My name is Al, I’m from New Zealand, and I have lived in Cleveland since January 2011. I came here on a sports scholarship to join the Swimming and Diving team at Cleveland State University. I completed my undergraduate degree in Sports Management and Business back in August of 2014. I am now enrolled again at CSU as a Masters student to continue my education and get the most out of this amazing opportunity and experience. I love this city, I love the people, so I am very happy to call Cleveland my home away from home.


Ohio is about three times the size of New Zealand, population wise, so one of the biggest differences is the size of cities in America, including Cleveland. Everything is bigger here, bigger sports stadiums, bigger universities, and of course more people. The food and drink here are similar to back home, but the weather is another difference that I’m still getting used to ha! Everyone I have met here whether it be through swimming, school, or just out and about have been extremely friendly and caring. I have been lucky enough to travel to different parts of America through swimming and holiday, but living in Cleveland is something I wouldn’t want to change because of the people I have met and the best mates I have made. A few of my roommates this year are from other countries, and Cleveland has been great to us all. The Metro Parks give me a brief reminder of home, the Browns Tailgate is absolutely awesome, and the bar and restaurant scene downtown is sweet.