EVANSVILLE — As a child rising up in Denmark, Markus Poulsen remembers the primary visuals he had of what the US was like. He noticed it in motion pictures. Movies had been typically performed on tv with Danish voices dubbed over the American actors in order that they might perceive what was occurring.
When he arrived on campus on the College of Southern Indiana in 2017, it felt like he was watching a kind of movement footage once more. Regardless that this primary go to to USI wasn’t his preliminary journey to the US, there was one thing completely different about this location. One thing particular that he felt instantly.
He was prepared for his journey to make an prolonged keep in Indiana.
“Coming to Evansville, the primary time I drove on to the campus I feel that was the second I knew,” Poulsen mentioned. “Coming in on College Boulevard and you see the College of Southern Indiana signal, it’s like this little oasis or paradise.
“On this large metropolis, with all these companies and eating places and vehicles and folks, there’s this little college with all these college students, academics and folks simply from the group. I could not be happier that it is my dwelling.”
Poulsen has skilled tradition shock. Many instances in truth. However that may occur if you’ve visited greater than 30 completely different nations earlier than the age of 25.
The previous soccer participant turned cross nation athlete spent his youth at faculties throughout the globe whereas his dad and mom jobs took them in all places. This is how his journey led him to Evansville, Indiana.
Rising up in Denmark, transferring to Asia
Poulsen was born in Rødovre, a suburb of Copenhagen, the place he and his household lived till he was eight years outdated. His father, Mikkjal, labored within the oil discipline coping with the transportation of oil and constructing rigs. Because of the nature of his job which requires him to do pickups everywhere in the world, the household must transfer round typically.
One of many first locations Poulsen recollects his dad getting moved to was Singapore. His dad then received posted in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. As a freshman in a global faculty there, his soccer abilities began to shine by. In the future, an teacher informed them in regards to the alternatives they might have by furthering their soccer profession.
“The college took about 12 of us varsity athletes, put us in a room, and confirmed us this PowerPoint slideshow of faculty sports activities in the US,” Poulsen mentioned. “I used to be solely 14 or 15, I had by no means heard of this earlier than. I knew then it was a chance for us. I had a shot.”
After spending his first two years of worldwide faculty in Thailand, Poulsen’s household moved to Busan, South Korea. Sadly, there wasn’t a lot of a chance to proceed his soccer objectives. There was solely a small group of worldwide college students and if he wished to play, he was going to must play for Korean golf equipment the place the language barrier would’ve been troublesome.
The choice was made to return to Denmark for his remaining two years of highschool. However it could be completely different this time. He’d must go to boarding faculty referred to as Birkerød Gymnasium as a global pupil. In his own residence nation.
“I did a baccalaureate program in Denmark at an All-English talking highschool mixed with an all-Danish talking highschool. The native metropolis membership there was hooked up to the Danish a part of the highschool,” Poulsen mentioned. “I used to be the one oddball on the workforce. They knew I used to be a global pupil however I may communicate Danish with them as a result of I used to be simply as Danish as they had been.”
First style of faculty soccer
Wherever Poulsen went, he at all times had guardians there to take care of him. Simply in case his dad and mom weren’t there with him or one thing occurred and he wanted help.
Initially of his junior 12 months at boarding faculty, the guardians who had been presently taking care of him determined to assist him out together with his dream of taking part in collegiate soccer. They began filming his video games so he may present potential coaches his abilities.
“I might undergo and edit the movies of myself. After my senior 12 months, I posted a video on YouTube and I might write to coaches and inform them to please have a look at my video,” Poulsen mentioned. ” I’d say I’m a Danish athlete however I communicate English. I can settle in fast, I am not going to be an issue youngster for you mainly.”
The primary faculty he received an electronic mail from was Goldey-Beacom School, an NCAA Division II faculty in Wilmington, Delaware who performs within the Central Atlantic Collegiate Convention. His dad and mom spent every week with him there after transferring him in however then they had been off to Latvia, his father’s latest work location. After that, the alternatives to see his household had been few and much between.
He spent one season there the place he performed in 17 matches as a defender whereas scoring two objectives and serving to lead the Lightning to a 9-7-2 report. After the season was over, he frolicked speaking to some alumni from this system to see the place that they had landed. It was then that he had a sense he wanted to go elsewhere.
“A lot of alumni had been both working at native locations like Walmart or banks and I felt there wouldn’t be a lot there for me after faculty by way of my diploma,” mentioned Poulsen. “I talked to my dad and plenty of his colleagues, despite the fact that they had been in transport fields, had engineering levels. That is the place I began trying.”
The choice to return to USI
When he knew what discipline he wished to enter, he began looking out Google for Division II faculties that provided levels with civil engineering packages that had been nationally ranked by way of their soccer program. There have been three faculties that stood out instantly — Lynn College in Florida, Gannon School in Pennsylvania and the College of Southern Indiana.
There was an fascinating hyperlink between USI and Goldey-Beacom School that led him to look extra into the Screaming Eagles.
“The present coach at USI, Mat Santoro, coached my head coach at Goldey-Beacom (Ryan Dixon) throughout his early days (at Rowan College),” Poulsen mentioned. “That was the loopy hyperlink — such a small world, like how does that even work?”
After the primary dialog with Santoro, Poulsen was flown to Evansville to get his first glimpse of the USI campus. He can nonetheless vividly recall what he noticed and the way it took him hardly any time in any respect to fall in love with the place.
They confirmed him a presentation and gave him a tour of all the completely different amenities and buildings on the campus. He knew he needed to keep right here.
“I got here from a one-building faculty. I imply, it was tiny. I used to be shocked that this place existed and that they wished me,” Poulsen mentioned. “I received on the airplane instantly after assembly with him and I assumed, ‘I am going there, it doesn’t matter what.’ That is how I ended up right here.”
Civil engineering — what led him on that path
Whereas the facet of taking part in collegiate soccer for a powerful Screaming Eagles program attracted him to USI, it was additionally one of the best place for him to concentrate on his future profession path.
He turned intrigued with setting off on this path due to his father. His dad grew up within the Faroe Islands, a small territory throughout the Kingdom of Denmark. The prime trade there may be transport and fishing so many of the Poulsen household has set off on that path.
His father began out engaged on ships after which went to navigation faculties. Regardless that he by no means completed highschool, he ended up working his approach up from the underside as a catfish fisherman all the best way to a CEO in Denmark due to his 30 years of expertise.
“His colleagues had been all very educated. They’d come and eat dinner with us and they’d have all these loopy tales about civil engineering,” Poulsen mentioned. “They mentioned you will need to have a love for math and science and I used to be like yup, that is me. I took superior science and math lessons in highschool so it was virtually excellent.”
Whereas Poulsen was keen on that discipline, he does not need to comply with the identical precise path his father had with transport. He desires to concentrate on extra of the design facet and construct buildings and stadiums and different massive initiatives.
He is grateful to get the early expertise he is wanted at USI.
“I do not know the place precisely I will find yourself however I am hoping to work on these large five-year initiatives all over the world. Proper now, I am designing concrete constructions utilizing a 3D program and that is hopefully the beginning of one thing that’ll get me into the development space of issues,” Poulsen mentioned. “I need to construct my very own base and basis.”
Altering sports activities, making ready for future
Poulsen’s 2019 season with the USI soccer workforce was his remaining 12 months of collegiate soccer. He wrapped up his profession with the Screaming Eagles by beginning in all 19 matches as a senior and likewise earned the Council of Presidents Educational Excellence Award. He was additionally an Educational All-GLVC choice all three years at USI.
Resulting from his switch from Goldey-Beacom and the change in majors, there was a giant distinction within the lessons he needed to take and the switch credit he had out there. So whereas the 2019 12 months was his senior season, eligibility-wise he’s a fifth-year senior.
Whereas he did not have any eligibility left for soccer, the NCAA permits you to choose up a fifth 12 months of eligibility should you change sports activities. That is when Poulsen started to check out USI’s Cross Nation and Monitor and Subject program.
“As a substitute of simply going to class and going to gymnasium often, I assumed why not take my working skills from soccer and check out observe,” Poulsen mentioned. “My girlfriend (Megan Wagler) can also be a walk-on runner at USI, we each began final Christmas, and we have been working with these loopy athletes. It’s kind of of a problem that we’re giving ourselves however its been good up to now.”
Sadly, Poulsen was unable to compete this fall throughout the cross nation season as he handled a herniated disc in his again. It occurred one week earlier than he was slated to compete in his first occasion of the season.
The excellent news is that Poulsen’s working profession at USI is not over but. He’ll be competing with the Screaming Eagles observe and discipline workforce as a brief to center distance runner this spring and also will have the ability to run for the cross nation workforce subsequent fall in his remaining semester on the college.
Rising up, Poulsen admits that his childhood aim concerned taking part in soccer. However he is realized now what his true calling is and he is aware of that USI has helped put together him for his profession.
“I do know that my boyhood dream was to at all times be an expert soccer participant however as I received older, I noticed that desires form of die out a bit. It was form of unhappy but it surely made me understand there’s plenty of different desires I’ve,” Poulsen mentioned. “I’m trying ahead to seeing how all my efforts sooner or later will probably be price it.”
Contact Courier & Press sports activities reporter Hendrix Magley by way of electronic mail at email@example.com or by way of Twitter @TweetsOfHendrix.