Melanie Woiwode Scholarship Recipient: Carolina Dossi – Rugby

UCI student Carolina Dossi, chose to study abroad in England specifically so she could play rugby, as she had joined the women’s rugby team back home at Irvine and loved every minute of it. Carolina has been studying at the University of Sussex for the past year, and she’s also joined the women’s rugby team there as well. Check out her awesome action shots and read about her rugby experience below! 

“The difference my participation in women’s rugby at Sussex 14859710_1403854829632428_1730394490274103465_ohas made to my study abroad experience has been astounding. At first I joined because I wanted to continue playing the sport and also because I wanted to experience rugby in the country where it originated. I did both those things, but the experience far exceeded my expectations. I made so many friends and had, and continue to have, unforgettable experiences both on and off the pitch. The highlight of my season was scoring my first try! The team is also quite close and we spend time together outside of playing time. One of the activities that the the club participated in together was when the team went to see the England Women’s Rugby team at Twickenham and we were able to meet one of the players. Also, many members of the team get together outside of playing time to watch professional rugby at a pub. Every time it is such a quintessential British experience, enjoying a sporting match in a pub, that I get swept up in the enthusiasm. Playing this sport abroad was important for me not only to improve my skills as an athlete, but this experience also allowed me to find a special community of amazing people who all love the same thing I do.

I could have participated with out a grant, in fact there would be many sacrifices I would make in order to continue playing. However, I am a student on financial aid and I have had to take out loans, so not having to worry about the registration fees for the club or for the few extra gear was a great help.

I would absolutely recommend this scholarship to anyone even remotely interested in participating in sport abroad. Women are usually underrepresented in sports, or not given enough attention, and this scholarship is a great way to encourage participation. Not only is joining a club a great way to stay active and an easy way to meet people, it also helps with immersion in the host culture. In my club I have found a sense of belonging that I have not present with any other activity I have participated in. I look forward to returning home a better player and person having had the opportunity to play rugby abroad this year.”

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If you’re interested in learning more about the Melanie Woiwode Scholarship for women in sport, or wish to apply, click here