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Occupational therapy.


Occupational therapy.

The Occupational Therapy programme of 30 credits is organized in the autumn semester and aims at offering higher education from an international, intercultural and interprofessional point of view. Occupational therapy is a health care profession based on the knowledge that purposeful activity can promote health and well-being in all aspects of daily life. The aims of occupational therapists are to design and facilitate initiatives that prevent illness and injuries, promote health and improve well-being and inclusion. Therefore active citizenship, diversity thinking and engagement are key aspects within occupational therapy and underpin the necessity for occupational therapists to understand social trends and developments within an international framework. The programme is open for Belgian and international students and aims to develop international and intercultural competences facing current and global topics for occupational therapy. The programme stimulates exchange and collaboration between occupational therapy students from different countries, offering group discussions, field visits, international guest speakers and study trips abroad.

Practical info

  • Welcome Days: 17&18 September 2020
  • Start of the programme: 21 September 2020
  • Start of the exams: 4 January 2021
  • End of the programme: 29 January 2021

Questions about the content of the program?

Contact your International Academic Coordinator: annemie.engelen@hogent.be

Practical questions?

Contact your Incoming Student Advisor: incoming@hogent.be

This programme offers the following courses during the autumn semester for a total of 30 credits

This course unit comprises the following parts:

Choices can be made between topics emphasizing: informal care, mental health care, child rehabilitation, community development, primary health care, quality of life and current trends

To interact in a professional way in an international context (Insight)
To adapt one's behaviour and communication>
To express a professional opinion on international social and / or political themes (Insight)
To compare professional practices in the home country with professional practices in other countries (Application)
To report critically (inter) national scientific and professional literature (Insight)
To analyse the influence of international tendencies on the occupational therapy practice (Application)

The main aim of the course is to provide the students with basic information about “The Low Countries”, more specifically Belgium. Starting from their own (foreign) view on Belgium, the students will gradually get to know the complex Belgian situation (language, culture, history, politics, etc.) through examples and real-life situations.

  • Belgian history and geography
  • Social and political structure of the country
  • Belgian arts and artists (painters, film makers, strip cartoonists, musicians, …)

This course unit comprises the following parts:

  • The key concepts and structures of health systems

  • Policy and organizational models of delivering health and social care

  • The theory and principles of international collaboration (both North-South as South-South) within the field of health and social care
  • The health and social policies in the global south as a means of achieving health for all and the role of the governmental and non-governmental players with regards to these policies
  • Programs to promote health and social well-being
  • Tools to develop health projects
  • Tools to collect, analyse and evaluate statistical data

The most relevant topics will be discussed in field of health and healthcare in the global South. In particular subjects will be addressed like the Sustainable Development Goals, Health for all, Human Development Index, social determinants of health, demographic evolutions, epidemiology, health promotion, the role of NGO’s, the methodology of the Logical Framework, programs like WASH and community based care.


This course unit comprises the following parts:

  • Theoretical base which is mandatory to motivate patients
  • Motivational interviewing techniques and other coaching techniques
  • Course work to train the motivational interviewing and coaching techniques

Flanders and Europe have been the subject of different historical migrations and form a community of different cultures. We live in a multicultural society. Moreover, the increasing economic globalization and the development of new and faster forms of transport and communication have caused distance and time to shrivel. The world has become a "global village". The care worker is increasingly confronted with people from different cultural backgrounds and should handle those differences properly and be aware of his own "cultural" glasses.

The course is based on the TOPOI model. TOPOI is the abbreviation of language, structure, persons, organization and effort. These are the five areas in which cultural differences and misunderstandings can take place. The TOPOI model includes a practical analysis and intervention framework to detect and deal with these cultural differences and misunderstandings in an intercultural contact.

The course comprises the following parts:

Part 1

  • Literature study of actual themes related to different client-groups (children, adults and elderly)

Part 2

  • Adaptation of the physical environment of the elderly with mental health problems ( method along Anneke Van Der Plaats)
  • Case-study: adapt the environment of the elderly along the method of environmental care ( group assignment)
  • Field visit: WZC Heiveld – St. Amandsberg Project of true doors
  • Art and dementia – the role of the OT
  • Field visit: Museum of ‘Deinze and the Leiestreek’ – dementia – friendly tour.
  • Virtual reality and dementia
  • Use of virtual reality in therapy with the elderly e.g. reminiscence: making a movie of the former living environment, important places in the life of the elderly ……
  • Use of virtual reality to give de caregiver insight into what dementia means for the elderly

Possible extra themes

  • Procedure for the disappearance of an older person.

  • Dealing with intimacy among the elderly

  • LGBTQ policy in a nursing home.

Part 3

  • Presentation of a self-selected current theme (group assignment)

The course unit comprises the following parts:

  • Dealing with scientific literature concerning the ongoing research project(s).
  • Literature study of the new roles, function and competences of occupational therapists / health and social care workers working in the field of community development or primary care.
  • Research traditions, scientific work methods and qualitative methodologies (interviewing, focus groups, photovoice method, …)
  • Students gather and analyse research data on the role, function and competences of occupational therapists / health and social care workers, using qualitative methodologies e.g. by interviewing an occupational therapist, who works as a community developer or in a primary care setting.

Structure of the course:

  • Dealing with scientific literature
  • Preparation of field visits and qualitative data gathering
  • Performing data gathering
  • Analyzing data
  • Reporting

U!reka Debates (3 ECTS)

The U!reka debates can be the stage of the U!reka partner institutions that offers university and university college students, teachers and interested parties a forum for reflection on those relevant social, cultural and scientific themes.

One kick-off session is given by the organizing institution with detailed information about the course. This will be followed by an opening lecture.

The other partners organize 2 lectures, one in each semester, with the same theme given by experts from various fields or disciplines. Each lecture is followed by a debate or by questions from the audience.

Intended learning outcomes:

  • Reflect on current relevant themes (society, art, culture and science)
  • Show academic writing skills
  • Obtain an attitude of lifelong learning
  • Improve English communication skills
  • Work in an international team on an assignment
  • Overcome cultural differences to connect with each other
  • Use/choose appropriate digital tools to create effective interactions

Survival Dutch (3 ECTS)

  • This course is an introduction to the Belgian cultural and political characteristics. At the same time, it is a language course: learning Dutch is the central goal. Daily situations are the starting point to learn grammar, vocabulary and specific skills to function in a Dutch speaking environment.

    As a result, the student should be able to:

  • Understand words and basic sentences about himself, family and close environment, when people are talking clearly and slowly
  • Understand sentences and messages on billboards, announcements, etc.
  • Use a number of expressions and sentences to describe oneself, family and other people, education, job, etc.
  • Participate in a simple discussion, when other participants are prepared to talk slowly and repeat certain things if necessary. The student should be able to ask simple questions and give answers as long as it concerns topics that are familiar.

Entrepreneurship/social entrepreneurship (3 ECTS)

This course offers a profound understanding of (social) business modelling and aims to enhance the student’s entrepreneurial competencies. Ideas proposed by the students themselves will be developed into a real business project. Students work in small teams to achieve this goal.

Interprofessional collaboration (3 ECTS)

The course consists of the following components:

  • meetings with students from other programs to elaborate on a case within an interdisciplinary team
  • developing meeting techniques
  • developing knowledge and understanding of responsibilities and vision of other disciplines
  • developing a treatment through the perspective of the student’s own discipline
  • drawing up common treatment goals and an individual treatment plan



Ready to apply
and come to Ghent?

Then check out our application requirements
and practical guide!