Photo by: Ken Munoz, @ascender.productions.
Ella Berge with other international students on the basketball team. Photo by: Ken Munoz, @ascender.productions.
Ella Berge (center) with her roommates Caroline Gomes and Lena Nalchigar, at HPU's 2023 Spring Graduation. Photo provided by Ella Berge.
The Basketball team members on their trip to San Francisco, California. Photo provided by Ella Berge.
Basketball team members, attending the 2023 Sharky's Athletic Dinner. Photo provided by Ella Berge.
Ella Berge, an international business major, is in her final semester at HPU. Not only is she a key player on the HPU Women’s Basketball team, but she is also gaining career experience as a student worker in the Advancement office. Originally from Stockholm, Sweden, Berge reflected over the last three years in Hawai'i: the friends she's made, her experience with the basketball team, working with the Advancement team, and studying business and marketing at HPU.
At first, when Berge received an offer to play basketball in Hawai’i, she wasn’t even sure if she should take the leap. “I was actually thinking about not coming because it's a little bit far away, but it's seriously the best decision I've ever made. I’m just so happy. I’ve had the best few years here,” said Berge.
Basketball has provided Berge with an unforgettable experience, taking her places she’s never been to within the US. “I’d never been to California before, it's just amazing to be able to see those parts. We went to Washington for a trip. With traveling, there are places that I probably wouldn’t have gone if it wasn’t for basketball,” Berge mentioned.
The team has also provided her with a new group of girls to rely on, even through the highs and lows. "Just meeting all of the people, being on a team with like 12 girls, and you spend every day together, like hours and hours. it's become like a family,” commented Berge. “It's blood, sweat, and tears, during the season. That's the best experience about the team. Even if we lose, we win. We always stay together.”
The warm Hawai’i weather wasn't the only adjustment during Berge’s move. “In Sweden, you can't really play basketball at the college level. Here, it’s been so great for me to be able to have the opportunity to study and play basketball at the same time. I’ve loved being able to be a student-athlete here.”
Majoring in international business, HPU has provided Berge with the perfect opportunity to meet people from all around the world. “It's such a diverse school with so many different people from all around the world. Especially within the business area, it’s a lot about having contacts and knowing the right people. I think getting to know people from all around the world will be very helpful for me in the future,” said Berge.
Berge’s job with the Advancement office has also helped her form many connections, especially with HPU alumni. "It's cool to see all of the alumni and how close of a relationship HPU tries to have with its graduates. Since I’m graduating soon, it’s nice to see how close they work and the connections they have,” she said.
Throughout her time at HPU, Berge has made valuable connections and great friends, and had unforgettable experiences. Like many other HPU students approaching graduation, she is so excited to see what the future has in store for her.
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