What should you consider before committing to such an undertaking?
It takes time to become a medical herbalist, most courses range from 3 years to up to 7 years. Do you have the time to commit to the course? It’s not just the length of the course before you can qualify, what about the time it’s going to take away from your family and work commitments?
Most courses require at least 10 hours per week of study, is this something you can commit to?
Most courses will involve study days, clinic days, and travelling, these all take time.
Unfortunately there aren’t many herbalists out there who accept work alone as a payment for their time in teaching you (or vegetables etc). (See herbalists who take WWOOFers!)
Money is the exchange that we use now, and it is often the most difficult part, but is also a way of showing commitment and worth to what you are studying. You are showing your appreciation for the knowledge of the herbalists who have gone before you.
This is the one that people always forget, but is crucial for you to reach your potential in any new endeavour, the support of friends and family. Whether that’s someone to do the washing up when you’re revising for an exam, or someone to build you up and give you confidence before a presentation.
This tends to be the easy one; do you have passion for what you’re going to study? Usually that’s passion for plants (very helpful!), but sometimes that’s passion for the people you’re going to help. Or both!
I always say that being a herbalist is more of a vocation than a career (but it can certainly be both), if asked, you will often hear herbalists say “I became a herbalist because I felt I was meant to”.
One of the most important things to consider is whether you can commit to a course. Taking into account all of the other points, are you in a position to commit yourself to this journey?
- The right course for you
So you’re all set, you’ve thought above the five points above, you have your passion, support, commitment, time and dare I say it, money. So which is the right course for you?
Degree, Diploma, Apprenticeship?
You might want to consider the following when looking at courses:
- How long is the course?
- How much is the course?
- Are you eligible for financial support?
- Is it in person or online or both?
- What style of teaching and learning is involved?
- What sort of qualification will I get at the end?
- What can I do with that qualification?
- Where is the course? How far will I have to travel?
- Are there any prerequisites?
- Is the course accredited? And what does that affect?
The best way to answer these questions is by visiting the course websites, reading their prospectuses, talking to previous or current students/apprentices, and getting in touch with the course leaders.
Take a look at our comparison table of the routes to train as a medical herbalist in the UK and Ireland, for more information. http://betonica.lauracarpenter.co.uk/routes-to-become-a-medical-herbalist/