Arlabosse Thrives 3,000 Miles from Home

by Walker John

(Photo: Zach Emerson)

“Living in a new country is exciting,” Hugo Arlabosse said. “But it can be hard knowing my friends and family are an ocean away.”

He is the under-18 French national record holder in the 1000-meters. He has dipped under four minutes in the 1500-meters. He has clocked a blazing 1:53 in the 800-meters. Hugo Arlabosse’s high school running career was nothing short of illustrious. However, what he considers to be his greatest athletic accomplishment started as an email sent to him by his Father.

“My father sent me an email last summer that talked about international student-athletes,” Arlabosse said. “It said I could get a scholarship and study outside of France.”

For most people, the idea of moving 3,000 miles away from home is a daunting endeavor. Arlabosse didn’t shy away, and looked at the opportunity as an adventure. He saw a whole new culture, new friends, and a new home. What he didn’t consider were the challenges that were waiting for him across the Atlantic Ocean.

Arlabosse began his journey at Franklin Pierce University surrounded by a support system of teammates and coaches. He experienced early success as the top runner on the cross country team. But something was missing.

“I became close friends with my teammates really fast,” Arlabosse said. “But I was feeling a lot more homesick than I thought I would.”

The adjustment wasn’t as smooth as he expected, and Arlabosse spent a lot of time on the phone with his family. His training on the cross country team was much different than it was in France, his English was still slightly broken, and he had to balance the rigor of schoolwork with athletics. “It felt like a lot at first,” he said. “What helped me through it was the friends I made.”

Arlabosse’s close relationship with his teammates brought him out of the shadow of loneliness. When he wasn’t at practice or in class, he was with his teammates. Eventually, his homesickness became less of a factor. Franklin Pierce became his new home, and allowed him to enjoy the adventure that presented itself in an email last summer.

“Having people I can be myself around and laugh with made me remember that this is a unique experience,” Arlabosse said. “I love my friends here.”

Arlabosse finished the cross country season as one of the top men in the Northeast-10 conference. Currently, he is training to compete for the Ravens in the upcoming indoor track season.

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