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Mobility Week in Occupational Therapy

Since 2009, the Institute of Occupational Therapy has been organizing this international student and faculty exchange. The primary goal of the week is to provide students with the opportunity to meet with peers from both domestic and foreign backgrounds and engage in discussions about occupational therapy in various countries within and outside of Europe.

Mobility Week Network

What began in 2009 as an exchange between two Swiss Occupational Therapy Universities from Winterthur and Lausanne, has become open to students and faculty from various universities in different countries. Not only has the number of participating universities increased, but since 2014, Mobility Weeks have also taken place at two partner institutions; the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and since 2015 the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm joined as a third partner. All three weeks share the overarching theme of "Professional Identity" in the current global context.

Mobility Week 2024: 23. - 25. May

Starting in 2024, the Mobility Week will have a new look. On the one hand, it will take place in spring instead of winter, lasting for three days (1 ECTS) from Thursday to Saturday. The international days will now be themed "Building Bridges for a Sustainable Future – Occupational Therapists in Action" and will be held from May 23 to May 25, 2024. Below are the program details, along with additional information in the following flyer. The registration form will be made available in December 2023. Registration ends on February 28th 2024.

Program Thursday and Friday

You will participate in a two-day workshop and dive deep into one topic. In an international team, you will work, facilitated by experts in the field. There will be a pre-course online meeting where you get to know each other and discuss issues related to your workshop topic, with each student bringing in their country's perspective. During the registration, you will have the chance to decide to participate either in workshop A or B (first-come, first-served basis):

Workshop A) Inclusive Societies:     

According to the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, they have the right to be an inclusive part of the society and to participate in all areas of public life. This requires major transformations, including in the areas of work, education and housing. Therefore, countries have to develop a strategy and action plan to end the institutionalization of all persons with disabilities, with measures to prevent trans-institutionalisation and to support the transition from institutions to life in the community. But there is a big gap between the legal basis and their actual implementation. Discussions with experts with a disability, inputs and intensive work in groups will analyze the actual situation and develop solutions for a more inclusive society.

What you will learn in this workshop:

Workshop B) Planetary Health: 

Planetary Health presents the connection between the functionality of ecosystems and health. It becomes clear that human health is directly dependent on ecosystems. Consequently, the threats posed to human health by the environmental crisis must be taken seriously and structural solutions found. With the help of the concept of Planetary Health, the entire healthcare system, including occupational therapy, can develop and accompany climate- and health-conscious activities together with the people. In this way, the health system assumes its responsibility for the health of the population. A core element of occupational therapy is people's everyday activities. In carrying out these activities, the use of resources contributes to the environmental crisis. By influencing activity, occupational therapy has a great potential to implement aspects of the Planetary Health concept. In this workshop you will learn about the potential of Planetary Health for occupational therapy and work out common approaches using concrete examples from different countries.

What you will learn in this workshop:

Program Saturday: Un-conference – Working Together for a Sustainable Tomorrow

Exploring the theme of sustainability, we are organizing an un-conference for students and staff. In this participant-driven event, attendees collaboratively shape the agenda and guide discussions. Unlike conventional conferences, unconferences empower participants to lead sessions, fostering open dialogue, active engagement, and knowledge exchange on various sustainability-related topics. We are excited to co-create our first international un-conference together with you!

Social Events

During the first two evenings student lead social events will take place. You will be able to discover Winterthur and have time to network, get to know each other and have fun. There will also be an international buffet to which each participant will contribute with specialties from their region.

For further information on how to get to the campus and places to stay, follow the Link to our international Winter School below. A few beds are reserved in the Hostel Depot 195 which is close by, use “OT Mobility Week” as a reference.

Dates 23rd to 25th of May
Course Hours 08:30-17:00
Social Events Thursday and Friday evening
Language English
Cost CHF 50.-
Credits 1 ECTS (30 hrs), including a pre-course online meeting with your team
Grading Pass/Fail (if you need a grade, there will be a Post-Task)
Registration starts end of January 2024, ends on February 28th 2024 – on our website
Accommodation and practical information Plan accommodation and budget before enrolling in the course. Further infos see Practical information below
Contact Verena Langlotz Kondzic, International Coordinator:
Angelika Echsel, Modul Lead:

Location and Campus Life

The courses take place at ZHAW School of Health Sciences, Winterthur, Switzerland. The city of Winterthur is a very pretty, small town near Zurich. The cities of Zurich, Berne and Lucerne as well as the Swiss mountains with its skiing resorts are easily reachable by public transport.


Organisation and booking of accommodation are in the responsibility of each participant.


Participants are responsible to ensure adequate insurance coverage in Switzerland. Recommended are

Before you leave your home country, please check your personal insurance coverage, and find out from your insurance provider whether it is sufficient to cover liability for the entire period of your stay in Switzerland.

Past Partners since 2009