Two international athletes find opportunities at UD
Student athletes at the University of Dallas are not just from the United States but different parts of the world. Two members of the men’s golf team are international student athletes from Mexico. Sei Sato, a freshman business major, hails from Mexico City while Antonio Alvarez, a freshman business major, hails from Veracruz.
Sato and Alvarez knew each other because they went to the same high school, Montverde Academy in Orlando, FL. Now they get to play on the golf course together at the same college.
Both Sato and Alvarez got into golf respectively because of their families.
“My mom and my grandpa play golf,” Sato said. “So they kind of got me into the game.”
“I used to go with [my family] to a golf course,” Alvarez shared. “I really liked it and I started playing.”
They both chose UD for the opportunity to play golf as well as the Core curriculum.
“You get the best of both worlds,” Sato explained. “You get to play while you get a liberal education.”
The excellent and classical education was not only what UD offered to Sato and Alvarez. The location, Irving, and the student body community also played important roles in their decision to attend UD.
“For me, I really liked [the] location,” Alvarez said. “Almost every year you can play golf. It’s never that cold. I also liked that [UD’s] a small community; that there’s not a lot of people.”
Sato and Alvarez also appreciate their teammates at UD, especially the upperclassmen.
“I think [the upperclassmen have] been really nice to us,” Sato said. “Coming here [to UD], you feel like you belong somewhere.”
Expanding on the sense of belonging in golf, Sato explained, “Even though golf is an individual sport, I think college is the only time you get to play as a team. Coming as a freshman to a new school and environment, they were really welcoming.”
Currently without an official coach for the men’s golf team, the roles of the upperclassmen are all the more vital.
“Clearly, they know how things are run,” Sato said.
The golf season so far has been difficult as both Sato and Alvarez are in a period of adjustment as freshmen in college.
“It’s a different scenario,” Alvarez explained. “I haven’t really experienced something like college life. I didn’t expect it to be this overwhelming.”
Not only is being a freshman in college hard, but being away from one’s home country is too. However, Sato and Alvarez look forward to visiting their families soon with the upcoming breaks.
“I’m going back [to Mexico] in Thanksgiving,” Sato said. “I miss home – my home – and my family, and I’m excited to go back.”
“I also miss Mexico,” Alvarez said. “I’m thinking I’m going [back] on Christmas […] I miss my family, my friends [and] I miss speaking Spanish.”
Despite the difficulties of being away from home and being freshmen in college, Sato and Alvarez are not giving up in their beloved sport. With such a strong end to their fall season, spring season will be a breeze.
“I am motivated for the next season,” Sato said.