Athens, Ga. – Three students and two faculty members from the National Taiwan Sport University took classes in the University of Georgia’s athletic training education program this semester as part of UGA’s Study Abroad in Taiwan program.
The Taiwanese students observed UGA athletic trainers as they worked on athletes in gymnastics, baseball, basketball, softball, and women’s track and field during their three weeks here.
The visiting students stayed with three UGA students in their off-campus apartments during their visit here last month.
“It was pretty entertaining,” said Lauren Melvin, a senior majoring in athletic training. “I loved taking them places, especially out to eat, and seeing the expressions on their faces as they tried different foods.”
The trip to UGA also left a good impression on the students from Taiwan.
“The faculty and students were very friendly and hospitable,” said LB Li, through an interpreter. “We enjoy the friendship very much. We were very excited to see them since they came to Taiwan last year and we had lots of common memories.”
The visiting students also learned about UGA’s football program.
“Sanford Stadium was huge,” said Alice Hung.
“We have never seen such a big stadium. We wish we could see the stadium full with people,” said Wendy Wu.
“The football mat drills were a shock to us,” said Eileen Chen, a visiting instructor from NTSU. “It was quite amazing, the dedication and motivation those coaches and athletes possess.
The first part of the study abroad exchange began last spring when 18 UGA athletic training students spent three weeks at NTSU observing certified Taiwanese athletic trainers work with NTSU intercollegiate teams, in professional baseball and at the offices of associated physicians.
During their visit, the UGA students learned about medical practices and techniques that are used in Taiwan plus traditional Chinese therapeutic techniques used to treat athletes and physically active individuals such as acupressure massage, pain relief techniques, acupuncture, rehabilitation techniques and cranial therapy.
NTSU was founded in 1987 on a 64-hectares multi-purpose sports complex located in Kweishan, Taoyuan (northern Taiwan). The university offers five graduate institutes and seven departments offering degrees from bachelors to doctoral. The athletic training education program, modeled after curriculums offered in the United States, was established in 2000 under the direction of Michael Huang.
Huang has been a visiting scholar in the athletic training education program at UGA since August 2008. The study abroad program between the two schools was developed by Ferrara and Huang after a few years of discussions and planning.
“It’s a great cultural exchange,” said Ferrara.
For more information about the Study Abroad in Taiwan program, see www.coe.uga.edu/atsat/