The academic, athletic and social benefits of the Challenger Sports “Study and Play Abroad” program are world class. Not only do international students have the opportunity to be part of The Steven Gerrard Soccer Academy, but they can study and graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 3 years at Liverpool John Moores University, while experiencing the history and culture of the United Kingdom, the home of soccer!


The average US college season will begin mid August and finish at the end of October or into November, play only up to approx 23 games and then only practicing and playing friendly games in the spring

The Steven Gerrard Academy and The National Football Youth League season, (or whatever platform and standard squad you get selected for), will start late July and go through to the end of May. In addition to league play; cup competitions, exhibition games and friendly games will easily double what you expect to get in the US.

You will be training and playing like the pros!


Study and Play Abroad was primarily developed to provide a more efficient way for International students to graduate college with a bachelor’s degree within 3 years and a master’s degree in 4 years. 

When we add in the professional Steven Gerrard Academy soccer experience, this makes the Study and Play Program the most comprehensive and sought after study and play program in the world.


LJMU is a test flexible University
Direct entry to a bachelors programme the minimum entry criteria is a High School Diploma with a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale (unweighted).
SAT of 1200 or above
ACT of 26 or above
3AP Classes - with a score of 3 or higher and one in Math or Science, depending on the degree chose,
Applications are reviewed and they may request additional evidence of your suitability For example:
Science/health related degrees: relevant sciences in AP, IB or honors classes at B+ or above
Art based degrees: a portfolio may be required
Performing Arts: an audition may be required
Engineering: SAT or ACT may be required; where this is not possible due to COVID restrictions, high grades in grade 12 calculus may be considered, preferably honours/IB/AP classes.
Other subjects may require further evidence and admitting tutors may wish to request written work or interviews to support your application

LJMU can offer you a Foundation Course for the 1st year that will get you up to speed and into your desired degree program, or alternatively through the Steven Gerrard Academy and Auckland College, Liverpool you could opt for a study related B/Tec diploma to ensure your entry the LJMU in Year 2.

A great deal will depend on the type of accommodation you choose in addition to your chosen degree and the soccer component of the program. A typical US College Experience over four years will probably cost you somewhere upwards of $140,000. Being as this program is over 3 years, you will save at least one year of that expense. To get a more detailed breakdown, please contact Steve Richards and schedule a call.

If you play at a competitive level and have an interest in Studying and Playing in the UK for a minimum of 3 years, here is the simple process:

  1. Contact Steve Richards at Challenger Study and Play Abroad

  2. After hearing the details, Apply for a degree through the Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) portal

  3. Receive a Conditional Offer from LJMU specifying the entry requirements:

    Entry Requirements: *GPA of 3.0 and./orSAT 1200 or aboveACT 26 or above* Have 3 AP Classes with a score of 3 of higher, one being Math or Science

    * Submit a Personal Statement (outlining/explaining why they should accept you and why you are taking that specific degree and why LJMU)

    * Submit an Academic Reference on official letter headed paper from a tutor, teacher , school counselor or Principal to support your application

  4. Receive an Unconditional Offer and CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) Letter from LJMU and follow the next step instructions to obtain your visa, arrange accommodation, pay your deposit and start planning your first flight to the UK

Yes! LJMU is approved by the US Dept. of Education and so students form the US applying to study there can complete the process to see if they are eligible for any financial aid: FAFSA.

There are a number of student accommodation options available throughout the city of Liverpool.
For International Students entering a degree program alongside the SGA soccer component, the following three student accommodations are recommended:
These are all en-suite accommodation and self catering units
International Students opting for the SGA program are also encouraged to consider The Penny Lane Hotel option.
This option houses soccer students from all over the world and provides a self contained 'professional' environment, where the players live, eat and breathe soccer. As a four star hotel owned by the SGA, the players live in and get three prepared 'healthy' meal options per day included.

Studying and Playing in the UK opens the door to a whole host of opportunities from an educational, cultural and travel perspective. Liverpool, being situated in the North West of England provides easy access to Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and Scotland via car, bus, rail or air. It is only approx 4 hours or less from 5 capital cities in London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin and Cardiff and is a great location to start your exploration of Mainland Europe, with Euro bound trains leaving Liverpool Lime Street Train Station daily.

Yes, a visa is required and everything you will need to know about that process will be explained to you by the International Admissions staff at Liverpool John Moores University.

Your Visa will cost you $348. This is a one off payment that provides you with a visa that is valid for the full duration of your time in Liverpool. Upon completion of your degree, you will also be eligible to stay and work (and hopefully play) in the United Kingdom for a further two years.
For further details on all information pertaining to UK International Student Visas visit: https://www.gov.uk/student-visa
There are several links that will help you fully understand the process and requirements, here are the most important two:

You will also need to arrange a Biometric appointment at on approved Application Supports Center (ASC)

The following link lists all the countries from which students will require a TB injection before applying for a Visa: https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa

You will need to pay for your Immigration Health Surcharge. The cost of this surcharge is £470 per year and this will give you access to the UK's National Health Service (NHS) that includes doctors, dentists and hospitals when your are in the UK. In addition you might also want to look into some personal Travel Insurance for the duration of your stay.



3 Year Bachelors Degree
1 year Masters Degree


A 10 month competitive soccer season​, playing in the English pyramid


30-70% tuition savings over the course of the 3 or 4 years


FAFSA Approved Universities


Opportunities to represent
The Steven Gerrard Academy,  Liverpool John Moores University and possibly a North West Club playing in the English Pyramid system or a Welsh club in the Cyrmu Premier.


Experience living in a foreign country, fully immersing yourself in the culture and history


Liverpool, a maritime city in northwest England, where the River Mersey meets the Irish Sea. The hometown of The Beatles, where the iconic mercantile buildings known as the “Three Graces” – Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building – stand on the Pier Head and home of Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs.

The city is only a stones throw away from Wales, The Peak & Lake Districts


On the doorsetp of Mainland Europe, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland form The United Kingdom and Great Britain – where better to continue your journey of further education and life? 

The home of football!

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