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Posts Tagged ‘physical therapy’

Friday, October 6th, 2017

University of Melbourne physiotherapy students use augmented reality

From Pokémon GO to the classroom—how a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and Microsoft in AR is taking students under the skin of their patients.

Story by Andrew Trounson, University of Melbourne

Pokémon GO pushed augmented reality, or AR, into the mainstream, sending 500 million people around the world chasing cartoon characters on their phones. But now, in a unique multi-disciplinary collaboration, it’s making the leap from entertainment to education.

A new fusion of augmented reality, gaming technology, and anatomy is giving physiotherapy students at the University of Melbourne access to cutting-edge technology to take a look inside the human body by projecting different layers of muscles and bones over the top of a volunteer “patient.” It provides an inside view of how the body works as it moves in real time.

Melbourne physiotherapy students use augmented reality

Learn more about the Melbourne physiotherapy program

The technology, called the Augmented Studio, is designed to radically enhance the teaching of physiotherapy where students currently use their knowledge of anatomy to understand how muscles work beneath the skin of a patient because they can’t see through them. But the Augmented Studio, developed by researchers at the University of Melbourne, bridges the gap between that theory and practice.

By using tracking sensors mounted on a scaffold it projects images of our muscles and skeleton directly onto a volunteer. The images automatically follow the shape and movement of the body, giving students in the studio space an interactive all-round view of how our bodies work. It can even allow them and their teachers to “draw” on the projected image to make information and action more explicit.

“What we are doing is overlaying virtual models of what we look like underneath our skin and synchronising that with real human action,” says Dr Thuong Hoang, who is a Research Fellow at the Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural Users Interfaces at the University of Melbourne.

The Augmented Studio was built by Dr Hoang, computer engineer Zaher Joukhadar and Phd student Martin Reinoso, who adapted Microsoft’s Kinect body sensing and tracking device as well as “RoomAlive” projection technology, both of which were originally designed for computer gaming. Once a person steps into the projection space and forms a T-shape with their arms outstretched, the trackers lock on to them and the projected image conforms to their shape and movement.

At the moment the projected overlay doesn’t show how our muscles actually move when we contract and relax our muscles. Instead, it tracks the body and movement at the joints. But eventually Dr Hoang wants to add in animation that can show the actual movement of muscles as the model moves.

University of Melbourne Physiotherapy lecturer Dr David Kelly says the students quickly embraced the technology during pilot sessions in 2016, which are continuing in 2017. He says the combination of live movement and interaction, in which students could actually move and feel the model’s limbs, helps them to grasp the relationship between their learned anatomy and how it works dynamically.

“For first-year students it can be really hard to bring together anatomical knowledge with how the body actually works because it can be difficult to visualise. But when they see a real person who they can interact with, while also seeing the muscles and skeleton projected over the top, combined with the ability to draw and write on the body, it all becomes much easier for the students to learn about how the body moves,” says Dr Kelly, from the Melbourne School of Health Sciences.

The Augmented Studio also provides a more visual and intuitive way of learning that Dr Kelly says will benefit those students who naturally learn more easily by direct visualisation, rather than through reading and listening. “There has always been a group of students that struggle because the limited ways in which we have to teach may not conform to how they learn best,” he says.

Developments in AR, which seeks to use technology to enhance what we can already see, hear and feel in the real world, are far ahead of chasing GPS tracked Pokémon. There are viewing devices such as glasses that can overlay what we see with three-dimensional graphics, video and holograms, and we can generate projections like games that people manipulate by moving our hands.

The big advantage of the Augmented Studio over advances like 3D holograms is that the students can actually touch and move the body, making it a much more interactive experience. They also don’t have to wear headgear, which means it could potentially be used in bigger settings with larger numbers of students.

“It has always been hard to capture the dynamic side of how our anatomy works, so the difference here is the high level of interaction you can achieve. The student can, for example, ask the model to kick and they can then look at variations from different angles at what is happening as someone kicks,” Dr Kelly says.

The Augmented Studio is still in early-stage development and Dr Kelly would love to see it migrate to using muscle animations. Dr Hoang is also working to develop a system for the student interaction with the model to be automatically recorded onto their tablets so they can have a permanent record of what they were learning.

Another challenge is to find a way to make the studio more transportable and quicker to set up. At the moment the studio can work very effectively in a dedicated tutorial space where it could be permanently set up, but Dr Kelly says a more portable set up would increase its flexibility for teaching.

The Augmented Studio is an extension of Dr Hoang’s earlier work exploring how virtual reality and body tracking could be used to help guide body movement for dance and marital arts students. Arising from a collaboration between the physiotherapy department’s Teaching and Learning director, Associate Professor Louisa Remedios and Professor Frank Vetere, Director of Microsoft Social NUI, Dr Hoang started working with the physiotherapy department on developing a teaching aid. He then realised that virtual reality, in which you are immersed in an entirely created world, wasn’t suited to teaching physiotherapy that is very hands on.

“When we got into the class rooms we had to change our thinking. VR just wouldn’t work in the tactile environment in which they learn and practice,” Dr Hoang says. It was when he noticed that students kept referring back to anatomy charts when they were practicing on each other that he started thinking of using augmented reality to put the virtual muscles on the body

Dr Hoang is now working on extending the tracked projection technology to various health and fitness areas, and even in performance art. He says that using tracking sensors with projections it is possible to create guides that show people how to position their bodies for practicing fitness, sport and dance.

Using virtual reality headsets he and PhD student Martin Reinoso have already developed a prototype that allows a martial arts teacher to remotely instruct students on the right position to hold. By using body tracking and linked headsets student can match their movement to align with those of their teacher. There is also scope to project information on our own body’s performance, such as heart rate and breathing, so it is visible either on our projected selves or on a nearby surface.

“The innovation we have created isn’t just limited to the fixed information that we have been projecting so far. If can be used to project dynamic information onto yourself or any surface around you,” Dr Hoang says. “All of what I’m dreaming of is very possible.”

About the Melbourne Doctor of Physiotherapy

Eligible University of Melbourne Physiotherapy candidates for admission will have completed undergraduate studies in human anatomy and human physiology at the university level. Other subjects which may be helpful for physiotherapy applicants include psychology, physics, biomechanics, research methods, evidence-based practice, statistics, biochemistry, and additional units of anatomy.

Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Next available intake: February 2019
Duration: 3 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2018 intake, the application rounds closed June 1 and July 27, 2017.

Apply to the Melbourne Doctor of Physiotherapy Program!

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Would you like to learn more about the University of Melbourne Physiotherapy program ? Please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@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.

Friday, April 28th, 2017

UQ physiotherapy application deadline is coming up soon!

Because of its November intake, UQ Physiotherapy has an earlier application deadline than most other programs. So this is just a friendly reminder that the application deadline is approaching soon—Tuesday, May 30!

UQ Physiotherapy School

Study physiotherapy at UQ

UQ physio is definitely one of the most popular degrees undertaken by Canadian students. The Master of Physiotherapy Studies program introduces graduates to the profession of physiotherapy and its key concepts in intensive mode during an initial summer semester—end of November, since summer in Australia begins December 1. This degree focuses on developing core knowledge and skills in the areas of musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiorespiratory and physiotherapy across the lifespan, and integrates this knowledge and skill and application of clinical reasoning in supervised clinical practice. The program also incorporates advanced training in clinical reasoning, independent research, and health management.

Program title: Master of Physiotherapy Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: November 2017
Program duration: 2 years
Application deadline: May 30, 2017, but candidates are strongly encouraged to have all application documents submitted prior to this deadline.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible to apply to, you must have

  • completed an undergraduate degree (preferably in the fields of human kinetics/kinesiology or physical or biological sciences);
  • have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 4.0 on a 7-point scale in your university studies; and
  • completed the prerequisite subjects as follows:

– one full year, or two semesters, of human anatomy (including systems and musculoskeletal anatomy); and
– one full year, or two semesters, of human physiology (including systems and integrative physiology); and
– one semester of psychology;
– and one semester of statistics.

Apply to UQ Physiotherapy School!

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Do you need help with your UQ Physiotherapy School application? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

What are University of Sydney physiotherapy placements like?

University of Sydney Physiotherapy Placements

The physiotherapy placement program allows Sydney physiotherapy students the opportunity to apply and develop their skills with “real life” clients. The placements can be undertaken in a hospital, private or community setting in Sydney or regional/rural NSW.

Placements are in a variety of areas. Some of these areas may include rehabilitation, acute care, ambulatory/outpatients, aged care, community health, paediatrics, orthopaedics and hand therapy. Students will be required to demonstrate competence in the specific clinical skills for each area as well as the generic skills and attributes of physiotherapy professionals. These skills are assessed using the Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice (APP) form. During placements there will be opportunities for interprofessional learning. All students are required to undertake at least one placement outside of Sydney or in a rural location.

What are University of Sydney physiotherapy placements like?

Learn more about the Sydney physiotherapy program (Image: University of Sydney)

How are placements arranged?

Placements are arranged by negotiation between staff of the respective academic unit, acting as Clinical Educator Coordinators, and the staff of the individual placement setting. The academic unit negotiates the standard, type of experience, and number of student places to be offered. In most cases, formal agreements are signed between the university  and the placement facility.

What are the conditions of placements?

There are a number of rules and conditions applying to students regarding the amount of workplace based education, its timing, the selection of sites, and types of experiences required. These rules have implications for progression in the course and acceptance into the relevant profession after graduation.

How are students assessed?

Sydney physiotherapy are expected to take an active responsibility for their own education by identifying their own learning needs, assisting the placement supervisor in planning and implementing the learning experiences, being familiar with and adhering to procedures and rules laid down by the university and the affiliating centre, and in evaluating their own performance.

The placement supervisor performs the role of teacher, facilitator, coordinator and professional role model. Supervision may be conducted by staff of the respective academic unit for the on campus clinics, or by external practitioners at external sites, who are expert in their professional area.

The nature of the assessment varies across academic units but generally includes a student evaluation by both the supervisor and the student, the satisfactory completion of the learning objectives, as well as a variety of assignments that may include case studies, essays, verbal presentations and practical examinations. The clinical education unit may be assessed on a graded scale or on a pass/fail basis.

University of Sydney’s Master of Physiotherapy

The University of Sydney offers a two year, graduate-entry Master of 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: 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 the University of Sydney states 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 Sydney Physiotherapy School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Melbourne physiotherapy school suggests online treatment could help chronic knee pain sufferers

Researchers at the University of Melbourne are calling on health insurers and government to support new remotely delivered treatment models—including Skype consultations—for people suffering chronic knee pain.

Melbourne physiotherapy school suggests online treatment could help chronic knee pain sufferers

A study participant talks with a therapist in an online consultation (Photo: University of Melbourne)

They have developed an online treatment that has dramatically improved symptoms and functioning for people suffering knee osteoarthritis, the main cause of chronic knee pain.

Research trial findings published recently in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, suggest online delivery is the key to greatly improve patient access to effective non-drug treatments.

Knee osteoarthritis is estimated to affect nearly a million Australians, especially people aged over 45 years, and those who are overweight or obese.

Self-management, including exercise, is critical for minimising the impact of this condition, which has no cure.

Professor Kim Bennell, of the Melbourne Department of Physiotherapy, said participants in the IMPACT project had seven Skype sessions with a physiotherapist to learn home exercises, and completed an online pain-coping skills training program over three months.

Compared to a control group, who only had access to online educational materials, they reported significantly greater improvements in pain, physical functioning and quality of life at three and nine months.

“Currently many people with this condition are not receiving key treatments but are relying on drugs, which have serious side effects, and costly surgery,” Professor Bennell said.

“About 30,000 Australians have knee replacement surgery each year, so helping people to better self manage can significantly reduce the need for surgery and drugs.”

Professor Bennell said the traditional model of visiting a health professional in person was not practical for patients from rural or remote areas, or with mobility problems.

“The patients and physiotherapists found Skype empowering, convenient and enjoyable,” Professor Bennell said.

Professor Bennell is urging the private and public health care systems to consider expansion of services to include online treatment delivery models that promote self management of chronic knee pain via exercise and pain coping skills training.

In December, the program, funded by the NHMRC, won the Research Into Action category in the VicHealth annual health promotion awards.

About the Melbourne Doctor of Physiotherapy

The Melbourne Doctor of Physiotherapy is Australia’s first three-year entry to practice graduate master’s-level program. Physiotherapy graduates will have the opportunity to pursue a career in a range of health settings, including hospitals, private practice, sporting and rehabilitation facilities, community organizations or as an advisor to government or industry bodies. This degree provides opportunities for pursuing employment globally.

Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 3 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2017 intake, deadlines were June 2, 2016 (first round) and July 28, 2016 (second round).

Apply to the University of Melbourne Doctor of Physiotherapy!

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For more information about the Melbourne Physiotherapy program, contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Applications for the Macquarie Doctor of Physiotherapy program are still open!


Thinking of applying to the Macquarie Doctor of Physiotherapy program?

The Macquarie Doctor of Physiotherapy program is the first in New South Wales. Students will graduate with advanced clinical skills developed in more than 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice. And with business, management and leadership training, you’ll be ready launch a fulfilling career as a physiotherapist in a variety of settings.

Learning within state-of-the-art purpose-built facilities, Macquarie DPT students collaborate with leading researchers and respected clinicians in Macquarie University Hospital and the university’s other clinical partners to promote the health and well-being across the lifespan.

Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 3 years
Next available intake: July 2017
Application deadline: February 23, 2017

Entry requirements

1. Completion of a bachelor’s degree with about a 65% average or above. This is the minimum academic standing needed to apply and does not guarantee admission. The starting point to a competitive average would be at least a 70% cumulative average or higher; however, competitiveness changes each year depending on the quality and quantity of each year’s applicants.

2. Prerequisite courses in the following areas:

  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology (Cell and Systems)
  • Psychology
  • Research Methods

The courses in the following subject areas are desired, yet not mandatory:

  • Biomechanics
  • Pharmacology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Motor learning and performance
  • Neuroscience

Selection Process

Once entry requirements for each candidate have been met the following processes occurs:

  • Candidates will be ranked on their academic merit based on their highest GPA for any tertiary qualification.
  • Secondary level of consideration will be given to students who have completed desired tertiary units of study.
  • The highest ranked candidates will be offered a place.

Apply to the Macquarie Doctor of Physiotherapy program!

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Do you have any questions about the Macquarie Doctor of Physiotherapy? Please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

What’s it like to move to Melbourne? OzTREKK student shares his tips and tricks (Part 2)

International students have a lot to do in order to prepare for study in Australia: getting a student visa, booking a flight, transferring money, finding accommodation, registering for classes, mentally preparing… the list goes on! Luckily, we are here for you every step of the way. From application to arrival, OzTREKK will be there.

Former OzTREKK students are there for you, too.

Remember OzTREKK student, Eric Leckie? We recently ran a blog about his journey as an international student. His detailed story outlining the tips and tricks of the Melbourne physiotherapy program got a ton of hits on Facebook, and now he’s back to give us the skinny on moving to Melbourne!

Take it away, Eric!

I love living in a big city such as Melbourne. There is always something to do on the weekends to keep you busy when you have some down time from uni. For example, there certainly isn’t a shortage of restaurants to go try out. Whether you’re looking for Italian, Thai, Indian, Korean, Greek… Melbourne has it all and the best part is, if you decide to live in the city, all these restaurants are all walking distance away. Another great aspect about Melbourne is that it’s extremely culturally diverse. I find the general culture and attitude of Australia to be very similar to that of Canada. Everyone is very nice and accepting here, which makes you feel like you’re at home.

Aside from Melbourne itself, I really enjoy exploring different parts of Australia. This past Easter break I went to Byron Bay (personal favourite) and Surfers Paradise with a friend of mine and it was absolutely amazing. Australia has so much to offer and domestic flights are really cheap so there’s really no excuse to not get out and explore as much as you can!

What's it like to move to Melbourne? OzTREKK student shares his tips (Part 2)

Weekend trip to the Grampians National park with friends

Accommodation options

I’ve talked to a lot of my international friends that are in the program with me and we all agree that finding housing is definitely the most stressful part about preparing to study here in Australia. To be honest, there’s not much OzTREKK can do to help us with this part of the process, apart from pointing us in the right direction and offering suggestions.

For myself and many others, we had to find accommodation ourselves, which was a little sketchy because I almost got caught in an online scam when I was searching for places to live while still in Canada. I found that there are a lot of people out there preying on international students looking to find accommodation here in Australia. In my case, this landlord tried to get me to pay first and last months’ rent up front before I even moved here to Australia, just so he could “hold” the apartment for me. This landlord ended up not even owning this property and it was, in fact, a scam. So just be very cautious when looking for apartments and places to live online before actually moving here.

I am currently living in the Student Village here on the University of Melbourne campus. Like most of you, I ended up in a stressful situation where I had to secure accommodation fast before moving here. I am currently paying $308 a week for a single bedroom inside a 4-person share room. On top of that, WiFi is in extra $40–$80 a month, depending on how much you’re going to use. I’m pretty sure $40 gets you around 30,000 MB which isn’t much at all. Laundry is $3 for washing and $5 for drying, I believe.

This is strictly my personal opinion, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone studying a post-grad degree to live here. If you’re into partying, then the Student Village is definitely the place for you, as the majority of residents are all studying undergraduate degrees.

What's it like to move to Melbourne? OzTREKK student shares his tips (Part 2)

Cliff jumping at Mt. Martha pillars with my good friend Justin

If I were to do it over again knowing what I know now, I would log onto flatmatefinders.com.au and search for share houses that way, from Canada. The way the website works is that you create a profile and you are able to view different living accommodations in the area that you choose. You can set up Skype video calls with the landlords and residents to make sure you’re going to be a good fit. A lot of my friends ended up going this route when they got here and it’s worked out well for all of them. For the most part, the places you’ll find on Flatmate Finders are apartments or houses that have extra rooms available for rent, living with other students for a lot cheaper than what I’m currently paying. OzTREKK has a ton of accommodation suggestions on their Boarding Pass website—use it!

Getting your finances in order

I think the biggest thing to do before you move over here is to establish a really good support team back home. As you’re probably already aware or coming to find out through research, it costs a lot of money to live over here. Everything is much more expensive than it is in Canada and the United States, such as groceries, eating at restaurants, going to bars, public transportation, gym memberships, etc.

OzTREKK does pre-departure webinars and in-person seminars before you guys leave to fly over here and they will tell you to have at least $1000 in cash on hand when you arrive. Please take them seriously; they aren’t kidding. You’re going to need cash for living expenses until you’re able to set up an Australian bank account and transfer all your money over. I’m currently with Commonwealth bank and I was actually able to set up my bank account from back home in Canada before I came over, which made it really easy once I arrived here in Australia.

Make sure you have all your loans set up and ready to go, and make sure you plan out how you’re going to access that money. I’m with Scotiabank back home, so I have all my loans funneled into my Scotia account because here in Australia there’s a bank called Westpac that allows Scotiabank members to make withdrawals free of charge at any of their ATMs in the city.

The point I’m trying to get across is to make sure you have everything set up and ready to go before you arrive. If you’re a Canadian and haven’t looked into student loans yet, I highly suggest it! The more money you have at hand the better because you truly can’t predict how much you’re going to be spending once you get here and it’s better to have it available just in case.

What's it like to move to Melbourne? OzTREKK student shares his tips (Part 2)

The balconies at Grampians National Park

Join OzTREKK student groups

Furthermore, take full advantage of the student groups set up by OzTREKK for all the internationals enrolled in the same program. I say this because everyone will be arriving here in Melbourne well before classes start in order to get settled in. It gets really lonely after about the first day you arrive here when the adrenaline wears off and jet lag sets in and you realize that you don’t actually have friends here in Australia. So use the Facebook group and get everyone together for drinks or out for dinner as soon as possible before you get too homesick. For me personally, that student group really helped me out a lot. I was able to make quite a few new friends with the other international students within the first couple days of moving here. Everyone is in the same boat, so reach out right away when you get here and start enjoying Australia!

Best decision I’ve ever made

Moving here to Australia was the first time I’ve ever left home. I did my undergrad at the university in my home city, so moving here was a big change for me. With that being said, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity to move halfway around the world to study a program that I’m very passionate about. The independence is amazing and the opportunities are endless!

So in conclusion, yes, I’d highly recommend studying here in Australia! If any of you have any further questions about my personal experiences here or if you have any further questions about the school and curriculum itself, please feel free to contact OzTREKK and they will give you my e-mail and we can set up a Skype or FaceTime call. I’m happy to help!

For more information about Melbourne DPT—entry requirements, application deadlines, and tuition fees, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at 1-866-698-7355 or email krista@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

OzTREKK student gives us the inside scoop about the Melbourne physiotherapy program

We’ve got lots of program spoilers in this OzTREKK student blog! So if you’re a future Melbourne DPT student, heads up!

Meet current Melbourne Physiotherapy School student, Eric Leckie. He began his studies in semester 1, 2016, and he has a ton of helpful tips for everyone getting ready to study the Doctor of Physiotherapy at Melbourne. What should you know before you start your program? Is there a learning curve? How intense is the program?

If you’d like the answers to the above questions—and a whole lot more—read on!

Why physio?

My decision to study physiotherapy came from a couple of directions. I think that the main reason for me choosing physiotherapy came from my experiences with my dad. When I was in Grade 8 my dad was diagnosed with a pretty serious disease that caused him to deteriorate over three years and then spend an additional 80 days in the hospital to receive an organ transplant. As you can imagine, after spending 80 days in the hospital, his body deteriorated quickly.

OzTREKK student gives us the inside scoop about the Melbourne physiotherapy program

First day of clinics at the Royal Melbourne Hospital

After the transplant I was able to watch the physiotherapists work with my dad to help him get his strength back, restore his confidence, and basically teach him how to walk again. It was truly incredible! It was a long rehabilitation journey but they never gave up on my dad and that resulted in a very successful rehabilitation. Furthermore, the impact that these health professionals had on me can’t even be put into words.

All I knew from that point on was that I want to impact patients and patients’ families in the same way that the team of healthcare professionals impacted me and my family. I was truly inspired and I immediately started choosing my classes in high school to meet the prerequisites to apply to the Bachelor of Human Kinetics program at the University of Windsor, to start the process of studying to become a physiotherapist.

Choosing where to study

I chose the University of Melbourne for multiple reasons. Firstly, I did a lot of research into Australian physiotherapy schools and the University of Melbourne definitely had one of the best reputations for their Doctor of Physiotherapy degree compared to other universities in Australia. Not only is the university consistently ranked among the leading universities in the world (33rd), it is also ranked the #1 university in Australia.

Considering the fact that I’m studying here in Australia for three years, I wanted to make sure that I was moving to a cool city that has lots going on socially. After living here for the past eight months, it’s easy to see why Melbourne has won the “world’s most livable city award” six years in a row. There are plenty of events and festivals going on year round, the city is extremely easy to find your way around using public transport, and it’s very culturally diverse. This city has a huge professional sporting scene, thousands of amazing restaurants and bars, multiple beaches… the list goes on. Melbourne truly has something for everyone and aside from the unpredictable weather, I absolutely love living here!

A warm welcome

I am really enjoying my program. Since the start of classes this past year, the entire faculty has worked really hard to make sure that everyone feels welcome and at home. There is a good mix of international students in the physiotherapy cohort which is nice because we’re all in the same boat together. I can honestly say that every professor I have encountered in my first year of study here has made it their top priority to make sure that everyone is on the same page. This is important because I, along with other international students, found the teaching and marking styles here in Australia to be completely different compared to those in Canada which made for quite the learning curve in first semester. Furthermore, professors here at Melbourne Uni all have open-door policies and encourage you to go and see them for any issues you might have. They also understand that it’s a tough transition for international students who have just left home and moved across the world to study here in their country, and will offer plenty of tips and advice to ensure everyone has a smooth transition.

OzTREKK student gives us the inside scoop about the Melbourne physiotherapy program

Royal Exhibition building in Melbourne

The learning curve

Coming into the Doctor of Physiotherapy, I knew it was going to be pretty full on, as expected of any post-grad degree. For myself, first semester was very much a learning curve and adjustment semester. It was tough because first semester is also very intense academically. In this program, professors waste no time in diving right into material. But like anything new that you’re faced with in life, you adapt and it eventually gets easier.

The classes are very challenging and the professors do expect a lot out of you. I find this to be a good thing though because you’re not in undergrad anymore. In the physiotherapy post-grad program, professors work you really hard because they want to produce the best physiotherapists possible, and for that I actually really appreciate all the work they make you do. You can expect full days of classes and then an extra of 1–2 hours of extra studying each night so that you don’t fall behind. Readings for each class are expected to be completed before each practical and each lecture for the following day.

Making friends

To be honest, don’t expect to have much of a social life if you enrol in this program. If you’re used to hanging out with your friends most nights, going to bars every weekend, and watching Netflix instead of studying every night, you’re going to be in for a big change! This all comes with the transition and you’ll find that you adapt really fast. For myself, I didn’t mind the change in my social life because I knew I was paying a lot of money to study here and learn at a reputable university.

Making friends is very easy in this program. Everyone has the same classes together each day so it’s quite easy to become acquainted with everyone if you make the effort! OzTREKK puts together a Facebook group with all the international students enrolled in the same course at each university and this made it really easy to make friends with other Canadians and Americans as soon as I arrived here in Melbourne.

OzTREKK student gives us the inside scoop about the Melbourne physiotherapy program

Eric and good friend Justin at a North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Western Bulldogs AFL game

Study preparations

Honestly, there’s not a whole lot you can do to prepare yourself for studying here in Australia. Professors recognize that everyone is coming from different academic backgrounds and they do a really good job in the first couple of months making sure that everyone is up to speed and meeting their academic expectations and level of knowledge. I myself wish I would have reviewed my anatomy more before coming into this course because first-semester foundations was just a killer. In my undergrad I competed two anatomy courses and multiple physiology courses (as most of you have in order to meet the prerequisites requirements to apply to this school), but this was by no means enough to prepare me for foundations class.

Coming into the first week of classes, professors expect you to know your anatomy like the back of your hand. I’m talking about every single bone, every muscle and its origin, insertion, and action. Of course they brush over these anatomy concepts in lectures, but they definitely expect you to know your stuff well. I thought I was prepared going in—I wasn’t. I had to spend hours each night reviewing my anatomy just so that I didn’t fall behind in lectures and, most importantly, in practical classes where you learn physiotherapy techniques first semester.

Advice? Know your anatomy

In the first week of class you’ll start practicals and you can expect to be singled out in your practical class to name the origins and insertions of specific muscles as this is the time in the semester where professors go over muscle palpation. Let me tell you, there is nothing more embarrassing than not knowing your anatomy and drawing a blank when getting singled out in front of your fellow classmates that you literally just met.

My advice for anyone starting the Melbourne physiotherapy program would be to immediately check the university’s website to see which anatomy textbook they recommend, go and buy it at the book store and start studying it every night before you begin classes. Like I said above, although the course is very intense right from the beginning, you’ll come to appreciate this because it forces you to know your anatomy concepts very well, and since you’re in physiotherapy, you’re going to need to know them like the back of your hand anyways.

Lastly, at the end of each semester you will have objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE). These are practical exams where you perform palpations, and various other tests and techniques you learned in practical classes, in front of professors who grade you. The best advice I can give to prepare for these OSC exams would be to practice all the practical skills you learn in pracs at least once a week. Yes, you’re going to be bogged down with your other classes, but you’ll be glad you practiced regularly once exam time comes around.

OzTREKK student gives us the inside scoop about the Melbourne physiotherapy program

Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Other than that, my advice to you would be to go into each lecture focused and ready to learn. Looking back, the amount you learn in first semester is truly incredible. Find a good group to study with right from the beginning, make it a habit to study and review every night, and you’ll be just fine.

A peek inside the school

At the University of Melbourne, both nursing students and physiotherapy students share a building. The building has three floors and it’s quite nice. It’s equipped with one large lecture theatre with enough seats to sit everyone in your cohort with double projector screens. There are multiple practical rooms on the middle and top levels of the building that are used for your pracs. These rooms are always kept really clean and have lots of physiotherapy beds for you to practice on. The Melbourne physiotherapy department leaves these rooms unlocked until 8 or 9 every night, which is nice because it allows you to to practice after class in preparation for OSC exams.

In this program you will have classes in different buildings across campus. The nice thing about the University of Melbourne is that all university buildings are located in one central campus. It takes maybe 10 to 15 minutes to walk from the physiotherapy building across campus to different lecture theatres.

The university has a large workout facility on campus with plenty of equipment (an entire level for cardio machines, at least 7 power racks on the main floor, a pool, full size track, tennis courts, footy field, futsal and soccer fields, etc. Unfortunately, you have to pay to use this facility but compared to the gym membership prices at other facilities in Melbourne, it’s quite cheap! There are also plenty of libraries, computer centres, and cafes on campus for you to study in as well.

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Stay tuned for Eric’s next blog installment where he discusses moving to Melbourne, how he found accommodation, and how he prepared for his big move!

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

OzTREKK Bond physiotherapy students leading the way

Happy Tuesday! We are pleased to announce that five former OzTREKK students have received awards for academic achievement in the Bond Doctor of Physiotherapy program!

We love happy stories about our former students… and we love to share them with you!

Scott Willis Chan – Vice-Chancellor’s List for Academic Excellence (attaining a semester percentage of greater or equal to 85%) / *First in class

OzTREKK Bond physiotherapy students leading the way

Former OzTREKK student and current Bond DPT student Maichel Ghobrial enjoying his time in Australia!

Gabrielle Christine Van Der Woerd – Executive Dean’s List for Academic Excellence (semester percentage average between 82% and 84% inclusive)

Whitney Mills – Executive Dean’s List for Academic Excellence (semester percentage average between 82% and 84% inclusive)

Maichel Ghobrial – Vice-Chancellor’s List for Academic Excellence (attaining a semester percentage of greater or equal to 85%). Mike has done a student blog with OzTREKK! Check out his story: What’s it like to be a Bond Doctor of Physiotherapy student?

Darren Corea – Vice-Chancellor’s List for Academic Excellence (attaining a semester percentage of greater or equal to 85%)

Congratulations to all of you! All of us at OzTREKK are very proud of your achievements!

Wondering about Bond Physiotherapy School?

The physiotherapy program at Bond Physiotherapy School embraces a holistic approach, with a strong emphasis on communication skills, ethics and preventative management. Extensive clinical training ensures graduates will be able to effectively relate to and treat physical therapy patients and clients on every level. The program integrates the clinical, pathological and related sciences with the physiotherapy knowledge, skills and professional behaviours and attitudes required to examine, diagnose and treat physiotherapy clients.

Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT)
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Next available intake: May 2018
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the May 2017 intake, the application deadline was August 11, 2016.

Apply now to Bond Physiotherapy School!

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Do you have questions about studying at Bond Physiotherapy School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Don’t miss the Bond physiotherapy application deadline!

If you’re interested in studying physio at an Australian university, we’d like to remind you that Bond Physiotherapy School’s application deadline is coming up soon—Thursday, August 11, 2016!

Bond University Physiotherapy School

Inside the Bond University Physiotherapy facilities

About Bond Physiotherapy School

Students undertake studies in Bond Physiotherapy School’s $20-million, state-of-the-art building. Features include clinical skills laboratories designed to simulate real medical environments, and modern teaching and research laboratories with the latest scientific equipment. The purpose-built tutorial rooms cater to small-group learning and lecture theatres are equipped with video streaming, wireless, and an audience-response system. The building also features a dedicated computer laboratory for students.

Work Experience and Internships

Bond physiotherapy students complete a clinical internship with an embedded research project in their final semester. This placement is designed to ensure graduates are ideally placed for entering the workforce. The first 30 weeks of clinical experiences will be gained in both hospital and community settings and will include working in the clinical areas of

  • orthopaedics;
  • cardiorespiratory;
  • out-patient musculoskeletal practice (hospital or private practice settings);
  • neurological and orthogeriatric rehabilitation (hospital and community settings); and
  • an elective in paediatrics, women’s/men’s health or sports practice.

Application Timeline

Applications close: August 11, 2016
Interviews held for short-listed candidates: September – October 2016
Applicants notified of application outcome: Friday, October 14, 2016
All enrolled students to attend Doctor of Physiotherapy Orientation: May 2 – 6 2017
Classes commence: Monday, May 8, 2017

Apply now to Bond Physiotherapy School!

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Learn more about Bond Physiotherapy School. Call 1-866-698-7355 or email OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.