This week, we talked to Angel Nkosi, star field hockey player at Ball State University, about her time in the USA so far. Angel matriculated from St Mary's DSG after a stellar high school hockey career that included two consecutive selections for the South African U18 team, and traveled with them to Argentina for the Junior Youth Olympics in 2018, where the team placed 4th. Since starting at Ball State, Angel has excelled on the field and in the classroom, earning a selection to the National Academic Squad for the top scholar-athletes across the USA.
How would you describe your time in the States so far?
Angel Nkosi: I would say that my whole experience with moving to study in the US has been a pleasant one.
Briefly describe a typical day for you, in season.
AN: Usually, we train from around 06:30/07:00 to 10:30, with 30 minutes of that time spent doing weights. After that, I would head to classes which would all typically be scheduled for the afternoon up until about 18:00.
What was it like making new friends when you first arrived for your freshman year?
AN: Firstly, it was really helpful that I was a part of a university sports team so I was able to get to know some people that were there before I arrived in Indiana. My team was also really helpful with accommodating me and helping me navigate the city and the campus. The best thing about being a part of a team is that it makes it way easier to find companionship and make friends.
What was it like having a roommate?
AN: My freshman year roommate was a gymnast and she has represented her home country, Chile, countless times - I just thought that was so cool!
What was the biggest adjustment that you had to make, from what you were used to in Suth Africa to what was expected in the US?
AN: The biggest adjustment that I had to make in America was getting used to doing EVERYTHING myself - like scanning my own grocery items at the till instead of having a cashier clerk do it for me. And of course there were times when I would have to adjust my South African accent so that people could understand me more easily. Other than that, the culture shock was minimal, and I’m guessing that’s because we grew up seeing a lot of American culture on the tv and in movies.
What is your favourite memory from your time in the US thus far?
AN: My favourite memory has to be when my mom, dad, and little brother came over for Thanksgiving break and we took a trip to New York to enjoy the festivities there - the Macy's Day Parade is so cool!
Have you been able to see other places in the US? What was your favourite?
AN: Due to being part of a sports team, we have traveled to a lot of towns and states across America - especially towns that are more toward the East Coast. My favourite place that we visited was Virginia. The weather was really nice and it was SO nice being in the heat again!
The Aspire Atlantic organization really helped us with all the admin and helped us get connected with the right people to offer me the opportunities to study that I wanted!
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