Kinesiology and exercise science are fields that, at their core, see very little variation in subject matter around the world. After all, these subjects are focused on the study of the inner workings and mechanisms of the human body and hey, we’re all just human right? Courses in these deeply scientific and research-based fields tend to be shaped by the culture in which they are being taught. The pressing health issues of the destination are likely to permeate university courses and, by extension, a student’s education. To gain a better understanding of how the human body is utilized, protected, and understood, students should absolutely consider earning a kinesiology degree abroad!
Why Earn A Degree Abroad
A kinesiology or exercise science degree can open the doors to a variety of career paths, and with the consistently aging population of many first world countries, the health field is becoming more competitive than ever. By earning a degree abroad, students can separate themselves from their peers, enjoy the benefits and challenges of a foreign education system, and gain a fresh, new perspective on the way we view and study the human body. Earning a degree abroad in kinesiology and exercise science can not only prepare you to be perfectly adequate in a variety of jobs at home, international degrees can also be a huge advantage when applying for jobs abroad.
Kinesiology and exercise science are fields that are constantly on the cutting edge of medical advancement. Due to the overarching need for communication between researchers in the field in order to maintain consistent and effective methods and practices, students looking to complete their kinesiology degree abroad would be well suited to search for a location in a more developed country, which has an established system of higher education. Consideration should also be given to whether or not a student may want to stay in the country after graduation, since the transition into the local job market will be made easier with a degree from a local institution in hand.
Germany. German universities are known around the world for their success in training the new generation of STEM professionals. Hard sciences are a primary focus of many German institutions, kinesiology and exercise science included. Another advantage of choosing Germany for your kinesiology degree abroad, and this is a BIG one, is that many German universities have recently done away with tuition fees, making them almost entirely free to attend! Also, more and more German universities are offering all-English degree programs, removing the requirement for international students to have any kind of advanced German language skills.
Spain. Another European science powerhouse, Spain is a top study abroad destination for good reasons. Dozens of universities around the country offer degree programs in kinesiology and exercise science, and over 35 different universities in Spain have schools of medicine (which likely offer additional opportunities within the field). The Spanish culture and lifestyle is a major draw for international students, not to mention there is beautiful scenery worth seeing throughout the entire country. Sports are a major pastime of Spaniards, so Spanish exercise science degree programs that focus on sports performance have become well known within the field. Kinesiology degree programs are taught almost exclusively in Spanish in Spain, however, so some Spanish language skills will be needed. At the same time, almost all Spanish universities provide intensive Spanish language classes for international students, so getting up to speed on the local dialect is not nearly as challenging as it may seem.
Australia. Understanding human motion is critical in the world of sports, and Australia is easily one of the most sports-crazed nations on Earth. Improving the performance of athletes in top sports, such as cricket, rugby, basketball, track and field, and swimming, is a major goal of many exercise science degree programs in Australia. Outside of sports, physiotherapy is an increasingly popular concentration within the field, and advancement from world class undergraduate kinesiology degree programs to equally prestigious Australian professional schools is possible, especially after completing a degree locally.
Degrees & Academics
Due to the wide scope of the field of kinesiology and exercise science, universities all over the world have slightly varying tracks for students to complete depending on their sub-concentration within the field. These slightly varying course requirements ultimately lead to the same goal of a degree in kinesiology or exercise science, but are more tailored to the future career needs of the student. Identifying which area of kinesiology you are interested in can be a great way to start identifying possible overseas study locations.
Once you’ve chosen a location, the actual completion of your kinesiology degree will depend on the country you are in. Many countries tend to structure their classes differently than you may be accustomed to, for example, with a much larger focus on application rather than memorization. Expect to not only learn the material, but to apply it in the form of large research projects as opposed to smaller, shorter assignments. This results in less frequent assignments throughout the course of a class, but requires a bit more time management for completing the more labor intensive assignments.
While some aspects of your kinesiology degree abroad may be slightly different, some aspects will certainly be the same. Concentrations within the field are very common and students can tailor their courses to reflect their primary interests. Focus areas such as nutrition, public health, and athletic training are all possible subsets of kinesiology, as are pre-professional programs like pre-medicine and pre-physical therapy. The latter degree programs will adequately prepare a student for continuing their education beyond a bachelor’s degree in nearly any country, and graduating from an in-country university certainly doesn’t hurt when applying to professional schools also located in that country.
Students graduating with a degree in kinesiology have prepared themselves for entry into a huge range of professions, because the field of kinesiology and exercise science is quite broad in scope. . Careers in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, nutrition, and athletic training are all possible with a kinesiology or exercise science degree in hand (and those are far from all the possibilities that exist).
The benefits of obtaining a kinesiology or exercise science degree abroad are numerous.
First of all, the focus of a university’s education in the field will depend greatly on its surrounding culture. If a certain sub-topic in the kinesiology or exercise science world interests you, take a look at where on Earth that topic is highly focused on. It is likely that if the issue is important to the citizens of a certain country, then it will be a primary focus of an education at that nation’s universities. Sports science and human athletic performance is an excellent example of this.
Secondly, the cost of a degree in almost any subject can be considerably cheaper overseas than at home. Several European countries have cut tuition costs all together, and even places that still charge for an education often do so at a much lower rate than in the U.S. or UK.
Finally, the reason a student attends college is to get the education needed for their chosen future career. If a student hopes to one day work and live overseas, the value of obtaining a kinesiology degree from their target nation’s university system is invaluable. Even if the goal is simply to return home after graduation, earning a kinesiology or exercise science degree abroad helps to immediately separate and highlight an applicant for a position, be it a job, internship, or acceptance into professional school.