OzTREKK student offers tips for future UQ speech pathology students

6 May 2015

All of us at OzTREKK love to keep in touch with our former students! They are a great source of information for future OzTREKK students who are considering studying in Australia. We’ve always kept in touch with our students long after they’ve arrived in Australia and begun their programs.

UQ Speech Pathology School
Passport = your ticket to ride

We’ve recently been in contact with a former OzTREKK student who is now studying the Master of Speech Pathology Studies at the University of Queensland. Melissa Paulgaard offered to help us out this time, and she has some great tips for future UQ speech path students! You can also follow her blog Live, Love, Speech—she’s got tons of pics and great stories!
Why did you choose to study in Australia and at UQ?
I chose to study in Australia for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I had previously completed a semester abroad in the Gold Coast at Bond University and fell in love with Australia! Adding travel and school together is ultimately a dream come true! I chose to study at UQ because of its amazing reputation and wonderful speech pathology program. A professor from Bond Uni was the first to tell me of the program and she couldn’t speak more highly of UQ. Her influence, along with my previous studying overseas experience, brought me to the conclusion of at least applying! Now, here I am, and it’s sunny and +26 outside!
UQ Speech Pathology School
Enjoying the beach with fellow OzTREKKer Sonya

What are your likes and dislikes about the program?

  • Small in size (my cohort has 28 students)
  • Uses the most current and available research in both lecture and clinic
  • Application of knowledge is seen across contexts (lecture and clinics)
  • Knowledge is learned and immediately exercised in clinical
  • Professionalism is taught and instilled
  • Guest speakers frequently do presentations and it is a great insight into their journey with a speech and/or language difficulty
  • The UQ speech pathology staff are exceptional. They go above and beyond to ensure your success in the program.


  • The crazy amount of paperwork required! It’s a bit excessive but, must be completed. Our cohort was a pilot project for this new online submissions portal and in my opinion, it is more of a hassle than a convenience.

Overall, the program is extremely fast paced and you must be able to keep up and stay on top of all your work. Dedication is key if you plan on applying and choosing this program.

UQ Speech Pathology School
Melissa’s first Aussie barbecue!

How does a typical day go?
From last semester to this semester a typical day has changed drastically. Depending on your courses and elective choice, each person in the program will have a slightly different schedule. That being said, this semester I spend one day a week in clinic (gaining that practical knowledge) and the rest of time I am in lectures and tutorials. A typical start is 8 a.m. with classes finishing on average around 4 p.m.
How can future students better prepare for moving to/studying in Australia?
Future students can prepare for moving/studying in Australia simply by having a positive attitude and an open mind. Moving across the world is not easy, but it is rewarding if you immerse yourself in the culture and all that your university of choice has to offer. Asking questions and contacting previous individuals who have walked in your shoes is also a very good idea. I am sure my fellow international students would agree that the transition was made much easier together and with the help of previous students. Australia is laid-back, friendly, and full of opportunities for new adventures and unexpected friendships!
I have some tips for OzTREKK students if they plan to attend the University of Queensland:
UQ Speech Pathology School
Melissa (right), with her flatmate Priyanka

First and foremost, the immunizations are extremely important to complete and can be done in Canada ahead of time. OzTREKK was great in informing me of the list of immunizations and courses required; however, paperwork or proof of immunizations are required for each immunization and any courses required (such as CPR and First Aid).
It should also be noted that they are generally no longer accepting the Canadian First Aid requirement so it should be advised to students that this will need to be completed in Australia (this happened to 5 out of 6 Canadians in my cohort, including myself). In any post graduate programs this is a pass/fail requirement and is therefore, important.
Secondly, completing the Tertiary Transportation Card (TTC) form ahead of time will save tons of money when it comes to transport. You cannot get a student concession transportation card without holding a TTC card. More information can be found on this website: http://translink.com.au/tickets-and-fares/concessions/tertiary-transport-card.
If at all possible, students should fill this form out before moving to Australia—the sooner the better.

 Canadian vs Australian

  • whole wheat – wholemeal
  • cantaloupe – rock melon
  • arugula – rocket
  • fries – chips
  • cookie – biscuit
  • peppers – capsicums
  • Milk is not labeled like ours: skim, 1%, 2%, but rather as lite, full cream, thickened cream—I still can’t figure the milk situation out.
  • Cheese—orange cheddar cheese does not exist here! All their cheese is white!
  • Lamb and veal are super popular here, whereas it is more common to eat beef, pork or chicken in Canada.
  • “Barbies” (BBQ) are common over here and they have a sausage (tastes like a breakfast sausage) with a piece of white bread wrapped around it (so odd). Hot dog or hamburger buns are uncommon.
  • Pickles are nearly non-existent.
  • Vegemite here is like our peanut butter; it’s a spread on toast for breakfast and to me is like eating salt on toast.
  • BYOB—In Australia, restaurants allow you to bring your own booze to enjoy with your meal!

UQ Speech Pathology School
Melissa with OzTREKK student and friend, David, kayaking on the Brisbane River!

Do you have questions for Melissa? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Speech Pathology Schools Admissions Officer Jaime Notman at jaime@oztrekk.com and she will send you Melissa’s contact info!

UQ Speech Pathology School

The Master of Speech Pathology Studies at UQ is an accelerated program for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree. This program is 2.5 years in length and will prepare graduates for a career in speech pathology across any of the diverse areas in which speech pathologists practice, such as education, health or private practice.
Program: Master of Speech Pathology Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Next semester intake: July 2016
Duration: 2.5 years

Apply to the UQ Speech Pathology School


Do you need help with your UQ speech pathology application? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Speech Pathology Schools Admissions Officer Jaime Notman at jaime@oztrekk.com, or call toll free at 1-866-698-7355.

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