On Oct. 18, the University Athletes without Borders group held its first meeting to provide a space for international student-athletes to voice their concerns, hold events, and share their cultures. Co-founders Anastasia Sia ’25 and Sancho Moroto Tobias ’24 are looking to organize events about every three weeks to gather students with these shared identities.

Sia noted that although “there are already international student clubs on campus, I believe that a club welcoming specifically international athletes would be a very beneficial addition to the Brandeis Athletics program.” This group provides a safe space for students with these intersecting identities to mentor and support each other. More goals for the group that Sia mentioned were to reach out to incoming international athletes before their arrival on campus, getting in touch with them about their move to Brandeis and then helping them acclimate to campus.

The group is currently trying to get chartered through the Student Union in order to get more funds to support the club. Sia remembers that “from my own experience, and from that of fellow international athletes I have gotten to know while at Brandeis, the demands of both academics and sports can be overwhelming. Particularly while being away from home, unable to return home for certain breaks because of practices and games, and the general culture shock upon arrival at Brandeis that can feel very isolating at times. Even though Brandeis has done a great job in welcoming and supporting athletes overall, we believe that providing a space for international athletes who share this experience to meet, voice their experiences, and offer support to one another would enhance not only their experiences but also team dynamics.”

Not only will this group serve as a safe space for international student-athletes to come together, but it should also be able to host fundraisers for causes at sporting events and have community potluck dinners. Working through the culture shock for international student-athletes is a difficult task, and Athletes without Borders is attempting to take the next steps to break the ice and help comfort and support these students.