Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

International Student-Athlete Orientation

By NU Athletic Communications

On Thursday, Aug. 24th, Life Skills hosted an International Student-Athlete Orientation to welcome new international student-athletes to the university and make them aware of all the resources available to them.

In attendance to welcome the student-athletes and share their thoughts were:

  • Keith Zimmer, Senior Associate A.D. for Life Skills and the N Club,
  • Karen Cagley, Director of International Students and Scholar Office,
  • Lawrence Chatters, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant,
  • Kate Frazier, Life Skills Graduate Assistant,
  • Kerry McDermott, Head Men’s Tennis Coach, and
  • Daniel Leal, current Nebraska gymnast from Colombia.

Leal shared his own story of triumph with his fellow international student-athletes. Recounting when he first got to Nebraska three years ago, he had only been speaking English for a few months. He overcame that barrier in large part thanks to the academic department, which allowed him to set up tutors and make sure he was in a position to be successful in the classroom – an opportunity available to all Nebraska student-athletes. Leal also encouraged student-athletes to visit the Gaughan Multicultural Center as he found other students and organizations which aligned with his background and culture, making Nebraska feel even more like home.  

McDermott was the first coach at Nebraska to intentionally recruit international players and has recruited hundreds over the years. He shared great success stories of past international student-athletes, reminding student-athletes there are plenty of places to go for help with academics, homesickness, and their transition.

The student-athletes left knowing there is help available to them at every turn and there really is no place like Nebraska.


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