Eriksholm Research Centre hosts the 2016 Eriksholm Summr Camp

Eriksholm Research Centre hosts the 2016 Eriksholm Summer Camp. The main purpose of the Eriksholm Summer Camp is to create a learning environment for young audiologists to work together in a partnership of enthusiasm and experience within the framework of Oticon’s philosophy. Our goal is to provide a memorable experience and a network of friends and colleagues around the world. The programme is therefore a combination of lectures and social events.

The annual event, organized by Oticon, brings more than 50 audiology students and recent graduates from all over the world to our premises, where they spend a long weekend with one another. Several of our researchers participate in the camp, to provide an overview of the work we do here, and the very diverse workplace in which we spend so much of our time.

The schedule for our summer camp, stretching from Wednesday through Sunday, is packed full of exciting experiences, new ideas, and social activities to bring everybody into the mix and offer every participant a chance to make new friends and connections around the world. We grabbed some of the campers for a quick chat, and asked about their experience at the 2016 Eriksholm Summer Camp.

Kaushi Ambepitiya, Clinical Audiologist, New Zealand

Kaushi works for a privately owned hearing care clinic in Oakland, New Zealand. He has spent 5 months in the field, after graduating with a master’s degree in audiology, as well as another in biomedicine. He is at the summer camp on personal recommendation from friends, who previously attended the event. We asked Kaushi what he thought about the experience so far.

“I think it is brilliant. To be honest I have been looking forward to this camp for quite a while. It is really everything I expected it to be, and probably better than that, too. I feel like I am already making so many new experiences and friendships with people from all over the world. It is usually a certain type of personality that is drawn to this work – you have to be sociable, a little outgoing, and open towards new people – and that just makes it a lot easier to connect with people on a personal level.”

When asked whether he thought the camp would give him a new set of tools to bring back home, Kaushi had nothing but praise for the camp and its organizers.

“One of my main reasons for applying to the summer camp was to see what audiology is like around the world. Some things you do differently in every country, whether it is New Zealand, Denmark or Germany. That was one of my main motivators behind coming to the camp, learning how we do things in different parts of the world. In addition to that, there have been some great talks already, with some very in-depth topics covered. Particularly on the point of living with hearing aids and brain hearing, that was something I had not considered in the same way before. I feel I am better equipped now to deal with hearing care in a more holistic manner, taking into account not just the fitting of the hearing aid, but also the patients’ lifestyles and how they utilize their hearing aids in their daily lives.”

Damen Griffiths, Clinical Audiologist, United Kingdom

Damen is on his 9th month working as a hearing-care professional for the National Health Service in Manchester, after finishing his bachelor of audiology. Before coming here, Damen was not entirely sure what to expect from the event. He had not heard much about it in advance, but decided to apply for the camp and see for himself.

“I like that there is a mix between students and professionals, and that the camp blends the professional and the casual atmospheres so well. I feel like you get to know people on a personal, friendly level, while you get to share your experiences, knowledge and personal background. It really mixes very well, and you meet people from all over the world in this one single place.”

Like Kaushi before him, Damen felt the event has given him insight to the patients’ lives and way of thinking, in a way that his education did not.

“When you study at the university, what you are taught is very general and essential knowledge; you know, the things you need to know in order to do this job. This camp, on the other hand, is much more in-depth, and looks into some of the topics that the universities might not. In that sense, I believe the camp will give us more knowledge on the patients and their lives. That we will learn not only how hearing aids help people with hearing impairment, but also what we as hearing-care professionals can do to help them further.”

Mary Jordan, AUD Student, United States

Mary is on her fourth clinical year in doctoral audiology at Salus University. Like Kaushi, Mary is here on personal recommendation by a manager of audiology. "I am very honored and humbled to have been afforded this opportunity to be with other professionals and audiology students in this beautiful location. I am just kind of embracing it and taking it all in."

We asked Mary how she felt about the camp in general, and being with guests all over the world.

"It is such an honor to be surrounded by so many different professionals. We have not been here very long, but I have learned so much about various cultures and the way they do audiology in their countries. You know, it is such a small field, but it just presents itself as being so large within the confines of the camp. It gets you a lot of connections in working with other people. It has been a really exciting time to be a part of the camp, and all of the speakers so far have done something different within the field, as well as moved on to what is next in the industry. You know, we have not talked about the past or the present, the focus is on what is in the future, what is next, what is best for our patients. I feel like the people at Oticon are really honest about their company and what they offer, because they are always thinking about how to move ahead, how to improve on the product they already have."

Like the two before her, Mary agreed that the best thing about the camp is the connections and the network the camp offers to its guests.

"I would say the people are the thing I will remember the most. I feel like long-term it is going to be good for me to have access to minds and technologies around the world, in Brazil, in France, wherever. I feel like we have been given such an opportunity to make as many connections as we want around the world, and that is something I can really appreciate."

The summer camp will end on Sunday morning. Until then, our many guests will be taken around the Eriksholm and Oticon offices, as well as to some of the local sights that Denmark has to offer. We wish you all the best during your stay!