OzTREKK Ambassadors: A letter to new students and applicants
Hey friends, it’s Emma!
It’s been a wild year for everyone, so I wanted to check in and give a well-deserved shoutout.
Often when I mention that I moved to Australia for medical school, I’m met with pity.
People will say it’s so unfortunate I couldn’t come home for Christmas, that doing medical school online for 6 months must have been terrible, and that my current placements must be so limited for precautions.
Sure, I didn’t get to go home at Christmas due to fear of not getting back into Australia after, but I had friends here and was adopted into many families to make Australia feel more like home. Yes, I was doing online schooling for a few months, but my entire cohort was going through it at the same time—it wasn’t just me. Yes, Macquarie has had to reimagine our placements since we cannot go to India this year, but I’m still in the hospital seeing real patients gaining real experience.
So, all the assumptions may be true, and sure 2020 wasn’t easy on anyone. I want to make sure that the new class and incoming class of students feel SEEN.
To all of you who have just started your degrees “in” Australia but are studying back home in Canada, I see you. To all of you finishing your current degrees trying to apply to Australia for next year, I see you.
The online classes are never easy, and they are harder when they could be in the middle of the night! Knowing some of your class is in person but you’re “stuck” with an ocean dividing you is so hard, especially with so many of us in such hands-on, interactive, discussion-based courses like teaching, medicine, dentistry, and law.
But I hope you know how impressive you are to us—to the students already here in Australia. Facing up to so many unknowns and to a degree online is not an easy feat and you are DOING IT.
I am in awe of the dedication and determination you are all showing chasing your dreams across the world—even if that means being online for now.
I also want you all to know how welcome you are here! Sometimes the border closures feel a little personal, so I want to remind you all that those of us here in Aus are so excited to meet you! Classes must feel empty without their international counterparts and small without their full cohort. As the year continues, I know there are murmurs of opening for student visas and arrival with quarantine (of course don’t take my word for it; keep yourself up to date) and I am sure you are excited, and so are we!
Keep your eye on the horizon. We’re out here waiting for you!
See you soon,