This spring Jenna Werking, M.S. ’13, and Mike Slack ’10, M.S. ’12, former School of Kinesiology and Recreation graduate students, had the opportunity to travel to Russia. Illinois State University faculty members Dave Thomas and Karen Dennis joined the trip as well. The group arrived in Moscow on May 10 and spent their first few days exploring the city. Some of the sites they saw included the GUM department store and St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square.

After sightseeing in Moscow, the group took the train into Vladimir where they spent a majority of their time. While in Vladimir, the goal of the trip was to learn about trends in patient and athlete exercise programming, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and preventive services, such as health promotion techniques. While abroad the group was able to share different philosophies and practices pertaining to the health services with experts in the field, as well as Vladimir State University faculty.

The group spent its time exploring the different medical centers throughout the city and listening to presentations. Among these visits included the Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Regional Center, Vladimir Regional Clinical Hospital Vascular Center, and Vladimir State University.

Toward the end of the trip the group had two unique opportunities: to see both a local blood bank and a gymnastics center that contrasted with those found in the United States. At the Blood Bank Center they noticed some differences in the techniques of dealing with the blood and the rewards of donating. At this center those who choose to donate are paid and given time off of work. One of the other unique opportunities was going to the Vladimir Gymnastics School where the group learned how the gymnasts are recruited at a young age and taught to balance school and training.

The trip not only was a great learning opportunity, but also created great memories for those on the trip. Since Werking had missed her graduation ceremony due to the timing of the trip her professors tried to make it up to her. “My professors held an informal graduation ceremony for me, which got a lot of attention from onlookers” Werking said.

If you are interested in studying abroad, contact your departmental academic advisor.