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#MyMessage — Rose Aschebrock

Meet Rose Aschebrock, a writing and magazine journalism senior from New Zealand.

Before coming to college, Rose Aschebrock’s only experience in the United States was a layover on her flight to England.

During the few hours Aschebrock spent stranded in LAX, the teenage New Zealander quickly noticed American sporting culture ­­— a spirited phenomenon unfamiliar to her native country.

Aschebrock had all but forgotten the competitive sports rivalries she’d witnessed on TV, in apparel and during conversations in America, until she began thinking about a secondary education.

Check out #MyMessage for more stories about SU international students.

As she approached high school graduation, Aschebrock faced a troubling dilemma. The dedicated female rower was forced to decide between trying out for the nation’s Olympic crew team and attending New Zealand’s leading university. If she chose to get a degree in her home country, she would be forfeiting her athletic aspirations altogether.

“In New Zealand, that varsity level just doesn’t exist,” Aschebrock said.

In order to pursue both goals, Aschebrock accepted an offer to join the Syracuse University women’s rowing team and continue her education abroad.

“My mom was convinced this whole thing was a scam,” she said, laughing. “She made my dad come over with me to just make sure I wasn’t going to be taken by somebody at the airport.”

After more than two years at SU, Aschebrock said she is certain she made the right choice. Her teammates have provided a sort of American family, she said, to help lessen the burden of being so far from home.

Now a junior studying magazine journalism and writing while training year round, Aschebrock strives to live by her parent’s motto:

“Shoot for the moon, and if you can’t reach you’ll land among the stars.”

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