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International Winter School

Interprofessional Challenges in the Health and Social Sector

6 – 31 January 2025

A cooperation between the ZHAW School of Health Sciences, the ZHAW School of Social Work, the INUAS and the COHEHRE network.

Join us for the International Winter School 2025!

The ZHAW School of Health Sciences in Winterthur, Switzerland, is thrilled to announce an exciting International Winter School 2025!

Are you a health or social work student?  Do you want to experience interprofessional collaboration? Our International Winter School 2025 offers the unique opportunity to meet Swiss and international students online or on campus to learn more about interprofessional collaboration within the health and social system.

Working with the different professions gave me a wide range of knowledge, which allowed me to know about the area of work of the other professions and the techniques by which all the professions can work in a connected manner. The week was filled with so much enthusiasm that being in a different time zone did not make me feel less interested in it.

Shuchismita Ghosh, Christ University Bangalore, India

The International Winter School for interprofessional collaboration in the health and social sector

What can Winter School participants expect?

Future health professionals and social workers gain new competences in dealing with complex and challenging interprofessional situations and learn how to collaborate efficiently. 

Students participate in role-play activities, study visits, group projects and interactive lectures. They learn about working together in interprofessional teams, in different health and social systems and with clients and professionals from different cultures.

Who can participate?

We welcome international future health and social work professionals to join the 470 ZHAW BSc students in their third year of study in the fields of midwifery, nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, health promotion and prevention, and social work.  

Courses are primarily aimed at the bachelor level, but master level students are equally welcome to participate. Because some practical experience is required, participants must be at least in the second year of their BSc programme.

In which languages are the courses held? And which language level is required?

Some of the courses are held in English and some in German. Please check in the course details below if your chosen course is available in your preferred language. To attend a course, a B1-B2 language level is required.

How many credits can be gained and how much involvement is required?

For each course, students will gain 2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits subject to 50-60 hours of student work. Preparatory assignment, full-time attendance during the five course days and a successful end-of-week assessment are required. Participants can book one full-time course per week. All courses take place from Monday to Friday 08:00 – 17:00 Central European Time (CET) unless otherwise stated. Students will get a certificate after fulltime course attendance and successful completion of the course assignment(s).

In which format do courses take place?

Most courses will be held on campus in Winterthur. A few courses will be taught in an online format.

What are the course fees?

The course fee is CHF 50.00 (approx. EUR 50.00) per full-time course. The total amount will be charged upon registration (payment by Visa/Mastercard).

Can registrations be cancelled?

If a course cannot take place as planned, the ZHAW reserves the right to make adaptations or cancel a course. Registered participants will be informed as early as possible of any changes. Registered participants who withdraw due to ZHAW course adaptations (e.g. switching from an on campus to an online format) will not be refunded. Courses canceled by ZHAW will be fully refunded. Any further claims for compensation are excluded.

Attending the Winter School at the ZHAW School of Health Sciences has revitalized my perception of my professional identity and sparked a need to push harder for visibility. Despite the time zone issue in joining virtually from the United States, my enjoyment of presentations and collaboration motivated me to get up each day. This was truly an amazing experience and I recommend this to any OT students who are able to attend!

Siarah Jones, Tufts University Boston, USA

Course overview

Calendar week 2: 6 – 10 January 2025

Calendar week 3: 13 – 17 January 2025

Calendar week 5: 27  – 31 January 2025

I really enjoyed the virtual week in Switzerland. It was easy for me to lose my inhibitions about speaking English. Everyone was accepted and was able to contribute their strengths, and in the group you were very well supported in case of problems and difficulties. It was a week full of inspiration and fun. The structure of the seminar was very diverse and entertaining. 

Angelique Teßmann-Schnakenberg, Hochschule Bremen, Germany

Course details

Diversity in Health Professions (English only)

Dates 6 – 10 January 2025 (course A), on campus
13 – 17 January 2025 (course B), on campus
The same course is held twice.
Language English    
Learning format Course A and B: On campus course
On campus presence in Winterthur for whole week required.
Short description We will discuss concepts of diversity and intercultural communication and apply them to practical situations. Students will develop their competence in dealing with culturally diverse people at work and develop skills to interact more effectively with people from different backgrounds by means of case studies, simulations, games and working on critical incidents.  

Study Visits to Swiss Health and Social Care Institutions (English only) - Waiting list

Dates 6 – 10 January 2025    
Language English    
Learning format On campus course
On campus presence in Winterthur for whole week required.
Short description We will travel from Winterthur to Zurich and into the mountains to visit different institutions where health and social work professionals work together. Jointly, we will learn about and reflect on the challenges of their daily interprofessional work. Presentations of each participating country’s health and social care system broaden the perspective beyond students’ own health and social system.    

Krisen und Coping (German only)

Daten 13. – 17. Januar 2025    
Sprache Deutsch    
Lernformat Der Kurs wird vor Ort durchgeführt.
Anwesenheit an der ZHAW in Winterthur wird für die ganze Woche vorausgesetzt.
Beschreibung Es gibt verschiedene Arten von Krisen und Bewältigungsstrategien. Wir thematisieren Stress, Burnout, Krise und Trauma sowie Bewältigung aus psychologischer, soziologischer und neurobiologischer Sicht. Die Teilnehmenden reflektieren ihre eigenen Bewältigungsstrategien und Verhaltensweisen und lernen, wie sie als Gesundheitsfachpersonen in akuten Krisensituationen unterstützen können.    

Interprofessionelle Zusammenarbeit in komplexen Fällen (German only)

Daten 13. – 17. Januar 2025    
Sprache Deutsch    
Lernformat Der Kurs wird vor Ort durchgeführt.
Anwesenheit an der ZHAW in Winterthur wird für die ganze Woche vorausgesetzt.
Beschreibung Das Von-über-und-miteinander-Lernen steht im Fokus dieser praxisnahen Woche. Durch den Besuch einer Institution, verschiedene Workshops zu aktuellen Themen aus der Praxis und das Bearbeiten eines konkreten Falls erleben und wenden Sie interprofessionelle Interventionen, Konzepte und Assessments an und diskutieren Chancen und Herausforderungen Interprofessioneller Zusammenarbeit.    

Working Together as Professionals in Health and Social Care at Home and Abroad (English only)

Dates 27 – 31 January 2025    
Language English    
Learning format Online course    
Short description Students from different countries and different professions in the health and social care system meet, share, and learn together. In a mixture of e-learning sequences and online meetings, we will compare professional and interprofessional identities as well as interprofessional collaboration from an international perspective and against the backdrop of different fields of practice.    

It was interesting to hear how health care professions in Switzerland are organized and structured. Some points are like what I know from Belgium, but there are also differences which I didn’t expect. When we worked together for a week on a project, we had interesting conversations and shared interesting information. The week with Swiss students and professionals has broadened my view as a health care professional.

Laura Hesters, Ghent University, Belgium

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.

International Winter School at the ZHAW

Online-Winter School 2022