Looking to play your favorite game in an exotic location? Teams in Europe, South America and Asia offer fantastic opportunities for soccer players. World-class soccer training programs in Italy, England, France, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and China have opened their doors to young players looking to hone their soccer skills.
Like any worthwhile goal, traveling abroad to play soccer requires preparation and planning. But you're used to hard work, right? If you're committed, you may find soccer opportunities you never dreamed of. You may come back with a whole new game, like Chris Musto, one of our EduKick players who recently had professional trials in Belgium.
For starters, you'll need a passport. If you're looking to spend only a few months in the country of your choice, you can get by with a North American passport. To attend a long-term soccer school program, (90 days or longer), you have to apply for a student visa.
This is important because players attending our long-term stay abroad must also participate in educational coursework. This can be one of our affiliated high schools, language study at our affiliated universities, or, as in the case of Bolton, England, studying a BTEC certificate program in sports science. Those affiliated schools require a student visa.
To get that valuable student visa stamp in your passport you'll need several things:
- A "letter of invitation or acceptance" from the academic institution affiliated with the program you wish to attend.
- Clean bill of health from your doctor and proof of compliant medical insurance
- Letter of financial means stating tuition fees are paid
- Bank account statements from your sponsor (parents or otherwise)
- Proof of accommodation (a letter from the program directors stating your future address)
- Supporting documents regarding means of transport and return (copy of return airline ticket)
If you're serious about long-term soccer training abroad, it's crucial to give yourself enough time to complete the student visa application process. This can take anywhere from six to 12 weeks to complete.
The earlier you start the better. In some countries we find the visa application process more difficult than others. For example, we had a boy from Senegal who wanted to train in one of our soccer programs in England. We completed and submitted the visa application process two months before his arrival date, plenty of time (or so we thought).