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