Student experiences new culture in Taiwan

Jun 10, 2014

Josselyn CookTiffin native Josselyn Cook came to Heidelberg wanting to see the world. “I didn’t go away from home for college so I wanted to find a way to experience a new culture,” she said. “This was it.”

Josselyn spent three weeks in an athletic training study abroad program at National Taiwan Sport University.

NTSU, located in Kweishan, Taoyuan (northern Taiwan,) is the only university in Taiwan to offer athletic training. The travel program is offered through the University of Georgia and takes 15-20 students from across the country each year.

“This was such a unique opportunity and I thought it was a great way to see the world,” Josselyn said. “I knew it would make me stand out.”

During her visit, she worked with athletes and teams practicing Judo, Taekwondo, and Wusu. Students spent half their day in class and the other half putting what they learned into practice during clinicals. Josselyn studied unique techniques such as massage, acupuncture, and Chinese Fire Cuppings (a technique that increases blood flow and relaxation).

“The experience really opened my eyes to other options for treatments,” she said. “I’ve added a lot of skills to my basket.”

The program also set up trips allowing students to see county including Taipei City, Toroko Gorge, and other culturally significant sites. Josselyn enjoyed meeting new people and learning about Taiwan. “I was surprised how laid back and helpful everyone was,” she said. “We felt welcome everywhere we went.”

TaiwanFrom the food to the history to different treatment techniques, Josselyn got her wish of experiencing a new culture. She was also learning about other athletic training programs in U.S. through her fellow classmates.

Out of the 13 U.S. schools represented, Heidelberg was the only one that has a chapter of Iota Tau Alpha, the national athletic training honor society. Josselyn also recognized a variation of expectations. “We have to wear our polos and kakis when we are working, not all schools require that,” she said.
She felt pride in being just as capable and sometimes more so than other students on the trip. “I was the youngest on the trip, but felt like I was the best prepared,” she said. “This trip made me better appreciate the strength of our program.”

Josselyn originally looked at Heidelberg for physical therapy, but quickly feel in love with athletic training, something she had never considered.

“I never expected to come to college and feel so at home and have such support,” she said. During her first two years in the program, Josselyn has worked with Heidelberg’s volleyball, men’s basketball, track and field teams and the Carey High School football team.

With two more years to go, Josselyn believes anything is possible. “The education I’m getting is really worth it,” she said. “I got to see that firsthand.”