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Friday, December 22nd, 2017

OzTREKK Orientation in Australia? Please RSVP!

It’s OzTREKK Orientation time!

We have organized a ton of OzTREKK Orientation for you and any family or friends travelling with you. Most are scheduled just prior to your Australian university orientation! Unfortunately, it’s difficult to be in more than one place at a time—I’ve tried; it didn’t work. But we do our very best to accommodate everyone!

OzTREKK Orientation in Australia? Please RSVP!

Have you RSVP’d to your 2018 OzTREKK Orientation?

How does OzTREKK Orientation work?

On the first day we’ll get together and have food. This is where you will have the opportunity to meet upper-year students, and then we’ll do a campus tour. There will be days (and, in some instances days and days and days) of OzTREKK Shuttle service where I’ll pick you up, take you for groceries or whatever item you’ve found on Gumtree, and drop you off.

Here are our tentative dates so far—stay tuned for additions and details!

  • Bond University – Jan. 13 – Dinner @ 6 p.m.
  • Griffith University – Jan. 14 – Dinner @ 6 p.m.
  • University of Melbourne – Jan. 16 – Breakfast @ 9 a.m.
  • University of Sydney – Jan. 19 – Breakfast @ 9 a.m.
  • University of Queensland – Jan. 24 – Breakfast @ 9 a.m.
  • James Cook University *Townsville – Feb. 6 – Breakfast
  • University of Queensland – Feb. 9 – Lunch @ 12:30 p.m.
  • Griffith University – Feb. 11 – Lunch @ 12:30 p.m.

Jaime’s Top 5 Orientation Tips

  1. Come! It’s a free meal and you will meet a bunch of people. We have focused on various meet-ups this year and they’ve been fairly regional. This will be the first time you see the whole class and you won’t regret it!
  2. Bring your Costco card. Yes, there are Costcos. Yes, your card works. No, I can’t lend you mine 🙂
  3. Hold your horses. If you need to get to IKEA, just hold tight and I will not only drive you to IKEA, but I’ll also pick you up with your Billy bookcase and any other Swedish-named furniture. We’ve wrangled king-sized beds in the van before. Easy-peasy.
  4. Bring your patience. There may be a lot of students, so everyone might not get into the shuttle on the first day, but we’ll coordinate it so you get all your stuff. I love logistics and I will do my best to make it work with your schedule!
  5. Bring the beats! Last year I heard “Play That Song” by Train approximately 36 times in one day.

Finally, I will give you my number, and if you ever text me, please tell me your first and last name and your program/uni. A “Hi, it’s John” is sometimes hard for me to decipher. 🙂

See you all soon!

Jaime.

Of course, be sure to RSVP! If you’ve misplaced the link to the OzTREKK Orientation RSVP, just send your admissions officer an email!

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For further information regarding these upcoming OzTREKK Orientations in Australia, please visit your uni on the OzTREKK Boarding Pass site, or contact your OzTREKK Admissions Officer! Call 1-866-698-7355 or email jaime@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Bond University Orientation with law and OT students

Why do we love our students so much? Because even after they have begun their studies at their Australian university, they are still willing to help new OzTREKKers get settled.

Bond University Orientation with law and OT students

OzTREKK Lunch at Hotel CBD

Talk about teamwork—and a testament to how amazing and supportive our students are when it comes to helping others!

On Monday, Sept. 4, our third-semester Bondies recently enjoyed a tour hosted by former OzTREKK students. The new Bond students, who will be studying in the Juris Doctor and Master of Occupational Therapy programs, enjoyed an informative campus tour and lunch at Hotel CBD, Varsity Lakes.

Best wishes to all the new Bond University students, and a big thank you to our former OzTREKK students for helping out with the tour!

Master of Occupational Therapy

Bond University’s Master of Occupational Therapy degree will take just two years full time to complete because of Bond’s unique accelerated three-semesters-a-year structure. The program is the first occupational therapy master’s degree in Australia to provide the opportunity to complete a clinical research project or undertake business electives in preparation for an occupational therapy career in health management or private practice.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Intakes: May and September each year
Next available intake: May 2018
Duration: 2 calendar years (6 semesters)

Juris Doctor (JD)

Bond University’s Juris Doctor program is a professional legal qualification designed to equip students for a career in the legal profession, business, industry or government, in Australia and overseas. This law program features excellent teaching, small classes and an extensive legal skills program, which provides an exciting learning experience that challenges students academically and prepares them practically for a legal career. With three intakes per year, January, May and September, Bond Law Juris Doctor candidates are able to apply any time throughout the year—and the LSAT is not required!

Program: Juris Doctor (JD)
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Intakes: January, May, September
Next available intake: January 2018
Duration: 2 years

Bond University Law School
Bond University campus tour
Bond Occupational Therapy School
The Bond campus is impeccable!

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Are you interested in studying at Bond University? Contact OzTREKK!

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Don’t miss the 2017 JCU Orientation for international students

JCU On-campus Welcome Information Sessions

If you’re headed to James Cook University for the semester 1, 2017 intake, it is important to arrive at the university in time to attend a Welcome Information Session.

JCU Orientation for international students

JCU dentistry students at Trinity Beach during their OzTREKK Orientation

Arriving early will allow more time to adjust to the culture (and warm weather!) and ensure the transition is a smooth experience. After arriving on campus either in Cairns or Townsville, please visit the Student Centre as soon as possible so that they can provide you with details of the JCU Orientation program.

Cairns – JCU Dental School

Compulsory Welcome Session
When: Friday, Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. Morning tea and lunch will be provided
Where: Building A3.2, JCU Cairns campus
What to bring: Passport, copy of your visa, JCU user name and password (if you have one)

Arrival service
Service dates: Monday, Feb. 6 – Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017
Booking deadline: Two weeks prior to your arrival. Book your arrival service now! Visit the OzTREKK Boarding Pass for all your airport arrival info.

Orientation Week
Make sure to attend your faculty welcome on Monday or Tuesday and participate in any of the other activities on offer: campus tours, workshops, student ID card sessions, timetable assistance, parties and much more. Get the most out of JCU O Week!

When: Monday, Feb. 13  – Friday, Feb. 17, 2017

Townsville – JCU Medical School

Compulsory Welcome Session
When: Friday, Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. Morning tea and lunch will be provided
Where: Building 26 (Sir George Kneipp Auditorium), Townsville campus
What to bring: Passport, copy of your visa, JCU user name and password (if you have one)

Arrival service
Service dates: Monday, Feb. 6 – Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017
Booking deadline: Two weeks prior to your arrival. Book your arrival service now. Visit the OzTREKK Boarding Pass for all your airport arrival info.

Orientation Week
Make sure to attend your faculty welcome on Monday or Tuesday and participate in any of the other activities on offer: campus tours, workshops, student ID card sessions, timetable assistance, parties and much more.
When: Monday, Feb. 13  – Friday, Feb. 17, 2017

OzTREKK Orientations at James Cook University

Don’t miss the OzTREKK Orientations which are designed specifically for our students! We offer our OzTREKK Welcome breakfast or lunch and the OzTREKK Shuttle service.

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Be sure to log on to the OzTREKK Boarding Pass for all of your orientation details! Do you have questions about orientation? Contact your OzTREKK Admissions Officer or call 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, January 16th, 2017

It’s OzTREKK Orientation time!

It’s Monday!

It's OzTREKK Orientation time!

All aboard the OzTREKK Shuttle!

This means it’s actually Tuesday in Oz, which means I have landed in lovely Melbourne!

It is, officially, time for the 2017 version of OzTREKK’s Orientation. For those of you haven’t been bombarded by the emails it’s, basically, the best time of the year. It’s the time when 300+ students arrive with their bellies filled with butterflies. We try to replace the butterflies with bacon and eggs.

John Graham and I will be “doing the tour”: starting in Melbourne, then Sydney, then Brissy, then Gold Coast, then Townsville, and then back to Sydney!

There is a full-on heat wave in Oz at the moment and my flip flops thongs are ready. I cannot wait. Like, at all.

For the last few years now I’ve been the lucky recipient (don’t know if I can really call it that) of this trip and it is so.much.fun. And, it’s a job, I hear. 🙂

By now all OzTREKK students should have received the invite with the details and should be mentally preparing to meet—or to see again—the rest of the students who have made the (giant) leap across the pond with them. If anyone needs any assistance, just fire me an email. I look forward to seeing you all very soon.

Hmmm… I wonder if they still have those sweet potato chips… she types, while hearing the noon-o’clock hunger grumble….

Jaime.

Why attend an OzTREKK Orientation?

You would be amazed at how many students arrive in Australia, move in to their accommodations, and rarely leave their rooms. Why? Because they don’t know anyone.

Well, don’t worry. As part of the OzTREKK Orientations, we host a welcome breakfast, lunch or dinner—a great way to meet other new Canadian students, so that you can establish a network and friends right away. It’s also a great way to meet upper-year Canadians who can show you the ropes and share their experiences with you so that you know what to expect.

We wish all OzTREKK students the very best!

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Do you have any questions about upcoming OzTREKK Orientations in Australia? Log in to the OzTREKK Boarding Pass site, or contact your OzTREKK Admissions Officer! Call 1-866-698-7355 or email info@oztrekk.com.

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Griffith University 2017 orientation for international students

Griffith University 2017 Orientation February  20 – 24

Griffith University’s Orientation Week includes everything undergraduate and postgraduate students need to get ready to study! Packed with information about living in Australia, skills workshops and tours, Orientation Week is your chance to meet staff and students, explore campuses and find out what to expect as a Griffith student. Make sure you say hello to Griffith Mates and attend some of their social events, as it is a great way to meet new people and make friends.

You must attend the compulsory International Welcome and Orientation session and your school orientation session.

Student Administration

Griffith University Student Administration centres can assist with program information and the enrollment process, as well as fees and charges details.

Download the Griffith App

The free Griffith App has been developed in partnership with Blackboard inc. to provide students, staff and visitors with a diverse suite of interactive features to enhance their university experience.

The App is available on Apple iOS and Android devices, as well as a web-based smart phone version that is accessible to all smart phones with internet connectivity.

Latest Update

Griffith University 2017 Orientation

Enjoy your international orientation at Griffith!

The app was last updated in July 2015. Version 4.5 of the app brings you the following features and a new look!

  • Updated Maps – including new information for a number of buildings and Places.
  • Updated Events – see more of what’s on!
  • CareerBoard – prepare for your career! Book an appointment with a guidance counsellor, search for your dream job, and more via the Griffith CareerBoard.
  • Textbooks – the Griffith Textbook Exchange and the Co-op Bookshop Textbook search are now both in one place for all your textbook searching needs.
  • Accommodation – get information about living on and off campus, search for off campus accommodation, apply to live on campus and more via Griffith Accommodation.

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We know starting university in another country is stressful—that’s why we’re here to help. If you have questions about your Griffith University orientation, be sure to contact us at info@oztrekk.com!

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Don’t forget to RSVP for your OzTREKK Orientation in Australia!

It’s a Monday in the OzTREKK office and I’m excited: my flight has been booked!

I am really excited to meet you all in Australia. The venues are booked, the van has been reserved and I’m mentally preparing for my attempts to not hit the windshield wiper when I mean the signal. Last year it took me about two weeks to get over it. Then another two weeks when I came back.

It’s orientation time!

Alrighty… we have organized three Welcome Breakfasts for you and any family or friends travelling with you. These are scheduled just prior to your Australian university orientation so I’m hoping you can all join us.

Don't forget to RSVP for your OzTREKK Orientation in Australia!

Don’t forget to RSVP for your OzTREKK Orientation in Australia!

So how will this work: On the first day we’ll get together and have breakfast where you will have the opportunity to meet upper-year students, and then we’ll do a campus tour. There will be days (and, in some instances days and days and days) of OzTREKK Shuttle service where I’ll pick you up, take you for groceries or whatever item you’ve found on Gumtree, and drop you off.

Based on the feedback from last year, I wanted to take a quick moment to give you my top five tips—a survival guide if you will:

  1. Come! It’s a free meal and you will meet a bunch of people. We have focused on various meet-ups this year and they’ve been fairly regional. This will be the first time you see the whole class and you won’t regret it!
  2. Bring your Costco card. Yes, there are Costcos. Yes, your card works. No, I can’t lend you mine 🙂
  3. Save up. If you need to get to IKEA and you’re there a week ahead of me, just hold tight and I will not only drive you to IKEA, but I’ll also pick you up with your Billy bookcase and any other Swedish-named furniture you can muster. Last year we even wrangled a king-sized bed in the van. (It may have involved a winch and a lot of muscle but it got to its destination!)
  4. Bring some patience. At some of these events there may be a lot of students so everyone might not get into the shuttle on the first day, but we’ll coordinate it so you get all your stuff. Logistics is fun for me and I will do my best to make it work with your schedule.
  5. Bring the beats! Last year I heard “Love yourself” by the Biebs approximately 47 times in one day.
Don't forget to RSVP for your OzTREKK Orientation in Australia!

A few OzTREKKers enjoying their welcome get-together in 2016

Finally, I will give you my number: If you ever text me if you could start with a “It’s First-Name Last-Name from UQ Med” it will be a big help. “Hi, it’s John” is sometimes hard for me to decipher. 🙂

Of course, be sure to RSVP!

I will explain the “how” of the shuttle when we meet at the breakfast.

I will be landing in Australia on the 15th of January and will happily chat locally any time after then. Please let me know if you have any troubles, questions or other.

I’m super excited to see you all—in flip flops thongs.

Happy day!

Jaime.

For further information regarding these upcoming OzTREKK Orientations in Australia, please log in to the OzTREKK Boarding Pass site, or contact your OzTREKK Admissions Officer! Call 1-866-698-7355 or email jaime@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Jaime’s adventures in Oz: Sydney!

So, what’s new?

Sydney Dental School

Enjoying the OzTREKK Welcome Breakfast

I can’t remember exactly where I left off but Sydney has been great! The students are amazing. Everyone is very friendly and really keen. The breakfast was quite busy and everyone seemed really happy to be there.

My favourite part of the OzTREKK Orientation was as the University of Sydney‘s Chris Lawrance and I were greeting people in the Sancta Sophia lobby, a girl walked in with her parents. I told them to go ahead and they could grab some food. They didn’t want to bother her and I told her that some other parents were sitting at a “parents” table. She turns back to them and holds up her hands and says, “Dad, I think I need to do this alone.” It was so adorable!

Sydney Medical School

OzTREKK’s tour of the University of Sydney hosted by Sydney’s Chris Lawrance

I then walked out with two parents back to the street and they were both raving about Adam and Sarah (one dentistry  and one medicine student) and all the support that OzTREKK provides to parents and families. So, thank you, both (and Nic, who works behind the scenes)!

A funny thing: Chris asked we start the tour early because he was driving to Adelaide afterwards and we talked about leaving at 10:30. When I introduced Chris at the breakfast, he clarified that everyone was to meet at the front door at precisely 9:50.

I chuckled.

Anyway, another student comes in about 9:45 and I said to him that he’s got a couple minutes to grab some food and then we’ll go out. It was funny because I assumed that 9:50 meant that we’d leave about 10  and Chris was giving time to coordinate 50+ people and fill up water bottles, etc. That was entirely incorrect and the tour started exactly at 9:50. I had to text to find out where they were (I was with the late-comer). I shouldn’t have been surprised!

Sydney Dental School

What a great pic of our OzTREKKers!

Anyway, Chris was really great and  encouraged students to join clubs, get out and meet other students, etc. The University of Sydney campus is giant (I forgot how big, actually, as it eclipses Melbourne) and so we didn’t go everywhere but it was OK. Chris had taken great lengths to get into MacLaurin Hall and the Great Hall on a Saturday, which was great. Suzanne (Semester in Australia) said those buildings are never open. I was actually getting a little bored waiting for the guy to unlock the room (we probably had to wait for 10 minutes, which Chris filled with history). I assumed the other students were, too. But every time I looked, they were totally engrossed in Chris’ story. Not to mention as soon as the rooms got opened, all cameras went up. It was a pano party!

We had a few students from last year and I noticed they came on the tour. I asked why they came and Mike says, “Are you kidding me? I’ve been here a year and I’ve never been able to get into this place. It’s kind of cool to see where we will graduate.” That was great. Oh and Chris was, obviously, the best tour guide of explaining interesting things about the room and the shields and the wood and the you-name-it.

Sydney Dental School

Time for the OzTREKK Shuttle!

After that it was OzTREKK Shuttle time. The shuttle in Sydney was very busy and there was lots of interest. I nearly lost my marbles after driving an hour to get to Costco (which is, like, 5 km away, but traffic was horrendous). I got over it, though. The 12-pack of croissants, chocolate protein powder and the roasted chickens seemed to be real hits at Costco. Anyway, I ran three full days of shuttle (starting around 8 on a couple of mornings and ending as late as 10 one night). I really liked that because I felt that this group made use of the shuttle the most! They were really great for me to get my feet wet, though. I now dream of the pathway between Abercrombie (a street where we’ve probably got 10+ students living) and IKEA or Costco. Oh yeah—IKEA was a very popular destination as well.

Sydney Dental School

The best chips in the world

Overall it’s going really well! All the students were really thankful for the help (without the van in Sydney, it virtually eliminates a Costco or IKEA visit) and, again, a lot of them made use of it, which was great!

Oh and I found the most delicious chips I’ve ever eaten in my life. They are “Red Rock Sweet Potato Crisps Green Chilli & Coriander.” That discovery made me quite happy and may impact my desire to be healthy on this trip. If I can manage to figure out a way, I’ll bring you guys some.

Seriously. Life changing.

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Stay tuned for Jaime’s next blog: Brisbane!

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Jaime’s adventures in Oz: Melbourne

Hi, everyone!

I have heard it’s crazy busy in the office but that you’re all staying afloat! I hope you’re doing well, though, and are able to share a little in the excitement of the 2016’ers!

Anyway, I wanted to provide a little update on the last few days for you. I kind of imagined that I was going to be able to write detailed emails about each day but a few days I’ve been absolutely pooped and just basically do emails and give up. In exciting news, though, I am sleeping like an absolute champion. I think I am probably awake for 90 seconds before I’m out. Then I wake up around 5:30 (which is pretty usual for me) feeling just grand. And, Julie knows very well that does not happen back at home. I’ve become a terrible sleeper. In any case….

So, where did I leave off?

Well, late Monday I arrived in Melbourne and basically went to bed (I think I got in around 11 p.m.). I woke up and wanted to drive around to make myself more comfy with the whole signal thing before I have a group of students staring at me. The first place I drove was to the Apple Store where the “Geniuses” happily swapped my iPhone with apologies and away I went. By “away I went” I really mean “I put my name in a queue and then waiting for TWO AND A HALF HOURS to get the text to return to the store. I did also get a bank account, too, which was quite painless. I pick up my card when I’m back in Melbourne in a couple of weeks. Then I drove around the CBD, kind of orienting myself. I think it’s because I love Melbourne so much that I find it pretty easy (also the fact that the town is a giant grid) and it didn’t take too long to become pretty comfortable with the suburbs and where I was.

University of Melbourne Dental School

OzTREKKers enjoying the classic OzTREKK Welcome meal!

Wednesday was the first “big” group. Nearly all of our Melbourne Dental School students seemed to be there (I didn’t get to do the sign-in sheet because staff thought they were garbage and pitched them while I wasn’t looking!). We also had four med students from last year; they were great! Even though the programs were not the same, the conversation flowed as people grilled them about Melbourne tips and tricks. It was great to see the Melbourne DPT students (there were about six there, I think), too. After breakfast we got a campus tour from two absolutely adorable Aussie students. The funniest part was when one of them was explaining what’s in the student centre. He mentions that you can get your hair cut for cheap in there. The irony is, I swear, that his haircut was nearly identical to this: http://images.dailystar.co.uk/dynamic/1/photos/913000/1913.jpg. I loved it!

I spoke with a few students who were glad to be able to get a card of an actual person (Aileen) and to speak with previous students so that was good. If schedules align next year, I’d love some DDS students. Because their program starts in a few weeks, the students I checked with weren’t in country yet. Aileen was really happy to see students that she had spoken with earlier. She invited them to come by her office for tea any time they wanted.

Oh, I also had Suzanne from Semester in Australia with me at this stop to help me navigate and offer assistance on housing. Most students had housing by this point but she was a great tour guide, giving everyone really great tips about things like a great library that’s nearly always free and has a great coffee shop at the top of a building with some the best views in Melbourne (which I noted!). Plus, it probably saved me from getting a ticket for phoning and driving. 🙂 She was also really great for those students who didn’t have places and were asking about certain buildings.

We shuttled people back and forth to IKEA and Kmart for the rest of the day, and did a few other stops to pick up other random items and that was about it. Pretty simple! Everyone was really great and everyone seemed in good spirits. It didn’t seem (to me at least) that anyone was concerned with anything. So, hats off to Sarah and Adam for that! We probably wrapped up around 7 p.m., give or take. All the dentistry students were going to Lygon Street for dinner together so they were excited and really buzzing. Oh, and one of the trips to IKEA I had a pretty full group in the car and I turned on the windshield wipers instead of the turn signal and they died. It started as a little rumbling and ended in full-on hysterics. It was so funny! It’s been a long time since I’ve been at the root of such mockery and it was quite amusing. I’m sure my face was red as I surely tried to play it cool.

Wednesday: no one needed the van so I took it back around noon. I emailed the Melbourne MD students and waited to hear if anyone needed it; everyone seemed to have their stuff, which was good (and DDS started that day). After taking back the van, I wandered over to the Australian Open (by wandered I mean that I looked at my watch and thought “I’m not in a rush; I’ll walk.” After an hour, I had visions of Adam’s walk home from Tullamarine and decided to hop on a tram). I just got a grounds ticket, which gets me access to all matches except for the ones in the big arenas. I don’t know anything about tennis so I just went over to a big venue that didn’t have a line. I watched some girls (a girl in pink and a girl in yellow) play tennis. I didn’t think they were that good. Their serves didn’t look strong (they were around 150 kph) and I kind of thought I could do that. So I left. Plus my flip flops were sticking to the floor and I was really concerned that they were going to break and that I’d have to walk around without shoes.

University of Melbourne Physiotherapy School

OzTREKK students getting a tour from a current Melbourne student during orientation

So… then I wandered over to the Raonic match and literally happened to walk into an entry without a line. It was actually weird. I asked the lady “Like, can I go?” because all other gates had huge lines. It’s a one-in-one-out kind of deal. So I walk in and I see some seats. In the front row. Beside the Canadians with a flag draped over the railing. For reals. So I sat down with two guys from Vancouver and another guy with a Canadian tie but who spoke with a pretty good Aussie accent. I assumed he skied in Whistler. My new neighbour warned me, “We’re on TV back home so don’t pick your nose.” He kept getting calls and texts from friends in Vancouver saying that they saw him on TV. It was amazing! First of all, Milos’ serves were regularly over 220 kph. You could feel them, you know? It was pretty impressive. The game was quite long and I felt like they really earned every point. Milos won and was a fan favourite as he threw out all his gear into the audience—like sweat bands and arm covers. After four hours in the sweltering sun, you could not pay me to take them. The crowd loved it, though. I also found it comical that he teased the audience with each of his rackets (like he was going to toss them). They also loved it. I was on to his little tricks by racket #2. I think he used about four or five rackets through the game.

Now. The sun. So it’s pretty intense. When I started my walk from Thrifty it was cold and I was questioning my clothing attire (shorts and tee). By midway through the Raonic game, I was furiously applying and re-applying sunscreen. I felt that my skin was going to bake right off. I kept having to remind myself that the sunscreen will protect me (rather, hope that it would protect me). I was really questioning buying Life brand. At that moment, I wanted the expensive brand-name stuff. Immediately after the game, I found some shade and just sat. And re-applied (again). Classic Melbourne weather: four seasons in one day! I woke up today and was pleasantly surprised to see no burns. I was really terrified that I’d show up in Sydney like, well, a Canadian who just arrived in Australia.

Thankfully, I’m still as pasty-white as I was, but a week ago.

Phew. I write a lot.

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Stay tuned for Jaime’s next blog: Sydney!

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

The year of the selfie

OzTREKK Director Jaime Notman is currently in Australia welcoming OzTREKK students and hosting our annual OzTREKK Orientations Down Under. She’s also practicing her left-hand driving by chauffeuring the OzTREKK Shuttle! To capture her adventures for the rest of us stuck in the Great White (Freezing!) North, Jaime has agreed to check in periodically with the Canadian Headquarters staff via email.

Here’s her next installment!

I think everyone has heard about my left-hand-side-driving learning curve, but I officially feel pretty good about it. The driving part is A-OK. The part where I have to have a real convo in my head is around parking—like when I pull out of a parking spot, I have to remind myself to go onto the left. Otherwise it’s been, well, normal and uneventful. Just in case you were concerned!

Griffith Medical School

OzTREKK Shuttle time!

Oh, but the windshield washers. They mysteriously go off every time I attempt to turn my signal. 🙂

And, in other exciting news, I also got my bag! :: slow claps :: (For those of you who don’t know, my bag and I did not arrive in Australia together. It happens!) It arrived Saturday night and it’s so nice to have clothes today! I had to get an outfit for yesterday (winter clothes wouldn’t cut it) and a few toiletries, but now I’m a happy camper.

I feel that the lost bags started a bit of a domino effect, though, because I didn’t have any clothes, I needed to go and get some new shorts and a shirt. They’re really ugly (Kmart was the only place open). So, begrudgingly, I buy the shorts and mosey on.

Saturday was Griffith (more in a sec), but on Sunday (as I have a full suitcase) I woke up bright and early and was all “OK, I’ve gotta go for a run.” So I did. I tucked my iPhone in my bra strap and set out. Felt oddly good, actually. Then a few hours later, I go to take a picture of something and realize my back camera is all foggy. Can’t figure it out. I look again and realize there’s water under the lens. Only thing I could figure is that it’s my sweat, from my run. So, now I don’t have a rear-facing camera.

Anyway, I thought I’d give you a little update on the Griffith Orientation. So… we met the students at the Student Centre on campus. Lots of partners and wives. I was on the plane with another student. He was lovely.

We got a campus tour by a Griffith Mate (student volunteer) who was Canadian, and a Sri Lankan student, Tash, who is going into her third year at Griffith Medical School. She was amazing. She had a pass (it was Saturday) and so we got a pretty good tour of the med lecture halls and the med building and gave everyone advice about changing placements, getting study notes and secrets to the PBL. She was really great, absolutely lovely, and had lots of great advice for our OzTREKKers.

After the tour, we got in the van and because the Gold Coast weather wasn’t cooperating (wha??), we skipped the fish and chips on the (rainy) beach and went to a local surf club for some lunch. It was great: lots of chatting and fast friendships made. A couple of the students had a car (or a dad with them) so they didn’t need the shuttle.

A little later I shuttled everyone to Pacific Fair (which is *enormous*) and they shopped to their hearts’ delight.

Yesterday, as everyone didn’t need the van (they’re all quite settled!), I took it back and got a normal car for driving around. I figured while I’m here I’ll beef up on my familiarity with the area. Two places I wanted to check out were the Gold Coast University Hospital and the Robina Institute of Health. So I tooted around for much of the day.

Bond Physiotherapy School

The Bond Institute of Health & Sport — selfie style

Now, I’m no doctor, but the Gold Coast University Hospital is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It provides high-quality treatment for patients while also offering world-class facilities for health research and teaching, allowing Griffith University students of medicine, pharmacology, dentistry, nursing and public health to train in a genuine medical environment. The last time I was here we didn’t get a complete tour—at least I didn’t appreciate how absolutely enormous this complex / district is! Plus, because it’s new, everything is shiny and glistening. I really can’t say it enough: impressive is simply an understatement.

Because, you know, I know everything about medicine, I thought I’d take a spin through the hospital until someone told me to get outta there. After getting a cup of java (the cafeteria is lovely in case you were wondering), I just sorta wandered and it all seemed very medicine-y which is what you want, I suppose.

Then I went out to the Bond Institute of Health & Sport. I was all excited to take some pics for our Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh, but without the rear-facing camera, I could only take pictures selfie-style. But I didn’t want to actually take a selfie, so I’m standing in the field trying to hide from the front lens while taking a picture over my head. The hardest part was when my brain couldn’t flip my actions property (everything was backwards), so I’m looking at the screen (my back to the building) and it took forever while I had to do the “OK, tilt the camera up, no, no down… left…no, right.” I got one decent picture but my phone isn’t allowing me to attach it.

When I fly to Melbourne, I will visit the Apple Genius Bar and hopefully get some phone help.

Otherwise OzTREKK Orientations 2016 will be the year of the selfie.

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Stay tuned for Jaime’s next blog!

Monday, January 18th, 2016

OzTREKK Orientation 2016 has officially started!

OzTREKK Orientations

OzTREKK Orientations are in place to make sure that you are well prepared, organized and ready to tackle your studies and get the most of your time in Australia and overseas. This year, OzTREKK Director Jaime Notman is in Oz to welcome our students to the land Down Under, and she has offered to send in regular blogs to relay her Adventures in Australia! Shall we get started?

Well, at least for myself and Andrew (a new OzTREKK / UQ Medical School student whom I met while in line at “Luggage Services” of the lovely BNE), it has started. That’s precisely the counter you hope you never need to visit; however, I am hopeful that my luggage may beat me to my accommodations in the Gold Coast. Thank you, Virgin, for bringing them to me for Qantas.

Australian medical schools in Australia

OzTREKK Director Jaime Notman is in Australia welcoming our OzTREKK students!

You know those moments when you have a very conscious awareness of what will come? Well, that happened in YYZ (Toronto for those not fluent in airport code) as I was running through the airport trying to catch the flight to LA. My thought was “Sheesh, it will be really incredible if my luggage moves as quickly as I am right now.”

It didn’t.

After waiting in new—and incredibly odd—electronic customs checking system in Toronto with Andrew and a few others from the problemed Ottawa flight, I started to have a sneaking suspicion that he might be a new UQ Medical School OzTREKKer, and that was confirmed with our official introduction whilst we waited, sans luggage.

Andrew was as cool as a cucumber. Figuratively—not literally. Both of us were (are!) dressed in clothing appropriate for the -10 degree weather that we left behind in Ottawa. It will be an attitude that I know will serve him well in the coming four years of study.

There are going to be little hiccups along the way, but as long as our incoming students can shake it off (a very intended nod to Ms. Swift, ‘Swifty’ in the office), they will get to really enjoy the incredibly opportunity in front of them. And it is one world-class opportunity.

Anyway, a lovely day will greet anyone landing in Brisbane or the Gold Coast today. It’s about 33 and sunny although as I write this from an incredibly air-conditioned train, I’m a little appreciative of the long black pants I’m donning.

Stepping outside will be a whole other thing, I know.

Looking forward to meeting the incoming Griffith MD students tomorrow (today!) AM! Oh, where I’ve been told it’s going to be quite cold. You know, like 23.

New attitude, new definition of ‘cold’. Enjoy every sec 🙂

xo.

Jaime (the lucky one representin’ the office today!)

Why attend an OzTREKK Orientation?

You would be amazed at how many students arrive in Australia, move in to their accommodations, and rarely leave their rooms. Why? Because they don’t know anyone.

Well, don’t worry. As part of the OzTREKK Orientations, we host a welcome breakfast, lunch or dinner—a great way to meet other new Canadian students, so that you can establish a network and friends right away. It’s also a great way to meet upper-year Canadians who can show you the ropes and share their experiences with you so that you know what to expect.

We wish all OzTREKK students the very best! We are so glad we had the opportunity to meet you!

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Do you have any questions about upcoming OzTREKK Orientations in Australia? Log in to the OzTREKK Boarding Pass site, or contact your OzTREKK Admissions Officer! Call 1-866-698-7355 or email info@oztrekk.com.