Global Initiatives Summer Occupational Therapy Immersion (SOTI) Program
The Summer Occupational Therapy Immersion (SOTI) program is a four-week summer program designed for international occupational therapists and occupational therapy students who are interested in learning about occupational therapy (OT) practice, education and research in the United States. (Students who are applying to, or have already been admitted to, the USC Chan Division’s master’s or OTD degree programs may also choose to participate in this summer session prior to the start of their fall semester.) This program will serve as an introduction to occupational science and OT practice in the United States and will provide opportunities for students to learn from USC’s renowned faculty and tour various clinical settings in Southern California.
The 2024 SOTI program will be offered as an in-person experience in Los Angeles. However, we understand that many may be currently unable to travel to LA. Therefore, we will also offer the option to attend SOTI online for a reduced tuition fee of $700 USD. Please note that some elements of SOTI (e.g., in-person clinical site visits) may not be accessible for those attending SOTI online.
- Be introduced to occupational science and USC’s current cutting-edge research programs
- Become familiar with the main settings of occupational therapy practice in the United States, including pediatric, adult physical rehabilitation and mental health practice, as well as with emerging practice areas such as OT interventions with people experiencing homelessness and applications of technology for rehabilitation
- Acquire a deeper understanding of how to obtain certification by the United States’ National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy® (NBCOT)
- Network with other international occupational therapy professionals, USC faculty members and international alumni
- Learn about OT practice around the world, and develop a more global perspective of occupation, health and wellness
Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Practice Seminars
Experienced faculty from the USC Chan Division will lead lectures/seminars that address their current research or clinical expertise. OS and OT Practice Seminars will include the following topics:
- Introduction to the United States’ healthcare system
- Foundational principles of occupational science
- OT practice in pediatrics (including Sensory Integration)
- OT practice in physical rehabilitation
- OT practice in mental health practice
- OT practice in emerging practice areas (e.g., OT’s role in addressing human trafficking)
- Current research at USC (e.g., Lifestyle Redesign®, neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation)
- Leadership and professionalism
Occupational Therapy Site Visits
The SOTI program will introduce students to various occupational therapy practice settings in the United States. Successful OT professionals will provide engaging guest lectures and facilitate tours of their worksites. Please note that direct therapy session observations may not be available due to patient confidentiality. We will provide in-person site visit tours whenever possible, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, many tours will likely remain virtual. Previous tours have included:
- Keck Hospital of USC (acute care)
- USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice (Lifestyle Redesign®)
- Pasadena Keck Medical Center (primary care)
- Therapy West Inc. & pLAy Studio (pediatrics)
- Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (adult physical rehabilitation)
- The Children’s Ranch Foundation (equine/hippotherapy)
- Casa Colina Rehabilitation Hospital (adult physical rehabilitation)
- Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (technological innovations for aging in place)
- Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (pediatrics)
- Ocean Therapy (mental health surfing interventions)
- Century Villages at Cabrillo (services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness)
Cultural and Recreational Outings
The SOTI program also aims to provide SOTI students with a feeling of the unique culture found in Los Angeles and Southern California. As much as is allowable under COVID-19 considerations, we will provide opportunities to explore our local communities and cultural sites, such as the Getty Center, Dockweiler Beach, Los Angeles’ Koreatown, and more.
Sample Schedule from the 2022 SOTI Program
|Site Visit: Mt. San Antonio Gardens (innovative model of nursing home care)
|Workshop: Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (aging in place & assistive technology)
|Research Lecture: The Sensory Adapted Dental Environment (SADE) for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
|Site Visit: Prototypes (community-based mental health)
Evening social mixer with USC Chan students
|Lecture and Panel: OT’s role in Mental Health Care in the United States
|Student Presentations: “OT Where I Am From”
|Site Visit: Pediatric Therapy Network (sensory integration pediatric clinic)
|Lecture: Flip That Skilled Nursing Facility!
|Site Visit: Los Angeles Unified School District
|Cultural and Recreational Outing: Getty Center
Tuition for the 2024 in-person SOTI program is $4200 USD, which is inclusive of housing and student health insurance costs. For those who would like to attend SOTI online, the reduced tuition fee is $700 USD. As a reminder, please do note that some elements of SOTI (e.g., in-person clinical site visits) may not be accessible for those attending SOTI online.
View the 2024 SOTI Program flyer.
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