Sean Backer is 19 years old and was born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is currently studying as a freshman at the University of La Verne in California, USA.  

Cultivating His Passion for Science and Biology

With a strong interest in science and medicine, Sean had a science-centred curriculum during high school - one of the most demanding secondary curriculum in Sweden. Initially, the workload was very challenging for Sean, but as a determined student he eventually learned to manage the hard work and time schedules.

Sean is pursuing a biology major at the University of La Verne, as he would like to eventually work in the field of medicine. “Being able to make a difference in the medical field and working to provide a good standard of healthcare for everyone is my ambition,” he says.

La Verne

Applying to La Verne

American football has been a large part of Sean’s life and he has always dreamed of being able to compete at a college level. Sean was interested in the football program at La Verne and after speaking to the coaches, he was impressed with their devotion to hard-work and achievement. He also chatted with a few professors from the school and realised that this determined culture was evident academically as well. This combination was very appealing to Sean and he decided to apply for admission to the University of La Verne.

 La Verne

Settling in as an International Student

La Verne, California is a tranquil suburb of Los Angeles, only a short 30 minute drive away from the city’s downtown area. Here, students enjoy the best of both worlds – they reside in a close-knit, beautiful campus community but can also reach the bright lights and excitement of L.A. in well under an hour.

Despite its attractive location, it was still difficult for Sean to leave everyone he knows behind in Sweden, to live in a place where he does not know anyone. Being involved in athletics helped Sean overcome his homesickness. “Playing football has given me a brotherhood that I can always trust, and eventually they helped me feel at home here in La Verne,” Sean says. The coaches at University of La Verne are very professional and are there to mentor and guide athletes through the challenges of balancing school and sports. “Taking part in a sport on a college level can be very demanding, but the reward and the assurance that the coaches always have your back is invaluable,” he explains.

Besides football, Sean is also a member of the International Student Organisation (ISO) on campus. He further explains that the school practices a freshman “flex” system which allows students to have their classes with the same group of people. This practice helps you get closer to your classmates.

 La Verne

In the Classroom and Beyond

Sean enjoys studying biology at the University of La Verne; there are always interesting projects and events happening in class. “For instance, we have field trips, dissections and experiments twice a week. I have been provided with an environment where practical, hands-on learning is central,” he says. He travelled with the university to the Galapagos Islands, which he labels as one of the greatest experiences of his life.

 La Verne

School Strengths

Sean comments that the university’s greatest strength is its tight-knit community. The small undergraduate body allows students to make close connections to professors and other students. Knowing the faculty and staff personally is incredibly valuable, as they aid students in finding internships, graduate programs and research projects.

The academic and athletic programs at University of La Verne put a great emphasis on accountability. They teach students to be responsible, to do what needs to be done and to be proud of their work. “Ultimately, a sense of accountability is the key to being successful,” Sean says.

If you are interested in finding out more information about the University of La Verne, visit their SchoolApply profile and apply now!