Jarmoc's Journey to Become a Jayhawk
May 3, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. -
Like most high school seniors, Caroline Jarmoc was busy deciding what college to attend. After looking at a handful of schools Jarmoc finally decided on the University of Kansas and committed to play volleyball for the Jayhawks in March 2009. But where most high school students attend college within 100 miles of their home, Jarmoc, a native off Calgary, Alberta, Canada, traveled more than 1,500 miles to go to KU. It was a decision she has not regretted for one inch of her journey.
“I really like my team. They are what convinced me to come,” said Jarmoc. “I didn’t feel like a foreigner or an alien. I also really love the whole setup of KU. I like living in the [Jayhawker] Towers. It’s the college life I dreamed about coming to.”
During her senior year of high school at Springbank Community, Jarmoc was participating in a volleyball camp at the Volleydome in Calgary. Kansas head coach Ray Bechard just happened to be in attendance at the camp and was able to see the 6-2 middle blocker’s talents and skills first hand.
“She wasn’t there the first day, but the second day she showed up and we thought she was really dynamic,” Bechard said of Jarmoc. “She had a real passion for the game and kind of stood out amongst everybody else. Of all the athletes there, she was probably the top prospect in that group so there were a number of colleges wanting to visit with her.”
Following the camp, Bechard made it a point to travel to Canada twice more to watch her practice as well as make an in-home visit with her family. He also convinced Jarmoc to make an official visit to the University of Kansas.
“It was amazing how quickly someone from Canada, whether you consider it a foreign country or not, engaged with our current team and how much our team seemed to really like her,” said Bechard. “That was a really seamless transition for someone coming from a different club, a different country and just a little different perspective. It all came together pretty quickly.”
Jarmoc agrees. She was considering several other schools in the United States, but after visiting Kansas, Jarmoc found that the other colleges on her list didn’t measure up to KU.
“When I met the team, it felt like I knew them already and they were all really welcoming,” said Jarmoc. “I could picture myself living in Lawrence. I felt comfortable right when I got here.”
No stranger to the U.S., Jarmoc’s family is accustomed to traveling across the States because her older sister, Patty, is a setter at Texas El-Paso. Patty, who is just finishing up her junior year at UTEP, shared her advice and experiences with Jarmoc, which helped when it came time to make a college choice.
Jarmoc ultimately packed up her belongings and made the move south across the border to Lawrence. After arriving on campus in early August of her freshman year, Jarmoc found that the transition wasn’t really much of a transition at all.
“There are small differences between Canada and the U.S., but since there is not a language barrier, I don’t feel a huge shock since I’m able to communicate with everyone,” Jarmoc said. “There are little things I’ll pick up like the way people say certain things or go about their lives, but there is nothing huge. I would say there is a bigger emphasis on sports in the U.S.”
Now, as her first year at Kansas comes to an end, Jarmoc can’t imagine going to school anywhere else.
“I definitely recommend coming to Kansas,” Jarmoc said. “I left my country and I kind of don’t realize how big of a change it was. I had to pick up everything and leave. But Kansas makes you feel super welcome. I don’t really get homesick. I’m like the second daughter to a lot of families. A lot of my teammates’ parents have adopted me. I may be a Townsend one day and a Carmichael the next. I really like it here and when I think about staying in Canada, that doesn’t even seem like an option to me anymore.”