I absolutely loved our study abroad to Ireland. The country was beautiful, the food was delicious and the people were friendly. We began our trip in Dublin where we had lectures on topics such as: Sport in Ireland, Public Health Policy, Muscle Mass, and Performance Nutrition. During the last half of our trip we traveled up and around the northern part of the country stopping at sites such as Giants Causeway and Cliffs of Moher. We were able to experience a new culture, learn the history, and see what Kinesiology is like in Ireland . It was the perfect balance of Kinesiology and tourism.
There is so much more going on in the world other than just Iowa or the United States. Studying abroad gave me the opportunity to experience another culture. This trip allowed me to begin to comprehend Ireland's history. Being in Northern Ireland was very overwhelming. Seeing the tension and untrustworthiness between the two sides, talking to a Sinn Fein representative, and leaning about the conflicts really allowed me to open my mind to events that happen in other parts of the world.
This trip was jammed full of activities from beginning to end. Whether we were sitting in class, exploring different cities, or hiking up a mountain, it was so much fun. From the educational side of the trip, what really stood out to me was touring the research labs at one of the universities. They had similar labs to the ones at Iowa State such as the biomechanics lab. It is so cool to see how our professions and research in our areas of interest are universal. I also loved the more active side of our trip like the Doolin Cliff Walk, hiking up Crough Patrick. and kayaking.
What did you not expect?
What most surprised me was how friendly people were. You could easily ask someone for directions or a great place to eat. They were willing to talk about their experiences growing up in Ireland as well as ask about America. It was a super cool because there was respect from both parties. Being in a new place can be very overwhelming and the kindness I received in Ireland helped my trip be more successful. Whether in life or in my profession, I want to be more open and understanding of others thoughts and opinions to hopefully make them feel more comfortable with the situation they are in.
What advice would you give?
My advice to other students is to do it. Whether it is for an entire semester or a week, experience another country. There is no better time travel the world than now. Work with your advisors and talk to the study abroad office, you seriously will not regret it.
How has this experience impacted your life?
Sportsphysio was my favorite career related activity as it was most similar to physical therapy. When he took a specific injury, back pain, had the patient go through a series of movements and explained how the performance of each movement contributed to back pain was extremely informative. He then proceeded to give example exercises to improve the problem area. The entire experience really got me excited for physical therapy school. It was another reminder why I am so passionate about my career choice: seeing a patient, understanding the problem, then helping them overcome the pain/injury.
How did you learn about this experience?
I first learned about this international opportunity during my Intro to Kinesiology class the fall of my freshman year. Dr. Franke showed us a presentation from the previous trip to Ireland and a student talk about her experience. After class, I immediately called my mom telling her I had to go on this trip.International Connections