Studying human movement and its associated physiology is an art and, as with any form of art, technical knowledge is almost never adequate in producing a master. Instead, practice and experience are key to making a successful professional, and this most definitely applies to the field of kinesiology and exercise science. Exercise science or kinesiology internships abroad are the perfect way to gain highly valuable work experience while also confronting personal challenges that will make you the best you can possibly be in your future career!
Why Intern Abroad
An international internship in kinesiology and exercise science will expose students to the wide variety of approaches to a field that is essentially the same across people from all cultures. Despite our differences, the human body and the physiologic processes that fuel it are almost identical in every human on Earth, although the study of these processes and its application are not.
Advanced nations are constantly making breakthroughs using cutting edge scientific techniques and equipment that are the result of their own approach to the study of the human body, and even less developed nations have their own fascinating applications of kinesiology in real-life settings, as opposed to the laboratory settings commonly found elsewhere. Kinesiology internships abroad are a great way to open up your worldview and experience with these alternate viewpoints, which all still share a common goal of health and longevity for all.
Between the world-class medical institutions, the highly promoted culture of exercise and outdoor activity, and of course, the consistently pleasant weather, Australia is a great option for kinesiology and exercise science internships abroad. A large population that is enthusiastic about recreation and sports means plenty of opportunities to work in subsets of the field, such as physical therapy and rehabilitation, athletic training, or sports medicine.
Furthermore, with its global level of connectedness in numerous science fields, Australia can make for one of the best destinations in the world to make professional contacts via an internship. Australia also provides no barriers in the form of language, unless your native tongue is not English, and no glaring cultural differences with most English speaking nations, allowing interns to quickly adapt to their new environment and get to work on the practice side of their kinesiology internship experience.
With a striking difference between the medical needs and resources of its rich and poor citizens, South Africa is another top choice for kinesiology internships abroad, providing a huge range of focus areas for interns to choose from with in the country. The major cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg are home to the finest universities invested in health research specifically; therefore, their laboratories and clinics can be great locations for students interested in related exercise science fields, like physical therapy or cardiac rehabilitation.
In the less affluent areas of South Africa, internship opportunities are available that allow interns to work in exercise and health promotion research, especially within the segment of the population composed of underprivileged children. Many children, and adults for that matter, can attribute their negative health situations to the HIV/AIDS epidemic that has ravaged South Africa for decades.
The study and application of kinesiology and exercise science is not just reserved for affluent countries. Areas of Vietnam are also in great need of experts in these areas. For a more philanthropic approach to the sciences, student interns in Vietnam can spend their days working with the underprivileged citizens in both major cities and in more rural placements, with each location providing unique challenges and different patient needs. Students interested in future careers in nutrition, pharmacy, or physical therapy would all be suited to an internship in Vietnam.
Kinesiology Internships Abroad
Students completing an internship in kinesiology and exercise science abroad can expect a certain level of clinical practice to accompany their daily tasks, regardless of where they take place. This is due to the very evidence-based and technical approach to the field. Kinesiology and exercise science are very similar to the health sciences, but fundamentally different in several areas.
Exercise science is more focused on the clinical approach to understanding health, while health sciences is more concerned with promoting overall health in a wider range of applications and approaches. While health science students may find themselves in many different environments, kinesiology and exercise science interns are far more likely to work in a more controlled and centralized environment, such as a physical therapist’s office, home for children with disabilities, or a cardiac rehabilitation clinic.
Tasks given to exercise science interns can range from simple data collection concerning patients, such as gathering pertinent medical information and histories, or teaching sports to children, to more complex tasks that may involve the operation of highly specialized exercise or performance monitoring machinery. These types of skills are very different in that the first has been around for as long as the profession while the second is on the cutting edge of what our scientific advancements can measure. Regardless, both are extremely valuable and interns should expect or even request to develop both as a feature of their kinesiology internship abroad.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Demonstrated Competence. A successful kinesiology internship abroad demonstrates that an individual is highly capable of taking the theory learned inside the classroom and translating it into practice in the real world. Further, it shows that the student is also capable of working in a professional environment that is likely to be noticeably different than those found in one’s home country.
Experience Fostering Relationships with Patients From Various Backgrounds. International internships in kinesiology and exercise science will involve barriers in the form of language and sometimes cultural practices, both between the student and their colleagues and between the student and their patients. However, a student’s ability to say that they not only completed an experiential internship but also gained these other highly valuable problem solving skills will set them apart when competing for future positions, whether those be employment opportunities or professional school admissions in the field.
Competitive Edge in a Competitive Field. As any diligent student of exercise science knows, the field is highly competitive. A common undergraduate major for aspiring professional school applicants, kinesiology students will leave their undergraduate programs armed with all the technical knowledge they need to advance to medical, physical therapy, or dental school. Exercise science students often also move forward to higher education in areas such as nutrition, biomechanics, or athletic training. However, one major factor will separate applicants to these programs, and that’s professional experience. Internships are designed specifically to give students exactly this, and the skills mentioned above are sure to grab the attention of any application reviewer.