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OzTREKK University of Sydney Master of Physiotherapy student shares Australian advice

Although Stephenie Cochrane is new to Australia, she hasn’t wasted any time immersing herself in the culture, recreation and studies at the University of Sydney.

A dedicated Master of Physiotherapy student, she even finds time to take to the ice and plays for the Canterbury Eagles in the New South Wales ice hockey league.

Stephenie arrived in Oz this spring and immediately dove into her studies and new life. The OzTREKKER caught up with this busy go-getter to get her perspective on studying physiotherapy in Australia — and get some advice for other potential students thinking of taking the plunge to study in Australia!

What pulled you toward studying physiotherapy?
My family is very big into sports and therefore had tons of sports injuries. I was always watching someone recover from some injury.

The biggest one was when my brother broke his femur playing hockey. When the bone had healed he had lost so much muscle it was very hard to walk.

He went to physiotherapy to help ensure proper biomechanics and it really inspired me to be a physiotherapist. I want to be able to assist people in recovering from injuries in a proper way and at a faster pace.

Why did you decide to study physiotherapy in Australia?
Honestly, I applied (to physiotherapy programs) Down Under because the application fees were waived, so I said why not? I didn’t believe I would get in at the time, and then when I did I was so excited to go and knew nothing was going to stop me.

How would you describe your experience thus far in the University of Sydney, Master of Physiotherapy program?
I love the program (at the University of Sydney). The first year is all classes and second year is five blocks of placements, five weeks long with half a semester of classes in the middle. It makes for a good balance between the hands-on aspect of learning and the in-class learning. Each class also has a tutorial, so you get the hands-on experience while learning it. I also love that I am able to travel on my breaks! Even if it’s on a weekend to Melbourne or another city close by.

What do you do outside of your study/classroom time in Australia?
I love to hang out at the beach. They are a bit far from my house, but it is so worth the drive or bus ride! I also found a hockey league (although if you call it hockey down here they think you are talking about field hockey). I currently am playing for the Canterbury Eagles in the NSW ice hockey league and in the summer will play for Sydney in their National League. I’m really excited for that because I will get to travel for hockey! Instead of just spending the weekend in a different city, I will take a week and stay at each one a little longer after the games. I believe the cities we travel to are Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide on various weekends to play.

What do you hope to do following graduation?
I’d like to move back (to Canada) and start working right away; however, with the exams I have to write to practice in Canada I think I might stay in Australia for a year while the process happens and work down here. I will just fly back for the exams, then once certified I can move home again.

What advice would you give to a Canadian considering studying physiotherapy in Australia?
Use OzTREKK and plan ahead! OzTREKK was so helpful when doing this. They have all kinds of information that you need and may never think of on your own, and they are so supportive the whole way through! They even meet you down here and take you where you need to go when you first arrive! It’s great!

This interview is published in the May 2013 edition of The OzTREKKER, along with other informative stories on studying in Australian for audiology, occupational therapychiropractic and speech pathology!

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Does the Master of Physiotherapy program at the University of Sydney sound appealing? Learn more! Look into other Australian graduate physiotherapy programs at Australian universities!

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