University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Student Ambassador Blog | Goeun

Goeun

Time to be an International Student

, by Goeun

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I started the Post Professional Master’s program in August, but I came here in LA about one year ago (I was learning English in the USC International Academy). It’s been a while since I came here, but I remember how it was excited when you are admitted to USC, but at the same time, nervous and worried about leaving my own country, and become an international student. So, I’d like to give you some of my tips that can be helpful. Before I begin, I recommend you to be familiar with the USC Office of International Services and the USC Office of Graduate Admission websites as well as our Chan Division of Occupational Science an Occupational Therapy website as there are lots of information for international students.

1. Finding the best housing
First of all, we have OT house where our students can live together. Also, there are several options you can choose based on your preference, and the first thing you can think of is “University housing or not?” If you decide to live through university housing, check out the USC housing website to find appropriate housing for you. If you plan to live through non-university, you can find your housing with the USC Daily Trojan website or other outside resources. Also, there are options where you can live if you arrive earlier, the USC Office of International Services has some options for early arrivers.

In my own experience, I lived in university housing for 11 months, then I moved to non-university housing recently. What I liked about university housing most was accessibility to campus. I lived close to the International Academy, so I could walk to school. When it comes to non-university housing, I live in Korea town, so I need to take a metro and school shuttle to go to school, but I like living here because I can go to Korean restaurants or markets which I go often. Finding a housing is not an easy process, and it is slightly different depends on where you live.

2. What should I pack?
It is hard to say what to pack or not because it is totally up to you. But considering about living in LA, there are some things that you need to know. The weather in LA is mostly sunny and mild, so you may not wear winter clothes often although it’s quite cold at night (for me). Also, never forget to bring all your documents that are important (e.g. academic documents, I-20, health and immunization records).

3. Living in LA
Some of my classmates from the Post-Professional Master’s Program told me that one of the reasons they chose USC was the location, which I agree since there are so many things to explore. Yes, our school is located in LA, which means you can have a variety of experiences that you’ve never done in your own country. We have USC event calendar which you can see all the events. Also, you can simply find more information on other websites and explore what you want.

4. English
What I felt when I got my IELTS score was that I got enough score, so no need to study harder! However, if you are living in a non-English speaking country, and not used to using English, I do highly recommend you to keep using and practicing English because when it comes to language, even if you got a very high score on exam, when you stop using it, it will become harder to use it as before. Also, you need to adapt to school, lectures as well as new cultures, environments, and if you are comfortable using English, you’ll adapt faster.

Goeun

Why Did I Choose Occupational Therapy?

, by Goeun

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Whenever I say to people that my major is occupational therapy, they ask me, “What is occupational therapy?” then other questions that follow are “How did you know occupational therapy?” and “Why did you choose occupational therapy as your major?” So, I’d like to share my story about why I wanted to study occupational therapy and came to USC for further studying.

I can say whenever I get questions about the reason I chose occupational therapy, I say the word “participation.” I first heard about occupational therapy when I was in senior year of high school. I was searching a major for a university, and I could find occupational therapy on the list that might fit me. I searched for it, then I could find the definition which was helping people with physical or mental illness to “participate” in the meaningful activities that they used to do before the injuries. I thought this is interesting and rewarding as I thought by helping them participate in their daily lives, they can live happier despite their illness.

After graduation, I worked as an occupational therapist for one year in Korea, and I kept thinking that I need to study more about it because I wanted to be a better professional and learn more about some parts which I was interested in but I haven’t experienced much (e.g., out-patients’ environmental modifications, since I was working with acute patients). So, I decided to apply for the Post-Professional Master’s Program here at USC since it is one of the best schools for occupational therapy. These are the reasons why I chose occupational therapy as my major and came here to USC to study more about occupational therapy. I’m looking forward to learning and exploring more about it!