Welcome to the Dirty T: Alejandro Reguant of Spain came to the UA for tennis, and loves Chipotle

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Tom Price | The Daily Wildcat

Alejandro Reguant, an undeclared freshman, discusses his life here at the UA versus life in Spain on Saturday, Oct. 1. Reguant's time in school at the UA is the longest period he has spent in the U.S.

Joining the Wildcat family all the way from Barcelona, Spain, international student and undeclaired freshman, Alejandro Reguant has a lot of love for his home—but tennis has taken him across the globe.

“Barcelona has a lot of history—there is a lot of monuments and cathedrals,” Reguant said. “I’ve never heard anyone say Barcelona is ugly. It’s a beautiful city, but I knew I wanted to come to the U.S. When I was looking at universities, I had different options because different schools were offering me tennis scholarships, but the UA offered me the best one.”

Despite his plan to attend an American university, similar to many of his friends from home, Reguant expressed his initial apprehensions about the language barrier.

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“I was nervous because I couldn’t speak English like I can now. It was a lot worse when I first came here,” Reguant said. “It was tough for me to understand conversations between friends because they spoke really fast, so it was hard and I was a bit nervous about that. I had an [economics] class where I didn’t understand anything the first day, but now I am getting used to it.”

Reguant said his familiarity with the U.S., as well as frequent traveling, made his transition easier.

“I’ve been to the U.S. four times before, but always with my family,” he said. “I am used to traveling a lot though—around Spain and to different countries around Europe for tennis tournaments. Everything has been pretty much how I expected but better.”

The number of opportunities and facilities available to a student athlete remained one of the largest incentives for Reguant and one of the biggest differences from his home.

“In Barcelona, there are no sports at universities,” Reguant said. “All the facilities they provide you with as an athlete here, you can’t even compare them to what is provided as an athlete in Spain. For example, when I was at school, if you are an athlete and have to travel, they don’t give you any opportunities to help you—if you’re not in class [because of] a match, they fail you.”

The plethora of athletic facilities the UA offers weren’t the only change. The mere layout of the campus provided a learning curve, too.

“[In Spain], one building of the school, perhaps the medicine building, will be [in] one part of the city and then the business school will be in another part,” Reguant said. “Here, everything is all in the same place; it’s like a little town.”

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The geographical differences prevailed as one of many distinctions between European universities and American universities, according to Reguant.

“The other big difference is that you pay a lot here to be in a university—it’s so expensive compared to Barcelona,” Reguant said. “There, the most expensive private universities will cost maximum $9,000 a year and that’s it.

Even with these new changes, Reguant expressed some of his favorites parts of living in the U.S.

“I love Panda Express, but when I am eating it, I feel like I am eating shit. So I prefer Chipotle,” he said. “I love tennis, too, but I mostly love the people. Everyone here is really friendly and it’s so easy to make friends.”

As he settles into his new life, Reguant remained optimistic about his time and future at the UA.

“I want to play in the lineup—I want to play in as many matches as I can,” he said. “I want to do well in tennis. I want to do well in school. My long-term goal is to probably get a degree and be the best tennis player in the history here at the UA.”


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