Getting Recruited as an International Student Athlete

International Student Athletes

One of the most common recruiting questions is, can I get recruited as an international athlete? The answer is yes. Coaches offer scholarships to international athletes quite often. But what do you have to do to get recruited as an international student athlete?

International Student Athletes

You must be diligent and proactive in contacting coaches. Coaches will not discover you overseas. You must introduce yourself and contact college coaches to get on their recruiting radar.

For International Student-Athletes Playing a Team Sport, Video is a Must-have

For most college sports, you will need to have a great recruiting video. Coaches want to see an athlete compete, and they do not have the recruiting budget to travel internationally. Having a great highlight video is essential for any international athlete looking to get a scholarship in the United States. Highlight videos are used to grab the attention of coaches and to introduce yourself; it’s important that you create the best video you can.

It’s important that you take full video of your entire games as well. Your highlight tape is just an introduction and attention grabber; it’s extremely important that you also have a full-game film available to send to coaches. Coaches will be able to do most of their evaluation by watching your full-game film. The same film quality standards apply both to your full-game film and your highlight film.

Go to Camps and Showcases

It is a great idea for you to attend camps or showcases in the United States if you can afford it. It’s important for you to do it the right way. Before you decide on going to any camp, you must make contact with a coach and get them to view your profile and video. Coaches use camps to scout athletes they are already familiar with—not to discover new talent. Make sure a coach is truly interested in recruiting you before you make a big financial commitment to come play in front of them.

You need to be aware of standardized test requirements. NCAA Division I and Division II rules require you take either the SAT or the ACT—and all NCAA schools require one test or the other as an admissions guideline. Standardized tests aren’t always offered abroad as often as they are in the United States, so it is important to know when the test dates are. Schedule your test in advance. It is important to take the test more than once because you can combine your best section scores from different exams to give you a higher overall score. You can register for the ACT and the SAT here.

Non-native English Speakers Must Take the TOEFL Exam

If you come from a non-English-speaking country, then you will have to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language examination.

The NCAA has a list of international education certificates that they accept in replace of the core course requirements for US students. You can download the NCAA International Standards Guide and go to your country listing; make sure that you are studying to get a certificate that satisfies the NCAA’s core course requirements. If you are not studying for an approved certificate, then you may not be academically eligible to compete in the NCAA.

Are you an international student athlete and looking to come to the United States to play college sports? Do you have questions about what to do next? Leave your questions in the comments section below or connect with us on FacebookTwitter, or Google+!


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