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European Master Of Science In Occupational Therapy

Three questions for Tanja Zulauf

A student pursuing a European Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

30 Sept 2016 10:03 | OT Euromaster

In order to study Occupational Therapy, Tanja Zulauf attended the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. She has been back in Switzerland since 2014 and works as an occupational therapist at a psychiatric clinic. She is also completing the European master's degree programme in occupational therapy. The teaching takes place at universities in five different European countries. Beginning of september, the students spent two weeks at ZHAW in Winterthur.

What do you find particularly appealing about the European Master of Science in Occupational Therapy?

I'm interested in research and in the further development of occupational therapy. The international aspect makes this programme unique and rich in different backgrounds and visions.

It enables me to gain in-depth insight into the fundamentals of the profession. Alongside my work with clients, the master's degree gives me additional career options, such as working in research or teaching.

The first academic year contains four modules at different European universities, each lasting two weeks. How do you organise yourself?

I can declare the absences to my employer as unpaid continuing education time. Over the course of the year, I make up for the time by working extra days. We students organise the local accommodation among ourselves. We try to find a flat or hostel in groups as far as possible. We cook there together and also talk about our private lives. This leads to nice friendships – it's like a little "family".

Your stays in different countries and contact with the other students give you insights into different European healthcare systems. What experiences have made the greatest impression on you in this regard?

It's astonishing how greatly the healthcare systems and the ways in which the profession is performed differ from country to country. Yet we all deal with very similar issues and challenges. Discussing this with each other is a very informative and pleasant experience. I feel strengthened in my professional identity as an occupational therapist.