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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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How USC helped me get through this pandemic, virtually

March 14, 2021
Global Initiatives Team

Admissions International

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By Wafaa Khairallah
Post-Professional Master’s student


Wafaa Khairallah

Thinking back to 2020 and how it started, I never thought my educational and professional goals would work out the way I wanted, but after all it happily did!! I gladly think that being enrolled at USC as a Post-Professional Master’s (MA1) student has helped me get through those difficult times — not only by keeping me busy, but rather by socially connecting me on a high intellectual level with people with shared interests and ambitions. From a very personal experience, these are some aspects of how I felt USC has helped me to get through the pandemic.

Feeling of inclusion
I imagined that I wouldn’t be able to attend any school in the U.S. as an immigrant who wants to study here while my Green Card application was still pending. Certain universities were even unable to proceed with my admission process because of their policies and limited understanding of how to proceed with my circumstance. It was a little hard for me to navigate this, but fortunately USC was able to go through this process in a much clearer way. This definitely proves USC’s compliance in embracing inclusion for all and with little time to wait, greatly impacted my pursuit through my professional journey.

As an MA-1 student at USC and a part of the USC Chan Global Initiatives team, I have been impressed by the amount of effort the Division puts into developing collaborative, international partnerships. Specifically, I was very pleased to know that USC has partnered with my home school, Bethlehem University (Palestine), through the Summer Occupational Therapy Immersion program. Being able to connect with global occupational therapists has not only improved my knowledge in many areas related to OT, but has pushed me to also reflect more on how such connections will foster multiple opportunities for many novice, passionate occupational therapists around the globe.

Making new friends
Frankly and as expected, it was not easy for me to move from one country to establish my life in another. I still need to develop new relationships and friendships. As we know, COVID did not make it any easier with all the lockdowns and safety regulations. However, this opportunity was definitely delivered by USC. Now, I am able to say that I have new colleagues and future friends in the program. Although our communication is virtual, we are still able to connect on a personal level; hoping to meet in person in the near future!

Global Initiatives hangout night for international students

Global Initiatives hangout night for international students