Advice and Information for International Student Athletes
Participation in sports at the collegiate level aids in developing educational leadership, physical fitness, and academic discipline. Whether your talent lies in basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, swimming, or track and field, you'll find athletic competition at a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, II, or III university to be a fulfilling experience. There are, however, certain guidelines and regulations that pertain to international student participation in athletics.
If you have never previously enrolled as a full-time student in a university, you must meet minimum academic standards in order to be eligible for practice, competition, and athletic financial aid your first year. The minimum required standards vary depending on the country. These standards are outlined in NCAA's Guide to International Academic Standards for Athletics Eligibility. You must take the SAT or the ACT. Most institutions require the TOEFL as well; it is not, however, a substitute for either the SAT or ACT.
If you are currently enrolled (or have previously been enrolled) as a full-time student at a university in a foreign country, you will be considered a transfer student upon enrolling at an NCAA university. Please see the NCAA Transfer Guide for more information on your eligibility.
Many international student athletes face language and cultural challenges upon arriving at an NCAA institution. Programs, as well as academic and athletic support available at many universities, assist student athletes with adjusting to their new environment. Many athletic departments and campuses offer tutoring and mentoring services to assist athletes with the transition.
The NCAA National Office offers a series of leadership development programs and professional development opportunities for NCAA student-athletes. For additional information on programs and professional development opportunities, see the NCAA Web site.
The rules and regulations that apply to international sports recruitment vary by division. The coaches recruiting you are responsible for providing you with accurate eligibility information. Read about recruiting rules for each division or call the NCAA Membership Services staff at (+001) 317-917-6222 (ind)