The Best Semester Of Their Lives

 

This year’s group of Trinity football seniors on the Trinity College Football team have accomplished many amazing feats, countless personal and team records including a NESCAC Championship as rookies and the continuation of Trinity’s 42-game home winning streak. These are many great memories that the seniors will carry with them long after graduation, but the most cherished experience for some occurred far from the “Coop”, across the Atlantic Ocean in Italy.
From figuring out the local language to sampling all the wonderful pasta dishes (“gnocchi definitely being the best,” according to defensive end Matt Walker), the consensus opinion among Walker, placekicker Tim Costello, fullback Josh Golden and defensive back Matt Paskalides was that their semester in Italy was the best semester of their lives Although Walker and Costello went to Florence, and Golden and Paskalides went to Rome, each of them also agrees the onus is on you to make the experience.
“We learn about these cathedrals in art history class and all of a sudden they are right front of me and not on a projector slide,” said Walker.
They noted it was the small differences between the Italian and American cultures that broadened their horizons and created a real-life learning experience that is unrivaled.
“The entire culture is built around walking,” said Golden speaking of how life differs on the other side of the water... and you can’t find a bottle of Poland Spring water.”
“People are not kidding when they say Italians eaty pasta at every meal,” added Costello. “and they don’t stop eating until they finish their pasta.”
These enriching experiences were made possible thanks to the College’s robust and highly-regarded study-abroad program. Trinity sites are located in seven different countries, and Trinity students can study at an additional 75 approved programs around the world. Trinity Head Football Coach Jeff Devanney states that six to nine juniors spend the spring or summer semesters in another country. Fellow Trinity seniors Herman Brito and Chike Madu studied in Barcelona and Buenos Aires, respectively.
The strong study-abroad program at Trinity sets us apart from other colleges,’ says Devanney.
While many Trinity football players take advantage of the study abroad program, many college athletes are hesitatnt to travel abroad given the chunk of time they will miss with their team and their off-season conditioning. Devanney encourages his athletes to go, stressing the invaluable learning opportunity.
“This is not something you can do when you are 35 years old,” he said. “The time to do it is now. Students will remember what they learn from their experiences abroad. They might learn more in another country than in any classrooom.”
The players that do study abroad make sure to stay on a training regimen so they don’t fall behind. Devanney insists his juniors know how “not” to take their time for granted, and that they adhere to the weightlifting program although that can be difficult in places without an abundance of power lifting facilities and equipment. These Trinity football players used even this as a learning experience.
“We did not know exactly how much we were lifting since everything was labeled in kilograms instead of pounds,” confessed Paskiledes.
And they learned about fashion.
“We felt as if we were transported back to the ‘80’s with all the Spandex,” Walker added. The weight room brought some other unexpected surprises as well.
“We met up with two guys from Bowdoin and two guys from Bates, which was pretty cool cause we don’t really get to know most of the guys we play against,” said Golden, “On those days when getting to the gym was harder than others, they were there to motivate us and vice versa,” added Paskalides.
Every year, Coach Devanney has a meeting with his team where the upperclassmen that went abroad speak about their experiences.
“The bottom line is that going over to Italy was just fun,” Costello sums up.
“It was the best semester of my life,” they said.