Ready, Set, Go: Being an Athlete Abroad

Liz Driver ’19 is a senior Communications major at Elizabethtown College. She works for the Study Abroad Office; is an active member of the school’s Public Relations club, Jay Firm; and previously ran cross country and track for E-town.  Liz studied abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand in the spring of 2017. Being an athlete abroad can seem challenging, but Liz’s experience proves otherwise!

There are three questions any athlete should ask before going abroad, in Liz’s opinion:

  1. During which part of the year is your sport the least rigorous?
  2. Does your study abroad location have gyms, sports fields, or trails?
  3. Can you join intramural or club sports?

Because cross country season goes directly into track season, Liz spoke with her coach to help decided which semester would be better to go abroad. Since the coach knew Liz would have opportunities to run while abroad, he was supportive of her decision.

Liz choose to study in New Zealand in part because it has trails, outdoor spaces and a free university gym. While in New Zealand, she was able to run and workout with her roommates. Due to the scenery, Liz enjoyed working out more than normal and found herself doing so more often. She recommends contacting your provider (which for her was BCA Study Abroad) for more information in finding the training facilities needed.

New Zealand offers a variety of club and intramural sports. As a runner, Liz tried Ultimate Frisbee and a few other sports with friends. For other sports, intramurals serve as a way to stay in the game while abroad.

Other opportunities to stay in shape may present themselves while abroad. Through connections with her roommate, Liz was able to attend a one-month kickboxing class at a discounted rate.

When returning to the US, Liz found herself keeping pace with her teammates, proving you don’t have to decide between playing a sport and studying abroad. Students are able to do pre-season training while studying abroad for a semester and/or they can study in the summer.

*Click on the hyperlinks above to learn more about the Dunedin, New Zealand program and to read Liz’s original blog published by BCA Study Abroad on June 13, 2018. 

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