Focus on International Students: Rasmus shoots for success, on and off the court

Rasmus KristensenThis is the sixth in a series of stories on SUNY Broome’s international students, who come from all over the globe. The college is celebrating International Week from Nov. 13 through 17. During the week, international students will share the cuisines of their homeland at the Dining Hall, and visit the BC Center to read children’s books from their home countries.

Today we meet Rasmus Kristensen, a Sports Management major from Denmark.

International students come to SUNY Broome for many reasons: academic programs, the chance to transfer to a dream school or simply the opportunity to see America.

Rasmus Kristensen became a Hornet to pursue success not only in the classroom, but on the basketball court.

The native of Lemvig, Denmark, is a forward on the Hornets basketball team. His ultimate goal: to play basketball at a college level in the United States and then head back to Europe to play on teams there, ultimately returning home to the Danish League. After that? Working for a big sports team.

“Besides basketball, I’m in love with all kinds of sports and the values they can teach,” he said.

He estimates that about a half-dozen of his countrymen are in the United States, following the same collegiate basketball path. Basketball is a major sport in Europe, although it’s still pretty small in Denmark, said the freshman Sports Management major. College basketball also doesn’t exist in the same way as the United States, as most institutions only have club teams.

There are tradeoffs, of course: He’s far away from his mom and his friends back home. The Danish university system is also famously free, and some of his American friends call him crazy for giving that up. But for Rasmus, the chance to pursue glory on the court is worth the cost.

“For me, the USA is the father of basketball. It’s where the highest level of competition is,” he explained.

Kristensen appreciates the challenging nature of his courses, which expect students to be independent. And while many students might not particularly enjoy tests and assignments, Rasmus finds that the grading system lets him know exactly how he’s performing in his class – something he didn’t encounter so much back home.

On campus, he has opted to live in the Student Village, which puts him close to practice, classes and other amenities while providing the “college experience,” he said.

While he’s far away from home, he is finding his place at SUNY Broome, both on the court and off.

“My hometown is 6,000 to 7,000 people. It’s the kind of town where everybody knows everyone,” he said. “I feel the same thing is happening with campus, which is good.”