FIFA Women’s World Cup offers students unique learning experience in Australia

Sixteen Quinnipiac students and two faculty members will have a unique perspective of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and everything Australia has to offer.

Hillary Haldane, professor of anthropology, and Molly Yanity, professor and chair of journalism, have both published research on the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the past and are leading the trip.

The students will be in Sydney, Australia through August 3 and will not only watch the soccer matches, but will also study political and cultural issues in the countries hosting matches. While there, students will also meet with a member of the Australian Parliament alongside international journalists who will be covering the games.

For one student, the trip resonated with her on a personal level.

“Growing up as a queer woman who loved baseball and hockey, I never quite felt like I belonged,” said Jen Moglia ’24, MS ’25. “As I’ve gotten older and realized that working in sports media was a potential career I’d be interested in, I’ve grown even more passionate about this intersection. This course and trip combine my two minors perfectly and I think it will inform my future career path greatly as I am super passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion in the context of sports fandom and media coverage."

Other students are set to explore untraditional areas relating to their desired professions.

“In addition to soccer, we’ll also get the opportunity to visit aboriginal sites and talk with political figures and people in the media,” said Aine Clarke ’24, MAT ’25. “I am not going into a field relating to any of those topics, but I can surely take away a lot and relate that to my career. What makes a good teacher is a well-rounded individual who wants their students to learn. By traveling to new parts of the world and experiencing things I was previously unfamiliar with, I am gathering new knowledge that I can pass down to my future students.”

Anna Costello ’25, DOT ’27, who is a member of Quinnipiac’s soccer team, is excited to become more well-rounded as a result of the games.

“I am in the occupational therapy doctorate program so this specific course about women in sports media doesn’t perfectly align with my other ones,” she said. “However, I believe in a well-rounded education that connects you with many different paths. These paths include learning more about your personal interests. For me, soccer has always been a big part of my life and understanding more behind the women’s game, in soccer and other sports, is important to help end gender-based bias in different realms of the world.”

The students have a full and exciting itinerary while in Sydney, Australia, they explained.

“We have a pretty packed schedule,” said Clarke. “Each day we will have breakfast where we are staying then will go out for the day. On game days, we’ll walk to the stadium, which is about a 40-minute walk, and on days when there aren’t games, we’ll head to our activity. Some of the things planned include the Sydney Harbor Tour, the Bondee to Coogee walk, the Convict Museum and much more. We have about two hours of exercise and running time built into each day as well. For the most part, we are on our own for lunch and dinner so that’ll be a great time to explore some of the area or hang out with classmates and make a meal together.”

Students on the trip say they are experiencing the sports culture aboard.

“I am most excited to experience other sports cultures and compare it to my own,” said Connor Youngberg ’25. “Having not been a huge travel person before this trip, I pretty exclusively have only been exposed to the sports scene in the tri-state area. I'm looking forward to seeing how die-hard fans from around the globe are.”

Costello shares Youngberg’s excitement for being exposed to the high-level, competitive sports scene — given her own soccer experience.

“Being an athlete gives me a different point of view on big events like this,” she said. “I have a deep understanding of what it takes to play at this level, including all the sacrifices that the players are making to represent their country. I understand the drive and the struggles many of them face. For any young soccer player like me, these are the women you’ve looked up to for years to give you that extra push in training or to change lifestyle habits to make it to the next level. It makes my dreams seem possible to know they were once in the same shoes as me.”

Students on the trip look forward to learning more, being inspired and fostering a sense of new knowledge abroad, they said.

“I am super stoked to lose my voice cheering for the teams but even more excited to be doing it with some of my best friends,” said Costello.

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