Rebeka Róth BF ’25 spent her summer analyzing performance data to help professional soccer teams in Europe make decisions about recruiting and transferring players. The internship was a particularly perfect fit for Róth, who plays on the Yale women’s soccer team and was an All-Ivy Second Team selection in 2022.
“I was their first employee who was in their database as a player,” Róth says. “It was a really great experience and they helped me figure out that this is what I want to do in the long run—play professional soccer, and then stay in the soccer business as a data analyst for a professional club, many of which already actively use data analysis for scouting.”
Róth, who hails from Budapest, Hungary, had never been to the United States before coming to Yale as a first-year. But her drive to pursue academic and athletic excellence helped her overcome any nerves about moving continents.
“I knew that if I wanted to continue both my educational and soccer careers at the highest possible level, I had to come to the United States,” Róth says. “I started reaching out to different schools, and when my current coach at Yale replied to my email, I was so happy. It was surreal that someone from Yale even emailed me back, let alone showed interest in recruiting me to the team. I didn’t really believe it was real until I stepped foot on campus.”
A scholarship was key in bringing Róth’s Yale dream to life.
“Financial aid made Yale’s world class education accessible to me,” she says, noting that without student support, moving to the other side of the world to pursue these passions would not have been possible for her.
Róth’s teammates helped her find her footing at Yale, and now as a junior, she’s helped welcome other Hungarian students to campus.
“The first year was pretty hard being far from home for the first time, and I was the only Hungarian student in Yale College,” Róth says. “But there are a few Hungarian students here now, and we’ve started a Hungarian student group where we get together at least once a month. It’s a really nice feeling just to speak Hungarian and connect with other people from home.”
English is Róth’s third language, and she only learned English as a foreign language, never the primary language of instruction in school.
When she first arrived on campus, transitioning to an all-English education was challenging. In the beginning, long readings in English took longer to parse, and fast-moving seminar conversations made her reluctant to participate. But quickly, speaking and learning in English became second nature.
“In the beginning, it was hard to show my whole personality because I was much quieter due to the language barrier,” Róth says. “I had to arrive to a point where I didn’t care if my English was perfect. It helped me feel much more confident.”
Also adding to her confidence was her success on the soccer field.
“I’m just so happy every time I play, even if it’s just practice or a pickup game,” Róth says. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”