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York College International Student Finds his Niche in Sport Management

Photo of Tobias on the sport field with two YCP employees
Tobias Hofinger (left)

While many people are drawn to York College of Pennsylvania for its small class size and close-knit campus, Tobias Hofinger finds York College to be much larger than his school back in Austria. 

Tobias Hofinger took up to 50,000 photos capturing images from six sporting events at York College of Pennsylvania. While he’s still trying to figure out the rules of field hockey—a sport he’d never seen in his home country of Austria—the Sport Management major is overwhelmed with the opportunities he’s found at YCP.

“I really appreciate the chance to learn and gain experience here,” he says. “With all the changes in the world lately, I wasn’t even sure study abroad would be a possibility for me. I was excited to be able to come to York College.”

Hofinger is a student at the University of Applied Sciences in Kufstein, Austria, where he studies Sports Culture and Event Management. He’ll graduate this coming spring in Austria. An essential part of his degree is a semester studying abroad, which takes place during the fifth semester of education.

The list of universities and colleges to attend abroad can include nearly 200 locations, but COVID-19 limited many of those choices. York College was just one of two choices in the United States, Hofinger’s preferred country of travel.

When he arrived in late August, he had only three days to adjust to his new environment before starting classes. Once the semester got underway, though, he dove right into the opportunities York College provided.

A Sport Management experience

While the classes he’s taken at York College are similar to those in Austria, there are differences in other areas. For example, Hofinger says his university is housed in one building. And a shuttle service on the campus of York College was challenging to him at first.

While many people choose to attend York College because of its small class size and close-knit campus, Hofinger believes it’s all about perspective. In addition to finding the campus to be larger than he expected, he discovered a sport program unlike anything that exists back home.

Hofinger can often be seen in the Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center, where he’s found the hands-on experience that has impacted him the most. He works with the Athletic Communications Office, where he’s fine-tuning his sport media skills, primarily doing photography.

“I’m really impressed with the level of professionalism here,” Hofinger says. “There is a huge difference in athletics for us back home. We don’t have any sort of sport team at our university. Here, every game is broadcast. There are so many statistics. It’s a completely different opportunity.”

A hope to return

While Hofinger returned to Austria before the end of 2021, he hopes one day he’ll return to the United States. Some of his professional experience in Austria has been as a content creator in the tennis industry, but he sees the opportunities that the United States provides in collegiate sports.

“My experience at York College showed me the possibilities of a career in sports,” he says. “I’m taking home a lot of great impressions, but I hope that’s not the end.”