Jaime's adventures in Oz: UQ Medical School

8 February 2016

Last week, Jaime of OzTREKK went to Brisbane to welcome our University of Queensland students. Here’s her latest installment!
Hi everyone!
It’s noon and our UQ MD students are heading into their orientation kick-off. It ends with the stethoscope ceremony for which many are excited-slash-nervous. There was much discussion (among the guys and the gals) about what to wear. I think it’s the balance of 1) want to make a good first impression and 2) holy smokes, it’s super hot. Which it is. The super-cell did nothing (it didn’t even rain but a little sprinkle) and it’s toasty right now. It’s 33 degrees now and is going up to 39 tomorrow, I believe.

UQ Medical School
UQ Medical School information session

I’m excited to get to the horrible weather of Melbourne (where it will be 27 and sunny tomorrow).
Before I get into the details of the shuttle I thought I would share my lesson: So, at each orientation I warn people about the sun and advise that they should put on sunscreen. I’ve been pretty diligent and am pretty much as white as I was on January 13th. Yesterday I took eight students out to North Lakes (which, for the record is not Brisbane) because they needed 50 rolls of toilet paper…. I kind of joke because they were all very thankful and very happy for a little familiarity, I think. I’ve realized that students—at least initially—really cling to things they know. They go to Kmart and Coscto and IKEA even though some of the better deals are at Aldi and Fantastic Furniture, you know? They have four years to realize. 🙂
Anyway, while I was waiting for the “Coscto Kids” I decided to go for a walk (I’m really trying to stay active and avoid crap food as much as possible). It was on the verge of rain and so I took off. Well, sure enough the clouds part and the Aussie sun comes out. Now, I’m about 30 minutes away from the car and I don’t have sunscreen on. I do a little on my face but not on my body. I spent the remaining time of my walk darting between shadows and trees trying to avoid the crisp I can feel forming around my neck. I even let my hair down for a sec but then the sweat house that created was difficult to deal with. Anyway, I ended up with some pretty burnt collarbones and back of neck. I feel like a rookie.
So… UQ. Well, I’m the new captain of the UQ Medical School Rocks team. The former OzTREKKers who helped out were AMAZING. They were really, really amazing. They came out for the breakfast and stuck around for some students until around 1 p.m. And that’s when I left. A former OzTREKK student even invited some students back the next day and she took them around campus again and answered their questions… again. They were incredible.
So the UQ turnout was incredible. There were about eight parents and about 60 to 70 people there total. It was really great. Everyone was sooooooo appreciative of the setup and the food was delicious. The people at Cromwell were really super friendly and accommodating. Sarah, no spider slaying this year. Just in case you were wondering 🙂
I would say that the vast majority of students had their accommodations by the time I was there. There were a few that had booked accomms but hadn’t moved in yet. I’d guess that students seemed to be pretty split between managed student accommodation and houses. Probably more so than any other uni I’ve visited thus far. The UQ’ers were very friendly and were very thankful to OzTREKK (Sarah, your speed at replying was mentioned quite a few times!) for our help.
University of Queensland Medical School
OzTREKK Shuttle, at your service!

UQ was the busiest shuttle—back and forth to IKEA, groceries, Kmart, etc. I roughly counted and estimated that 30 to 40 students got in the shuttle at one point or another. I felt that this group really used the services and that made me happy! Shuttle ran from about 8 a.m. (if not earlier) through to about 6 or 7 p.m. It didn’t stop, although after having completed the shuttle tour I can say that I didn’t turn anyone down who needed to go somewhere. So hopefully students are feeling settled. I think the UQ’ers—many of whom I’d met at the consultations—were the most ready and prepared. There was a lot of excitement. Actually, at most unis, as many students had been there for a while they were all really anxious to get going, you know? I heard that students were “bored” a fair bit. Just wanted to get it started. Speaking of get it started… the Costco version of highlighters was a pack of 30 (!) so there’s lot of work ahead!
Oh, and accomms, just for your reference: I felt the majority of students actually seemed to be around the CBD—South Bank, West End and Toowong. Very few seemed to be in St. Lucia. Most students were really comfy with the transit and seemed to judge the commute by “on bus” which was great. A few others in the Gabba, Spring Hill and Dutton Park.
So many of the students were so lovely. I am so excited for them. I’m very fortunate to be here right now and see this exciting time in their lives.
Anyway, I’m meeting university people shortly so I should get going. I miss you guys!
Onward to Melbourne where it should be a really great time.
Toodles, y’all!

Find out more about the UQ School of Medicine and the 2017 intake of the Doctor of Medicine program. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com.