Extracurricular activities: a comparative perspective among health colleges in Brazil and Ireland

Iago Gonçalves Ferreira, Luciana Brandão Carreira, Niamh Murphy, Audrey Cabral Branches Soares, Paula Caroline Coelho Fonseca, Luis Eduardo Almeida de Sousa


Introduction: University influences psychosocial and cognitive development of students, shaping their overview about professional career. Extracurricular activities (EAs) represent a complementary training in university context, which can enhance critical and technical skills. Objective: Describe the profile of extracurricular activities developed in two different colleges: Universidade do Estado do Pará (UEPA), in northern Brazil, and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), in Southeast Ireland, in the period from March to May 2015. Methods: This study is characterized as descriptive, cross-sectional, observational, with a sample of 452 academics from 5 courses: Medicine, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy in UEPA (n=306) and Health Promotion and Exercise and Health Studies at WIT (n=146). Data collection was conducted through self-administered questionnaires. Results: Most of students have performed extracurricular activities (80%), with greater female participation (60%). Students also believe that EAs contribute to their training (87%), and have satisfied their initial motivations (97%). The most performed activities are academic leagues, internships and scientific research in UEPA and extension activities (volunteering) and athletic associations in WIT. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the extracurricular activities most frequently performed by undergraduates from Universidade do Estado do Pará are professional internships, academic leagues and research. However, undergraduates’ participation in volunteering and athletic associations predominates in Waterford Institute of Technology. Such divergences reflect social, cultural and economic issues of the respective societies, and may have an impact on professional profile.


medical education; area health education centers; medical students; curriculum

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7322/abcshs.v43i2.1080


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