Top Ten Questions to Consider When Choosing an Acupuncture School
Choosing which school to attend for your acupuncture training is a big decision. Here are the top ten questions to consider when choosing an acupuncture school:
1. What tradition of acupuncture is taught at the school?
There are many traditions of acupuncture and different thought systems surrounding the art. There is Japanese acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture, 5 Element acupuncture, Oriental Medicine acupuncture, facial or cosmetic acupuncture, medical acupuncture etc. Do a little research on the kind of acupuncture you wish to learn as they are not all the same.
2. What kind of program are you interested in?
It is important to be clear about what kind of acupuncture program you are interested in.
Do you wish to start a practice and see clients once you are trained? Do you just want to add the tools of acupuncture to other healing work you are already doing? Or, do you want to learn about acupuncture for your own health and to understand what your acupuncturist is doing with you during your treatments?
There are programs at various acupuncture schools to suit all interests. Acupuncture There are three, four and five-year programs training acupuncture professionals. There are weekend courses for doctors and nurses or physiotherapists who wish to add acupuncture to their existing practice. And there are seminars, workshops and websites for those people just wanting to learn a bit about acupuncture or Chinese medicine for their own knowledge.
Most schools will offer a variety of programs to fit your needs. There are two or three-year, fast tracked, acupuncture or herbology programs, four-year Practitioner of Chinese Medicine program including acupuncture and herbal medicine, as well as a five-year Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine Programs covering acupuncture, herbal medicine and all the tools of Chinese medicine.
3. What is the language of instruction at the school?
There are acupuncture schools all over the world teaching in virtually every language.
Being a science of the Orient, many of the ancient writings about acupuncture are in the Mandarin language and Chinese characters. At some schools students are taught in English and Mandarin with Mandarin language taken the first two years of school and many notes and teacher’s instructions in both English and written characters. Look into schools that offer a Mandarin language component as it deepens the study and understanding of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Many students tell us that the language component is one of the things that helps set one acupuncture school apart from another.
4. Who are the teachers at the school?
The instructors at the acupuncture school that you choose to attend will make all the difference. Choose a school that has instructors who have worked in the field, see clients in a clinical setting, and can comment on the practice of acupuncture. Many people may understand acupuncture theory but the art and skill that comes from seeing clients daily in a clinical setting cannot be learned from a book. Choose a school that has instructors who are experts in their field and who have real life experience in the courses they are teaching.
5. How much does the program cost?
Program costs are as variable as the students wanting to study acupuncture. In Canada most tuition starts around $200 a credit with the average year having 50 credits.
There are usually different program rates depending on the program you are interested in.
Remember, you get what you pay for!
6. What kind of learning environment do you desire?
Just as it is important to know what kind of learner you are, it is also important to know what kind of learning environment you do best in. Do you prefer small classes, quiet study areas and green space to relax in? Or, do you prefer group learning, music and social interactions, games and challenges to help you remember information?
Some campuses are in busy downtown locations and high-rise office spaces; others are in rural settings or deep in the mountains. Our favorite schools offer a variety of study areas to suit the needs of the students. Research if the school you are thinking about attending has a school library for quiet study, a student lounge for more lively discussions over lunch, or spacious classrooms for you to stretch out and make yourself at home in. Some of the best schools have a school bookstore and herbal dispensary on campus and are close to a plethora of restaurants and healthy food options nearby for re-fueling.