Helen Bolton: my Occupational Therapy experience in Finland

Date 28 March 2023

Helen shares her experiences and the highlights of an Occupational Therapy journey of a lifetime through an exchange with the University of Applied Sciences (JAMK), Jyväskylä, Finland.

Helen Bolton

Jyväskylä is a name I will never forget!

On the western side of the Finnish Lakeland was the place myself and seven of my fellow Occupational Therapy students alongside our lecturer Rachel Murrill had the opportunity to experience studying Occupational therapy in another country.

We spent five full days at the University of Applied Sciences (JAMK) with the Finnish students to experience what occupational therapy looked like in Finland. The whole experience exceeded my expectations.

There was a thorough and diverse timetable drawn up which included us English students. This allowed us to fully get involve with the scheme of work and truly immerse ourselves into all things occupational therapy.

Some of the weeks’ experience included Finnish group work, cooking, sensory paediatric play – and we even had the chance to be invited to a local mental health clubhouse, which was integral to the community here.

Some of my highlights during the trip included experiencing Greencare, exploring the area, and finding a place in nature which we felt had a meaning to us and then reflecting in small groups on why we chose them and what the therapeutic benefits were.

During our free time, we had the chance to experience a traditional Finnish spa and even took an ice dip! I thoroughly recommend it when you get the chance to travel to Finland.

I feel very privileged to have been chosen by my course to represent University of Northampton. This opportunity gave me ability to develop and enhance my learning skills to become an Occupational therapist.

Being able to network and build international relationships with the students in Finland really did add to my knowledge and skills to my occupational therapy toolbox.

Find out more about studying Occupational Therapy at the University of Northampton through our BSc, MSc, and Apprenticeship pathways.

Helen Bolton, Occupational Therapy apprentice student at the University of Northampton
Helen Bolton

Helen Bolton is a second year Occupational Therapy apprentice student at the University of Northampton