Andrea Vlasceanu, a foreign exchange student from Spain, came across the Atlantic to have the opportunity to play college tennis and get a degree. She wanted to be able to continue her passion while studying at the same time.
“My coach emailed me and showed me Jones,” Vlansceanu explained. “I like the team. I like the campus. Here in the United States there are opportunities to play tennis and study at the same time, but in Spain you can’t do that, especially when you go to college. I did not want to stop playing tennis, and I decided to go here.”
According to Vlasceanu, there is a huge cultural difference between Mississippi and Spain.
“The people are really nice (in Mississippi). In Spain, they are not. I noticed that difference when I came back home in May,” she said. “And Americans are different here. They have different styles.”
Vlasceanu said living in another country is a big change, and it’s easy to get homesick.
“Yes, obviously I miss my family and friends,” Vlasceanu said. “I miss living in a big city, and also I miss the traditional food from Spain. I get homesick almost everyday. It’s a little hard not having your family around you and having to live on your own.”
Vlasceanu’s roommate is Mia Hoddinghaus, who also plays tennis at Jones.
“Me and Andrea get along so well!” said Hoddinghaus. “She’s a really good roommate because she is super neat and very easy to get along with! She’s not only my roommate but also my best friend here at JC! To be together on the tennis team is a lot of fun and with us being the only two internationals, we always understand each other’s problems. We spend almost all of our time together, whether it’s being on the court at practice, going out together to eat or just being with each other in the room.”
Once she leaves Jones, Vlasceanu plans to transfer to another university to keep playing tennis and get her bachelor’s degree.
by Olivia Norwood