Kinesiology students can soon apply for a three-week summer study abroad opportunity in Ireland, led by professor Warren Franke. Contributed photo.
Kinesiology students can soon apply for a three-week summer study abroad opportunity in Ireland, led by professor Warren Franke. Contributed photo.

New kinesiology international program sends students to Ireland

Iowa State University students in kinesiology and health have a new opportunity to study abroad in Ireland next summer. 

Students will travel for three weeks from May 26 to June 15. They will split their time between studying in the capital city of Dublin and touring various parts of Ireland.

The deadline to apply for the new international program in the College of Human Sciences is Oct. 15. The trip is significant for kinesiology and health, which is the third largest undergraduate major at Iowa State but until now has had few opportunities to study abroad. 

“We have no faculty-led, kinesiology-centric study abroad experiences for our students,” said Warren Franke, a professor in kinesiology and program director. “Given the number of our students who want to study abroad, trying to create a method by which they could visit Ireland seemed like a no-brainer.”

Catie Funk, an administrative specialist for the college’s international programs, said the length of the trip is also an advantage for kinesiology and health students.

“While we have always had great support from the kinesiology department for studying abroad, our office is excited to have a shorter three-week program for students who are not able to go for a semester,” she said. 

Learning kinesiology at University College Dublin

During the first two weeks of the trip to Ireland, Franke will partner with School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science faculty at the University College Dublin to teach a strength and conditioning course.

Franke said the new partnership with University College Dublin will benefit students greatly.

“The university is one of the premier institutions of higher learning in Ireland,” he said. “It is ranked among the top 1 percent of institutions worldwide. They have several undergraduate degrees within the school that will resonate with our students in our Department of Kinesiology.” img_1157

In addition to students earning three hours of credit, the class will meet Iowa State’s International Perspective graduation requirement and students may apply for a College of Human Sciences study abroad scholarship worth $800 to help cover the cost. Scholarship applications are due March 1.

“International programs like the one to Ireland gives students a broader look into kinesiology and how it is taught and studied in other countries,” Funk said.

Students will have a full-immersion experience at the University College Dublin by staying in the residence halls, dining with university students, and using the school’s sports science facilities. The close contact with students, faculty, and staff there will teach students the importance of experiencing different cultures.

“A well-rounded education should include learning from others who are not like you — meeting people from different cultures, different ways of thinking, and different backgrounds,” Franke said. “That way, you learn that ‘different’ isn’t wrong; it’s just different.”

Touring the country

Outside the classroom, students will familiarize themselves with Dublin with a bus tour that will take them to 23 tourist attractions.

They will visit several sports venues including Croke Park, the fourth largest European stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association; Aviva Stadium, the official stadium of Ireland’s international soccer and rugby teams; and the GAA Museum, where a hall of fame celebrates former players who have made a unique and exceptional contribution to hurling and football.

Not only will students attend Irish sporting matches, they will also participate in popular Irish athletics such as Gaelic football, hurling, and handball. 

Cultural sights on the agenda include the Peace Wall and RMS Titanic dockyards in Belfast; cycling, kayaking, and walking tours of the Cliffs of Moher; and Trim Castle, which was featured in the film “Braveheart.”

Lasting impact at home

For more information about the “Experiencing kinesiology in Ireland” study abroad program, view the program brochure online. Applicants must meet specific academic requirements, write an essay stating their interest, and receive a recommendation from a kinesiology and health faculty member.

Students can learn more about the program at the university-wide Study Abroad Fair, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 17 in the Great Hall of Memorial Union or the College of Human Sciences Study Abroad Fair 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 15 in Mackay Hall Foyer.

Organizers of the Ireland trip hope that students will apply what they learn in Ireland to their experiences at Iowa State as they finish their degree.

“Their experiences and stories from their time in Ireland will find a way into classrooms, course assignments, discussions on theory and research, student clubs,” Funk said. “Having this study abroad experience will enhance their applications as they seek to continue their education or find jobs in the future.”

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KEY CONTACTS:

Warren Franke, professor, Department of Kinesiology, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, 515-294-8257, wfranke@iastate.edu

Catie Funk, administrative specialist, international programs, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, 515-294-1010, cfunk@iastate.edu

Shannon Stump, graduate assistant writer, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, 515-294-9424, hsnews1@iastate.edu

 

 

 

  • Quick Look

    Kinesiology students can soon apply for a three-week summer study abroad opportunity in Ireland, led by professor Warren Franke.


  • “A well-rounded education should include learning from others who are not like you — meeting people from different cultures, different ways of thinking, and different backgrounds.”

    Warren Franke