If you have a sporting talent and are dedicated to a sporting career, studying abroad could offer you great opportunities. Sports scholarships are often essential as it can allow you to study academic subjects alongside being coached by professional sports coaches - and you will have a formal qualification at the end of it.
Sports scholarships typically cover both tuition fees and living expenses during the studies, and they are offered in a wide range of disciplines, such as rugby, athletics (track and field), soccer, rowing, tennis and hockey and many more. Other supports may also be available while on a sports scholarship, such as medical and nutritional support, physical therapy, and fitness training. Successful candidates are often expected to make themselves available for selection for the college teams.
The US is the most popular destination for combining academic studies with sport, and as tuition fees in US colleges are particularly high, scholarships are central to many students who want to pursue a career in sports.
Read more about studying in the US here.
Did you know?
That 50% of the Irish women’s hockey team attended university abroad, many with a sporting scholarship! Over the years, many Irish sporting stars have attended college abroad with sports scholarships, such as athletes Sonia O’Sullivan and Eamon Coughlan.
How do you get a scholarship?
Start early to build up a portfolio, which can include awards and achievements you have received, international competitions you have participated in, video footage of you performing your sport, and letters of recommendation from coaches and teachers. Remember that your academic achievements will also play a role in securing a sports scholarship.
Compile a list of colleges that you are interested in attending.This involves quite a bit of research to find out what colleges have a good reputation in your specific sport. You may be able to get some advice from your current coach or sports organisation on this. There are usually recruitment forms on each college’s webpage for each sport. Contact the international offices at your selected colleges and engage with students and faculty.
There are generally associations within each sport that govern college sports recruitment so make sure to learn as much as possible about those for your specific sport.
While the most accurate information will be available from the college, you can use online search engines to identify more scholarships which you may be eligible for. Here are some websites (N.B. that some are recruitment agencies) where you can read more about sports scholarships:
Sports scholarships in Ireland
Did you know that sports scholarships are available in most, if not all, Irish universities. To find out more, contact each university or log on to their websites, where you can read about what they offer and how to apply. You can also search for Irish Scholarships here.
Study Away Free Event
A Study Away event is taking place on Friday, 15th November 2019, from 6pm to 8pm, in The Radisson Blu St. Helen's Hotel, Dublin. The event is free to attend and advisors from leading third-level institutions from eight different countries will be on hand to assist students with their applications and give advice and assistance to those wishing to pursue sporting scholarships. Many of these scholarships cover all tuition and living expenses whilst studying abroad.
For more inforamtion on studying in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia click here.