Roi Gil is originally from Israel, moved to Canada when he was 11 years old. He started playing football when he was five years, and ever since it was his dream to play professionally. His favourite player is Diego Forlan from Uruguay, and he is also a big fan of Kieran Tierney from Arsenal. Tierney plays left back position, just like Roi. While playing football matches and doing trainings, Roi is studying Computer Science course and successfully balancing the two.
“I decided to study at the University of Gloucestershire because it gave me the opportunity to play football at a high level and study the degree that I wanted. This is the best way to combine my goals in football with my academic goals.”
“University of Gloucestershire is in partnership with the UDA Football Academy. I want to play professionally, that's my goal, my dream. And UDA allows us to play how other professional academies train and play. And the University of Gloucestershire also allows us to take our degree, so we can get the best of both worlds.”
“You can study any degree you want, you get to choose whatever you want. We play football, but academics is first. We can't miss class for training or for a game. It is all about balancing. When I was in high school, I've always had football and another thing or two more. It's become a habit. The main thing is learning time management and prioritizing. I want to make sure that I'm enjoying myself, but also do what needs to be done.”
“I go to class in the morning and then training in the afternoon and then get back home and do the homework. Or the other way around, where we have training in the morning and then class and then you go home and you either do a bit more training on your own or homework. This year we played matches mostly around once a week. But next year is going to be more matches because we should have more players coming in. It should be about at least twice a week for most weeks.
“We train at Oxstalls (Gloucester) at the Sports park, and I study at Park campus (Cheltenham). The sports facilities are very good. They gym is quite good, and the fields are also great. They have good turf fields, and the grass fields are pretty high quality as well compared to what I'm used to. I think even the universities facilities like the library, the classrooms and everything is quite good. A lot of the classrooms are suited for small courses, and I really enjoy having a small amount of people in my course because then I get to know the lectures and module tutors, which helps my learning.”
“As a Canadian, I thought the living expenses would be more. The food and shopping are a lot cheaper than I expected. I thought that I wouldn't eat out as much (laughs). But it wasn't very expensive.”
Favourite places in Cheltenham and Gloucester
“Town centres in both Cheltenham and Gloucester are nice. The Gloucester docks are quite nice. The cathedral is very nice to see. I've also been to Manchester and Liverpool. I hope to travel more during my second year.”
“The application process was quite straightforward. I also really liked the fact that
the University responded very quickly to my application cause in Canada it’s different. You apply and then you hear back within the next six months.”
“I study computer science, so my course is fairly small. You get to know the lectures and most of your classmates. You can help each other out when you're struggling with certain things. I only have 4 lectures a week, but they're 3 hour and it would be about an hour and a half of lectures and an hour and a half of practical. I found that there's a lot of hands-on stuff which helps me to learn what I'm interested in.”
“The modules are directly related to my degree because I know in Canada you have to take certain modules that might not necessarily be related to your degree. This is more focused on employment, it's teaching you what you'll use in the real world after you graduate.”
“If I'm good enough to play professionally, I will. If I could even play semi-professionally and work, that's probably the goal. I would consider a masters, I might be interested in sports analytics.”
Advice to potential students coming from Canada
“Look at accommodation because I think that's quite important. Each accommodation would be different. Make sure that the accommodation has what you want. If you want to be very close to campus and meet a lot of people, it might be easier to live on campus. Or if you want a cheaper accommodation near the city, private housing might be the way to go. Really depends on your needs.”