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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Ambitious exchange programme welcomes Swedish students to Southampton

Published: 30 October 2015
Lund exchange students 2015

University of Southampton occupational therapy (OT) students and staff welcomed their 17 counterparts from Lund University, Sweden, to the UK recently as part of an ambitious international exchange partnership programme.

This is the third year the programme has taken place, and the second year Southampton has hosted the Lund University cohort of final year OT students.

During the week-long exchange, which took place earlier in October, students from both countries work side by side in small project groups. They are tasked with looking at the benefits of OTs working in emerging roles – where there is currently no occupational therapy provision – and how they can bring new approaches to solve challenges for the organisation.

The University of Southampton is one of a handful of pioneers establishing emerging role placements for its OT students, and which have been so successful in showcasing how much the occupational therapy profession has to offer in a wider context.

Earlier this year OT student Lauren Phillips undertook an emerging placement with an outdoor therapy centre which uses equine assisted therapies to promote health, rehabilitation, well-being, teaching and healing.

Participating organisations in the UK this week include Romsey Young Carers, supporting young carers in the area; JobCentre Plus; Kitnocks House Nursing Home for people with nursing needs associated with their physical and mental health; GUL (God Unlimited), an outdoor therpay centre; The Rainbow Centre for Conductive Education; and Pavilion on the Park, a youth and community centre in Eastleigh, Hampshire.

The students talk with these organisations about their role as occupational therapists, alongside studying the literature available in each organisation’s particular field. The aim of the project is for the students to establish how an OT might work with these organisations and bring added value to the people they serve.

Juliette Truman, lecturer in occupational therapy and lead for this collaboration at the University of Southampton, said: “This participatory project is helping make educational opportunities for OT students truly international. We are delighted to welcome our second cohort from Lund University to Southampton and look forward to better understanding each other’s lives as students and professionals.

“Our aim for this project is that it will lead to more emerging role placements being formed both here and in Sweden for the benefit of both our OT students and the lives of those who rely on these organisations.”

The week culminates in a conference style report of the work achieved and the dissemination of outcomes through article and conference presentations.

Getting ready to welcome the Lund cohort
Getting ready to welcome the Lund cohort
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