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Meet Statesman Scholar Rodrigo Carvalho

The distance between Lisbon, Portugal and South Prince George, Virginia is 3,628 miles. For Honors Student and men’s soccer player Rodrigo Carvalho, who hails from Portugal’s capital and largest city, acclimating to the rural Richard Bland College campus and more serene pace the area provides was a seamless transition.

A star in both the classroom and on the field, Carvalho is among a growing number of International students choosing Richard Bland to begin their college careers. This season alone, Carvalho is joined by nine other foreign players on the Statesmen soccer team, representing countries such as Brazil, El Salvador, Argentina and Brazil.

While he shines on the soccer pitch as a defender and hopes to continue his intercollegiate playing career next year at William & Mary, he excels in the classroom as one of the top academic performers on campus.

“The opportunity to mix academics and soccer, along with the connection RBC has with other 4-year institutions, particularly William & Mary, made it the best academic option among the schools I was considering,” Carvalho says. The second year student has adeptly balanced an arduous course load and intercollegiate athletics, serving as a role model for fellow students. “I focus on being a student first and complete my work as early as possible, which leaves plenty of time for practice and games,” he says. “My organization is very good and I use all hours in the day for my classes and soccer.”

It’s Carvalho’s attention to detail that has enabled him to thrive in a new academic environment and culture. “In Europe we have a different teaching method and system,” he says, “but compared to the colleges I was considering, Richard Bland is at a strong level and provides a great learning experience.”

Carvalho, like his fellow Honors Students on campus, feels a connection to the program that challenges them to be their best academically every day. “To be an Honors Student is a privilege,” he explains. “We are distinguished by the effort we put into the classroom, so being in the program motivates me and reinforces the commitment needed to keep focused on academics.”

A common thread that runs through exemplary students on the Richard Bland College campus is the ability to balance work and extra curricular activities such as playing on a top-caliber soccer team, and prioritize each day’s workload. “I try to do my work as early as possible, I don’t complete my assignments at the time they’re do,” Carvalho says. “It’s important to be organized, keep things simple and use all hours of the day wisely.”

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