Physiotherapy student having a blast at Macquarie
There’s no doubt that physiotherapy programs in Australia are one of the most popular among our students.
OzTREKK student Meredith Chapple began her studies at Macquarie University Physiotherapy School in July 2014 and is thoroughly enjoying her time in Sydney. We recently wrangled Meredith into answering a bunch of questions for a “Student Profile” (thank you, Meredith!). If you’re wondering what studying physio in Australia is like, read on!
What pulled you toward studying physiotherapy?
I was always interested in health services. Initially I was drawn toward counseling but after several years of working in outreach and teaching yoga I noticed how the body is a powerful healing tool. I decided to turn my emphasis toward physiotherapy.
Why did you decide to study physiotherapy in Australia, and more specifically, Macquarie?
I was in Australia teaching yoga and taking a course in yoga therapy when my interest in physiotherapy began to grow. I decided to upgrade a few of my sciences courses at Macquarie University. I was impressed by the facilities available to students, particularly the wet lab, as well as the quality of the teaching staff. I looked into their physiotherapy program and was impressed by its layout. I spoke with students from other universities who said some prominent teachers had started the Macquarie Physiotherapy program. I saw the three-year Doctor of Physiotherapy program as very distinct and unlike anything I had seen in Canada.
How would you describe your experience thus far in the Macquarie University Doctor of Physiotherapy program?
This program is truly unique. On top of weekly lectures and tutorials we get to take part in professional development. We have opportunities to volunteer and observe in various clinical settings throughout the allied health field. Within the first few weeks we are learning and experiencing about physiotherapy in action. Besides all the perks of the program the students cohort is very close. With only 66 students we have become tight-knit. Although we are all very driven to get top marks, everyone wants to help. If someone has special knowledge or skill they immediately try to share it with the group.
What are the physio facilities like?
Macquarie University Physiotherapy School recently had renovations and the facilities are top of the line. We have three large practice rooms with beds set up and leading physiotherapy treatment equipment to use. We spend a lot of time doing very hands-on learning which really solidifies the classroom learning.
Describe the Macquarie University campus
It’s a big campus with lots of trees and a pond. There always seems to be something going on. Rarely do I walk through the quad without seeing a bake sale, cook-off, or events being advertised. There is a food court right in the hub, but the university is also close to a large shopping center for any other essentials.
How was it to find accommodation? Do you have any tips for future students?
Finding accommodation is easy if you are willing to pay a pretty large rent. I am at a student housing place that I find pricey but is very close to the university which is convenient. Other international students live right on campus, which is less expensive. Personally, I like to separate school life from home life so I opted to live off campus at a student facility. If you can set yourself up for a few months at temporary accommodation you will likely be able to find a share house through websites like Gumtree. It is really an individual decision how you want to set up housing.
What do you do outside of your study/classroom time in Australia?
I am a bit of a social butterfly and enjoy going into the city with friends. There are always events going on both near the university and in the city. I recommend joining a few clubs or groups to keep your social circle broad.
Where do you hope to practice following graduation?
Personally I am interested in geriatrics and neurology. Most people I speak with are keen on sports and musculoskeletal practices, but physiotherapy is such a broad field I am sure many people will change their minds a few times in the three years and try out new fields.
What advice would you give to a Canadian considering studying physiotherapy in Australia?
If you can afford to study here, it is a one-of-a-kind experience. There will be challenging moments, of course, and it can be difficult to stay connected with family while overseas, but this program is truly innovative and in an amazing city! What better than to take a study break at the beach?
What did you think of OzTREKK’s services?
OzTREKK was beyond anything I could have hoped or expected. Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Sarah Bridson was so organized—she knew exactly what I needed even with my particularly confusing documents as I have attended several universities internationally. When I arrived at Macquarie, the head of admissions for the DPT said OzTREKK made everything so simple she loved getting our applications!
I would recommend OzTREKK to anyone. The process was simple and I got put in touch with other Canadians which was nice to have a friendly connection when I got here.
About Macquarie’s DPT Program
The Doctor of Physiotherapy at Macquarie is an extended master’s level, professional-entry degree and will produce physiotherapists with advanced clinical decision-making abilities to practice person-centred health care in contemporary health-care environments. Students will learn the skills of the physiotherapist based on the best available evidence to effectively assess, diagnose, treat and educate people across all ages with disorders of movement resulting from a range of conditions. Students will graduate with advanced clinical skills as well as business, management and leadership training and will be ready to launch a fulfilling career as a physiotherapist across a broad range of health-care setting.
Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 3 years
Semester intake: July 2015