Elite Rugby Scholar experience
Name – Francesco Gallia
College/University – Arkansas State University
Studying – Business Administration
Position – Scrum-half
What has been your favourite aspect of living and studying in the United States?
The best aspect of living and studying in the United States is that you live in a relaxing environment. For student athletes, life here at Arkansas State University has its benefits because you can have a balance between quality rugby and studying, that’s because teachers know that you are an athlete and at the same time coaches know that you are a student.
Describe your first month in the United States. Was it a culture shock? And if so, why?
Since day 1 I felt like part of a big family, I never felt alone. It was really easy and fun to have class and go to practice with my teammates, and at the same time I built really strong relationships.
What is your current degree and what has been your favourite course so far? What courses do you intend to take in the future?
I’m studying Business and my favourite course was ‘Making connections’, this was one of my first classes and I was able to attend with a lot of my fellow teammates which was a rewarding and fun experience. In the future, I would like to take sports management.
What was the onboarding process like for you? How helpful was Brendan in finding your desired university?
The onboarding process was easy for me, Brendan helped me with everything, not only telling me which documents I needed, but also giving me good advice and the S&C program to be fit as well. Also, Brendan replied to every single message fast making sure I received the right information I needed to ensure the process was as smooth as possible.
How would you describe U.S collegiate rugby compared to your home nation?
I play in the Mid-South Conference, rugby in this Conference is extremely physical. Defence is crucial and teams are conservative. The speed and collisions are on another level.
What would you say to someone that is potentially unsure of taking the leap and starting their ERS journey?
For people that are not sure I will say that I know it’s difficult to leave your country, family, friends, etc. But if you have the opportunity to study in the United States I would highly recommend it, as it will be a decision you will not regret.
What has been the main highlight of your ERS experience so far?
I would say the team trips, going with my teammates watching movies, listening to music, chilling all together, sleeping in hotel rooms, and coming back singing songs and having fun after a good win.
How would you describe the American college campus experience?
Arkansas State University’s campus is very nice, it’s not big but its greenery is fantastic. Walking to class through all the colourful plants and trees while listening to music is one of my favourite parts of the day.
Describe your average day in the life of an Elite Rugby Scholar.
This semester I wake up at 9 a.m, take a shower then go for breakfast at 9:30, and then go to class from 10 to 12. After all my classes have finished, I usually go for lunch and chill. Later i go to the gym from 3 to 4, after that we go to eat something and finally night practice 8 to 10. So it is certainly a busy day from start to finish, especially trying to find that balance of being a student-athlete.
Interested in becoming an Elite Rugby Scholar? Please do not hesitate to send in an enquiry!