Why intern or work abroad?
- To build your resume and expand your horizons
- To learn more about the international world of Sports Medicine and what this means to us as Athletic Trainers and Athletic Therapists
- To prepare yourself for a career where you will work with diverse athletes
- To have a completely unique and new experience
- To learn more about yourself and become more independent
- To learn about a new culture
- To learn a new language
- To have fun meeting new people and seeing new places
View Working International Toolkit.(pdf)
Working abroad includes various professional opportunities such as internships, guest lecturing, etc., as well as clinical fieldwork related to your career in a place that is foreign to you. Interning and working abroad may consist of temporary or seasonal jobs. Many of these opportunities take place over the summer, however, some positions could be available for a year or longer. It all depends on the work visa restrictions, legal requirements of the country and the type of contract that you get from your employer.
Athletic training is not always “officially” recognized as a career outside of the United States. Therefore, to gain experience as an athletic trainer in another country, work or internships should be searched in broad and general sports medicine areas related to kinesio-therapy, physiotherapy and exercise science or in facilities such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, orthopedic clinics, physical therapy clinics international schools and governing sporting organizations. If you earned a degree from the department of exercise physiology, kinesiology or physical education, which may be recognized internationally, you might be able to translate that degree into an employment search as you present yourself professionally.
A Safer Approach to International School Sports
International Ambassador Program
The NATA International Committee has launched an International Ambassador's Program for AT's needing assistance when moving to or practicing in a foreign country. Currently ambassadors are in place for Australia, Belgium, China, East Africa, Germany, Japan, Spain and UK. The NATA IC is looking to add several additional countries to list and more ambassadors to our exisiting list.
NATA International Ambassadors are asked to help by providing guidance and assistance to athletic trainers moving abroad with navigating the complexity of living and practicing in another country. Often AT's wishing to practice abroad need help with securing travel visas, establishing bank accounts, housing recommendations, learning local practice standards and specific cultural expectations, etc.
If you feel you can help in this area and are interested in being a NATA International Ambassador by making yourself available to be contacted by interested AT's, please reach out to NATA IC member Matt Kutz by filling out this email form.
Please, only AT's who have significant/meaningful experience in another country and are able to advise should volunteer.
Working as an AT in Ireland
The Board of Certification (BOC) and Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Ireland (ARTI) are currently joined in a Mutual Recognition Agreement. This agreement allows BOC certified athletic trainers in good standing to sit for the ARTI exam to become a Certified Athletic Therapist (CAT) in Ireland, and ARTI Certified Athletic Therapists to take the BOC exam. More information about the ARTI exam, application requirements and Irish Immigration is available by visiting the ARTI website.
Working as an AT in Japan
For more information, contact JATO, Japan Athletic Trainers' Organization.
Japan Athletic Trainers’ Organization
JATO Head Office
1-11-12 B1-B Sendagaya Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0051 Japan
U.S. Military Opportunity
The US military continues to expand its understanding and use of athletic trainers in all aspects and locations, including overseas. Being a non-traditional setting, job opportunities vary in descriptions and responsibilities, but international openings do come available from time to time. To see what jobs may be available, go to www.USAJobs.gov. Also checking the NATA Career Center page under the headings of "military" and/or "international" will sometimes lead to additional job vacancies.
For further information on athletic trainers within the military setting as a whole, the Armed Forces Athletic Trainers' Society (AFATS) is dedicated to promoting the profession of athletic training within the military setting. Please visit the website at www.afats.org for more information and membership details.