It’s no surprise to anyone who follows EKU sports that the Colonels tennis team consists mainly of foreign students. With the exception of just one American male, the men and women’s tennis teams are all from abroad, and all represent the Colonels on the court.
Putri Dwinta, 19, a junior from Dubai, came to EKU on a full scholarship for tennis in Fall 2015. Dwinta was born in Indonesia, and as a child moved throughout Asia. Months after her birth, her family moved to Singapore for two years, then to Bali, Indonesia for five years, and then to Malaysia for the next ten years. After Malaysia, her family moved to Dubai, where they currently reside.
Dwinta said her mother is a “stay-at-home mom” and her father is an aircraft engineer, and that her father’s job is the reason for their moving around. Dwinta said her father helped her get into tennis at the age of 10, and being a tennis player himself, he encouraged her to play.
“At first I wasn’t interested—I was a badminton player,” she said. “My dad played tennis for his college in Indonesia…One day he asked me to come to the tennis court and I said sure. That’s when I started playing tennis.”
However, Eastern was not Dwinta’s first American college. She initially was in Idaho at Lewis Clark State College playing tennis. She graduated high school at 15 and took a year off for tennis. She said her dad decided she needed to go to school, and Idaho was her first choice. She came to Eastern because she was offered a full-ride scholarship while she only received 75 percent in Idaho.
Dwinta said she prefers Eastern over her old school in Idaho, but she did like the schools’ small town hospitality of her school in Idaho. Aside from Idaho and Kentucky, Dwinta has also traveled to Arizona, California and New York.
Dwinta is a broadcasting and film technique major and said she isn’t sure about her plans for her future. She thinks she has great opportunities in America, but that she likes living in Dubai as well. She also said there are plenty of opportunities in Dubai, but that it’s dull unless you have a lot of money because Dubai is very expensive.
After being in America for so long, Dwinta said she decided she’s not a big fan of the food.
“I hate the food. It’s like you eat one small thing and you feel fat,” Dwinta said. “I can eat so much back home and I don’t get full. Over here, I don’t know.”
Dwinta said she loves the fact that you can do anything in America, and said the opportunity for jobs is better than the opportunities she has back home. If she stays in America after graduation, Dwinta said she’ll be able to live a good life.