Ekta, Year 1 Student Ambassador
My name is Ekta, I’m 19 years old from the UK and started at the ESO straight after high school.
Why did you choose to study at the ESO?
I chose the ESO not only for its convenient location of being close to both the city and the coast, but the inclusive nature of the course. With bigger universities you can feel like you get lost in a sea of students, lectures may not be as personalised by at the ESO that is completely different. Being a smaller university/osteopathy school, you really get to know your own year as well as the others, lecturers know your name and are easily accessible too. In addition to this, I liked the idea of being at a university that is so varied in terms of the kind of students that come to study. Students from all walks of life, all ages, this school is truly unique in that sense. I had also heard from word of mouth that the teaching at the ESO is world class, the lecturers are extremely passionate about their subjects and deliver mentally stimulating lectures – which I can now confirm is true.
Did you have any specific concern before joining the ESO?
I was slightly worried that the workload could be a lot, the first 2 years mirroring the same content as medicine, and especially with our current COVID-19 situation I was concerned that I would miss out and fall behind due to a lack of in person contact with my lecturers. And considering that there is a lot to take in at once, for some students this is their first time living away from home, cooking for themselves, essentially having to self-discipline for the first time and this can be over-whelming with how difficult school life can be too. However, I can now confirm that this is not the case. Lecturers regularly contact via emails, in person lectures in PPE mean that we aren’t missing out and I really appreciate that lecturers have ensured we aren’t at a disadvantage in terms of resources as everything is online and easily accessible. For support we have the opportunity to speak to advisors at school and personal tutors designated to us that we can contact over Microsoft teams which means that despite our pandemic situation, we don’t feel as ‘left to our own devices’.
What do you enjoy most about studying at the ESO?
The thing that I most enjoy about the ESO are the lectures. Not just that they’re interesting and insightful, but that lecturers encourage us to think not just literally about things. We are encouraged to actively explore philosophical meanings of concepts we learn, grow in our mentalities and decide what kind of beliefs we develop as training osteopaths and then what kind of osteopaths we want to be. I also enjoy my lunch breaks as there are many options as to what we do with our time, students can go for a run, a walk around the grounds which are full of so much nature, we can sit in the cafeteria, practice in the practice rooms, study in the library – the choice really is ours. I also really love the library, it’s small and intimate so you really get to know people you see regularly, there are a wide range of books available for us to check out and when we do, we can keep these for longer than a week if we need and just bring them back when prompted to do so by our emails (which is also very helpful as its easy sometimes to forget).
What is student life like at the ESO?
Student life at the ESO, for myself, is a little difficult due to the current pandemic, but this has not stopped me making amazing friends in classes, going on walks at lunch time and (pre lockdown) going out and socialising in town. It’s a shame that there are such restrictions, but I have no doubt that as soon as lockdown is over, it will be even more enjoyable as it was before lockdown.
What are your aspirations once you’ve graduated?
For myself, I would like to continue my studies with possibly a further degree, or even get my PhD, but travelling as I do so. I know this degree will give me the opportunity to practice in a number of different countries around the world. I could even practice as I study further. The opportunities are limitless – animal osteopathy, further study, practice, research and more. However, I plan to use what I learn in the degree to decide exactly what kind of osteopath I intend to be and this will determine the exact course of further study I take.
If you could sum up your time at the ESO to date, what would you say?
I would say that my time at the ESO has, to date, been challenging at times but intriguing and I feel mentally enriched – every week there’s something new to learn. I love my classmates and feel like I’ve found a place that I can really explore common interests with people so similar but yet so different than myself. For me, living away from home has been challenging at times but with a support system like this, and a year so close to one another, it’s made the transition a lot easier.