Since beginning to gain academic traction in the late 20th century, sports science has become one of the most popular degree pursuits out there for individuals interested in the world of organized sports, health, and physical fitness. Whether your career ambitions lay in the highest realm of professional sports, or in making a local impact through coaching or physical training, beginning the journey with a sports science degree abroad is a surefire way to lay solid global foundations for success.
Why Earn Your Degree Abroad
Every region of the world differs in their cultural emphasis on sports and physical fitness. By travelling to earn your sports science degree abroad in a different country you will gain exposure to new ways of thinking about a subject which you may have thus far taken for granted, and so have the opportunity to place the wide world of sports into an even wider new perspective. It may be an intimidating prospect to go abroad for multiple years to earn a full degree; but in the end, aren’t sports about pushing yourself to new limits?
Sports science remains somewhat of an emerging discipline, so not all universities around the world will offer to confer the degree. A few additional factors should also come into play while making the decision of where to pursue your sports science degree abroad.
Firstly, what type of sport are you interested in making a career within? While sports science is a general discipline which covers many aspects of exercise and physical fitness, it’s certainly not a bad idea to set yourself up somewhere where you can gain exposure in the industry. For example if you have your heart set on working in baseball, then be wary that many countries including India and Australia prefer cricket!
On a more logistical level, another consideration to take into account for earning your sports science degree abroad is the language barrier. While some shorter study abroad programs enable you to travel to a country without learning the local language, earning a full degree abroad at a foreign university will often require that you have an adequate command of that language upon enrollment. France, Germany, and Spain can all be great destinations to work toward a degree abroad in sports science, for example, but you better be able to understand your courses taught in French, German, or Spanish!
Academics & Degrees
Sports science is an interdisciplinary study which incorporates different aspects of physiology, psychology, nutrition, and other such fields which are important to optimizing athletic performance. At the undergraduate level you will likely enroll in a wide body of courses which cover the fundamentals of the field in these areas and more. Lectures, lab work, and practical application in the gym can all be components of an undergraduate sports science degree abroad.
At the graduate level, you will have the opportunity to specialize in a more focused area of sports science which is relevant to your targeted career path. Sports psychology, physical therapy, sports management, and physical education are all examples of specialized sports science degrees that you could choose to pursue abroad. From this point, sports scientists with advanced certification can go on to fill roles in coaching, training, teaching, management, and much more.
Undergraduate degrees abroad in sports science tend to last for three or four years, while Master’s degrees will last for one or two years on top of this. Universities across different countries will shape the scope of their sports science degree programs in different ways, so spend time thoroughly researching as many programs as you can before making your decision of where to go!
Benefits & Challenges
Learn. By earning your sports science degree abroad, you will bring your education beyond the classroom to where every day becomes its own lesson living in a new country. You will learn a lot about sports and fitness, and even more about life.
Diversify. Growing up, you may have been raised in a very specific national sporting culture. Travelling to earn your sports science degree abroad, you will gain a much deeper appreciation for the immense variety of this great human pastime.
Expand. It will feel a bit odd at first living in an entirely new country (especially if the sports they embrace are different). But by pushing yourself to adapt to a new culture, your knowledge and maturity will grow beyond what you thought yourself capable of.
Sports science is an emerging academic field which is gaining momentum all over the globe. By going abroad to earn your degree you will not just benefit personally and professionally; you will also become an ambassador of your home nation within the wide world of sports!