Melanie Woiwode Scholarship Recipient: Leanne Nguyen-Phuoc – Rugby

Continuing an activity you love during your time abroad is a great way to find familiarity in your unfamiliar surroundings, to integrate into the UK student community. Our University of Manchester student, Leanne, plays rugby back home at UC Irvine and chose to join her uni’s team in Manchester. Read on to learn about her rugby experience and how it contributed to her overall study abroad experience in Manchester!

Leanne 1

Leanne (middle row, second from left) and the University of Manchester rugby team after winning the league!

Joining the women’s rugby team at the University of Manchester has made my study abroad experience one of a kind. Before coming to England, I knew I wanted to continue playing rugby and furthering my knowledge of the game. Playing here not only furthered my knowledge of the game but taught me a lot of tips and tricks that I will for sure bring back to Irvine.

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Playoff match with Uni team, picturing Leanne (#6).

While participating in Manchester, I instantly gained 50 new friends and great coaches that showed me the ins and outs of British culture. Also, while playing with the university team, I was invited to join the local club team that many of my teammates were also apart of! More rugby, more happiness! With the semester progressing along, my teams felt like my home away from home. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

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Joining the women’s rugby team at the University of Manchester has made my study abroad experience one of a kind.”

The grant that I received helped pay for my university team fees and part of my club team fees. I would highly recommend the Melanie Woiwode scholarship to anyone thinking about playing sports abroad because I believe money shouldn’t be a factor in whether or not someone decides to participate in a sport or not.


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