Aiman Benabid is now playing Division 1 Men’s Soccer at Coastal Carolina University in the USA whilst studying for a BA in Political Science.
We caught up with Aiman to find out more about his time at The Henley College.
“I came to The Henley College in 2018 to study A-Levels in Politics, Business and Geography, and to participate in the Elite Football Development programme alongside my studies. It was the best decision I could have made as I absolutely loved it!
My first impression was that it was quite different from secondary school. You are treated much more like an adult and have to be independent in your studies. With that said, I was very impressed with the level of support from staff if you asked for it – especially from my tutor Jay.
I chose to come to The Henley College as I felt it provided the best pathway for me to continue my education and football at the same time. I joined The Henley College’s full time football programme which has been extremely important in my development on the field and off as the tough schedule of balancing a sport and academic studies helped prepare me for life as a D1 Soccer player. Not many other colleges offer the opportunity to do a sport with A-Levels so that really helped me make up my mind.
I knew since I was a child that I wanted to be in the US, I used to visit a lot and absolutely loved it! I have also always loved playing football and out of all the subjects I have studied, Politics was my absolute favourite; doing what I am doing now has combined the three things I enjoy and have wanted to do the most!
My plans for the near future are to make the starting line-up for our games every time! Moving further into the future I want to complete my degree with the highest grade (a 4.0 GPA) and potentially see where Soccer takes me in the US. If not, I would love to go into Politics – the position of campaign manager fascinates me.
The Henley College was fundamental to my growth as a person, soccer player and student. Through combining studying and sports, I learned to manage time effectively and the extra independence taught me to deal with things myself and be proactive. I also got to meet a lot of people from different backgrounds which I believe made me a more well-rounded person. In short, The Henley College helped me transition from being a kid, to an adult.
My advice to students choosing what to do after GCSEs is don’t pick a course or a future for the sole person of money, pressure or to be with your friends. Pick something you enjoy doing, when things start to get a bit harder, the enjoyment will help you power through."