ENOTHE Annual Meeting 2022 in Tbilisi, Georgia

This year’s ENOTHE annual meeting took place from October 12th – 16th in Tbilisi. Our Student Board Member Vanessa Rozalina, President Julie Valckx and Blogger Kira Hanßmann were there in Person. 

The location of the annual meeting was the beautiful old building of the “Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University”.

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Before the beginning of the congress the Tuning task force organised a Tuning Day, on which students and teachers/professors worked in groups to give their input on relevant topics and skills as an OT – these would be included in the revised version of our reference framework for OT in higher education. The tuning task force is working closely with CALOHEE to revise our current reference framework on competencies that should be acquired during bachelors’, masters’, and PhD programs in OT in Europe.

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Julie had the honour of being the first ever student to give a keynote speech at an ENOTHE congress. She presented the topic: “Globalisation, Internationalisation, and Occupational Therapy”. With her masters in Global Health, she was able to link these topics with each other and state her point of view.

In addition to learning about new and relevant topics in Higher Education of OT in Europe by taking part in workshops and listening to presentations, we also learned a lot about a culture that was new to us.

What SPOT did

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We had our own information stand in the meeting hall at the “Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State  University” and were able to talk to many students from across Europe. Together with mini SPOT Georgia, SPOT hosted a workshop in which students could learn more about Georgian culture and the creation of their mini SPOT in Tbilisi. The students also got to have their own sensory experience with different items that were prepared by the Georgian students. These included wheat grains, peas, Georgian herbs and spices and oats. Working together with the Georgian students was a great experience for us. It was awesome to see so many students interested in internationalisation and motivated to establish a mini SPOT – it is currently one of our mini SPOTs with the most members. 

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It was great to connect with ENOTHE members and Samantha Shann, president of the WFOT. We believe our voice will be heard if we speak up. Students can help shape the way of the future of our profession. Connecting is the first step towards that. And we realised it is much easier and more fun in person. Especially since we work closely with ENOTHE, but rarely have the chance to meet in person. 

Besides being at the congress, we of course also had the evenings to plan things ourselves. One of these evenings we spent with Samantha Shann and students from Austria and Norway at a Georgian Restaurant. On the second evening, ENOTHE held the traditional social dinner. The location had a lovely view over Tbilisi. Students, professors, and teachers mingled at the big round tables and danced into the night. The food was amazing. For this picture, all the students who joined this year’s ENOTHE annual meeting got together. There were students from Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Georgia and more. 

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We thank the Georgian host students! You were very lovely and welcoming to us. This will be an experience to remember, and who knows, maybe we will see each other again in Spain in 2023 for the next annual meeting? And hopefully we’ll meet some of you readers as well! 😊

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