Student-athletes abroad for the summer

August 23, 2019

At Brandeis, student-athletes are taking advantage of the summer off-season to study abroad across the world, immersing themselves into the cultures of countries around the globe. 

One of the hundreds of Brandeis students abroad this summer is Sydney Goldman ’22. Goldman, a member of the Brandeis Women’s softball team, chose to spend her summer in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Goldman left for Mexico after a standout freshman season for the Judges, in which she was named to the All-UAA first team and was selected as UAA pitcher of the week multiple times. 

Goldman is not only performing well on the softball field but is also an exceptional student. She is on the pre-med track and plans on majoring in Health: Science, Society, and Policy (HSSP) and biology, as well as minoring in Hispanic studies. 

This summer, Goldman took part in the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) Butler Medical Spanish Terminology and Contemporary Public Health Program in the Yucatan. In this program Goldman got the opportunity to live with a host family in the city of Merida in Mexico for five weeks.

In discussing her study abroad experience, Goldman said she chose this program because “it perfectly incorporated two of my passions: medicine and language.” Furthermore, she explained that she chose to study in Mexico because, as a Hispanic studies minor, she “wanted to gain conversational fluency in Spanish.”

When reflecting on her time abroad, Goldman said her favorite part of her experience was an excursion in which she spent four days in Cuba. She discussed how she was able to speak with a local doctor and learn more about the Cuban medical system, and Cuba’s prevention-focused healthcare system. 

For Goldman, the Medical Spanish Terminology and Contemporary Public Health Program was the perfect fit for her. The program related directly to her personal career interests because she hopes to pursue orthopedic surgery in the future. 

She mentioned her goal is to work very closely with athletes, but she does not want to have a barrier with athletes that do not speak English. Goldman believes that by enhancing her knowledge of Spanish, she will be able to reach a whole new audience of people with whom she could not previously communicate. 

Goldman also expressed how her experience as a Brandeis student athlete prepared her for her time abroad. She said being a student athlete has allowed her to be comfortable outside of her typical surroundings. She mentioned that “as an athlete we have to adapt to the weather or different playing conditions on the fly.” And during her time in Mexico, Goldman realized her preconceived notions were different from her actual experiences.

Overall, Goldman said her time in Merida and in her study abroad program was an incredible experience, and she wishes she could go back.

To see more summer spotlights on other Brandeis student athletes check out the Brandeis Athletics website. And be sure to see the Judges in action this fall in the Gosman Sports Center. 

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