Kim Wilkins found that investigating her study options paid off

Kim Wilkins talks about her experiences as an acupuncture student, and the importance of doing some research before deciding on any type of study.

“I think it’s a good idea when you have an idea on what you want to study to do a bit of investigation. When I started getting interested in acupuncture as a career option, I emailed the New Zealand School of Acupuncture to talk with someone about what the course was like and what it was all about. And from those early days, I’ve never looked back.

 “Studying acupuncture is full-on. There’s a lot of Western medical theory to study and in your first year you learn a lot about the physiology of the body, chemistry and a lot of microbiology as well. It’s a very detailed level of study and some people struggle with the academic side of things. They might come into the course thinking, ‘Yeah, acupuncture – it’s all about qi and energy and stuff like that’. Yes, that’s a part of it but studying acupuncture is a lot more scientific too and you have to work hard at it.

“One of the things I’ve liked about studying at the acupuncture school is the age range of students. I had studied previously at uni and after I finished my degree I thought, ‘Oh no, am I getting too old to study again?’ Four years’ more study while all my friends are earning money and getting married and doing all that stuff. So it was nice to come here and see that there are 18-year-olds to people in their 50s studying acupuncture.

“I also found that studying at the acupuncture school was a completely different experience from studying at university. It’s very hands-on and you know everyone at the school, compared to at uni where a lot of your tutors don’t even know your name.

“My advice to people wanting to study acupuncture? Don’t underestimate how much work it is going to be. You need to be prepared to work hard and stay open-minded. Be prepared for your thinking to change quite a lot too. I started out as with a very black and white scientific view but now accept there are often many ways of looking at the same thing and they can all be equally valid.”

Updated 31 Aug 2015