A UQ Speech Pathology student's journey
OzTREKK student Mary Anne Barnes is currently in her second year at the UQ Speech Pathology School. We had the opportunity to speak with Mary Anne recently to catch up with her and to find out how much she is enjoying the Master of Speech Pathology Studies program and her time in Australia. What else can we say? We love sharing our students’ stories with you!
Why did you choose speech pathology?
I chose speech pathology because it is a fascinating field that provides opportunity to work with various populations and in a variety of work settings. There are so many interesting areas of focus within the profession it will be difficult to choose just one!
Why did you choose Australia/UQ?
I originally chose Australia for my schooling because I had heard from friends that it was a great place to study internationally—and naturally, the warm weather and beautiful beaches swayed me as well. I also thought it would be a great opportunity to travel and experience a different part of the world. UQ was my choice because academically, it is recognized around the world and I knew I’d get a great education there.
What do you like about your program? Dislike?
I absolutely love all of my classmates and professors. They are all so helpful, friendly, and brilliant! It’s so amazing to be part of a tight-knit class that supports each other and that learns together! My only dislike about the program is that some classes are taken with undergraduate students, but I understand they’ve changed the program for incoming master’s students to minimize the shared classes. (OzTREKK note: The UQ Speech Pathology School has also changed its intake from November to July. If you are interested in studying speech pathology at UQ, the application deadline for the July 2014 intake is Feb. 28, 2014. See below for details!)
Is there anything in Australia or at the University of Queensland that really surprised you?
I was really shocked at how accommodating the university was when trying to meet Canadian requirements. They go out of their way to make sure that all requirements are met and are so helpful every step of the way.
What is the course like? How would you describe a regular day?
The course is a lot of work but it is completely manageable. I work hard when needed but always allow some time for fun! A hard week of study is often rewarded with a day on the Gold Coast or a movie night with the girls. A typical day during a regular semester consists of getting up and having a good cup of coffee, studying a bit before biking to the uni for lecture, catching up and having a few laughs with my classmates, then heading home for an evening run with the roommates followed by dinner and a bit more study. Things I would recommend to future students:
- Don’t deprive yourself of sleep!
- Attend the lectures and get the most out of it.
- If living in Brisbane, get a bike; it’s a great way to get around the city.
- Don’t fall behind in coursework.
- Enjoy your time here!
How was it to find accommodation? Do you have any tips for students?
I was incredibly fortunate to have found a great temporary stay for my first two weeks in Oz on the UQ rentals website. I was even more fortunate to have met my current roommates (both Canadian students studying physiotherapy at UQ) at the OzTREKK Orientation lunch. I would recommend making contact with other Canadians either already studying in Oz or who will be in your year.
What part of the pre-departure phase was the most difficult/stressful for you? Tips for students?
Finding accommodation and coming up with funding for the program were probably the most stressful; however, I would recommend using all the resources that OzTREKK offers and to not stress too much because it really does fall into place. I would recommend RBC’s student line of credit if a loan is needed.
I cannot really express how helpful OzTREKK (more specially Shannon) has been during the application process. Even now, OzTREKK will still answer questions I have and will do so in a timely and friendly manner. I can say with confidence that I could not have achieved all that I have without the unwavering support from OzTREKK. Thank you!
The UQ Master of Speech Pathology Studies program is an accelerated program for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree. The program 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 2014
Duration: 2.5 years
Application deadline: February 28, 2014