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Park Scholars in London: 2012 Edition

 When I came to London, my first goal was to find somewhere to play soccer. I am really passionate about the sport and wanted to experience what English footy was all about. While I was nervous at first, finding a game turned out to be really easy. People play A LOT of soccer in England. All I had to do was post a comment on a league organizer website and I got an influx of texts. Within a week I had joined two teams and by the end of January I was playing four to five times a week. I got a lot of grief for saying soccer at first so by the end of my stay I learned to call the sport football.

I made so many great friends from all around the world through soccer. I played with guys from England, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, India, Pakistan, and Qatar. That is the true power of sport to me: bringing people together of all backgrounds. There is no other way I would have made friends from all over the world had it not been for soccer. All of my teammates took me out after our last game and told me I had a place to stay if I ever visit their country. I have so many couches to sleep on now!

In addition to playing a ton of soccer, I went to nine professional matches. I figure I’ll never have the chance to watch live professional English football again, so I took full advantage. The team I took a liking to was Queens Park Rangers. Being a New York Mets fan, I’ve always had a soft spot for underdogs. QPR is the smallest premier league club in London, but in my opinion, they’re the best. Their fan base is so passionate, and the atmosphere at their stadium is unrivaled. I was lucky enough to see a lot of great games, including upset victories against Arsenal and Liverpool.

I am so grateful that I was able to take part in this study abroad experience and I’ve made so many lasting memories. I will truly miss all of the great friends I made but will surely keep in touch and hopefully meet up in the future.

 


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