International Student Hones Coaching Skills Abroad
For Bao “Terry” Cao ’19, a double major in sociology and sport management from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, coming to UMass Amherst marked the first time he had lived in another country. Within a year, however, he had settled in and decided he was ready for his next cross-cultural adventure: a UMass Amherst study-abroad program.
He was not disappointed in his choice: “Studying abroad completely changed me,” Cao says.
He opted to study at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. A passionate soccer player, coach, and fan, Cao thought the English city would align well with his academics and personal interests. “Being a soccer guy, it was a perfect fit for me,” says Cao, who spent the
2016–2017 academic year in Manchester.
While there, Cao enrolled in a number of courses that fulfilled his UMass General Education requirements and electives that allowed him to stay on track to graduate with his two majors.
At Manchester, Cao attended a soccer match at Old Trafford, home of the legendary Manchester United Football Club, where he described the atmosphere as “absolutely surreal.”
His coaching experience in Manchester gave Cao the opportunity to develop and implement his own style, which he has since applied to a soccer coaching company he founded in his home
country. “Our philosophy is that we don’t do anything that is unrealistic and that doesn’t show up in a real game,” he says. “We focus predominantly on letting kids play matches.” —Sean Gordon