Future of Wellness: An eye-opening volunteer experience that led to a healing career

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | 16 January, 2023

A volunteer placement in an acupuncture hospital in Vietnam opened Zoe Rosa’s eyes and mind to the potential of natural medicine. A few years later, while completing her degree, Zoe won the 2022 ATMS Student of the Year award for outstanding achievement.

“I spent a month in Vietnam doing disability work,” Zoe said. “My job was to perform acupressure on the children in the hospital from 9 to 5. It was a confronting experience but also eye-opening. The children were paralysed from different conditions or injuries and received acupuncture twice daily and herbal infusions.”

“Vietnam was my first taste of natural health in action. I didn’t grow up around it,” she said. “In Vietnam, I lived with other volunteers in the local area. I went vegetarian, which opened my mind to how eating differently made me feel better. Since my mid-teens, I had severe acne, and when I changed my diet, I saw my symptoms improve.”

After her experience in Vietnam, Zoe decided to change her lifestyle. Not realising that natural health was a career option in Australia, she started a sports science degree at university and then moved to occupational therapy a year later. By this time, she’d discovered naturopathy.

“The naturopath regulated my periods for the first time in my life, and my skin had healed. I was fascinated,” Zoe said. “I loved OT, but during prac placements, I kept asking people about what they were eating. I realised I wanted to help prevent disease – not treat it at the end state.”

“Through Instagram, I asked for recommendations about where to study naturopathy. Everyone said good things about Endeavour, and when I read the course outline, I felt aligned, so I took a leap of faith and enrolled.”

Zoe said having two years of science-related study under her belt helped. “Naturopathy is a science-heavy degree, which some students don’t realise. You must immerse yourself in it and connect with your teachers and peers. You need each other to get through.”

“Naturopathy takes discipline and commitment. During my studies, I kept coming back to the reason I started. Having that purpose – knowing my ‘why’ – helped me keep going,” Zoe said.

While studying at Endeavour, Zoe also volunteered again. This time with Endeavour graduate Lauren Lacey in Fiji, joining a team of nutritionists and naturopaths to conduct health checks for local people.

Zoe is excited about what the future holds. She can’t wait to help many people with their health, particularly their skin, after her decade-long experience with acne. “Acne is difficult emotionally and physically, but I know I can help others find confidence in their skin.

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Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

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