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Students and teachers from one of the USA’s leading educations in sport and exercise psychology are visiting Halmstad University. Lectures with Halmstad University researchers, training sessions and excursions are on the schedule for the visit.
The visitors are from West Virginia University, WVU, and the education ”Sport and Exercise Psychology Program”. 15 students and two teachers are in Halmstad for a week to exchange knowledge and network with Halmstad University researchers, teachers and students.
– We had a similar visit two years ago and are happy to be back. We have a great collaboration with Halmstad University, which has a very reputable education in sport psychology and researchers that are far ahead in the field. Our students gain a lot from the visit and hopefully we give something back, says Jack Watson, Professor of Sport Psychology at West Virginia University.
The schedule for the week covers academic as well as sporting and social activities. The American students have been given education from the University researchers in, among other things, mindfulness as well as exercise and applied sport psychology. They’ve also joined in at table tennis and handball practice, tried circle training at Idrottscentrum (The Sports Centre) and had a workshop at the University lab for behavioral sciences. They’ve also visited the Halmstad golf arena and have been on excursions along the west coast to Falkenberg as well as Helsingborg.
Several of the items on the agenda have been done along with the Swedish students, to provide the opportunity for exchange and socialising.
Christie Carroza is one of the American students.
– Sport psychology is broader than American sports. I’m here because I feel it’s important with an international perspective on the field and to travel abroad is a good experience. We’ve been well received and we’ve had a tough and intensive programme. That’s good – we’re learning a lot! she says.
On the Friday, Jack Watson held a guest lecture on his research and both Swedish and American students attended. A special seminar with the Halmstad University doctoral students was also held.
–We’re happy about the visit. It’s a great opportunity to strengthen our connections and learn from each other. Jack Watson is a big name in sport psychology research and this gives our students the opportunity to partake in his teaching and network internationally, says Natalia Stambulova, Professor of Psychology at Halmstad University.
The universities’ collaboration in sport psychology began six years ago with teacher exchanges. Edward Etzel and Vanessa Shannon from WVU have previously been guest lecturers at Halmstad University, and Natalia Stambulova and Urban Johnson visited WVU in 2010.
– We’ve been invited for a corresponding trip with our students, and that’s our hope. However, it’s a question of financing – the American students pay for the trip themselves and I don’t think that Swedish students are willing to accept that expense. Regardless, we look forward to a new visit in a couple of years’ time and that we can deepen the collaboration further – for example within our doctoral education, says Natalia Stambulova.
Text: IDA LÖVSTÅL
Photos: JOACHIM BRINK (unless stated otherwise)