Can you picture yourself in a new city, cheering for the local team as they score a winning goal, taking a course on the Economics of Sport, or interning in the marketing office of your host city to promote sports tourism? With all of the hard work you’ve put into your sport, you may be nervous about traveling far away from your teammates and coaches for off-campus study. However, if you plan ahead and commit to working hard while you’re away, athletes can go off campus and have a great experience that is integral to being a Denisonian, while still staying at the top of their game.
Timing is key- if your sport has a semester that is the off-season, that may be the best time to go. Another option is to consider summer programs when you would already be away from campus. Talk with your coach early in the planning process to see what will work best for you.
Think about what you’ll need to stay in shape in the off-season, and consider these features as part of your program search. Many universities, especially in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, offer sports facilities with weight-lifting equipment, treadmills, and bikes, that students may join for a small fee. These same facilities are usually available in other cities a short distance away from classes. It’s a good idea to make a rough training plan and then run it by your coach.
Getting involved in athletics through the university or local community is a great way to meet locals and plant roots. It’s nerve-wracking at first, as are many parts of study abroad, but such a great experience we can’t encourage highly enough! Many institutions offer intramural sports that are competitive, but will allow you to balance your other interests. Check with your coach before joining any official competitions to make sure you are following NCAA regulations.
Finally, be creative about your training. Running is available pretty much anywhere. Soccer is likewise very popular and an easy way to stay in shape. Students have been successful in cross-training with local sports, bringing inflatable water weights, tracking exercises on a phone, and just incorporating a lot of walking, hiking, or biking into their routine.
Recommended Semester Programs
Arcadia: University of Otago (New Zealand)
Arcadia: University of Limerick (Ireland)
Summer Program Search