The beginning of Covid marked a new beginning for many. As the onset of the pandemic hit many Irish from around the world returned home due to a fear of not being able to get home and the fear of the unknown with relation to travel.
With this in mind, many, including myself, took time to revaluate, reassess and make significant choices relating to education and career goals. This period of time allowed me to gain an understanding of what I can do to progress and excel with my career and interests in mind.
I decided to return to Ireland from Boston, Massachusetts to complete my Master of Science in Exercise Physiology & its Application in Therapy in NUI Galway. From the first email reaching out to Dr Ananya Gupta I knew this Masters programme was the route I wanted to pursue. Dr Gupta outlined how the course aligns perfectly with my career goals and aspirations in the US.
My goals were to return to the US with an education that will allow me to pursue a career as an Exercise Physiologist or Exercise Specialist in a clinical setting or rehabilitation unit.
The Masters programme at NUI Galway was designed in accordance with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines for exercise prescription and testing. The ACSM are the gold standard of sports medicine worldwide and this made the content of the Masters fully applicable to the US healthcare industry standards.
Massachusetts in general is known as the healthcare hub of the US and job opportunities here have shown to be directly related to the MSc in NUI Galway. Ireland however, appears to not have the same career opportunities for highly educated healthcare professionals such as myself and my classmates. For this reason it appears that the MSc in NUI Galway transitions perfectly into an exercise physiologist or specialist role in the US.
The highlight of my academic year has been towards the end of second semester and into the end of third semester. Here, myself and three of my fellow classmates Conor, Darren and Grace contributed to a nationwide cancer rehabilitation programme which was fully online. This study was created and overseen by Dr Gupta who lead the programme and advised us throughout. This was an amazing experience where all the content of the year we had learned was put into practice and I had chance to work with some truly amazing and inspiring people.
Overall, the Masters presented a number of educational barriers throughout the year which forced much of the theory of the course to be taught online. The lecturers showed to be well organised and prepared for the challenging times and had all lectures and content presented in live online lectures as well as recordings which allowed the students to go back and take notes on important topics they needed to review or it also allowed students who worked full time to watch the lectures at a time that suited their schedule better.
I cannot recommend this course and university enough for anyone who is looking to study from a country outside of Ireland.