Study Therapy Abroad

The word therapist comes from ancient Greek. In ancient Greece, a therapist was someone who stood by the warriors to observe the environment and warn of possible dangers. In this sense, a therapist is a person who stands by other people , advises and supports them.

The main job of a therapist is to recognize the problems of his patients and to specifically help them to overcome them. Since people have different problems, the range of therapists and forms of therapy is large. There are psychotherapists who help people with mental disorders or speech therapists who treat people with speech problems. In the occupational therapy it comes to mitigate disease and disability through targeted physical activities and physical therapists help with injuries and musculoskeletal disorders.

Therapy as a subject: a variety of training options

As different as the fields of activity of the various therapists are, as different are the training paths.


Approved psychotherapists , i.e. state-recognized psychotherapists , go through the longest training. Students must first acquire a master’s or diploma degree in psychology or complete a medical degree with the second state examination. Afterwards, they can continue their training as a “psychological psychotherapist”, a “medical psychotherapist” or specialist doctor who is allowed to work in psychotherapy. Anyone who wants to treat children and young people as a psychotherapist can complete additional training as a psychotherapist after studying social work , social pedagogy or related subjects.

Speech therapy

Speech therapy is quite new as a subject. Until recently, training as a speech therapist was only possible in the form of an apprenticeship. In contrast to this classic training path, a speech therapy course contains more scientific content . The students not only get to know different forms of illness and therapy options, but also the biomedical background of speech, swallowing or voice disorders. However, many universities and technical colleges require a completed vocational training. A dual course of study that combines theoretical and practical phases is also possible.

Occupational therapy

For occupational therapy too, special courses of study have only recently existed in higher education. As in the case of speech therapy, it is also about expanding practical knowledge about medical and social science backgrounds. In addition to the various methods of occupational therapy, subjects such as biology , anatomy, psychology and sociology are on the curriculum. To ensure that practical experience is not neglected, many universities offer dual study programs in which studies are combined with training. Alternatively, the students go through several practical phasesin which they try out the various forms of occupational therapy.

Physical therapy

In the course of the professionalization of the medical professions , universities are increasingly offering courses in the field of physiotherapy . Similar to study programs in speech therapy and occupational therapy, many universities here also require a completed professional training. Alternatively, students can complete an apprenticeship parallel to their studies or acquire practical knowledge in practical phases during their studies. In addition to various physiotherapy and massage techniques, the students get to know the medical and social science background of diseases.

Studies or training? A comparison

In contrast to traditional training, the university courses also focus on specific background knowledge . In addition, the students get to know the techniques of scientific work and have the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree after completing their bachelor’s degree. This opens up the opportunity to acquire knowledge in related subjects, such as naturopathy , or to prepare for certain professional aspects. Many universities offer, for example, Master programs with economic focus on, such as in the field of health management .

Personal requirements for studying therapy

Anyone interested in a course in the field of therapy should first and foremost enjoy dealing with people . Qualities such as empathy, communication skills and patience are essential for a therapist. An interest in scientific and medical subjects and social science contexts is also required for university studies .

Occupational fields

Most therapists later find their field of activity in health care . They work in clinics, hospitals and rehabilitation centers. They work in dormitories for the mentally ill, in facilities for the disabled or in care for the elderly. Many graduates set up their own practice after a few years of professional experience.

A university degree opens up additional perspectives and career opportunities. Graduates have the opportunity to take on advisory activities at health insurance companies or to work in adult education . Master’s graduates are free to go into research or pursue an academic career at a university.

Studying therapy abroad: advantages

A university degree in therapy offers the advantage of completing part of the degree abroad . Unlike in Germany, professions such as speech therapist or physiotherapist have long been academic in other countries. In some of these areas there are well-organized courses and excellent teaching. One or more semesters abroad gives you the opportunity to benefit from this experience. In addition to professional training, you will expand or optimize your foreign language skills and gain valuable intercultural skills .

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