Preparing the trip

Hi! My name is Rasmus Maukonen. I am studying in JAMK the University of Applied Sciences in Finland. Next 18 months I will study in the university of Texas at El Paso (=UTEP). I also throw javelin and that is the biggest reason why I am leaving to El Paso.

Welcome to reading my blog. I will write down things I am doing during my exchange period at University of Texas at El Paso. Mostly I will write in English and hope you can understand it as much as possible. The idea to this trip came out in last July. In Kuopio during track & field outdoor nationals my friend told me that why you won’t go to UTEP? Since that ball has started to roll and right now I am sitting in my room with visa, scholarship and flight tickets.

First I contacted  to school’s track & field Head Coach Mika Laaksonen. I asked if there are any chance to come to UTEP in January 2016. But they asked me to come in January 2015. So I thought a little time and was more than happy to get this opportunity to become “miner”.  It has been huge help for me that Mika is a Finnish person. Mika has been helpful with general duties and all “paperwar” I’ve been fought the whole autumn. I have filled in about 100 pages all kind of applications or information. Those papers have been for JAMK, UTEP or NCAA (=National Collegiate Athletic Association).

So I have been answering and filling in all kind of papers during studying and training. I have also passed TOEFL (test of English as foreign language)  with 73 or 74 points (minimum was 61). That was the test I was worried about mostly because of my weak English skills. I have also tried to prove for NCAA that I am an amateur athlete. It is important detail because without their accept I can’t go and compete with our team… Hopefully all turns positive and I can take part to every competition next season.

So I will fly to El Paso in 10th January. Trainings will start 12th, 13th or 14th and that week also includes in some kind of orientation in school. I will live in student house about 50 meter from track & field stadium (not bad :D). I have not registered for classes yet but the meaning is to take some engineering classes. Minimum per week is 12 hours for being a full time student. I have a lot of uncertainty but hopefully all will be much clearer when I arrive at El Paso.

Here is some reasons for this trip:

-I want to throw 80 meters some day

-I got scholarship

-There is Finnish Head Coach

-Studying and training at the same time are easier there than in Finland

-Once in a lifetime experience

-Develop my English skills


  1. Go for it Rasmus! I’m sure you won’t regret this decision to go to El Paso. Once in a lifetime experience, as you said 🙂

  2. We all wish you good luck on your way; it feels like we’re travelling too. When it’s raining cats and dogs like it does right now, we actually would like to be on the same plane with you heading to the Sun City.
    We hope to hear from you soon….

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