By Sharon Messmore

Outreach With Sports

In the United States, soccer is slowly growing in poularity but still falls behind football, baseball, and basketball. Football and basketball especially dominate college athletics. In the rest of the world, however, soccer is king and played in nearly every country. There's a good chance the students you work with are avid soccer fans.

Which means, this year, you're in luck!

This year, 2014, the FIFA World Cup happens.

If you're unfamiliar with soccer, think March Madness and Super Bowl mixed into one and only happening every four years. It's a big deal.

What does this mean for you?

If you want to live incarnationally among your international friends, you should be involved in things they like as well as inviting them to things you like. This summer, have World Cup parties and watch the matches with your friends. Follow the teams. Ask them who they're rooting for. Join in with their excitment!

"But I don't know anything about soccer!" you cry.

That's alright. Here are a few quick ways to brush up on the game so that you can at least follow the conversations.

First, familiarize yourself with the rules. There are only 17 of them, so no big plays or complicated things to learn. (If nothing else, learn that you can't use your hands.)

Take a quick look at the FFIA World Cup site. Learn which teams are consistently winners (Brazil, Italy, Germany), who won last time (Spain), and what group the United States is in (G).

Mark your calendars for the matches. The World Cup takes place June 12 - July 13. On the plus side, it's taking place in Brazil so you won't be too far off on the time zones.

Follow folks on Twitter who will give to-the-minute updates for you.

And of course, don't forget to do all this with your friends!

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