HOMETOWN: RICHMOND HILL, ONTARIO
SOPHOMORE AT MANHATTANVILLE COLLEGE IN PURCHASE, NEW YORK
How was your transition coming from Canada to the United States? Why did you choose to study here?
The transition was very easy for me. Joining the hockey team helped because there were other players in the same situation as me. The coaching staff showed an interest in me and that made me feel comfortable to move here. I chose to study here because playing NCAA hockey gives a better opportunity to continue your playing career even after school, which is better than the opportunities that a Canadian university would have given me.
What’s your major and why did you choose it?
I chose to major in Finance because I love money and this career choice lets me deal with money all day every day!
Why did you pick to study at Manhattanville?
I picked Manhattanville because of the instant connection I felt with the hockey coaching staff. Once that relationship was established, I then got really excited to know that New York City was a 20-minute train ride from campus.
The connections I can make through my studies and being close to this world-class city made it hard to resist. I also enjoy the privacy we get to enjoy on campus. We can enjoy the big city but also live just outside it, where the streets and sidewalks aren’t as hectic as the city.
What’s the most difficult thing you’ve had to adjust to?
If I had to pick one thing, it would be food. I’m fortunate enough to have a father of Italian descent and a mother of Greek descent who are both great cooks, so sometimes I miss home-cooked meals. However, I’ve adjusted to the cafeteria.
Do you ever feel homesick?
I don’t feel homesick but only because this is my fourth year living away from home. I used to play junior hockey away from home, so I’ve gotten over the home-sick phase. I get to visit home over Christmas break though.
Ontario's Matthew Lippa, a varsity player at Manhattanville College, has been playing ice hockey since he was 7.
What’s one of the best experiences you’ve had here?
I’ve had a lot of great experiences, but I think the best would be waking up every day and going to hockey practice with my teammates and then going to class with them. These people become more than a team or peers, they become your brothers.
When did you start playing hockey?
I started ice skating at the age of 4 and fell in love with it right away. I started playing competitive ice hockey in a league at the age of 7.
How do you spend your free time when not at the rink?
I spend my time playing video games or being outdoors as much as possible. I like playing other sports like basketball, soccer and baseball. Of course you have to find time for homework, so time management is something important to me that I’ve definitely been working on.
Reid Castle, built in 1892, is the face of Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. (Credit: Manhattanville College)
What’s your favorite place on campus?
The castle. It’s really nice to walk through it and see all the history it has behind it. I am lucky I get to attend a school that has so much history for me to learn from. My favorite thing about Manhattanville is the atmosphere of the small setting and just how comfortable it is to live here.
Do you have any jobs or internships?
I don’t have any jobs or internships, but I’m hoping to get one soon. My future plans after I graduate are to see what happens with hockey first. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll be happy in the Business/Finance field.
How did you feel about the U.S. presidential election?
As a Canadian, I know how important American politics are to my home nation just north of the border. The coverage in Canada was wall-to-wall. Unfortunately, this election seemed to produce more headlines for the entertainment section rather than the politics section. I just hope the president puts the people first.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to an international student who wants to study in the United States?
Make the most of the opportunity you have been given. They are four very fast years. The people you meet are from all over the world and will probably be your lifelong friends. Use these connections to better your future and open doors for you after you graduate. Also, the more friends you have around the world, the easier it is to travel and visit them.