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We spoke to Yaa Agyekumwaa Debra, studying BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, about her experience of the course. Read on to hear her story.

Yaa is smiling and looking at the cameraBeing an occupational therapy (OT) student at BU has helped me increase my knowledge and everyday skills. The teaching staff know what they see in their students, and they help cultivate it through encouragement, presenting opportunities, and making themselves available to come to for help. It is a privilege to be taught by lecturers who were once practicing or are still practicing OT. Hearing about their experiences in different settings and having your own experience on placement is very rewarding.

Furthermore, placement has allowed me to grow as a person and I am proud to say I am much more confident in my judgement and more open-minded. My first placement was in an acute setting and working alongside a more senior OT made me think about the possibilities available to me after graduating.

Another highlight of being an OT student is having skills sessions where we use adaptive equipment. In addition to this, we had a session with OTs working in an eating disorder setting. This stood out to me because we had a chance to implement different interventions in different case studies.

I found anatomy and referencing harder because it was new to me. From remembering the names of muscles and bones to figuring out where punctuations went in referencing was a challenge. I overcame that through emailing and private sessions with lecturers to go over what I did not understand. PAL (peer assisted learning) sessions were useful as students a year ahead of me helped me through my first year and weekly sessions gave me the opportunity to voice out what I was struggling with.Yaa is smiling and standing in front of a stand and banner for the Occupational Therapy Society

This led me to become a PAL leader to help other students who are in the same situation as me. I also became the president of the Occupational Therapy Society, and it gave me the chance to network with other OT students from across the cohort and build my leadership and teamwork skills. I cannot wait to use these transferable skills in a mental health setting as it is what I would like to do after I graduate.

Coming to university can be intimidating especially if you are relocating from a different city to Bournemouth as I did. But these last two years have been the best years of my life so far. I have learned a lot about myself, OT, and Bournemouth as a whole. When BU gives you an opportunity, grab it with both hands!

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