Elite Rugby Scholar experience

Name – Eilidh MacGilvray

College/University – Life University

College/University course – Exercise Science

Position – Number 8

What has been your favourite aspect of living and studying in the United States?

My favourite aspect of studying here has been meeting new people, learning about different cultures, and playing rugby almost every day.

Describe your first month in the United States. Was it a culture shock? And if so, why?

When I first arrived in the states I went to Florida with my roommate who’s from Canada. I burnt to a crisp so it was definitely a warm welcome! We both noticed a difference in the food in the states compared to back home. The portions are a lot bigger and a lot of places served fast food. We spent 3 weeks in an AirBnb with the other freshmen and no one could pronounce my name so they call me Scotty. The heat took a while to get used to and training in it everyday was tough.

What is your current degree and what has been your favourite course so far? What courses do you intend to take in the future?

My degree is Exercise Science and my favourite course that i’ve taken has been Human Nutrition. I’m looking forward to taking biology-based classes.

What was the onboarding process like for you? How helpful was Brendan in finding your desired university?

Brendan helped out a lot with the process and made it a lot easier for both my mum and I. At one point I thought I was ready to commit to a school, but there were more schools reaching out and Brendan encouraged me to talk to every school that reaches out and I changed my mind to Life.

How would you describe U.S collegiate rugby compared to your home nation? Comment on the competitiveness/pace/physicality

I was surprised at the progression of women’s rugby in the US. The program at Life has a lot of aspects that are similar to the Scottish Futures program. The pace and physicality of the game was a big jump from club rugby at U18’s level back home. I think coming out here was the best decision as it has developed my game awareness a lot.

What would you say to someone that is potentially unsure of taking the leap and starting their ERS journey?

Some advice I’d give to someone who is unsure is to be open minded and look at anyone who reaches out. Rugby is also very competitive in the States but the community is welcome anywhere in the world. Brendan is also very helpful and ask as many questions as you need!

What are your long-term plans? Do you intend to pursue a career in professional rugby or to pursue other avenues with your degree?

Once I graduate, I am hoping to travel and continue playing rugby, whether that is professional or club. I also want to see where my degree can take me and would be open to a lot of options in the sports industry. I also might go back home and play for one of the premier teams.

Do you have any hobbies outside of rugby? Do you have plans to travel the US during term/summer breaks?

I always like trying new sports, but it is hard to find spare time with training or school so usually I’ll just be with teammates and friends.

What has been your main highlight of your ERS experience so far?

My highlight so far was winning the NCRs with my team in the Fall season after just coming back from a concussion!

How would you describe the American college campus experience?

We have a small campus, so it is really easy to meet people and find your way around. There is always something going on whether it is wrestling matches, Basketball, or Lacrosse. I watched wrestling for the first time here.

Describe your average day in the life on your campus/day in the life on an Elite Rugby Scholar.

3 days a week I have lifts so I usually wake up at 6am to start at the gym at 7am. After the gym, I’ll eat breakfast and then head to class for 9am until 10.50. We have field training at 11am until 1pm and after that I’ll eat lunch and go to class at 3 until 5.20. Classes change each quarter, but I try to keep my schedule like this.

What are your top tips for anyone going through the selection process/selecting colleges?

My top tips are having questions ready for any calls that you’ll have with coaches, talk to different athletes, and try to be as independent as you can when you’re talking to the coaches! They expect you to be organised if you’re coming to college.

If you are interested in beginning your US collegiate rugby career and possibly even on to Major League Rugby, please do not hesitate to send in an enquiry!

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