Regardless of whether you are considering going abroad for a short term program over winter break or a full semester-long global indulgence, there are endless ways in which soccer fans can include their favorite sport in their international experiences. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why soccer fanatics should take their studies overseas…
Soccer is the most commonly spoken language in the world. From the Dutch coffee houses to the British pubs; from the Brazilian rainforest to the African jungle, the world speaks soccer. The simplicity of the beautiful game is what makes it so universally loved and understood. No matter where in the world you find yourself, the topic of soccer is always one that is adored and discussed by local. If you were to strike up a conversation with a citizen of virtually any country outside the United States and turn the topic to soccer, that individual instantly becomes your friend and fellow fan.
It’s not just a sport, it’s a culture. The heartbreak and triumphs of international soccer have helped shape the culture of many nations over time. For example, Brazil still to this day looks back on their 1950 World Cup Final defeat to Uruguay as the countries biggest ever failure and embarrassment. The English opinion over their 1966 World Cup triumph is split as to whether this was England’s proudest moment or the one that has held them back for the last half century. Almost every country has its own soccer story that has in some way made that nation what it is today.
The passion and atmosphere. Witnessing the sounds and sights of a passionate soccer crowd is an eye-opening experience. Seeing and feeling just how much a single goal or match can matter to a crowd or, perhaps more appropriately, a family is something that cannot be seen or felt in the US. The deafening roar of a stadium full of fans cheering on their team is one that rings in the ears and remains in the memory of any soccer fanatic. When a goal is scored the stadium full of fans either erupts in celebration or falls silent in shock; there is no other scene quite like it. Soccer crowds are uniquely diverse as the world comes together to celebrate and experience their most favorite sport.
The limitless manners in which the game is played. Over time, the sport of soccer has continued to evolve and expand in many ways. The technique and tactics in which the game is played has been constantly changing and heavily debated topic since the game was first brought into the world in the mid 1800s. Also, soccer is far from limited to the rectangular fields that we see on television. Instead, the sport is played nearly anywhere in the world and in countless different settings; indoors, on streets, at parks, on tabletops, on game consoles, and many more.
It is everywhere. There is no sport that is as universally loved as soccer. No matter where you choose to travel in the world, soccer is present and embraced. Being immersed and engaged in the diverse cultural experience of a soccer match is possible no matter where you travel in the world. Anywhere outside of the United States, the sport of soccer is a well-developed spectacle that is a must-see for any student studying abroad.