The first time, I changed my mind about coming to the USA. I recommend everyone to seek advice before studying.

Marek Totušek

I considered the option of studying in the USA for a relatively long time because last year I had already agreed with Penn State University, everything was already arranged. In the end, I got cold feet and did not fly to America. This year I considered offers from five universities, and one of them was from Savannah College of Art and Design. They offered me a full scholarship, so I thought it would be a shame if I didn't try. So I went for it.

When I was deciding, the individual universities' fencing program was obviously important to me. The fencing program here in Atlanta is relatively new, but there is an excellent coach and an international team, so the team has a lot of competition. Furthermore, I could choose the Film and Television program here, which intrigued me, so the choice was simple.

Last year I probably did not start studying in the USA because I was arranging the entire admission process myself and was very nervous about it. This time I had the opportunity to contact Irena Gillarova before my trip, who helped me a lot by calming me down. I would definitely recommend to anyone, who wants to study in America, to discuss it with someone who has experience with the American university system beforehand.

The university program will certainly also help me in my future fencing career, just by preparing with an excellent coach. Furthermore, I feel that the change of environment will also help, because I trained in Italy for the last two years and felt that I needed a change that would move me forward again. And mainly thanks to the strong competition and the facilities, because we have everything we need at the university.

The fencing level is also very high in universities because at large world events, fencers who study or have passed through the American university system compete there. After all, this path is also interesting for fencers from large fencing countries. Specifically, our team includes Belarusians, Russians, and even a guy from Taiwan. Such an experience is really priceless and I would recommend it to every athlete.

Furthermore, fencing is a relatively small sport in the Czech Republic, so elite fencers need foreign coaches and sparring, so we must travel abroad for training. The Czech fencing environment is limited and does not offer the possibilities that American universities do. So it is a great opportunity for young fencers to gain new experience and take their careers to the next level.

I'm glad to see the level rising because we have talented kids who work hard and constantly strive to improve. I hope my decision to study in the USA has motivated other Czech fencers by showing them another interesting path. If anyone dreams of studying in the USA, then they have a better chance thanks to fencing.

So if anyone has similar ambitions, I would recommend everyone to train hard, focus on development, and also communicate with foreign coaches at training camps outside the Czech Republic, because interesting contacts always help in the future.