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Articles categorized as ‘Student Profile’

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

First-year JCU medicine students: what kind of doctor do you want to be?

What kind of doctor do you want to be?

First-year JCU medicine students: what kind of doctor do you want to be?

JCU medicine at the beautiful tropical campus of Townsville!

While some can’t yet answer this question, most students who chose to study at JCU Medical School already know they want to specialise in rural medicine, assisting with the healthcare needs of underserved populations. After all, the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) medical degree at James Cook University is well-known for producing graduates who will be uniquely qualified in the fields of rural, remote and Indigenous health, and tropical medicine.

The JCU Medical School’s combination of integrated instruction in biomedical sciences, professional practice and clinical medicine incorporates the best aspects of student-centred, problem-based learning combined with systematic instruction. Clinical experience, particularly in the rural and remote context, starts at an early stage and science remains integrated across later years.

First-year JCU Medicine students recently had their first class on how to be socially accountable doctors. At the end of the session, they were asked what type of doctor they wanted to be. Hear from former OzTREKK Student Daniel Dickson!

JCU Medical School MBBS

Do you think studying rural, remote, and tropical medicine sounds like something you would be interested in? How on earth can Canada have tropical medicine?  Like Australia, our population is concentrated on the fringes of the country, where the climate is most ideal and the land most usable. But where people live in rural and Northern Canada, away from the general population, finding health care can be more challenging—just like the people in remote and tropical locations of Australia. When you study medicine at JCU, you will be uniquely qualified to practice medicine in remote Canada!

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2018

Apply to JCU Medical School!

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JCU medicine applications are open! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com if you have any questions about your med school application.

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

What do OzTREKK students think of Sydney Dental School?

If you’re considering studying in Australia, but unsure of which university and program is right for you, student reviews can really help reaffirm some gut feelings, or just help point you in the right direction.

Sydney Dental School

OzTREKK student Bhavisha Thankey (Photo: University of Sydney)

Here, we look at what OzTREKK students say about studying at Sydney Dental School. Did we mention we love that our Australian universities like to feature OzTREKK students? You guys are high-calibre stuff!

“My favourite part of this degree is getting hands-on experience really early. By the end of our second year we’re already seeing our own patients and managing our own treatment plans. Because of the responsibility and control we are given during our studies, we leave university with the skills needed to be successful in the community.” Bhavisha Thankey, Doctor of Dental Medicine

 

Sydney Dental School

OzTREKK student Yasmin Samiee (Photo: University of Sydney)

“I chose to study at the University of Sydney because the university and its dental school are ranked among the top fifty in the world for academic excellence. I was also drawn to the calibre of research and educational opportunities, which involves placements and service in under-served communities around Australia.

“I am grateful that we have been able to apply theoretical knowledge into practice so early in the course. By our third week of classes, we had already begun practicing dentistry on plastic models in our simulation clinic. Not only have we greatly improved our manual dexterity, we have become proficient and confident as clinicians. There is a strong sense of responsibility and ownership that accompanies this level of autonomy.” Yasmin Samiee, Doctor of Dental Medicine

 

Sydney Dental School

OzTREKK student Borna Ansari (Photo: University of Sydney)

“Studying the Doctor of Dental Medicine at the University of Sydney was my top preference over other universities. It has a great overall educational reputation and you start pre-clinical sessions early on in the course. The fact that Australian degrees can be easily transferred back to Canada also encouraged me to study in Sydney.

“The University of Sydney also provides a great learning environment. Each week I have the opportunity to practice a range of dental procedures in the clinical environment. I also learn from lecturers who share their diverse passions and experiences from their professional practice. Learning from their outlook and experience has helped me understand the many avenues of dentistry.” Borna Ansari, Doctor of Dental Medicine

 

Is the Sydney Dental School dentistry program for you?

The Sydney Dental School’s four-year, full-time, graduate-entry Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) course offers you the opportunity to develop skills through practice-based learning and will expose you to new dental technologies and research. The DMD will educate you to draw on evidence to treat patients effectively and respond to the changing oral health needs of the community. It will instill a dedication for lifelong learning, self-development and self-evaluation. The Sydney DMD has evolved with changing market demands for newly graduated dentists to join clinical practice confidently and ethically and take up leadership roles in the profession.

Program: Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales (Camperdown/Darlington campus)
Semester intake: February each year
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the February 2018 intake, applications closed June 20, 2017. Students are encouraged to begin their applications as soon as possible.

Apply to the University of Sydney Dental School!

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Do you need help with your dental school application? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Melanie Ireton at melanie@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

New JCU Dentistry students enjoy OzTREKK Orientation

We know what it’s like to be overwhelmed with predeparture preparations, and we know what it’s like to be stressed after arriving in Australia.

New JCU Dentistry students enjoy OzTREKK Orientation

OzTREKK Orientation with JCU Dentistry students

Where am I? How will I know where to go? What am I doing here?!

No worries! We’ve got your back!

In order to help you get settled, we do our best to organise an “OzTREKK Orientation” at your Australian university, as they provide a great opportunity for you to meet fellow Canadians so you can establish a network of friends right away. It’s also a great way to meet upper-year Canadians who can show you the ropes so you know what to expect. When possible, we try to include as many upper-year students to attend the orientation and to share their stories.

This year, new James Cook University dental school students enjoyed the traditional OzTREKK Orientation lunch at Burger Urge, where they were able to meet and chat with their JCU Dentistry classmates. The weather was beautiful and typical for Cairns: downpour, sun, downpour, sun…. Even still, the new students had a great time!

OzTREKK sends out a huge thank you! to former OzTREKKer and now fourth-year JCU Dentistry student Hilary Bell for assisting us with the orientation and for helping new OzTREKK students feel at home in beautiful, balmy Cairns.

We really appreciate your help, Hilary!

Are you interested in studying at JCU Dentistry School?

If improving the health of people who live in tropical, rural, and remote places appeals to you, then you might be interested in studying dentistry at JCU. The five-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery  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.

New JCU Dentistry students enjoy OzTREKK Orientation

Enjoying hamburgers at Burger Urge!

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, 2018

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 Melanie Ireton at melanie@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

JCU Medical School student taking the rural world by storm

James Cook University student Carolyn Reimann will be the public face of rural health students around Australia for 2018.

JCU Medical School student taking the rural world by storm

Former OzTREKK student and now fifth-year JCU med student Carolyn Reimann (Photo credit: JCU)

Carolyn, also a former OzTREKK student, is a fifth-year international student studying medicine at JCU medical school. She is set to take on the role of Executive Chair of the National Rural Health Student Network (NRHSN). She will head the multidisciplinary student health network, which comprises of 28 University Rural Health Clubs, including JCU’s Rural Health in the Northern Outback (RHINO) student club.

“I had heard about the NRHSN through my involvement with RHINO,” Carolyn said.

“In 2016, I was one of six health students chosen for the Northern Territory PHN’s High School Visits. I had a chat with the guy who was going to be the Chair of the NRHSN in 2017, and joining the NRHSN Executive Committee sounded like something right up my alley. I love to get involved,” Carolyn said.

“As the Executive Chair you represent the network around the country, and are the public face of the NRHSN. It includes meeting politicians, attending stakeholder meetings, writing policy and position papers and presenting at conferences. It also includes advocating for and overseeing all the different rural health clubs. It’s a big, complex role.”

Carolyn had always dreamed of studying medicine and helping people in need. She was particularly attracted to studying in north Queensland by the focus of JCU’s medical program.

“I always had an interest in doing something around public health. I know that I can make a difference and JCU has an amazing reputation for their program.

“Every focus that JCU has, on tropical health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and rural and remote health is something that I am interested in, and that’s what brought me over here.

“It was the perfect fit, like Cinderella and her glass slipper.”

The National Rural Health Student Network represents the future of rural health in Australia. It has more than 9,000 members who belong to 28 university Rural Health Clubs from all states and territories, and is Australia’s only multi-disciplinary student health network, bringing together people studying medicine, nursing and allied health, encouraging them to pursue rural health careers.

The NRHSN has two aims:

  1. To provide a voice for students who are interested in improving health outcomes for rural and remote Australians
  2. To promote rural health careers to students and encourage students who are interested in practicing in rural health care.

JCU Medical School medical program

The 6-year, full-time Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery degree is a comprehensive program with integrated instruction in biomedical sciences, professional practice and clinical medicine. JCU has a regional mission with a focus on the needs of rural, remote and under-served communities, tropical medicine and the health of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2018 (Note: Early offers of admission may be made to high-achieving international applicants! Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible and well before the August 30 deadline.)

Apply to JCU Medical School!

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Do you have questions about studying medicine at JCU medical school? Email OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com.

Monday, December 4th, 2017

OzTREKK student named Regional Student of the Year

JCU Medical School student (and former OzTREKKer!) Reuben George has been named Regional Student of the Year at the 2017 Study Queensland IET Excellence Awards! The IET Excellence Awards recognise international education industry leaders, community and business contributors and current and past international students for their achievements.

OzTREKK student named Regional Student of the Year

Regional Student of the Year Reuben George (Photo: JCU)

These high achievers were celebrated at an awards ceremony held Nov. 22, 2017.

The IET Excellence Awards are the only state-wide awards program specifically dedicated to recognising the Queensland international education and training sector and celebrate individual and team success.

Having recognised the importance of support for international students studying medicine, Reuben has worked tirelessly throughout his studies to ensure his fellow international students felt supported and welcomed.

From his own journey of moving to Australia, Reuben recognized that there were very limited supports for international students in the medical program. He decided it was his duty to help guide all future incoming international students.

Reuben has since created an international student manual, which the university provides to each incoming international student. He also lobbied to co-create a mentorship program funded by the JCU College of Medicine and student medical society. This program partners each international medical student with an upper-year international student to support them through their transition of moving to a new country and entering a highly demanding degree. The program involves having coffee catch-ups and weekly social media mental health check-ins, group activities, and peer tutoring for free.

Reuben ensures each student feels heard and he encourages all to be leaders. His passion for international students’ health and well-being is what spurred many of the upper-year students to become mentors themselves.

The current JCU med student’s experience landed him the role of Australian Medical Students Association’s International Chair in 2016, representing all international medical voices across the country.

Reuben does all of this work not for himself, but so that no student feels as isolated as he did in his first year. He wants to help give international students a hand up and achieves this through his many platforms, including his vlog, “Beyond the Stethoscope,” (below) where he captures his life as a medical student and the many challenges and triumphs that come with it.

Congratulations, Reuben, from all of us at OzTREKK!

About JCU Medicine

The 6-year, full-time MBBS degree is a comprehensive program with integrated instruction in biomedical sciences, professional practice and clinical medicine. Graduates will be uniquely qualified in the fields of rural, remote and Indigenous health, and tropical medicine.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Next semester intake: February 2019
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: TBA. Generally the end of August each year.

Apply to JCU Medical School!

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Would you like more information about studying medicine at JCU Medical School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

UQ exercise sports science student does his placement in the Canadian Rockies

We’re so used to hearing about Canadians going to study abroad, but what happens when an Australian chooses to study in Canada?

As expected, it’s about snow. But not just your run-of-the-mill snow stories about Canada. You see, recent UQ exercise sports science graduate Jordan Pearce decided to do his placement in Canada—one of the best places in the world to study snowboarding! Here’s Jordan’s story:

Completing my practicum in the Canadian Rockies was a dream come true.

Not only did I get to snowboard some of the best ski terrain in the world, but I got to work alongside world-renowned snowboard instructors and make lifelong friendships with people from every corner of the globe.

UQ Sports Science student placement in the Canadian Rockies

Jordan on the lift at Castle Hill (Photo: UQ)

Why I chose Canada

As part of my Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences (Hons) I had to complete a 400-hour practicum placement. I chose to complete mine at Castle Mountain Resort, Canada, for a number of reasons. The biggest reason was that I wanted to experience what it would be like living and working in a completely different country. And secondly, I love snowboarding, so spending a season in the Rockies seemed like the perfect choice for me. And what a snow season it was! We received 10 metres of snow and one of the best seasons on record! See a glimpse of the snow (and me) in this local TV interview.

What was involved

My placement involved working as a fully qualified snowboard instructor teaching beginners the basic techniques of snowboarding. If you have never snowboarded before, there is a science behind the technique—balance and stability, impulse, momentum, angular motion, moment of inertia, gravity, friction—they all have a role to play in mastering this sport. For instance, one of the first things people need to achieve is a centred, mobile stance to control their speed easier and minimise falling. But as I quickly found out, it’s not as easy as simply telling students that. A good teacher needs to relate it to a sensation that will make sense to them. My example of this is to use the sensation of cowboy knees, this might give an 8-year-old a sensation that achieves a centred and mobile stance. Where as, if you try using biomechanical and anatomical terminology, such as, pretend you have varus malalignment, the 8-year-old is not going to know what you are talking about.

The highlights

I loved teaching the students these skills but also teaching them that perseverance and hard work is what really leads to success. Teaching others also allowed me to progress in my own snowboarding technique. It was cool to learn by doing and receive advice on coaching models such as demonstrating and explaining skills and positive and effective feedback.

As an added bonus, I was fortunate to further enhance my own snowboarding skills by completing the Level 1 qualification in snowboarding in Canada. My instructor had 10 years’ experience, was previously an international border cross racer, and had a degree in kinesiology (the equivalent of a sports science degree in Australia).

A typical working day on the slopes

9 – 9:30 a.m. – Meet our Level 4 snowboard instructor at the ski school for a briefing on the coaching outcomes of the day.

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. – Working in Little Castle Club (LCC), which are usually 3- to 6-year-olds in groups of one or two. With LCC a particular focus is on safety, such as helping with loading lift and controlling speed. Having fun is always paramount!

10:30 – 12:30 p.m. – Beginner or Novice school group or normal ski school class with around 3 to 6 students aged between 6 and 16 years old. The class focus was on the basics of snowboard setup and safety, drills on how to slide and control speed, and how to complete heel and toe side turns and link them successfully.

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch at the day lodge or at home.

1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Intermediate ski school class or private lesson for ages 12 years and older. In these classes, an initial biomechanical assessment of a limitation in their riding was completed. Once a limitation is established a drill to focus on that limitation is considered. An example could be that the client is turning with the upper body and needs a drill to promote initiating a turn more with the lower body.

UQ Sports Science student placement in the Canadian Rockies

Jordan enjoyed his placement in Canada (Photo: UQ)

3:30 – 4 p.m. – One quick shred by myself to finish the day.

The benefits of going abroad

It cannot be ignored that it’s considerably more expensive to do your placement overseas, but the benefits make it so worth it. I have grown both personally and professionally from this experience in so many ways. Living overseas and being a snowboard instructor has taught me the ability to adapt readily to any situation and be future-focused. Understanding a client’s motivations, goals and feelings will enable you to adjust your session accordingly and provide future drills for the client to focus on after the lesson. You knew you were going well and didn’t have to change anything if the client had a big smile on their face—that’s if the face mask wasn’t covering it up. After all, having fun is the most important goal!

Assessing your options

I think it is important when selecting your placement that you choose something you are passionate about and in which you might want a career in the future. But enjoying the experience cannot be underestimated. I was able to check out mountains with newly made friends: Whistler, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, Mount Norquay, Kicking Horse; a personal favourite after Castle Mountain, of course. Castle Mountain was big on staff parties and social events and its small employee size compared to other resorts (160 with about 30 from Australia) in Canada meant you knew everyone. Doing my placement overseas didn’t just open a new career path but also allowed me to travel to Canada, the US, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Cuba. If you are ever considering placement in Canada, I would highly recommend it.

Story by Jordan, UQ Exercise Sport Science graduate

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Think you might be interested in studying UQ exercise sports science? Contact Australian Health Sciences Admissions Officer Heather Brown at heather@oztrekk.com.

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.

Monday, July 17th, 2017

5 inside tips about studying nursing at the University of Sydney

First-year Bachelor of Nursing (Advanced Studies) student Mackenzie O’Toole agreed to answer 15 questions about studying nursing at the University of Sydney, including why she chose it, what she likes about it, and what surprised her most about university life.

5 reasons to study nursing at the University of Sydney

University of Sydney Nursing School

Here, Mackenzie discusses the five things she enjoys about studying nursing at the University of Sydney. To check out the full list, watch the video below, “15 questions with nursing student Mackenzie O’Toole.”

1. Where is the best spot at Sydney Nursing School?

Mackenzie’s favourite spot at Sydney Nursing School are the clinical simulation labs (SIM labs). The SIM labs are home to full-body manikins installed with the latest simulation technology. They provide a safe environment where students like Mackenzie can practice and improve their clinical skills while developing their confidence in the procedures they are learning in lectures.

Through simulated learning, students become proficient at

  • taking blood pressure
  • checking a pulse
  • listening to breath
  • heart and bowel sounds
  • dressing wounds
  • preparing and administering medications
  • conducting interviews, and
  • documenting patient information.

2. Why she chose a nursing degree

When asked why she chose a nursing degree, Mackenzie’s main reason was “to help others in need.” Nurses make a genuine difference to people’s lives. Mackenzie was also inspired by the nursing care she received when she contracted meningitis at just three months of age, an event that left her with hearing loss in one ear. Her passion for helping others grew from that point on. She wanted to treat others with the same care she had received.

3. How quickly she was able to undertake a placement

Mackenzie was amazed by how soon into her degree she was able to gain real-world experience in her placement. She was placed at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, which is located only blocks away from the university campus.

From the first year of the Bachelor of Nursing (Advanced Studies) degree, students gain invaluable practical experience through 880 hours of clinical placements across a wide variety of healthcare settings including emergency departments, intensive care units, paediatric units, mental health facilities and community health centres. Students also have the opportunity to undertake a clinical placement overseas.

4. How supportive her lecturers have been

Sydney Nursing School offers students a supportive environment in which to learn. They are taught by leading academics, clinicians and researchers who are part of the nursing and healthcare community. Mackenzie found her lecturers to be “amazingly supportive.”

Helping students from day one through to graduation, the University of Sydney has a network of services, facilities and experts to make university experience as smooth and rewarding as possible.

5. How much she loves working with different people

As highly trained and valued professionals, nurses work with a diverse range of people, including other healthcare professionals and patients from all walks of life. Mackenzie has loved how she has been able to study and work alongside people from a diverse range of backgrounds from around Australia and the world.

Students learn how to thrive in complex health environments and will build an understanding of how to work with other health professionals to provide the highest quality patient-centered care.

Study Nursing at the University of Sydney

Sydney Nursing School has been ranked number one in Australia for research and educational excellence in the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject. Currently, the University of Sydney is ranked 9th in the world for nursing, according the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.

Program: Master of Nursing 
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Intake: March 2018
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: International applications are managed in rounds: Round 1 – May 25, 2017; Round 2 – August 17, 2017; Round 3 – October 6 2017

Apply to the University of Sydney Nursing School!

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Find out more about the programs offered at Sydney Nursing School! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Nursing Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

University of Sydney Master of Physiotherapy student talks about her placement in Vietnam

In November 2016, Master of Physiotherapy student Rachel Haines travelled to Vietnam for a four-week student placement with the Học Mãi foundation, along with 20 other medicine and allied health students from the University of Sydney.

On her return, Rachel wrote about her adventures in and around the Bach Mai Hospital. Here’s what she has to say about her student placement.

My heart is pounding as I make my way from Hanoi Airport to my hotel in the front passenger seat of a car that is speeding along a highway and darting haphazardly through traffic, at times centimetres away from a collision. Looking into the distance through the hazy air I can see the bright lights of Hanoi city looming closer and the reality of living and working in a foreign country for a month slowly begins to dawn on me….

University of Sydney Master of Physiotherapy student talks about her placement in Vietnam

Rachel Haines working at Bach Mai Hospital (Photo: University of Sydney)

Rachel’s #USydonTour experience

Xin chao! My name is Rachel Haines and I am a second-year Master of Physiotherapy student at the University of Sydney. I recently completed a four-week physiotherapy placement at the Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam, with the Học Mãi foundation.

Học Mãi is a non-for-profit foundation of the University of Sydney dedicated to improving healthcare in Vietnam through education and research. The foundation provides a range of opportunities for healthcare leadership and education. I was fortunate enough to be part of the important work they do through Học Mãi’s student exchange program.

I found out about Học Mãi soon after I started the Master of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney, a degree that ignites my passion for making a profound impact on the lives of others through physiotherapy. The idea of an overseas placement was exciting and would provide me with a unique experience that would help me grow both professionally and personally.

While on student placement in Vietnam I was required to work at the Bach Mai Hospital from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. I was based mostly in the Rehabilitation Department where the majority of patients were recovering from recent traumatic brain injuries, strokes or spinal cord injuries. I also got to spend some time in the Respiratory Department and at the National Hospital of Paediatrics where I worked with patients suffering from conditions such as bronchiectasis and cerebral palsy.

The highlight of my practical experience was spending two weeks working with a woman who was born with deformed feet and had recently suffered a spinal cord injury. She was initially only able to stand for one minute and 43 seconds, but by her final session she was able to stand for three minutes and 30 seconds. I got to train her balance, coordination and strength and it was personally very rewarding to see a patient improve so much and be satisfied with my work.

During my free time, I travelled around Vietnam and immersed myself in a culture so different to my own. I visited the spectacular cities of Hoi An, Sa Pa and went on a cruise through Ha Long Bay, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. I also had time to sight see the city of Hanoi and found historic temples, explored Hoa La Prison, visited the oldest university in Vietnam, watched a traditional water puppet show, played some street games with the locals and so much more.

The Vietnamese healthcare system is very different to Australia’s, and Vietnamese patients have a different understanding of health literacy and expectations of health professionals compared to patients in Australia. A core concept that I’ve learnt through the Master of Physiotherapy is that patients have the best outcomes when an active treatment approach that accommodates individual patient preferences is taken. However, the majority of the physiotherapy interventions I observed in Vietnam and took part in were passive with little patient input.

Patients in Vietnam undertake a lot of whole task practice such as walking and moving from sitting to standing, whereas in Australia there is more of an emphasis on partial practice. I do not think that one approach is necessarily better than the other, but it is interesting to note the differences in treatment choices.

My experiences in Vietnam challenged some of my beliefs about service delivery of physiotherapy to patients. At times the language barrier and cultural differences were challenging, but I was always surrounded by the friendliest and most accommodating local people and felt constantly supported by the Hoc Mai and University of Sydney team back home, which made the whole experience so much more enjoyable.

Last year, my first year of the degree, was a massive learning curve for me as physiotherapy consists of a unique combination of theoretical concepts in addition to practical skills to become proficient. To get this far has taken a lot of hard work and many hours in the library.

This year will mark my second and final year of the Master of Physiotherapy. I am looking forward to practical placements where I can further adapt the skills and knowledge I’ve learnt. At the end of my degree I hope to use my skills in a rural location and make a difference to people who don’t have regular access to physiotherapy services.

My placement in Vietnam was very fulfilling both personally and professionally as I worked with patients, many of whom turned out to be from rural areas and who benefited from the skills that I had learned in Australia. I gained an understanding and appreciation of a culture and healthcare system very different to the one I have experienced in Australia, and have subsequently become a more rounded and globally conscious physiotherapy student.

Travelling abroad as part of a university degree is one of the most enriching and worthwhile opportunities on offer to students. It is a gateway to all sorts of experiences, friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.

By Rachel Haines GEM2 Physio

University of Sydney’s Master of Physiotherapy

The University of Sydney offers a two year, graduate-entry physiotherapy program, which is intended for students coming from an undergraduate degree in a related field and who wish to gain the requirements to become a physiotherapist. Coursework throughout this program builds on the major areas of the profession, such as musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary and neurological physiotherapy, as well as looking at the profession in its societal context.

Program: Master of Physiotherapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Semester intake: March each year
Application deadline: September 29, 2017. Applications are usually assessed on a rolling basis (as they are received). The sooner you apply the better.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible to apply, you must have the following:

1. Completed an undergraduate degree from a recognized university.

2. Have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 4.5, which is approximately equivalent to a credit average or better. A credit average at the University of Sydney is between a 65–74%. Your grades assessed for admission are based on your highest-ranked university degree.

3. Have completed undergraduate studies in the following prerequisite areas:

  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology

Apply to the University of Sydney Physiotherapy School!

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Would you like more information about the Master of Physiotherapy program at Sydney Uni? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

JCU marine biology student explains how to get volunteer experience while studying in Australia

Remember JCU marine biology student Kessia? Well, she’s back with more great advice. This time, Kessia chats about gaining valuable volunteer experience while you are studying in Australia!

When I first started uni, all the lecturers encouraged us to get volunteering experience. Lots of emphasis was put on it and we were told how this was the way to get a job in the future. Volunteering allows you to put into practice what you have learned in your lectures to the real-world situations.

JCU marine biology student: How to get volunteer experience while studying

Volunteering with the Australian Marine Conservation Society on Magnetic Island (Photo: JCU)

I’ve put together a few tips on how to get volunteering, more specifically in the science field.

  1. Talk to your lecturers

This is the best way to get your first volunteering experience. If you are interested in a particular field, then talk to the lecturer and ask if they can point you in the right direction in terms of volunteering. You never know, they might have some opportunity for you. In first year, it is sometimes intimidating to go up and talk to the lecturer in a class of 100 students. But do not let the class size stop you. Most lecturers will appreciate your interest in their field of study and will be happy to give you advice.

  1. Join the volunteer list at JCU

There is a database for students willing to volunteer for PhD candidates who might need a hand. Once you join the email list, you will receive emails from students who are looking for a couple of hands to help collect data on the field or help with laboratory work and so on. Some of my friends have been able to go on trips such as collecting seagrass for dugong surveys, or collecting water samples from Ross River.  I have had the opportunity to deploy underwater cameras around Hinchinbrook Island. It was definitely a rewarding experience, one that I will do again if I get the chance.

  1. Join the Facebook group

Each college at JCU has a Facebook group. For example, for marine biologists and other environmental courses, the JCU College of Biological, Marine & Environmental Sciences (BioMES) has a Facebook page where students sometimes post about volunteering or job opportunities. You can find come precious information on this group about lots of things. I highly recommend joining the group related to your faculty.

  1. TropWater

The group offers internships to students for a semester in different fields, including aquaculture, mangrove habitats, wetlands, etc. TropWater applications are due a semester before. It offers hands-on experience and you get to work with people who are experts in their field.

  1. Research facilities

James Cook University has a several research facilities on campus including MACRO which works with macroalgae; MARFU, the aquarium complex; MBD, the microalgae site; or EGRU, Geology Research Centre among others. If you talk to the right people, you can get volunteering opportunities at those research centres which are right on campus. From feeding fish, to laboratory work, to cleaning tanks, there is a lot you can learn at those facilities. Even more so, you can volunteer at the Orpheus Island research centre and while helping with cleaning duties, you can spend the rest of your day snorkeling in the amazing protected marine park. You would be required to be on the island for a week or so but it is worth it. Don’t forget to get yourself an Orpheus shirt so you can brag about it to your friends.

  1. Other organisations

There are various other organisations you can volunteer with, including the Australian Marine Conservation Society, an amazing organisation that sensitizes the public on how human-induced impacts on the reef such as coal mining.

  • Australian Marine Conservation Society on Magnetic Island
  • Conservation Volunteers Australia
  • NQ Dry Tropics – helps with beach clean-ups
  • Reek Check Australia – they offer training programs on how to collect data on the reef
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science – A government organisation that runs several research experiments on the Great Barrier Reef. You would need a supervisor/lecturer willing to sponsor your volunteering there.
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  • Reef HQ

From my own experience, I have found volunteering very rewarding and have learnt a lot in different fields. Talking to people in the field and seeing what it means to apply all I learnt in classes is eye-opening. Do not be discouraged if you find it hard to get any volunteering in the first few years. The more you talk to lecturers or other students, the easier you will find volunteering opportunities. Ask questions! Even if it is not related to your field of interest, having skills and experience in different fields can be beneficial for when you are applying for a job later. The more volunteering you do, the more experience and knowledge you will acquire. This is the hands-on stuff you will need for a job! So, go out there and take the opportunities given to you.

Read Kessia’s other blog, 5 reasons to study marine biology at James Cook University

Marine biology at JCU

Think you might be interested in marine biology? JCU’s location in the tropics allows students and research staff ready access to a wide variety of tropical marine systems including coral reefs, tropical estuaries, mangrove habitats and seagrass beds. Links between research and teaching programs ensure that students are at the cutting edge of marine research.

Program: Master of Science (Marine Biology and Ecology)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intakes: July or February
Application deadline: June 29 and January 30 each year
Entry requirements: Completion of a recognised, appropriate undergraduate degree attaining a minimum of 65% or equivalent prior learning including appropriate professional experience.

Apply to the Master of Science at James Cook University!

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Are you interested in studying marine biology at James Cook University? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com for more information!