Finding a small school in a small town as well as being offered a scholarship to play Tennis, Camila Noldin decided to attend Radford University in Radford, Virginia. “I’m from Brazil and I decided to come to the United States when I was about to graduate from high school because I wanted to keep playing Tennis for a couple more years and if I had stayed at home that would have been it for me, “she says.
“I would have to go to college and at home we do not have sports in college so I would have to stop playing Tennis and also I got offered a full scholarship to come to Radford and play Tennis for the highlanders so I decided to come here.”
When it comes to what to major in, Camila has chosen Economics, Spanish and French. She says she enjoys languages and likes learning about many subjects that interest her. “I really wasn’t sure about what to study. There are so many things that I am interested in and especially here in the United States you have the option of taking a lot of general classes so there are so many things that I am interested in that it is very hard to choose,” she says.
“I took my first Economics class my freshman year and I just found it fascinating so I just kept taking more and more then I figured I might as well major in it because I am so interested in it and learning languages has always been a passion. I would say that I am fluent by now in Spanish and I start French a little bit later I am just catching up right now and I think I will not be able to say that I am fluent until I get to go to France and be there for a couple of months. So I’m always very, very interested about studying languages. I think it will be something that I will always do. When I get done with one, I will start another one.”
Early on studying the English language and speaking it was a challenge, but Camila says things did get easier. “In the beginning it was a little hard. I was lucky that most of my professors were very understanding and I just had to make sure that I met with them on a regular basis and explain to them the situation, “she says.
“My first semester I really had never been in the United States before until my freshman year. So I had studied English, but I had never spoken it before, so I had to study a lot and I had to study more for my exams than most people and I had to put a lot of effort into it,” she says. “My professors are very understanding and most of them are willing to work with me. After the first semester I think things started getting better. After every semester it got better and better.”
Tennis is one of many activities Camila is involved with. She says... Besides being an athlete and playing Tennis for the university, I am also my team representative for the Student Athlete Association. We are responsible for voting for rules and just keeping track of everything that is going on with big south conference and NCAA and also I am a member of the ESA, which is the Economics Student Association.
Going to graduate school is something Camila wants to do eventually, but she says coming to the United States for her has been more than about receiving an education. “Sometimes I just forgot about it I guess I don’t think about it too much, but I know every time I go back home everybody is just so amazed by me. I mean it changed my whole life. If I was still at home I don’t know what I would be doing and now there are so many opportunities so many doors are opening for me and it is very, very important and it definitely changed my life,” she says.
“There are so many things I can do now. I could never have done before it I had stayed at home. I don’t think its about getting specifically a college education, but the experience of leaving your country and just getting to know other people and other cultures and especially here in the United States you will find such a diversity of so many different cultures that you end up meeting great people from all over the world and you get to know that there is so much more out there than what you have been used to, that was the biggest thing about coming here.”