On Monday, July 30th, world-famous actor, athlete and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated his 65th year. Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, Austria in 1947 and started weight trainings when he was merely 15 years old. Thanks to his iron muscles and will Arnold became the youngest person ever to win the Mr. Universe title, which he achieved at age 20. Schwarzenegger arrived to the United States in 1968 at the age of 21, when his success as a bodybuilder allowed him to realize his long-standing dream to move to the U.S. Since then he gained worldwide fame as a sports icon, actor, businessman and politician. For many people Arnold Schwarzenegger is not just a celebrity, he is a real embodiment of the American dream. No wonder that he is considered the most famous immigrant in America.
The successes did not come to Schwarzenegger without efforts; he paved his way for the prosperity and recognition through hard work and diligence. The building of his sport and acting career required a lot of energy by itself, but it also was not possible without the educational challenges.
When Arnold moved to the U.S. he was speaking little English. According to his own words “Naturally, when I came to this country, my accent was very bad, and my accent was also very strong, which was an obstacle as I began to pursue acting.” Schwarzenegger took English classes at Santa Monica College in California, which is ranked number one among California’s junior colleges and famous for having the largest international student population of any community college in the U.S., with approximately 3,300 students from more than 100 countries.
Schwarzenegger continued his education in the University of Wisconsin–Superior, where he earned a BA by correspondence. Arnold was carrying out most of his class work from Los Angeles, flying to Superior for meeting with professors and taking exams, when needed. He completed the degree requirements in less than a year. In 1979 Schwarzenegger graduated from UWS with a degree in international marketing of fitness and business administration. In 1996 he returned to UW-Superior to receive an honorary doctorate for his work with Special Olympics and the Inner City Games.
Schwarzenegger’s education achievements also include his great contribution into development of sports education. His bestselling autobiography and weight-training guide “Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder”, as well as other books on the sport written by “Austrian Oak”, have become manuals for bodybuilders all over the world. As a public leader he paid much attention to promoting physical education and afterschool programs. In 1995, he founded the Inner City Games Foundation (ICG), providing cultural, educational and community enrichment programming to youth. ICG acts in 15 cities around the country and serves over 250,000 children in over 400 schools nationwide. In 2002 he has also founded the Los Angeles branch of After-School All-Stars (ASAS), which is an after school program provider, educating youth about health, fitness and nutrition.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography is a brilliant example of a true American success story. Hard work and self-confidence may help to realize even the most daring dreams. However, proper educational background is also one of the main catalysts of the individual progress.
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