Freshman college students could be considered in foreign territory their first year away from home.
Swimmer Morgan Timms not only had to change schools but countries as well, and coach Rick Walker said he is is pleased with the progress Timms has made in her adaptation.
“What I look for is whether or not they are adjusting well, and she shows every indication that she has made a smooth transition,” he said.
Timms, who was born in Brisbane, Australia, came to SIU in the fall of 2012.
“When I first got here I didn’t know what to expect, especially with the transition, but I have really enjoyed my time here,” she said.
Timms began to make friends
among her teammates, and she said they helped her adjust quickly. She said she’s thankful for everything they did for her when she got to the states.
“Everyone has been very welcoming, Hannah Pinion and Charlotte Davies let me into their home when I first got here, which is something I value so much,” she said. “I am super grateful for everything that Rick Walker has done, too. Everyone has been great.”
Timms had to adjust to different time zones, seasons and weather when she came to the U.S. Swimming is also quite different in the U.S. than it is in Australia.
“I’m used to a 50-meter pool, which is a lot longer than this one at SIU, but overall it has been a positive change,” she said.
The university’s swim team features 18 international students combined on both the men’s and women’s teams.
Chris Gaffney, a graduate assistant swim coach and former swim team member, believes the teams’ diversity helps students adapt.
“We have a lot of international students here, they all have their adjustment period that they have to go through,” he said. “All our new athletes, especially Morgan, have done a great job.”