There are six billion people on the planet, with thousands of things that separate us from knowing and understanding one another. Language, distance and cultural differences are just a few things that build walls and keep us from getting to know our fellow human beings. How are you supposed to forge relationships when you can’t even ask somebody how they’re feeling that day?

Despite cultural and language barriers, there are many things that all people share, no matter where they are. Soccer is one of the ways that we can bridge the gaps between cultures. It’s the most popular sport in the world, and the World Cup, held once every four years, has a viewing audience twice that of the Summer Olympics, according to FIFA.

Soccer – A common ground

The rules of the soccer game are the same no matter where you are. A yellow card means the same thing, whether you’re from Brazil, China, Spain or the U.S. If you’re doing an exchange program abroad, how much better is it to have a sport as an instant common ground?

Unlike your typical overseas trips, soccer exchange boarding school programs provide people with an immediate connection. Even if the players on your team are from all corners of the world, you all know the same information about the world’s best players, the biggest clubs, or World Cup or European Cup facts and tidbits. And of course, players worldwide also share the common rules and traditions associated with the game of soccer. With soccer as a common ground, it’s possible to foster a keen awareness and appreciation for diversity amongst other cultures.

International soccer exchange boarding school opportunities

If you want to go to another country to live and study for an academic year, using soccer as a medium provides you with a number of advantages.

Soccer exchange boarding school programs are unique exchange opportunities designed for aspiring soccer stars that appreciate the benefit of international travel, foreign training, and cultural immersion. Depending on your particular interest, you have a chance to live, study and play abroad in a soccer exchange soccer boarding program in Spain, Italy, France, England, China, Brazil or Mexico.

With soccer exchange boarding schools, not only do you get to immerse yourself in a new country, but you also get the chance to meet other passionate soccer players from around the world. Players also have the opportunity to learn a second language, pursue their academic study, and improve their soccer skills by training daily under accredited professional coaching staff.

Soccer skills last a lifetime

“Soccer skills” don’t just refer to those of the ball-handling variety. As with any team sport, you are learning to think about more than just yourself. You learn to see yourself not as one person, but as an integral part of a team. When all the players do their jobs correctly, the team as a whole succeeds.

These vital skills – learning to interact with others, putting the team before your own needs, doing your job well and depending on others to do theirs – are all things that soccer students will need in the future. Whether or not they go on to play professionally or at the collegiate level, the skills and tolerance they learn through soccer will be something that they can use time and again throughout their lives.

Soccer is a game that connects us despite the numerous differences that we have. It shows us that, no matter what language we speak or what country we call home, we’re all going to get furious when the referees make a bogus call on our team and we’re all going to cheer when a player scores that last-second goal. And becoming a soccer player can give young people experiences and life skills that will benefit them both on and off the playing field.