We understand it can be a daunting time, as your child leaves the family to embark on a new journey in the USA. Everyone at SSUSA has been through the process, whether that be as a player, parent or coach. It's tough, there's no two ways around it, and boy is it emotional. However, rest assured your child is leaving to begin his/her independence with a once in a lifetime opportunity. The friends they'll meet they'll have for life, the players they play with will improve them as players and the people they meet will improve them culturally.
Your child will have a designated consultant from SSUSA who will be their point of contact throughout the process. They will also be the one who will be their liaison when out in the States. The consultant will consistently check in with your child, to make sure they are having the desired experience. The assigned consultant will also reach out to the university head coach to make sure everything is going smoothly. Each year members of our team take a trip across to the USA, and visit multiple states, and players making sure they are settled into their new 'home'.
The consultant is available at any moment and can be contacted by your child or yourselves if there is anything on your mind. They can provide some comforting advice, as well as answer any questions that may crop up. You can visit your child in the States at any time, and we highly recommend doing this, as it is thoroughly rewarding for both parents and players.
Each school year runs over the same time, but starting and finishing dates vary. Generally speaking, your child will head off to the USA during the first two weeks of August, and be finished with his/her first semester by mid-December. They will have around 3-4 weeks break over Christmas, and return to school in the middle of January. The second semester runs from the middle of January, until the end of April/beginning of May. They will then have the summer holiday break, for around 3 months. Until the process starts all over again in August. Most students fly home for Christmas and summer holidays.
In terms of accommodation, as a 1st year (freshman) student, most schools have a rule where they must live on-campus. This is usually in dorm style buildings in a communal area with the rest of the athletes. After their first year, some schools allow 2nd year (sophomore) students to live off-campus. This is housing just like in any country. They rent a property usually with 2/3 fellow soccer players from the team, and take care of their living costs themselves, including food. Food is usually covered in the cafeteria if players are staying on-campus.
We are with your child through their entire stay in the USA, but we also offer transfer assistance free of charge. This is not common practice for many companies, but we pride ourselves on placing players at the right school the first time around. Of course, circumstances change and a player will want to move, so we make this happen for free. Another option your child will have with us is through our graduation trials program. This particular program is for players who have demonstrated they are up to the level that is required to move into the professional game. In this program we secure trials at clubs around Europe and the US. We have very good professional links in both Scandinavia & the UK & Ireland.
In the USA, they have what's commonly known as a "summer league", which is the USL 2 division of the United States football pyramid. This particular division is littered with college players as it is amateur in status. Players can decide to stay in the USA for their summer holidays and play in the USL 2 league, to showcase their talents to MLS scouts and pro clubs.
Scholarship Sports USA wants to make the transition for you and your child as smooth as possible, so let us know if there is anything we can do for you, and we'll be sure to help.