Unlocking Global Perspectives: Athletic Training Students Embrace Hands-On Learning in Ireland

LVC Athletic Training students in Ireland

Eight Lebanon Valley College athletic training students traveled to Dublin, Ireland, for a week of athletic training, cultural learning, and exploration at Dublin City University and the local community. Dr. Eva Frank, Director and Associate Professor of Athletic Training, accompanied students on the short-term study abroad experience. Four of the days in the country were spent attending the Dublin City University evaluation clinic, rehabilitation clinic, courses at various levels, and special topics lectures with faculty and Athletic Training and Therapy program students.

“The LVC AT Department is thrilled to have learned from Dublin City Universities’ Athletic Training and Therapy Program. This international exposure not only broadens our students’ understanding of athletic training but also contributes to the global advancement of the profession. We are eager to continue fostering interest in international athletic training, with the goal of providing every student with this enriching experience,” said Frank.

Abigail Kisamore ’25, M’26, the youngest student on the trip, described observing at a free community clinic and the valuable lessons students learn.

“Anyone experiencing a chronic or acute injury could come into the clinic to be evaluated. The students learn bedside manner, practice their skills, and learn how to report to a supervisor,” said Kisamore, who had previously studied abroad in New Zealand.

Mikayla Bowman ’23, M’24, recalled a day of watching Gaelic football that included a tour of the team’s training facility and a discussion about the rehabilitation of athletes. Bowman also compared clinical differences between the United States and Ireland.

“There were differences, but they weren’t that drastic,” said Bowman. “Most of the differences consisted of the names of their special tests, some other techniques for special tests/modalities, and demands for what is needed in Ireland versus America. For example, we taught the Irish students how to use a tourniquet because they do not have as many mass causality incidents in Ireland like we do in America where a tourniquet would be used.”

While the group spent a significant portion of their time in academic settings, they also had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture. They enjoyed sightseeing at Dublin Castle, the Cliffs of Conoy, Guinness Storehouse, Jameson Distillery, and the Dublin Zoo. From both an academic and tourist viewpoint, Kisamore emphasized the holistic benefits of studying in another country.

“I believe living and learning in other countries is so important, as it helps you learn about other cultures while also giving you the chance to explore the world and yourself,” said Kisamore. “This trip allowed me to learn techniques and strategies not generally used in the U.S., which can give me a step up as an aspiring athletic trainer.”

“Taking the step outside of your comfort zone to study abroad is never easy, but I promise the experiences are worth it,” added Kisamore.

Frank said the LVC AT program will continue incorporating international experiences into its programming. Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, faculty and students traveled to China. Plans are being made for first-year and second-year graduate students to attend the World Federation of Athletic Training & Therapy 2025 World Congress in Dublin, Ireland.

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