Loughborough University in Loughborough, England is quickly becoming the most popular destination for NCAA swimmers who want to continue their academic and athletic careers without the means to in the US. Whereas many NCAA teams in the US have postgrads, the emphasis usually stays on the undergrad team, with the postgrads doing the same kind of training they had been previously while trying to navigate their budding professional careers in and out of the pool.
After getting a first-hand look at Loughborough, it’s easy to see why one might take the leap across the pond. Academically, they offer the option to pursue a master’s degree part-time (an option not typically offered in the US) for a much more affordable price than many NCAA Universities. Athletically, their training groups are small and elite, allowing for more individualized training opportunities with an emphasis on international high performance. We’ve seen 4 NCAA champions in the last 3 years take this option (Andreas Vazaios of NC State, Louise Hansson of Southern California, Felix Auboeck of Michigan, and incoming Sophie Hansson of NC State) and that could be just the beginning.