Commentary on International Experience Opportunities for Athletic Training Students: A Perspective from the National Athletic Trainers' Association International Committee

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Peer Reviewed Article

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International experiences (eg, study abroad, international service projects) have many benefits, including increasing cultural sensitivity, that can enhance athletic training student development. However, international experiences directly related to athletic training may be limited or hard to identify. The IC collaborated with the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education to ask about international experiences available in accredited programs in the 2016–2017 annual report. Data were analyzed from all accredited programs (N = 410). Data indicated that athletic training–specific international experiences are available at a lower rate (0%–10.6% of programs) than general university-sponsored international experiences (15.4%–84.4% of programs). Information on athletic training student and faculty involvement is limited; at least 1 student participated in 39.5% to 61.5% of programs, and at least 1 faculty member participated in 15.4% to 23.4% of programs. Future research should identify and describe current international experience opportunities, as well as identify strengths, challenges, and priorities for developing and expanding international opportunities for athletic training students. With the globalization of athletic training, emphasis on providing culturally competent care, and undergraduate opportunities created by the degree transition, it seems an opportune time to encourage international experiences for athletic training students. Current and future IC resources aim to provide guidance to students and faculty interested in international experiences.