How Caterina Merged Equestrian and Academics

28/03/20247 minute read
How Caterina Merged Equestrian and Academics

For student athletes, finding the right school can be challenging—a school that not only understands but actively supports the balance between intense training schedules and academic aspirations without making you feel like you've fallen behind in classes. This was the challenge faced by CGA student Caterina, a dedicated equestrian from Romania. Her search led her to Crimson Global Academy (CGA), a turning point that allowed her to pursue her dual aspirations and set her up for success in achieving a Bachelor in Equestrian at Van Hal Larenstein University

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Why Caterina Chose CGA

Before joining CGA, Caterina was primarily homeschooled. As a young student still navigating the complexities of high school, she encountered significant challenges. The absence of a guiding teacher made it particularly tough to manage her workload effectively. This, coupled with the lack of social interactions and the absence of classmates, made her homeschooling experience somewhat isolating.

Caterina and her family were on the lookout for a more structured and interactive educational environment that led her to explore other online schooling options. “The previous online schools that I had found did not have anywhere near a program like CGA does. And I really like that you could choose what type of programme you want to work with, for example, if I wanted to continue doing the A-Levels or if I wanted to go with the American system, that was a very big plus for me.”

Caterina’s commitment to equestrian sports further amplified her need for an educational model that could adapt to her demanding lifestyle. The rigorous schedule of competitions required a schooling solution that was both flexible and accommodating. Caterina found her solution in CGA, "As I started competing more with the horses, it was a very demanding lifestyle with all the competitions, so it was a natural solution for me to turn to an online school, and CGA was just the best option I found for myself."

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The Da Vinci Program: A Turning Point

CGA's Da Vinci program marked a significant shift in Caterina's academic experience. Caterina's passion for horse training required a flexible schedule, something that CGA readily accommodated. She managed her training sessions in the morning and attended her classes in the afternoon, taking advantage of CGA's scheduling flexibility. This unique setup allowed her to maintain her rigorous training schedule while not compromising her academic responsibilities.

The Da Vinci program allowed her to progress at her own pace, excelling in areas of strength and receiving support in others. Her ability to take advanced courses, like calculus, despite a long hiatus from math, and succeed, was a testament to the effectiveness of the Da Vinci courses. Caterina expressed her appreciation for the program's adaptability, "If I wanted to do something more advanced, have fewer classes, or do a bit more on my own, then I could choose the Da Vinci program and tailor my program according to my needs."

Seamless Transition to University Life

Caterina's move to university was smooth, largely due to the independent learning skills and self-discipline she developed at CGA. Contrary to concerns about adjusting to an in-person university environment, she found that her online schooling experience had prepared her well for the autonomy and self-guided study required at the university level. “Having this online school experience where I needed to be a bit more responsible, schedule my own days... made me more responsible. And now that I'm in university, I need no time to adjust.”

Without a clear career path initially, Caterina focused on her strengths and interests while at CGA. Her passion for equestrian sports and a chance discovery of a specialised bachelor's program at Van Hal Larenstein University in Holland led her to pursue equestrian sports and business. “I really didn't know what I wanted to do for university or what I wanted to do in my future at all. I just focused on the things that I knew I was good at…And now I'm studying something that I really like.”

Caterina's Next Steps: Internship and Beyond

Caterina is doing great with her equestrian sports and business studies, excited about diving into real-world experiences. She's lined up for a 10-week internship, a crucial part of her course, where she'll get to work with young horses. "I'm going to be riding young horses and producing young horses, which is something that I've always really wanted to do. That's going to be my internship.”

Beyond the stables, Caterina is exploring marketing as a viable career path. Already gaining experience in this arena through her current job in a transportation company, she sees potential in combining her new skills with her equestrian knowledge. "I'm thinking of mixing these two things," - eyeing the possibility of carving out a niche for herself in equestrian marketing.

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Advice for Athletes Considering Online Education

Caterina understands the unique challenges faced by student athletes, especially the guilt stemming from missing traditional classes for training or competitions and the constant struggle to catch up on lessons. “I think for many people that are athletes, your sport is what makes you happy, so you need to try to find ways around it.” For her, the solution was CGA, where the flexibility of online classes, even on the road to competitions, provided much-needed relief. “If you miss something, everything is directly online. The lessons are recorded, so I would also spend time watching the recordings.”

“At CGA, so many things are offered that are not in a normal school. And for athletes, it's really amazing. It's an amazing system. It really helps you achieve both your academics and your personal goals in whatever sport you're doing, no matter the sport. I think it's really a fundamental system for students that have other passions in their lives that they also want to focus on.”


Speak to an advisor to learn how CGA can put your child on a path to international success.