California dreamin’…

Sports and exercise science student, Jonathan Cole, (or ColeTrain to his mates) is currently studying in California on an exchange program arranged by CU.

Jonathan has been at the California State University, Long Beach for two semesters.

California was my first choice because the school is very good for Sport Science. It’s also one mile away from the beach with fantastic weather all year round, so it seemed like a logical choice!

California Dreamin'
“When my parents came to visit for 10 days, and watched our Rugby game Vs Santa Barbra City College”

The exchange program was arranged by Coventry University’s Centre for Global Engagement.

I have had the opportunity to study at CSULB for a year, and someone from CSULB has had the opportunity to study at Coventry. There were a lot of paperwork and forms, which did take a while to complete. However it was all worth while when I finally got out here.

Since arriving in California, Jonathan has joined the university’s rugby team, which has given him a fantastic social life.

The fantastic rugby program has allowed me to tour the States and make some friends for life. Being on the team allowed me to meet a variety of people from a range of backgrounds and countries. The Americans are fascinated by our culture and background, and are always willing to do that bit extra for you.

California Dreamin'
“Picture with the team after getting into the final 8’s of college rugby in America.”

There was a slight language barrier, some words mean different things in American. The obvious one that springs to mind for me is crisps and chips! The way ‘water’ is pronounced with an English accent makes it very hard for Americans to understand, I’ve found myself repeating the word numerous times!

Jonathan previously trained to be a marine and qualified #1 in the year. He considered following a career with the marines, but chose instead to attend Coventry University.

Joining the Marines was something that I had always thought about. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and picked up many transferable skills. I loved the camaraderie shown in the forces, but I felt like I wanted to be somewhere that would allow me to think for myself.

I wanted to further my education and I knew that realistically, this was the time to do it. It was a very hard decision but I do not regret my choice.

When Jonathan returns to Coventry, he will complete the final year of his degree.

I hope to graduate with at least a 2:1. I would be very interested in applying for graduate schemes in the area of finance. Whilst I have enjoyed studying Sport Science, I might pursue a career in a different field.

Finally, I asked Jonathan what he would say to any of our students who may be considering studying abroad.

I would fully recommend studying abroad, especially in California! As well as having the opportunity to study in a thriving school, I have been lucky enough to immerse myself in amazing culture through travel and sport, due to the location.

California Dreamin'
Venice Beach with my English friend Adam from Leicester University on the same study abroad program as me.