Youth soccer continues to gain popularity in the United States and many players are looking to compete at higher levels. However, the level of competition available in the U.S. still lags behind that in Europe, South America, and the U.K. Parents that are looking to give their kids a far more competitive experience than they can get in the states are looking more closely at overseas soccer camps. Immersive opportunities are regarded by many as the best way for youngsters to expand both their athletic skills as well as their cultural horizons. The International Fútbol X-Change offers exchanges to England, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Brazil for its participants.
INTERNATIONAL FÚTBOL X-CHANGE (IFX)
This exchange program was founded in 2003 by Michael Carlson. Currently, exchange programs with local clubs are offered in England, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Brazil. These programs allow participants to live with a host family while competing at a high level. Local clubs provide the opportunity for FIFA endorsed competition while allowing exchange students to be a member of a foreign club team for an entire season. Once all restrictions and regulations have been met, the players become fully registered FIFA competitors. The local clubs compete at a high level and will provide the participants a substantial competitive edge when they return to their home countries.
Many international programs and academies offer training but are not focused on the club system. Additionally, these programs are set up in academy style residences that do not always offer a high level of exposure to the home country’s culture. In addition to the high level of training that they could receive with many international programs, the IFX participants are exposed to competition at the club level.
IFX is different from other soccer academies in that the youngsters are placed with a local club with which they will play for a full season. Players will increase their language skill and gain a broad level of cultural appreciation due to the immersive style of the program. Living with a host family will make it easier to forge lasting friendships with their teammates and gain a true understanding of what high-level European competition entails. The players become full members of a local club and will train and compete with their teams for an entire season.
Participants can expect to have a more immersive experience than typical overseas soccer camps due to the immersive nature of the IFX program. This program is ideal for young players that want to continue their development above and beyond what may currently be available in the United States. The European club system is renowned for its top-level training and the high standard of competition. Competitive players must expand their training to reach the next level.
If your family is looking for a fully immersive international soccer exchange program, IFX is definitely one to check out. In addition to the soccer expertise that participants will gain, the program will also instill many important life lessons. As a true exchange program different from overseas soccer camps, IFX will introduce its players to life abroad.