Welcome to a new academic year! We are thrilled to be welcoming so many students from around the world to the UDA family. We are excited to see what our students will accomplish this term and we can't wait to share those successes with you!
As students begin to delve into the semester, they might need some advice along the way. Our support staff on both sides of the pond are here to answer all questions from how to set up a phone plan to the best ways to balance academic and social life. "[We] work directly with students to learn and understand their individual needs. "We view students as people who are working to achieve their goals, and we are here to help them in doing so. The personal approach we take helps us get to know each student so that we can best provide them resources and guidance in studying and living in the UK," stated Justin Karrenberg, Head of Student Recruitment and Advising.
As our second and third year students are beginning to consider where their degree can take them, that's where we come in! Our Dream Maker Program allows second and third year students to connect with companies that match their skills and aspirations in order to aid them in discovering their passions.
Our Dream Maker Program allows second and third year students to develop a professional portfolio that showcases their academic interests, passions, and skills. We then share this portfolio with companies that match the student's skills and aspirations in order to aid them in discovering a future career. We want to ensure that our graduating students discover a field they are interested in that then leads to a purposeful life.
While talk of next career steps can be daunting, our partner career coach, Nadia Ibrahim-Taney of Beyond Discovery Coaching makes navigating and leveraging a university degree manageable. Nadia has first-hand personal knowledge and expertise of how to navigate a British degree in the US job market and is here to help our UDA students thrive.
Before the new academic year gets into full swing, We'd also like to welcome our student-athletes who have returned to their on-campus abodes or those who are just joining a UDA program and are beginning their studies and training at New Mexico State University, the University of Chester and the University of Gloucestershire.
Get To Know Some Of Our Student-Athletes!
Do you have any hobbies?
Playing video games, working out, and listening to music.
Favorite pro team/player?
My favorite player is Ronaldo.
Being able to be a pro-soccer player, or traveling and getting to study and/or help those in other cultures.
Favorite place you've ever visited?
My favorite place I’ve visited was Las Vegas, Nevada. Lots of attractions!
If you could event a holiday, what would you pick?
I would invent a traditions holiday where you celebrate and get to show off your culture and traditions.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love to walk in the forest and enjoy the outdoors.
Favorite pro team/player?
My favorite team is FC Bayern Munich
Favorite place you've ever visited?
My favorite place I've visited was Stuttgart, Germany
My dream job is to work for Audi.
If you could event a holiday, what would you pick?
National bacon day!
want to learn more?
If you enjoy concerts, literature, or hikes, Gloucestershire has plenty of activities and events throughout the year worth checking out! Find activities you’d enjoy around your university here, and some free events you can attend when you’re on a budget.
How does uda prepare student athletes for university?
“We spend a lot of time in preparation before our students go to college. First, we introduce them to the program and share our expectations. We also invite them to an ID camp where they get to meet us one-on-one in person. Then, we invite them to an orientation where our UK staff come over to our US staff to ensure that students and staff are at the same place for the weekend. In this way, the first stage of the preparation is in the US. We also have a strong support network in the UK — from the coaching staff to the university — to guide students through their programs. As students come to the end of their careers, we hold two events. The first one is at the start, which is the Dream Maker program. The other event is a series called Life After UDA where we talk about visa process as well as soccer and career opportunities. In this way, we are involved in helping our students navigate their college life before they get there, once there, and help them figure out what they are going to do after.”
What are some advantages of pursuing higher education through uda?
“One of the biggest advantages for a player to pursue a program through UDA is the longevity of the training seasons. Typically, American students will go three to four months in training, but with UDA, they will train for nine months of the year. The students also play more games — we guarantee them 25 to 30 games. In addition to playing 25 to 30 games, the students are also going to be coached by professionals that have played in professional games, and now have coached in the professional game. Players gain three crucial benefits: longer playing, longer training, and the guidance of qualified professionals.”
What are you looking for in players?
“We want to make sure our students complete the course, so we’re looking for students who are in good academic standing. We’re also looking for students with good character — honesty and reliability. We also want our players to be able to think critically so that they can solve problems without help. We have played with very technical players who have good mechanics, and are highly skilled, and that is usually what I look for in our potential players.”
What advice do you have for those who are considering applying to a uda program?
“Research the programs. Do as much research as you can on the potential programs; make it a job to research the program and your college opportunities.”
how do you help students plan their academic life?
“We first ask students what they think would fall in line with their career goals. We also ask them to think about the cost: whether the program is affordable. Finally, we advise them to find a program that can go side-by-side with their soccer and academic career.”
As another season and school term approaches, the excitement of welcoming student athletes to the new UDA Academy at the University of Gloucestershire heightens. This season we are pleased to welcome a squad of 18 from the USA, Canada and India to the UoG academy.
We are even more excited that our student athletes will have the chance to live on campus and experience what it's like to be a student in Gloucester and Cheltenham. In some of the country's most beautiful terrain, the new UoG Academy will kick off in September at the university's Oxstalls Campus.
UDA Executive Director, Brian Haley stated “we are delighted to expand our opportunities by partnering with the University of Gloucestershire for international student athletes seeking a world-class degree that fits their career goals as well as offering a professional football development program that will help them reach their optimal playing potential."
Haley continued, “Our mission is to change lives through education, and we believe that the University of Gloucestershire's campus, world class academic programs, facilities and faculty will allow our student athletes to not only live our mission, but exceed their goals.”
As the new term approaches, our goal remains the same - to help student athletes find a program in which they can study, live and thrive. For incoming recruit Roi Gill, from Ontario, Canada we believe we have done just that, "the ability to pursue both of my passions is what drew me to this program. I have been playing football for most of my life, and my dream is to play it professionally. This program will give me the opportunity to do that, while also studying computer science which is something I've known I wanted to learn for a few years" stated Gill.
In addition to playing football year round, our student athletes will gain the skills they need to be successful off the pitch. Mal Saville, Program Administrator and Quality Assurance Director for the UDA UoG programme reflects on the experience students can expect at the academy, "the University of Gloucestershire is an excellent university, combined with the football experience that is awaiting them, they can experience the best of both worlds. That is, achieving their full potential academically and on the football field they can be challenged to achieve their fullest potential, both are very exciting and rewarding."
Thinking ahead to his time at UoG, Gill remarked, "from this program I'm hoping to get opportunities to showcase my skills in front of professional coaches. I want to improve my game and take it to the next level and try to accomplish my dream. I am also hoping for a great education for my computer science degree so if I am not successful in the football side I can pursue my other passion."
There is a lot to look forward to beginning this fall and welcoming a new set of parents and students to the UDA family is just one of them. "We are delighted to contribute to [the student athletes] gaining a very good degree for their future career, an excellent footballing experience and contributing to the person they hope to become," stated Saville.
As we approach the start of a new term, we are looking forward to "welcoming individuals to the UDA family, alleviating them and their parents of any concerns, fears and anxieties they may have, turning them into a team and helping them achieve their full potential, both academically and on the football field," stated Saville.
Our student athletes are just as eager to start this term, "I am most excited to become a big part of the team and meet the players, coaches and supporting staff. I love playing football and I am looking forward to enjoying every minute of it with my new team. I am also really excited to have opportunities to play against academies and see what they train and play like," stated Gill.
Amidst the busyness of a new term, our student support officer, Paul Nichols will be there for each student, equipped with the ability to help students get settled and prepare for a successful year both on and off the pitch. "We are excited to see our student athletes thrive at the new UDA UoG academy, "with an excellent education, an excellent football experience combining the ethos and values of UDA, students and their parents are in a win-win situation," Saville remarked. He continued, "I have been planning this over the past 18 months and to see the September start date close is very exciting. Recruitment of staff and planning training times is very exciting, if not a wee bit scary!”
Interested in learning more?
The UDA administrative and coaching staff visited the University of Gloucestershire on June 16th as preparation for the incoming class in September.
Led by the program’s Administrative Director, Mal Saville, UDA staff were able to connect with UoG staff in the sports and coaching department as well as the facilities manager. In addition, the UDA staff met with the North American Recruitment Coordinator, Shandin Rickard-Hughes.
During the visit, the UDA staff got to see first-hand the outstanding sports facilities that will be available for training and playing. The facilities include three FIFA approved artificial playing fields, a new sports hall and excellent sports science facilities that will be part of the UDA player training and game development program.
Regarding the visit, Saville commented, “the facilities at UoG are outstanding and will allow UDA to reach its mission of the development of the student beyond what the football field offers, it will allow a holistic approach for a total student experience. The sports science department is excellent and will allow our coaching staff to move beyond just the technical and tactical development of players but bring them into line with what professional players undertake to reach their optimal playing development.”
Saville added, “We have also made arrangements for the UoG sports journalism department to cover our media needs and the sports science students who will be able to work with UDA players in order to fulfill part of their course work.
This will allow a realistic on-site work based opportunity for UoG students as we integrate all aspects of the program into the life and work of students and staff at the Oxstalls campus.”
We are excited to welcome students from Canada, USA and India who will make up the first incoming class to the UDA at UoG academy program. The student athletes will report for the start of their preseason Sept 19th. For our student athletes, the training and playing season will be year round from September to May.
UDA is pleased to introduce Nadia Ibrahim-Taney as part of the Dream Maker Program for UDA students.
Nadia studied a degree in the UK and has first-hand knowledge and expertise on how to effectively leverage a British degree in the U.S. job market in order to maximize the chances of landing interviews and negotiating higher salaries.
Nadia Ibrahim-Taney is the founder and principal career coach for Beyond Discovery Coaching. She is an experienced higher education administrator with a prestigious tenure of working with American students in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Nadia founded Beyond Discovery Coaching as a way to combine her previous experience as a British university recruiter representing over 45 UK universities and her current role as a career coach at a U.S. university.
As a career coach, Nadia helps students design happy and fulfilling (dream) careers and mentors students through the transition from university to the professional workplace. Students find her unique insights on resume writing, interview prep and LinkedIn optimization particularly helpful in their job search.
Students are welcome to contact Nadia directly via email in order to learn more about working with her: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can view Nadia’s work on Instagram at @beyonddiscoverycoaching to learn about her career coaching work with students seeking to maximize their career opportunities.
UDA will be hosting a Dream Maker Webinar with Nadia on April 25th 6pm EST for students and their families to learn how Nadia can help with securing their dream career.
UDA at Menaul academy
UDA, with its ever evolving mission to change lives through education, is partnering with Menaul School, an international residential and day school that has served students since 1896. With over 300 days of sunshine in Albuquerque, the academy will offer students year-round training in one of the most beautiful regions of the U.S.
The program is differentiated from other programs of this type as it provides direct routes into higher education institutions that are partnered with UDA in the UK and US.
Lindsey GIlbert, President and Head of Menaul stated, “Menaul School is thrilled by this partnership with UDA. We bring strong “World Smart” academics, a rich and safe residential experience for our students and great athletic facilities based on our 125 years of tradition preparing students to succeed in Mind, Body and Spirit. UDA brings professional level coaching and training for serious young soccer players who also seek to be scholars prepared for university study.”
Brian Haley, Executive Director at UDA stated, “We recognise that similar residential programs exist around the country for aspiring soccer players - what will make this program different is our pathways. UDA has already established several pathways for students aspiring to move directly from the new high school academy into higher education and soccer opportunities in the UK or the USA.”
Haley stated further, “Our goal is to make the academy accessible to all students from across the USA and around the world. Menaul is renowned for its commitment to quality and global education with its student centered focus throughout their learning and living environment. The program’s year-round playing will help students reach their optimal potential while maximizing their opportunities to move into world class higher education institutions at one of UDA’s partner universities.
Laura Hille, International Admission Director stated,"Menaul School has a long history of welcoming students from around the world, and we are excited to continue this tradition into the 21st Century. We want all students to be able to understand the world around them and to find their place in the world at Menaul School. We provide a friendly environment that celebrates our individual students and our collective community of diverse cultures, customs, and perspectives."
The program is set to launch in Sept. 2022, however recruitment is open this summer. To kick off recruitment, UDA will be operating a residential summer camp program from June 20th-28th.
There is an option for International and out-of-state students to take part in a tour of the American Southwest from June 25-28th as part of the UDA-Menaul Experience.
More information about the UDA at Menaul Academy can be found here. Please see the UDA at Menaul Summer Academy for specific information about the summer event, or contact Director of Recruitment, Coach Seamus Reilly at email@example.com.
Save the Date: March 28th 11.00am EST
Program Director and Head Coach Jon Whitney will be holding a webinar for prospective students and families March 28th at 11.00 am EST. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the academy program as well as the experience and value it offers students and families.
During the session, Jon will outline the program's expectations and development opportunities. This is an excellent opportunity to get to know Jon and ask any questions you may have about UDA in order to determine if it is the right fit for you.
Registration for the meet and greet with Jon is now open: Jon Whitney, Head Coach Webinar.
Also on March 28th, at 7:00 pm EST. we are hosting a general UDA at UoG information session. Registration for our general session is now open.
Additional Upcoming Webinar: Sunday March 7th at 11.00am EST
Meet and Greet with Shandin Richard-Hughes from the University of Gloucestershire Admissions to learn about all aspects of the university, accommodation, visa, courses, and life at UoG and more!
Registration for the meet and greet with Shandin is now open: Meet and Greet with UoG International Admissions.
We recently interviewed Sameer Seth, the Recruitment Coordinator for UDA in India and the Director of Inter State. As Director, Seth works to provide students opportunities for a life changing experience as they seek a degree programme in the UK. During our time together we asked him about the academy program at the University of Gloucestershire.
You have worked with Tommy Taylor in India, the head of the UDA at UoG academy. Can you tell prospective students a little about Tommy and what to expect?
“Tommy has had quite a long spell in coaching young players in India. During his time in the Punjab, he has offered valuable insights in coaching and mentoring not just young players but coaches as well. His main efforts have been towards establishing firm and bold structures which support the development of football in India, especially for U18s." Seth added, “Students coaching with Tommy can expect a total commitment, desire, passion, skill development and constructive feedback on training. They will also experience innovative sessions, and the opportunity to progress in football at a national level”
How do students interested in the programme learn more from Inter State on possible enrolment?
“Inter State acts as a bridge or a pathway to great UDA Academic & Sport opportunities available around the world. Students in India will get detailed information on what routes would be available for them to enrol for these programmes. We will guide students on all steps, prior and post their course completion through our strategic partners.” Seth continued, “Inter State will also introduce short experiences like tailored football tours and showcase events in the UK. These events will give students an exposure to the UDA facilities at the University of Gloucestershire Campus, the game, and the culture of the country. In India, Inter State will host recruitment camps at select locations to offer opportunities for Indian players to interact with professional coaches and academics from the UK. We feel this will help them in making the right career decisions.”
What benefits do you see for Indian students, given the new graduate extension scheme programme, allowing students to work in the UK after graduation?
“I feel that students will tend to gain a lot with the new graduate extension scheme. Expected to begin in summer 2021, international students who have successfully completed an undergraduate or master’s degree will be able to benefit from two years’ work experience in the UK upon graduation. I feel it is a great way for international students to access the lucrative UK labour market while working at any skill level or without any thresholds on the salary offered. It also allows those qualified under this scheme to gain permanent residency in the UK.”
Tell us a little about Inter State and the opportunity it provides for students from India to study in the UK.
“We set up Inter State with a view to promote professional football training programmes in the Indian market. To this effect we collaborated with the UDA Football Academy as our partner and it was the perfect fit. Our product which is currently being offered in India is a unique blend of football professional training along with a university degree, both programs being delivered in the UK. We feel this combination offers fantastic development opportunities for young players and students. Our professional team includes a Sports Director, Recruitment Director, and a Marketing Head while our offices are based in both countries, the UK and India.”
Sameer can be reached at Sseth@udauk.org
The UDA program at the University of Gloucestershire (UOG) is launching its spring recruitment initiative starting January 2021 starting in Orange County CA (Jan 15th-17th and Feb19th -21st), Austin Tx (Feb 12-14th) and Roanoke VA (March 12th-14th).
The program will offer prospective students the opportunity to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree of their choice while playing year round with professional coaching staff who have played and managed in the English professional leagues.
For students who cannot attend the preferred in person recruitment event UDA will conduct live online recruitment webinars. The recruitment webinars will be limited to 8 students and families per online webinar event.
Register here: Live online webinar recruitment event
We offer several dates and it is limited to 8 families per webinar event.
For more information on the in person or online recruitment events please contact:
Dr. Brian Haley