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Articles categorized as ‘OzTREKK’

Friday, August 18th, 2017

A Canadian coffee lover’s experience in Australia

“Coffee is a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup.” ~ Gertrude Stein

A Canadian coffee lover's experience in Australia

Coffee in Australia is an experience to be savoured

OzTREKK Director Chris Nolan loves coffee. In fact, every time he visits “headquarters” here in Perth, he juggles multiple cups throughout the day with grin in place, eyes crinkled, and music wafting from whichever area he’s “working” in. We’ll use the term working loosely here. Mostly he’s chatting with all of us and encouraging us to stop what we’re doing to enjoy a moment of hilarity. Always a bonus, working at OzTREKK.

So, as our coffee connoisseur, Chris has noted there are some not-so-subtle differences between Canuck coffee and Aussie coffee, and for everyone heading to Oz, you’ll need to be up on your coffee vocab. We’ll let Chris explain:

I love coffee. Appreciate a well-prepared cup, sitting and savouring it while catching up on the news of the day, or in a café chatting with a friend or people watching. I am not a fancy coffee drinker who orders a low fat, triple shot, with extra hot soy milk in a small cup kind of guy, but I appreciate good coffee.

You know who else enjoys quality coffee? Aussies!

It was one of the first things I noticed about Australia my first time there: they are fanatical about their coffee. And it is very European in that regard with a focus on espresso-based coffee, likely because of the large immigration of Italians post WWII. For those of you who have been fortunate enough to visit Australia, you will know what I am talking about. For those of you who haven’t, here is some lingo to remember when ordering coffee in Oz!

You can still get a regular latté, cappuccino, mocha in most cafés, but here are three staples in Aussie coffee culture you should know about:

1. The long black – No Tim Horton’s “double doubles” here. If you are a straight-up drip-coffee kind of person, your closest thing to that would be a long black. It’s a shot of espresso with extra hot water. As a mainly drip-coffee fella, I have fallen in love with the long black.

2. The short black – Simply a shot of espresso—go figure!

3. The flat white – This would serve those well who appreciate lattés and cappuccinos, although it’s less frothy than a cappuccino. It’s an espresso shot with steamed milk. It’s popularity in Australia has made its way to cafés in North America, and it’s a regular offering on the Starbucks chalkboards. Any Australian will tell you that the Starbucks in North America don’t know what they are doing with flat whites!

When finished ordering at most cafés, you often wait at the table with a number identifying your order, and a waiter/waitress will bring it to you. You can add sugar at the table. My first few long blacks, I ordered extra milk to take the edge off!

Keep these tips in mind when you head to Australia. The Aussies love their coffee, and it’s one of the many things I enjoy about Aussie culture!

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Thinking of studying in Australia? Contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, August 18th, 2017

JCU dentistry student talks about his placement experience

Fifth-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery international student, Ryan Yue-Hin See (also a former OzTREKK student!), moved from his hometown of Toronto, Canada to come to Australia to study in the tropics with James Cook University in Cairns.

See said James Cook University’s unique rural and remote placement program was an unmissable Australian opportunity.

JCU dentistry student talks about his placement experience

Former OzTREKK student Ryan See is almost finished his dentistry degree (Photo: JCU)

“I had a couple of offers available and JCU just seemed much more appealing than the other offers. I just wanted to study in the tropics. The facilities were brand new facilities and there was a big focus on rural and remote and underserviced populations. That really appealed to me and the kind of things that I am interested in. I knew there was a lot of work available, so I thought it would be a good experience,” he said.

He said the rural and remote placements that JCU Dentistry provide help to transition students into real-world practice and give them a chance to apply learned skills on real-life patients.

“A lot of personal development has happened in the last two years. I mean five years is a pretty long time so, a combination of up-to-date training they [JCU] provide at the union level and the exposures we’re given from the rural and remote placements and working with really great supervisors in the clinic,” said See.

See’s said due to the array of clinical specialists that JCU employs to lecture and teach students, he has gained a valuable array of new skills that will advance him in his future career.

“Most of them tend to be retired dentists and they bring a wealth of knowledge. They don’t tend to be Cairns locals because they are fly in, fly out. They come from all over the place really. Everyone has their own sort of thing—just a range of personalities, a range of skills and doing things. How to handle different situations,” he said.

See said he got the life-changing opportunity to complete a four-week international placement at JCU’s sister university in Sri Lanka.

“It was fantastic. It was just life changing really. The university was really generous and sent us and one of our senior lecturers back to his home country (Sri Lanka). So, he showed us around and the professors that we met were his old students, which was kind of cool to see that continuity. We saw lots of different things. Lots of stuff you would expect in southeast Asia and low socio-economic areas.”

On placement, See got the chance to explore Sri Lankan historical landmarks and learn the language.

“The professor—it being his home country—showed us around and we got to go sightseeing and have language classes as well. Lots of cultural exposure.”

See said one of the most memorable experiences he had in Sri Lanka was walking up Sigiriya.

“We hiked up a place called The Lions Rock. The locals call it Sigiriya. It’s this big monument similar to Uluru, and you have to climb up all these steps all the way to the top and at the top there used to be a castle,” he said.

Ryan See said that over the five years he’s lived in Australia it has become his second home and the support he has received through JCU has helped him integrate into the Cairns community.

“I love the lifestyle. I think more than anything else the people kind of make the place. It’s a bit cliché, but they have become my family over the last two years.”

See said each year has its own landmark, and if he was to give advice to a prospective JCU international student, he would tell them to go for it and take a chance.

Apply to JCU Dentistry directly from high school

If you’re interested in improving the health of people who live in tropical, rural, and remote places, then the Bachelor of Dental Surgery program at JCU might be for you. This five-year undergraduate degree provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to become competent practitioners of dentistry. While it is a broad-based program including all aspects of dental practice, it also has a special focus on issues of special concern to the northern Australian region, particularly those relating to tropical, rural and Indigenous practice.

JCU Dentistry accepts applications from high school graduates or from those who have completed university studies.

Program: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
Location: Cairns, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2017

Apply now to JCU Dental School!

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Learn more about JCU Dentistry! For more Bachelor of Dental Surgery program information, contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Caitlin Sargeant at caitlin@oztrekk.com.

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Heading to Australia? Be sure to check out the sports scene!

Most of you may not know Matthew, so let us introduce you!

OzTREKK Matthew Moxley

OzTREKK Admissions Officer Matthew Moxley

Matthew Moxley is a behind-the-scenes OzTREKK admissions officer who tackles a million Australian dental school applications every day. Okay, maybe not a million, but close. If a uni is dragging its feet on a student’s application outcome, you can bet Matthew is the first one to find out what’s going on! Are you missing any documents for your app? Did you forget to sign an acceptance? How many universities have you applied to, anyway? Matthew will know!

Besides the “usual” Great Ocean Road tour and Great Barrier Reef dive, what else can you do during your time in Australia? We asked Matthew what he would do if he were to visit Oz.

Take it away, Matthew!

I thought I would share with you some of my ideas of things to check out when you first arrive to Australia. I am still relatively new to the OzTREKK team so I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Australia just yet, (but I’m headed there this fall!). You students and your applications keep me freakin’ busy! 🙂

So, like many of you, when I do visit, it will be my very first time! I thought long and hard about what I would want to do first and came to the manly-man conclusion: Sports!

I have heard about some exciting trips and adventures from our OzTREKK team. They love to make a brotha’ jealous. Being a huge sports fan, one event that certainly caught my interest was checking out an Australian Rules football match. This would certainly be high up on my to-do list! Experiencing a new sport firsthand is always exciting and I am so curious to see how Australian sports fans compare to Canadian sports fans.

Of course, I can’t stop there. If the timing was right and I was in Melbourne, I’d probably try to check out the Australian Open tennis tournament. While the sport is not specific to Australia, there is no tennis tournament that size in Canada where the “best of the best” play. I’d also love to make my father insanely jealous as he has turned into a huge tennis fan during his retirement!

Heading to Australia? Be sure to check out the sports scene!

If you can, attend the Australian Open!

So, if you’re like me and enjoy sports and are going to Australia for the first time, check out these events. If you don’t like sports, then you’re out of luck! Kidding! There is so much stuff to do and experience that you’ll probably forget that you’re there for school. But don’t do that. School is important. Or so my mother told me.

As always, we are here to help! If you have any questions, concerns, thoughts, or whatever, send over an email, give us a call, or send a courier pigeon. It’s our goal to make your transition to studying in Australia as seamless and stress free as possible.

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Find out more about how you can study in Australia! Contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355. We’re here to help!

Friday, August 4th, 2017

OzTREKK office closed August 7

Are you ready for the long weekend? Don’t forget that Monday, Aug. 7 is the Civic Holiday. What is that? Seriously, what is it? A short explanation is, “a day to celebrate your province!”

OzTREKK office closed August 7

Enjoy the holiday!

The Civic Holiday is celebrated on the first Monday of August and it’s a public holiday in some provinces and territories. The civic holiday is not a statutory holiday.

The Civic Holiday is commonly referred to as the August long weekend. It is probably the busiest day on highways as tens of thousands of families go camping, to cottages etc. this weekend, so drive carefully!

In honour of Ontario, the OzTREKK office will be closed Monday, Aug. 7 for the Civic Holiday but will reopen Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 8:30!

Enjoy your long weekend!

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Are you interested in studying in Australia? We are here to help! For more information, please contact OzTREKK at 1-866-698-7355 or email info@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Courtney’s Australian university application survival guide

So, you’re applying to an Australian university. If you’ve applied to an Australian medical school through OzTREKK, you’ve already met Courtney.

We’ve decided to go around the OzTREKK office and have everyone offer tips and tricks for our students who are going to apply, who have applied, or who have accepted their offer to an Australian university. Here, Courtney lists some key ways students can get the most out of our services—and feel prepared when they enter the pre-departure phase!

Courtney's Australian university application survival guide

Need help with your medical school app? Contact Courtney@oztrekk.com!

Applying to study on the other side of the world is a huge deal and can bring on a whirlwind of feelings! There will certainly be times when you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, nervous—and super happy—so the following tips will help you get through the whole process in one piece!

Have questions? Be answered!
Any time you have questions, it does not hurt to ask us. That’s exactly what we are here for! Sending a quick email to your admissions officer just to confirm things is totally okay and encouraged. We want you to feel supported the whole time.

Read everything—then read it again!
Make sure you read over everything! I know when you receive an offer or an invitation it can be super exciting, but just ensure you read through the entire email or attachment so that you have all the details. We send you a ton of emails, but there is a reason for it! This is really important throughout the application process so that you don’t miss a thing!

Apply by when?
Be aware of your deadlines. I think this one speaks for itself, but it is a good reminder to keep on top of your application deadlines, offer lapse dates, and everything in between. This goes back to the “read it again” section. Our aim is to keep you 100% in the loop at all times, so nothing is missed.  🙂

Remember, we have a few hundred students going through this process with you. You are not alone! We are all here with the same goals: to get you to Australia!

There are lots of aspects that will come into play throughout the application process, but keeping these little things in mind will hopefully make the process a little bit easier for you!

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Would you like more information about applying to an Australian university? Please contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com. We’re here to help!

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Don’t miss the upcoming pre-departure webinar for new Bond University students!

Calling all semester 3 Bond University Juris Doctor and Master of Occupational Therapy students! You’ve got lots to do before you book your flight to the Gold Coast. This is where OzTREKK comes in.

Don't miss the upcoming pre-departure webinar for new Bond University students!

Don’t miss your pre-dep webinar July 30

OzTREKK is proud to support our students from start to finish, so that means we help you with your application, your offer, your acceptance, your pre-departure preparations—and your arrival!

Since our Bondies are scattered across Canada, we will be hosting a pre-departure webinar on Tuesday, August 1 at 8 p.m. to connect everyone together. Just like the in-person, pre-dep seminars, the webinar is a great opportunity to get prepared for this exciting, new step in your life!

Date: Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Time: 8 p.m. (EST)
Venue: Online

The webinars provide an excellent avenue to learn more about the Australian student visa process, your accommodation options, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), travel arrangements, banking and finances, and general info about the Australian lifestyle and culture. Essentially, the session breaks down what to do prior to leaving Canada and what to do upon arrival in Australia.

This is your chance to get your questions answered—and reassure your family members to boot!

Remember, there is no such thing as a silly question: If you are wondering about how to get a cell phone, you can bet everyone else is, too. Questions are via chat, so ask away, Bondies!

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Make sure to contact your OzTREKK admissions officer if you have not yet received your Bond University pre-dep webinar log-in info!

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

How to rock your Australian medical school interview

We know that applying to an Australian medical school is a big deal, and one of the most stress-inducing parts of the process can be the interview portion!

Being prepared and having an idea of the types of questions you may be asked will certainly pay off and help you to feel more comfortable. During your medical school interview, you may encounter questions ranging from the basics like your work history and volunteer experience to more situational and behavioral questions. Here are some ways to help you rock your Australian medical school interview!

How to rock your Australian medical school interview

Are you ready for your medical school interview?

Preparation before the interview

First, what is a multi-mini interview (MMI)?
The MMI is an assessment of applicants’ personal and professional attributes. It is designed to test your reasoning and problem-solving skills in a range of areas that the school considers important in entry-level students, as well as your values and commitment. The assessment is conducted through a range of different authentic scenarios that test specific characteristics.

Set a calendar reminder
Your educational future is potentially riding on this interview! As soon as you receive the date and time for your interview, put it in your calendar and set a reminder.

#OzTREKKtip: Don’t ask them to reschedule unless it’s an emergency. Spots fill up extremely quickly and it can be difficult to juggle dozens of applicants. If you truly can’t attend your interview at the specified time, you must contact the university’s admissions office as soon as possible. They will make reasonable efforts to accommodate your needs, but cannot guarantee that an alternative interview time will be available.

Have reliable equipment and internet access
You should use the most reliable method of connection available for your interview (e.g., a wired computer connection, where possible.) Wireless connection can be used, provided that it is sufficiently reliable to complete the interview process. Imagine beginning your interview with shady internet connection—yikes!

Don’t have Skype (or the platform they will use)? Get it. Learn about it. Be prepared to know how it works. Especially learn the instant messaging button as this is where you will read the interview questions.

Practice
What is happening in the world? Find someone to discuss what is happening around you. Present your views and listen to their views. This is a great way to actually hear different sides of the same story. Practice formulating a position, practice speaking, and practice expressing your opinion! Try to avoid confrontation.

Do your homework
Familiarise yourself with the medical school. What is the school known for? Why is that a good fit for you? Are you interested in rural medicine? It’s a good idea to know the medical profession—its past, its present, its future. This shows you would like to invest your life in the field of medicine.

Questions, please
If you are invited to ask questions, have some! Be prepared to speak about yourself and your interests outside of medicine.

Who are you?
Do you have weaknesses? What are they? Are you working on them? Where do you see yourself 5, 10, 20 years from now? What makes you stand out from other applicants? (don’t brag!) Be prepared to talk about your undergrad degree.

During the interview

Be ready early
On the day of your interview, you must be ready at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled interview time. Your interview will likely last at least 45 minutes; however, you should allow at least one hour in addition to this time in case there is a delay, or there is a need to clarify a matter. Also note that there won’t be any breaks. Use the washroom beforehand. You may have a glass of water handy should you need it.

For verification purposes, you must bring photographic identification (passport or driver’s license) to the interview. Have it ready to show at the beginning of your interview. Now is not the time to go fishing through your purse or digging in your wallet.

Quiet on the set!
The last thing you want during an interview is to be distracted. Choose distraction-free place where you will have excellent internet access. Turn. Your. Cellphone. Off.

Listen 
Sometimes it can be hard to concentrate when we’re stressed, and we often blurt out the first thing that pops into our heads. Do your best to really actively listen to what’s being asked so you can answer appropriately.

Try to remain calm and speak at a moderate pace
Take a deep breath. The interviewers are people, just like you. They understand that you will be nervous and will factor that in when they interview you. Don’t lie. Answer questions as honestly as possible. If you don’t know how to answer the question, a simple “I’m not sure” is far better than a long-winded lie.

Be yourself. Putting on an act to impress people is rarely successful, is usually transparent, and is most often a turnoff. If an interviewer has a bad first impression about you, the other aspects of that particular station will likely be graded poorly. Remember, the interviewers are people too, and they are likely volunteering in the MMI process. This is especially important if you consider an interviewer may not even be listening to a word you are saying. At the end of the station, the interviewer may look back at the past 7 or so minutes, and depending on how much verbal diarrhea you may have spewed out, they may only remember how calm, collected, and eloquently spoken you are.

Dress code
This is a no-brainer. Dress appropriately. No one wants to see you just out of bed, in a T-shirt, or wearing exercise gear. You are interviewing for a professional degree!

Express yourself
The questions are not “black and white,” “right or wrong.” The interviewers are interested in your passion for medicine, your thought processes, your communication skills, and your personality. Stations can be loosely categorised into ethical-dilemma situations, teamwork-based situations, professionalism situations, differing-opinion situations, etc. Figure out what kind of general situation you are in and then present not only how you view the situation, but also from the viewpoint of bystanders and/or the opposing party. Think outside the box, but tread lightly!

Generally speaking, the medical schools will be looking for the following skills and attributes from applicants:

  1. Knowledge relevant to the question and your ability to formulate an approach to address the topic
  2. The capacity to draw implications from your knowledge
  3. Insight into you own attitudes and views (and that of others) relevant to the issue

If an interviewer interrupts at any point, stop and listen carefully to what he/she has to say. They are doing this in your favour, as you are likely veering off course in your discussion.

Whether this is your first interview or your fiftieth, a little preparation and confidence can go a long way! Remember to keep these tips in mind and to just be yourself. And finally, don’t forget to thank the interviewers for taking the time to meet with you and for the opportunity to participate.

Best of luck!

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If you have any questions regarding your Australian medical school interview, please contact OzTREKK’s Med Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

OzTREKK Community Leaders Scholarship applications are open!

Last year we introduced the Community Leaders Scholarship for OzTREKK students. We know that studying abroad is huge financial investment, and once again, all of us at OzTREKK would like to show our support by offering a $10,000 scholarship to a student who embodies the OzTREKK vision: passion for their chosen career and the courage to go after it!

Who may apply for an OzTREKK Community Leaders Scholarship?

All OzTREKK students are eligible to apply, regardless of their program of interest. If you have applied to an Australian university via OzTREKK, you are eligible to apply for an OzTREKK Community Leaders Scholarship.

http://www.oztrekk.com/how_we_help/scholarships.php

Find out how you can apply!

How is the winner selected?

The OzTREKK Scholarship Committee will select one (1) winner from all eligible applicants. Selection will be based upon the student’s contribution to his/her community. Think you’ve got what it takes? Here’s the breakdown:

  • Tell us how you’ve shown leadership in your community.
  • Why are you inspired to study in Australia?
  • Who are you? Show us your personality!

Please note the scholarship winner must

  • have applied through OzTREKK;
  • have accepted his/her Australian university offer via OzTREKK by 4 p.m. December 6, 2017 Eastern Standard Time; and
  • commence his/her program after October 2017; and
  • be enrolled in his/her Australian university program by the census date (this date varies by institution).

What is the timeline for the OzTREKK Community Leaders Scholarship?

Applications open: July 25, 2017
Applications close: November 8, 2017*
2018 Winner announced: December 2017 (date to be finalized)

*Please note late applications will not be considered.

When and how will the winner receive the scholarship?

The scholarship winner will be notified via email in December 2017. Unsuccessful applicants will not be notified. Funds in Australian dollars will be deposited directly to the student’s Australian university tuition account. Please note the timing of the payments of funds is at the sole discretion of OzTREKK and will occur after the winning student’s census date. The scholarship will not be paid in time to meet the deposit or first semester payment deadlines.

How do you apply for an OzTREKK Community Leaders Scholarship?

MANDATORY

Applicants must submit a video explaining why they should be considered. We encourage you to be creative and tell us about yourself! Videos must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo (or any other platform that can be accessed by OzTREKK via a link). It must not require log-in or a password.

The video must be no more than 2 minutes in length.

OPTIONAL

Applicants may also submit a max. 1-page personal statement that explains your community leadership; however, this is not mandatory.

Applicants must submit video link (and letter, if desired) to scholarship@oztrekk.com by 5 p.m. EST, Wednesday, November 8, 2017.

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Find out more about the OzTREKK Community Leaders Scholarship. Let us know if you have any questions! Contact us at info@oztrekk.com or ask your admissions officer. We look forward to your submissions!

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Turn your career dreams into reality – Study in Australia!

Getting a great education is a step in the right direction. This June, meet Australian universities in person to find out how you can turn your career dreams into reality.

Turn your career dreams into reality — Study in Australia fairs are coming to Canada

See you at the Study in Australia Fairs!

Have you been thinking about studying medicine in Australia? Are you curious about dentistry or law? What about entry requirements and the accreditation process for your program of interest? Come visit us this June to find out everything you need to know about studying in Australia.

Study in Australia – Practice in Canada!

Toronto
Venue: Hilton Toronto, Governor General Main
Date: Saturday, June 3, 2017
Time: 12 – 3 p.m.

University of British Columbia
Venue: Robson Square, Plaza Lounge
Date: Sunday, June 4, 2017
Time: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Need more info? Find out more about the OzTREKK Study in Australia Fairs.

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Come meet our Australian universities to find out about what it’s like to study in Australia. Everyone is welcome to attend—you don’t need to RSVP! Questions? Send us an email at info@oztrekk.com.