International recruits dealing with more than the golf course

Throughout the upcoming season, some Minnesota menâÄôs golfers might come down sick. That is, with a case of homesickness. âÄúI think every single player thatâÄôs come here at one point has that moment where theyâÄôre thinking, âÄòOh my gosh, where am I, what am I doing, I want to go home,âÄô âÄù associate head coach Andrew Tank said. With six of the 15 players from other countries, players will likely miss the comforts of home. However, having multiple international players on the team creates a support system. Junior Ben Pisani , from Brisbane, Australia , went through it when he first came to Minnesota but found help from 2007 graduate Bronson LaâÄôCassie. âÄúHe said, âÄòDonâÄôt worry, when I was a freshman, I went through the same things and you just got to stick with it and youâÄôll make a bunch of friends and before you know it, this will be a home away from home,âÄô âÄù Pisani said. Now, homesickness isnâÄôt a problem, thanks in part to his network of friends. That network includes Gophers teammates who know the area and can answer questions that the internationals students may have. In the future, Pisani said he will help his teammates who get homesick by offering encouragement and answering questions. âÄú[IâÄôll] tell them itâÄôs all good and we understand that itâÄôs not easy, you miss home and just hang in there and give it a good chance,âÄù Pisani said. Along with the cold weather, the most difficult part of adjusting to life in Minnesota for Pisani was missing his family and the little things back home. His family realizes coming to Minnesota for golf and an education is a great opportunity. âÄúI think my mom misses me the most,âÄù Pisani said. Most international playersâÄô families are supportive of their decision to come to the United States, Tank said. The families realize it is a positive opportunity for their son to improve his game and get a good education. For international players, coaches might have to educate families on the American college and athletic systems since many families arenâÄôt familiar with it. The United States is one of the only countries to have athletics in its universities. International players are scouted the same way American golfers are, however two barriers that stop international players from coming to Minnesota are finances and academic requirements. Many international parents donâÄôt save money because college isnâÄôt as expensive in other parts of the world. The admissions process can get tricky for international athletes as well. Even though they have to take the ACT or SAT, their high schoolâÄôs core classes may not match up with the UniversityâÄôs expectations or have an equivalent to a GPA. âÄúItâÄôs certainly a different process as far as admissions,âÄù Tank said.