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Friday, May 17th, 2019

Must-visit places when you study in Sydney, Australia

Hey, OzTREKKers! Meet OzTREKK Ambassador, Kim Li—she’s currently studying occupational therapy at the University of Sydney.

Figure Eight Pools

If you’re thinking of attending university in Australia, specifically the Sydney area, you may want to tuck this blog away somewhere for future reference! Here, Kim has prepared a thorough list for everyone interested in enjoying the sights, the sounds, the smells, and all the feels of beautiful Australia!

Royal National Park (Figure 8 Pools)

Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains

Bondi to Coogee Walk

  • 6 km coastal walk along Sydney’s eastern suburbs
  • 1-hour walk without stopping (will want to stop to enjoy the beaches and take pictures)
  • You can start either at Bondi or at Coogee beach

Palm Beach

  • Approximately 1-hour drive / 2 hours by public transportation

Bondi to Coogee Walk

Barrenjoey Lighthouse walk

  • 1 hour; easy walk

La Perouse

Must-go-to beaches (and you’ll hit most of these beaches if you do the Bondi to Coogee walk, as mentioned above)

  • Bondi Beach
  • Manly Beach
  • Coogee Beach
  • Freshwater Beach
  • Tamarama Beach
  • Bronte Beach
  • Milk Beach

Bondi Iceberg Pools

Taronga Zoo

  • Zoo overlooking the Sydney Harbour

Sydney Fish Market

  • Second largest seafood market

Nightlife (I haven’t been to that many)

  • Old Mate’s Place (CBD) – rooftop bar
  • Archie Rose (Rosebery)
  • The Little Guy (Glebe)
  • O-Bar (CBD) – expensive but great views
  • Bar Luca – Blame Canada burger is pretty bomb
  • The Two Wolves

Other tourist places to visit

  • Darling harbour
  • Circular Quay / The Rocks – good spot for pictures with the Opera house
  • Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Queen Victoria Building
  • Chinese Garden of Friendship

Check out a National Rugby League game!

Things to do

  • Horse Races
  • NRL or AFL game
  • Discover as you go!

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Kimberly Li | University of Sydney Master of Occupational Therapy

I chose OT because I am passionate about helping individuals gain function in day to day tasks and promoting participation in meaningful activities. In my final year of my undergrad, UBC was ranked 4th for sports-related subjects and USyd was ranked 1st  in the QS World University Rankings.

Want to follow Kim’s journey? Follow her on Instagram!

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Are you interested in studying at the University of Sydney? Contact us at info@oztrekk.com for more information about how you can study in Australia!

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

Top 12 Careers in Pharmacy

Do you know how many possible career paths exist for pharmacy graduates? Having a career in pharmacy isn’t just about dispensing medicines in a corner pharmacy or working as a scientist in a research laboratory. There are so many more opportunities that can provide pharmacy graduates with an exciting and rewarding career!

Appealing to anyone interested in health care, pharmacy often goes hand in hand with other health branches like medicine, public health, psychology, and business.

Monash University pharmacy

What does your career in pharmacy look like?

So, what can you do with a pharmacy degree? Check out the list below—is there something that catches your eye?

Top 12 Careers in Pharmacy

1. Community pharmacist
Do you love to work with people? Community pharmacy might be for you! Community pharmacy is one of the most common choices for young pharmacists, and perhaps the most visible. A pharmacist needs to have an in-depth knowledge of what every single one of those products does, how it might be of benefit and how it might do potential harm. A pharmacist’s technical knowledge needs to be matched by his or her communication skills.

2. Hospital pharmacist
Hospital pharmacists are medicine experts in the field of medicines. Hospital pharmacy provides the opportunity to work in a supportive team and to be actively involved in patient care. You’ll work closely with medical and nursing staff to make sure hospital patients receive the best treatment. You will advise physicians and nurses on the selection, dose, and type of administration and assist patients in all aspects of their medicines. As well as being responsible for dispensing prescriptions, pharmacists are also involved in the purchasing and quality testing of medicines.

3. Primary care pharmacist
A relatively new career path is that of the practice pharmacist. A practice pharmacist doesn’t dispense medicines. Instead, they work within a general medical practice to deliver direct support to doctors and their patients. They can often give more time and attention to individual cases than a busy community pharmacist can, providing quality care and specialized services such as smoking cessation. This career option provides a great option for pharmacists who want the opportunity to work closely with doctors and provide more in-depth care to their patients, in a non-hospital setting.

4. Researcher / academic
An ever-popular choice, pursuing research and/or academia after that first undergraduate degree is for those who enjoy working with ideas and may not want to give up the books just yet. Pharmacy grads can pursue research in pharmacy practice, as well as a variety of other areas including pharmacotherapy, drug discovery, toxicology, clinical sciences, public health and much more.

5. Pharmaceutical industry / clinical trials
Pharmacists in this area support the management and delivery of clinical trials of new medicines. The role involves coordinating studies from a medicinal perspective, ensuring that drugs used in the trials are imported, stored, accounted for, compounded, dispensed and used in accordance to strict protocols. It may involve liaising with hospital staff, counselling participants and carers, and educating medical and nursing staff.

6. Locum pharmacist
Have pharmacy degree, will travel! If you enjoy flexibility, you may enjoy being a locum pharmacist. Locum positions are available for many reasons—such as maternity leave, vacation, staff turnover, or relief situations such as when a regular pharmacist calls in sick. This might provide an opportunity to try out different work environments and practices. For those with an adventurous spirit, looking for flexibility and the opportunity to travel, consider a career as a locum pharmacist.

7. Government and NGO roles
Pharmacists have knowledge, skills and experience that can feed into advisory roles, both for the government as well as non-government institutions, such as health funds and private hospitals. Government roles can focus on access to medicines, or eHealth, or public health… the list goes on.

8. Military pharmacist
It might not seem like an obvious path, but the Department of National Defence employs registered pharmacists to work in the army, navy and air force. For a pharmacist, this adventurous role can involve being posted with other allied health personnel to work on board navy ships or be deployed with their unit into remote areas of Canada and overseas.

9. Mental health pharmacist
Mental health pharmacists in hospitals are responsible for providing clinical pharmacy services to the adult mental health in-patient wards, and psychiatric assessment and planning units. It is a highly specialized career path that requires strong teamwork skills and current drug knowledge in psychotropic drug therapy. The focus of this work includes managing the supply of antipsychotic medications to mental health patients in government units, outpatient clinics, community centres and specialist hospitals.

10. Women’s and newborns’ pharmacist
At the other end of the spectrum to aged care is the field of women’s and newborns’ pharmacy, providing clinical pharmacy services to maternity and neonatal patients. Most pharmacists come to this career path with a grounding in hospital pharmacy.

11. Pain educator, program director or consultant
Chronic and acute pain are fascinating areas to work in. Pain management is a constantly evolving field that encompasses many areas of treatment, not just pharmacy and pain medications. Pharmacists work with pain sufferers to manage their medications and coordinate other forms of treatment.

12. Drug safety officer
As a drug safety officer, you’re responsible for pharmacovigilance activities, including receiving and processing reports of adverse drug events and conducting regular conciliation with health authorities.

And a few more to choose from…

  • Drug information or medicines
  • Emergency or emergency or acute medicine 
  • Consultant pharmacist
  • Management & mentorship
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Aged care pharmacist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Regulatory affairs associate
  • Complex care coordinator

Studying Pharmacy at Monash University

Monash University’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences engages in world-class research and has a long history as a leading provider of undergraduate and postgraduate education.

1# entry-to-practice pharmacy program in the world – Study with the best. In the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject, Monash offers the #1 Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) / Master of Pharmacy degree. *

Receive a $5,000 study grant – Eligible international students who study pharmacy at Monash can receive a $5,000 study grant to assist with relocation.

Have a degree already? Become a pharmacist even faster – Monash offers a graduate-entry pathway, allowing students with science-based bachelor’s degrees to become a practicing pharmacist in just 2 – 3 years.

Monash’s combined Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) / Master of Pharmacy is recognized internationally, which means you can apply to sit your exams and register as a pharmacist immediately upon your return home to Canada.

*The QS World Rankings by Subject assesses university performance in pharmacy and pharmacology together. Oxford and Harvard universities ranked higher than Monash University in these rankings; however, neither teach a pharmacy education program.

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) / Master of Pharmacy
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 – 5 years (depending on your educational background; can exit after Bachelor of Pharmacy Honours portion. Contact OzTREKK for details.)
Application deadline: November 14, 2019; however, you are strongly encouraged to submit your application as early as possible to provide time for the predeparture and visa processes.

Apply to Monash University Pharmacy School!

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What do you want to do with your pharmacy degree? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Pharmacy Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com for more info!

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

OzTREKK Ambassadors: Life doesn’t stop when you’re in medical school

Griffith Medical School student Cameron Bowers would like to share some valuable advice for everyone considering studying medicine in Australia!

Griffith Medical School

Life doesn’t slow down when you’re in medical school!

We are so focused on the future.
I just need to finish my undergrad, then I’ll…
I just need to study for the MCAT, then I’ll…
When I finish with med school applications, then I’ll…
After I get prepared for medical school to start I’ll…
Once I get settled into med school I’ll…

But the truth is that life doesn’t ever really settle down, especially in this career that is so future-focused. It’s always about the next degree, the next exam, the next placement, the next specialty.

I was naïve in thinking that life would somehow magically settle down once I was finally in medical school, a goal I’d been working towards for years. That my days would just be classes, study groups and late nights of self-studying. Don’t get me wrong, all of those things happen, but life doesn’t stop just because you’re in medical school.

All of the normal stressors are there, just take away energy and time to deal with them.

When you go abroad for school you add new issues to deal with. They say Canadians actually have the hardest time with culture shock because it feels so similar to Canada here that it’s easy to forget it’s a different country—until something very different happens. Take holidays for example. Fun fact in Australia, all the supermarkets are closed on certain holidays (e.g., closed Good Friday but open Easter Sunday and Monday). It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you forget that all grocery stores in the country are closed on a certain day it can be rather difficult to get the last ingredients you need for dinner, potentially leading you to buying mozzarella cheese from a pizza restaurant.

When you’re far away for school your friends and family’s lives don’t stop either. Things happen and you suddenly have to learn how to deal with it while being 16 hours in the future. Phone calls and texts require an eight-hour delay sometimes for a reply. The best time to call home is in the morning, but those moments are limited because classes start at 8:30 a.m. most days. By the time you’re out of class at 4 p.m. it’s too late to call North America.

medical students

Try to take time for some adventure!

The truth is it’s hard to manage it all while attempting to stay on top of school. A lot of times I put school first and my to-do list grows week to week, but the pace of medical school doesn’t allow for anything other than full focus. I laughed the other day remembering what is was like to procrastinate when I was in my undergrad. There’s no option to procrastinate in medical school. You stop for a minute and everyone has already ran past you.

I wish I could offer some concrete advice for how to manage it all, but the truth is I am still trying to figure all this out. Some days I feel like I’m on top of the world: exercising, studying effectively, marking off my to-do list, eating healthy, making time for my relationship, making time for myself. But other days attending seven hours of lecture with only a 30-minute break in the middle is all I can accomplish and I try to tell myself that it’s okay.

It’s okay to not have all the answers right now. It’s okay to not pre-read for lectures for the sake of sleep the night before. It’s okay to have breakdowns and let it all out. It’s okay to wake up the next morning and be excited that you’re in medical school and one day you will become a doctor.

So for now, all I can say is wherever you are in your life and your career journey, try to be present and enjoy it. Life doesn’t happen in the future, and learning to be present, while never easy, is so important because none of us has a guarantee of what the future will bring.

Cameron
Griffith Medical School student

Follow Cameron on Instagram! @noborders.md

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Would you like more details about Australian medical schools? Contact OzTREKK’s Medicine Admissions Officer Amanda Rollich at amanda@oztrekk.com to learn more about your options!

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

OzTREKK Ambassadors: Transferring your money

In part one of my banking and finances blog, I talked about banking in Australia. Here, I’d like to chat about transferring your money!

transferring your money

Consider using a money transfer app

My first little bit of advice would be before you even arrive in Australia, go to a foreign exchange place and take out probably $500–$600 for the first couple weeks you are in Australia just to get settled in. Once you have the bank account set up and are actually in Australia, then you can think about transferring some money over.

Don’t use your bank to transfer funds

Do not use your bank when transferring money to Australia. Why? First, you will pay their exchange rate from CAD to AUD, which is outrageous and close to 3–4 cents on the dollar, worse than what you get with other transfer companies. Second, it will take weeks for your money to come in, and sometimes it doesn’t even come in full installments. Third, they will also change you an extra amount to deposit it into your account along with a bunch of other fees—just awful altogether.

The way that I transfer my money is through a third-party app called “TransferWise.” Now, this app only lets you transfer amounts of up to $9,500 at one time and $25k per week. I don’t see why you would need any more than that so this app is perfect. Unless of course you want to transfer all of your money at once (which I would highly suggest against), then you would have to go the direct wire transfer through a bank.

The TransferWise app is very easy to use. All you do is register for an account. They ask for two-factor identification as well as a bank statement or rent cheque to make sure you are a Canadian citizen living there before coming to Australia. Then once your account is verified, it is easy to go on and see what they are offering for rates. As an example, $9,500 CAD got me $10,041.85 AUD.

Keep an eye on the exchange rate

When you are using this app it will always tell you the current rate that you are getting and the rates will vary each minute. So, in saying that, please be careful and make sure you check the forecast before changing money over. Wait until the dollar is on a rise before transferring your money over. Because I was watching the rates, I made more than $400 on the exact same dollar amount transfer than a friend did—just by waiting a day and a half! This may seem small to you, but over the course of a two-year program (or longer) and transferring money over in small amounts, you could net a total of an extra $10k based on current standards, which would really help! I would also suggest to download a Forex (foreign exchange) currency converter that converts currencies in real time just to keep up to date.

That is the major basics of finances for Australia and if you have any questions at all about physiotherapy, finances, UQ, and Brisbane life don’t be afraid to DM me on my Instagram! I will be uploading weekly content and be following the top professionals in my field come this mid-semester break so stay tuned!

Anthony C, first-year UQ physiotherapy student

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Find out more about Anthony! Read part one of his “money” blog OzTREKK Ambassadors: Banking in Australia, or follow all our ambassadors’ stories!

Would you like to be an OzTREKK Ambassador? Let us know! Please contact us at social@oztrekk.com and share your stories!

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

Don’t miss our next Medical Licensing webinar May 8

So you already know Australian medical schools offer high-quality education and clinical training in an amazing setting! Studying medicine in Australia is a great experience and can really help you appreciate the worldwide aspect of health, since many clinical placements are offered around the globe.

Australian medical schools

Don’t miss our next OzTREKK Medical Licensing webinar!

But we also know choosing to study medicine abroad comes with a ton of concerns, one of the most common being, How do you return to Canada to practice?

OzTREKK is here to help you understand the process! We have now confirmed our next Medical Licensing Webinar to help explain

  • the latest information on the licensing process in Canada, the US and Australia;
  • the pathways to becoming a doctor in Canada, the US and Australia;
  • the process of how to apply in Canada, the US and Australia to become a doctor;
  • the latest information and statistics on the Canadian residency match, the US residency match, and the Australian internship and residency match;
  • information about the licensing examinations in Canada and the US—what they are, when you need to sit them, and the application process; and
  • the latest developments and news related to licensing and accreditation from the various forms of government and medical bodies in Canada, the US, and Australia.

OzTREKK Medical Licensing Webinar

Date: Wednesday, May 8
Time: 7 p.m. EDT / 5 p.m. MDT / 4 p.m. PDT
Register now!

You have questions we would like to answer!

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Would you like more information about studying medicine in Australia? Please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer at medicine@oztrekk.com!

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

OzTREKK Ambassadors: Banking in Australia

I feel like I can speak for the entire population of international students when I say that this is a very big financial decision that you are making to study abroad.

Don’t be taken aback by the fact that you are going to be looking at paying six figures for your education, but instead look at this as an investment for your dream job that you will have for the rest of your life.

Now, with all of that being said, let’s talk finances and banking in Australia.

study physiotherapy in Australia

When in Australia, don’t forget to explore! Hanging out in Hosier Lane, Melbourne.

Banking

Australia has four major banks: Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Westpac Banking Corporation, National Australia Bank (NAB), and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ).

The bank I chose is Commonwealth Bank of Australia because from the upper-year students NAB was not the greatest for customers service; ANZ was a little less common so it was harder to deal with; and then Westpac had kept a hold on some of the students’ wire transfers for tuition (which charged them extra money for late fees).

I will talk about money transfers and all of that in my next blog, but for now, let’s stick with banking.

1. Get a Student Card and a Cell Phone

First thing you need to do is when you become a University of Queensland student is receive your student card and also get a cell phone number. You will need this in order to set up your Commonwealth bank account.

2. Set Up Your Banking

Once you have those two pieces of information (including your Australia address, which can change after), you just need to walk into a Commonwealth bank and talk to a specialist there.

3. Get a Travel Money Card (if you want!)

Third, this is by no means a necessity, but if you want, CommBank offers something called “Travel Money Card.”  This is a free feature (when you apply online) and it is great for someone who either buys a lot of things online or travels. The card is good up until three years after you order it and it holds up to 13 currencies on the card at once. You just pay the conversion fee from Forex trading rate and it changes on your card automatically. I got this card because I frequently travel and it just takes out all the hassle from paying your own bank fees for international conversions each time.

Let’s say you travel to the states, with this card if you have $100 USD on the card, it acts as an American credit card (valued at $100). Then when you buy things there aren’t any extra accumulated fees associated with your purchase.

Pretty cool, right? And this works for over 47 different currencies around the world! So even if you don’t think you will use this once you are in Australia, I think (if you travel) it would be a good thing to get a month or so before you leave. As long as you have some money in your Australian bank account, you can have an international credit card for travelling with no secondary bank fees!

Another cool aspect of the app is that all of their features are instantaneous. From daily purchases to sending friends money it all happens within seconds of each other (rather than a couple days for e-transfers back home).  It also works from bank to bank (you send it via SMS) to any contact in your phone! I have an apple watch (CommBank also offers Apple Pay) and every time I make a purchase I’m notified on my watch and cell phone; therefore, if any purchase is made that wasn’t from you (card is compromised), you will be notified the second it happens and where it happened.

The app itself also groups all of your spending based on groups for you to see how much you have spent on food, health, entertainment, groceries, rent etc., which helps to easily keep track of your budget (which I’m seriously hoping you have!).

Another cool thing about this app is it also shows you where the closest ATM is located (which comes in handy), although there is a CommBank full branch right on the UQ St Lucia campus—which is really convenient!

Anthony out.
@ac_mpt

First-year UQ physiotherapy student

Interested in Anthony’s blogs? Read his blog OzTREKK Ambassadors: Moving to Brisbane, or follow all of our ambassadors‘ stories! Would you like to be an OzTREKK Ambassador? Let us know! Please contact us at social@oztrekk.com and share your stories!

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

What do Canadians think of Griffith Dental School?

As you may know, Australian dental school applications are officially open!

Griffith University Dental School

Learn more about Griffith Dental School

If you’re considering studying at an Australian dental school, you may wonder what other Canadians think about the program and the “university. Here, we’ve outlined some student reviews about Griffith University’s dental school!

Canadian students review Griffith Dental School

“A nice, modern campus. Program has lots of Canadians which is nice.” OzTREKK student Monica G

“The resources that are available to study, such as the new anatomy learning centre.”  OzTREKK student Ahmed H

“I love my university and program; I love having the balance of studying and fun in the Gold Coast. My dental program provides state-of-the-art facilities and the professors have been very helpful through the transition. I also got credited for many courses which saved me a lot of time and money.” OzTREKK student Fatima E

“I love studying near the beach.” Lukshihani M

“I like that most students who have completed a previous science degree were able to receive some credit for first year courses.” OzTREKK student Karen L

“The campus is beautiful there’s a lot of student services and support.” OzTREKK student Oparinha M

“I like that the professors are accessible.” OzTREKK student Jessica B

Studying dentistry at Griffith Dental School

At Griffith Dental School, you’ll be studying at some pretty amazing facilities: state-of-the-art, special-purpose dental facilities and modern laboratories, including a commercial dental lab in a new $150-million purpose-built Griffith Health Centre.

You will have the opportunity to undertake community placements in state schools, rural and remote communities and in Indigenous and aged care. Completing Griffith’s Bachelor of Dental Health Science and the two-year Master of Dentistry program provides the education and skills you need to apply for registration as a dentist!

Program: Bachelor of Dental Health Science/Master of Dentistry
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Trimester intake: February
Duration: 3 years & 2 years
Application deadline: July 20, 2019

Entry Requirements for the Griffith University Dentistry Program

To be eligible to apply to Griffith Dental School’s Bachelor of Dental Health Science, applicants must have

  • biological science, chemistry, physics, and maths B are strongly recommended as they are considered assumed knowledge
  • Grade 12 (or equivalent) English is required

Apply now to Griffith Dental School!

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Find out more about Griffith Dental School! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Alexa Graham at alexa@oztrekk.com to assist you with your application, or to answer any questions you may have regarding dentistry school in Australia.

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

Don’t miss our upcoming events and webinars

Happy Spring, OzTREKKers! We’ve got some exciting happenings during the next few weeks. Here’s a list of our upcoming info sessions, webinars, and where we’ll be just popping in to say hi!

Study Medicine in Australia Webinar

Meet current University of Queensland medical student Nic Sieban, who’s ready to answer your questions about studying medicine in Australia!

  • Tuesday, March 26, 2019
  • 7:30 p.m. EDT / 5:30 p.m. (MDT) / 4:30 p.m. (PDT)
  • Register

OzTREKK & Pre-dentistry Alumni Presentation (details TBC)

OzTREKK at the Carleton University Law School Fair

Interested in studying law? Come learn about your options.

  • Friday, March 29, 2019
  • 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • University Centre Atrium

OzTREKK Studying Dentistry in Australia Info Session

Did you know Canada and Australia have a reciprocal agreement? Study there. Practice here.

  • Tuesday, March 26, 2019
  • 7:30 p.m. EDT / 5:30 p.m. MDT / 4:30 p.m. PDT
  • Wilfrid Laurier University, N1002 (Science Building)
  • Register

OzTREKK at York University

Do you have questions about furthering your education?

  • Thursday, April 4, 2019
  • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Central Square, West Bear Pit – come say hi!

OzTREKK at University of Toronto Scarborough

Drop by our booth outside the library and get your questions answered.

  • Tuesday, April 16, 2019
  • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Outside the library

UQ Physiotherapy Meet & Greet

This is your ultimate networking opportunity. Join OzTREKK and the head of UQ Physiotherapy, Dr Trevor Russell.

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2019
  • 5 p.m.
  • Duke of York Pub, 39 Prince Arthur, Toronto
  • Register

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Whenever you’re curious about where we’ll be or what we’re up to, check out our Events page! Find out how you can further your education through study in Australia!

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

OzTREKK Ambassadors: Predeparture tips for future students!

Meet Kim, our OzTREKK ambassador who has just embarked on her journey as a University of Sydney Master of Occupational Therapy student!

University of Sydney occupational therapy student

Just enjoying the view in Hong Kong!

Here, Kim shares some awesome “getting ready to go” predeparture tips, so file these away for later. 🙂

Double check your flight details in advance—specifically, baggage allowance, to avoid being slapped with a $700 + bill at the airport.

Double check your baggage allowances for all of your flights, especially if you have a layover and the tickets were bought separately. Yes, this sounds like common sense, but I did not pay attention to it as my flights were changed several times. As a result, I had a bigger allowance on my first flight compared to my second flight with Qantas (only allows 30 kg max) and was almost stuck with paying over $700 for an extra 15 kg from Hong Kong to Sydney. To put this into perspective, this costs about the same price or more than a round-trip from Hong Kong to Sydney.

University of Sydney occupational therapy

Getting settled in

What to watch out for if you are under the age of 25 trying to rent a car.

Car rental is extremely helpful if you are just arriving and will be getting around a lot for house inspections or just settling into a place and need to buy and move a lot of things. However, many of my friends managed to get through the entire move-in process relying on public transportation.

If you plan to rent a car in Australia, make sure you are comfortable with driving on the left side of the road before you do it! If you are under the age of 25, make sure you correctly enter your personal details and that the quoted price was for under age of 25 drivers. I had an incident at the airport where they told me I didn’t include my age. I double-checked my itinerary and I did input my age, but I must’ve missed it in one of the options and therefore, it didn’t account for my age. Anyhow, the original quoted price of $260 for 10 days became nearly $600 for 10 days. That was a massive difference!

Finding accommodation is stressful, but trust the process and be patient.

University of Sydney Master of Occupational Therapy

With my new roommates!

Don’t stress too much early on because there’s only so much you can do while being overseas. However, when you are getting close to your departure date (about a month), it would be a good idea to start looking and having discussions with people to get a better idea of what to expect and what you are looking for. If possible, a week or two before your arrival, try to line up some inspections so that you will be able to start looking at places shortly after you arrive.

Finding accommodation is definitely stressful but my advice would be to be patient and trust the process. As stressful as it may be, don’t rush into anything because I nearly rushed into signing a lease for a house that had some issues with pest control. I nearly ignored/missed it because I was feeling such a rush to settle into a home. It took a long time to finally find something and an even longer time to settle in. Eventually, my roommates and I are all settled in and I honestly don’t think we could’ve found a place more suitable for our needs!

OzTREKK’s Facebook page was a game changer for me.

Make good use of the OzTREKK Facebook page! Prior to my departure, I posted in the OzTREKK Facebook page and through that, I got people to message me about their interest in living together. This is where I found my roommate who introduced me to her other friends and now I live with three other Canadians that I love so much. This is all thanks to a quick post on the Facebook page. Through that page I also met other people going to Australia from Vancouver (my home), other people from Canada going into my program, and just Canadian students in general who are on the same boat with making a big move to Australia! Make good use of the page and meet lots of people prior to moving because it will provide you such a good support network for when you first get to Australia!

Follow me on Instagram! @kberli

Learn more about the University of Sydney occupational therapy program

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline:October 30, 2019. Offers are made throughout the year based on academic merit and subject to availability in the program. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible as this program can fill quickly.

Apply to Sydney Occupational Therapy School!

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Do you have any questions for Kim? Need more predeparture tips? Wondering about studying occupational therapy at the University of Sydney? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer at rehabsci@oztrekk.com!

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

OzTREKK Ambassadors: Moving to Brisbane

“Housing” the big move

I think I can speak not only for myself, but the vast majority of others when I say that your home should be your own personal oasis. A place where you can come home from a long day of studying/working and be able to sit back and relax. With that being said, as a student your home should also be close to bus stops, places to eat and entertainment.

The first thing you should do (while in Canada) is try to find an Airbnb or a place that would be cheap for the first couple weeks when you arrive.  I was lucky and had a friends’ parents put me up for three weeks before I could actually get my lease to my condo.

Once you are in Brisbane, you can actually see the houses/condos in person and get a better feel for what is around them as well.  This is the best way to find a good place to live.  Accommodation in Brisbane can be a bit of a tricky situation. Considering the town itself is built around a river that flows throughout the city, you need to take that into account when you are looking for a place. So, with that being said I have made a list of the top seven suburbs to live in Brisbane with a little description of each and what you will expect to pay per week.

1. St. Lucia

This would be a good option if you want to live right beside/on the University of Queensland campus. Its major plus is that it is close to campus, grocery stores and a gym. Other than that, there is not really any entertainment/nightlife. If you aren’t looking to live by a very loud and busy place and be walkable to classes, this is your area. Accommodation here can go anywhere between $180 –$250 for shared accommodation.

2. Toowong / Taringa

I’m going to be a little biased with this one because this is the area where I live.  It’s really close to campus and Toowong village. Buses come every five minutes in the morning, and takes only seven minutes to get to campus. Toowong village has a grocery store, gym, Kmart (it’s big here still) and a post office. There are also a couple little food shops around the village. There isn’t much for entertainment: no movie theatre, sports venues or bars really (minus the Royal Exchange). Shared accommodation can be around $260 – $300 per week.

3. Bowen Hills

If you don’t want all the fast-paced aspect of downtown and tall buildings, Bowen Hills would be your option. This area has a lot of modern apartments that can start at $250 per week. The only downside is that it is quite far away from campus and doesn’t have a great entertainment aspect.

4. South Brisbane

South Brisbane is right in the heart of South Bank: a busy riverfront stretch with cultural and science exhibits at the Queensland Museum, as well as art galleries and a giant Ferris wheel. Other major entertainment venues are the cineplex, brewpubs and uptown tapas bars. This would be a great place if you want to experience Brisbane culture and are a true foodie. You can find shared accommodation from around $250 per week, or a one-bedroom apartment from around $350 per week.

5. West End

West End is a good place to look if you are looking for cool cafés, weekend markets, and a big artsy vibe. Shared accommodation can be around $300 per week, or if you want to go up to around $500 for a really nice place if you have a bigger rent budget.

6. Highgate Hill

If you are on the lower end of the budget scale, Highgate hill is a good option. It’s close to transportation and tons of shops but does not offer very much for entertainment. If you just want a place to live to live this is a good place to look. Shared accommodation can start at $140 per week.

8. Woolloongabba

This is one of the main hubs for transportation to and from UQ. Woolloongabba is also home to the Brisbane Cricket Ground, also known as the Gabba, a vast sports stadium that hosts professional Aussie Rules football and cricket matches (a lot of fun to go!). There are a ton of great restaurants and vintage fashion shops. You can find shared accommodation from around $180 per week, or a one-bedroom apartment from around $300 per week.

Figuring out your housing arrangements

With all of these areas, the prices are just a guideline.  If you search hard enough, you can find some really good places at really good prices. It all depends on where you want to live and what you want to be around you. Do you want to live right in the thick of downtown with all the bars? Maybe a happy medium with food marketplaces and an art vibe? Once you have the area mapped out, you can start to look to getting all of your utilities and all that sorted.  Below, I’ve provided five tips to remember when figuring out your final housing arrangements.

  • Rent in your contract is due weekly rather than monthly. This seems like it’s a cheaper option when you look at the price initially but you have to remember that there are 52 weeks in a year and that you will be paying an “extra” four weeks of rent this way. Just something to think about when you are planning your budget.
  • If you get an apartment or condo, it doesn’t come furnished at all. My roommate and I were lucky enough that the two girls who lived there before us sold us everything in the apartment when we moved in. I mean everything: beds, desks, chairs, tables, washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc. When you look at the ad, be sure to check if it is furnished or comes with beds because it would be a nightmare to get all that settled.
  • Use Facebook marketplace or Gumtree (the Australian Kijiji) to find couches, TVs, and other appliances. If you are looking for a TV or a couch, Facebook marketplace usually has people giving them away for free as long as you come pick them up.
  • The price for rent is almost always without utilities. Sometimes back in Canada you have your utilities paid by the owner and included in the price. Here, it almost always doesn’t include utilities so you will need to set that up yourself as well as internet.
  • Don’t cheap out on the internet. Home truly is where the WiFi connects automatically. Get unlimited Wifi for your place, because after studying you’ll want to relax and binge watch Netflix. Trust me.

Before I end this blog I’m going to list a couple websites you can use to find your accommodation! As always, may the odds be ever in your favour.  😉

Anthony out.
@ac_mpt

First-year UQ physiotherapy student

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