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Twelve Paid Hours: International Student-Athlete Peer Advisors

Last week, my mentor sent me a job description and encouraged me not to apply because it was an “interesting resource connected to my research.”

I’ve never clicked on a job application faster.

The webpage loaded and I read “International Student-Athlete Peer Advisor,” a part-time student role at Elon University. Below I’ve included the general purpose of the position as well as the essential duties and responsibilities:

Not only am I impressed, I am proud.

I am proud to know that there are institutions who are truly committed to supporting the holistic development of international college athletes. I am inspired to see that they are empowering their non-athlete student peers to lead education and facilitate connection points between the Global Education Center (GEC) and international college athletes. I am ecstatic to see the GEC involved in international athlete experience beyond I-20 signatures.

Because this is community work.

International college athletes are both international students AND college athletes – two distinct student communities that have their own challenges and opportunities. Imagine being concerned about NCAA eligibility and USCIS compliance – at the same damn time?! Yeah, no.

Both the athletic department and international/global education center should be held responsible for investing into creating an extraordinary international college athlete development experience. Elon understands this and is backing their commitment with financial resources and increased human support. One hour per week, for 12 weeks. That’s it.

Twelve paid hours can be the difference between retention and transfer.

Twelve paid hours can be the difference between retention and attrition.

Twelve paid hours can be the difference.

For years, I have been talking about the importance of international college athlete development. I have shared ideas for international students and scholars offices to utilize during their orientation. I have spoken with undergraduate and graduate students about their role in advocating for international athletes in their current and future roles in sport. I have even introduced college athlete development staff members to programming they could implement right now to best support international college athlete career readiness.

Yet over the last three years, I have never seen a paid international student-athlete peer advisor role sponsored by a college or university.

This position is another stamp of affirmation. In an industry trying to figure out how and where to support international college athletes, Elon reminds us that Walk With TFB’s work is important, necessary, and future proof. We will walk alongside Elon and lead the way.

International athlete retention, recruitment, and career readiness.

It’s what we do. It’s who we are. It’s where we’ll continue to be.

Look forward to working with y’all soon!


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