University of Delaware First Year Experience students and international coaches from 32 countries came together as part of the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program.

Global experience

FYE students, coaches from 32 countries come together through ICECP


10:44 a.m., Nov. 19, 2014--First Year Experience (FYE) students had the chance to gain global understanding during their initial semester at the University of Delaware through interaction with participants in the seventh edition of the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program (ICECP).

The ICECP is an international coaching education program funded through the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Olympic Committees (IOC) Olympic Solidarity fund. 

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In its seven years the ICECP has hosted 197 coaches from 82 countries and 23 sports.

In FYE sections taught by Matthew Robinson, UD professor of business administration and ICECP director, and Jeffrey Schneider, instructor in the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology and ICECP associate director, students were assigned a coach and were asked to research the coach’s country. 

The student also emailed the coach prior to his or her arriving in the United States. The student and participant met at the ICECP opening reception in September and the FYE students introduced the coaches and gave a five-minute presentation on the assigned country to the student and participants.

The students and coaches gathered again at a picnic that included pizza and students and coaches playing both “futbal” and American football. 

Countries represented in the seventh edition of the ICECP included Colombia, Ethiopia, Suriname, Maldives, Latvia, Antigua, Grenada, St. Vincent, India, Qatar, Syria, Fiji, Botswana, Trinidad Tobago, El Salvador, Dominica, Jordan, Serbia, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Brazil, China, Uganda, Mozambique, Malaysia, Cook Islands, Puerto Rico, United States of America, Nigeria, American Samoa, Macedonia, Austria and Cambodia. 

Gina Evangelista, a freshman from Middle Island, New York, said of the program, “At first, I was a little uneasy about this project. I was nervous about meeting a stranger from another country and I was unsure what we would talk about. But after meeting Augustine Kopa from the Cook Islands, my perspective completely changed. This project was such an interesting experience. Without this class, I would have never reached out to a stranger from a foreign country.”

Emily Papa from Fairport, New York, added,  “When I first got to the reception I was very nervous about meeting and talking to my coach. I wasn't sure if it would be awkward, if we would run out of things to say, or if I would pronounce everything wrong and offend her. Once I walked over to her and started talking, though, it felt like we didn't have enough time to learn about each other and her culture. It was very interesting to hear about American Samoa from someone who lives there and not from the Internet.”

This is the fifth year that the FYE students have interacted with the ICECP participants. 

“The University talks about our students becoming global citizens,” said Robinson. “Through the FYE course, students have taken the first steps in the first few weeks on campus. I don’t think this type of opportunity is being presented in other FYE programs around the country. My hat goes off to the FYE program. If there is a better program in the country, I would like to see it. I also congratulate the FYE students who really embraced the experience and made our coaches feel welcome.”

Carolina Bayon, director of international cooperation and policy for the USOC who was at the opening reception, said, “I was so impressed with the maturity of the UD students and their openness in welcoming the coaches to the United States. It was a such a positive reflection on the University and the ICECP and the USOC. It was truly an incredible night of sharing. “

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