home and suddenly I had to do everything on my own (laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping and with all of that I had to practice hard and study). However, I would not have changed my decision, because the four years in US and two years in Scotland were amazing. I earned many new experiences, new friends around the world and earned degree at the foreign university.
WHEN YOU LOOK BACK AT THE YEARS SPENT ABROAD STUDYING AND PLAYING SPORT, WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN?
Yes, I would. I have gained experiences that cannot be taken away from me. Since we had practices every day, attended classes, studied and took exams, and also played matches very often, I had to learn to spend my free time effectively which I am now using daily. I have also learned to be open minded because everything around me was new and it opened many new doors for me. When it comes to the sport, I have experienced what it means to practice on a high level and to reach my best. Even though I have decided not to continue with the sport after I graduated due to an injury, I know athletes who continued on a professional level when they received their university degrees.
WAS IS HARD TO LEAVE HOME FOR SUCH A LONG TIME?
The time spent at the university abroad went by so fast, because there is so much to do that you do not really have time to get bored and to think about being far from home. During each semester you get to travel a lot with the team, because there are a lot of games/matches away from the university. During the Christmas break and summer I had the chance to go home to spend the time with my family, so I believe it was a good balance between the time spent away and the time spent with my closest at home.