Faculty / Staff Resources Student Resources
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
X/Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube

Let’s talk about Australia


April 4, 2017

Externships International

X/Twitter Facebook LinkedIn email

Well hello again! The blog has looked a little bare these past few weeks, as the Master’s students were away on their leadership capstone externships. A couple weekends ago, I returned from Australia, feeling joyful and jetlagged. 😊

The faculty at Griffith University were welcoming right from the airport and facilitated an amazing learning opportunity throughout our two weeks in Goldcoast. 

USC externship students at airport

USC externship students at airport

Along with five other classmates, I toured clinical sites, attended classes, visited fieldwork placements, and led presentations. To become fully immersed in Aussie OT, we visited public and private hospitals, a children’s hospital, a nursing home, a pediatric clinic, a community-based mental health foundation, and a role-emerging site. It was enlightening to hear about OT from leaders in each of these places and share our own experiences from fieldwork in similar settings. Many of the buildings were recently renovated, so I was impressed by the colorful and modern designs!

Lady Cilento Children's Hospital

Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital

Overall, I was pleased to realize OT is more similar than different abroad. The profession represents the same ideals of holistic, occupation-based, client-centered care in any hemisphere. However, my classmates and I noted some differences within the education and healthcare systems. In Australia, OT is a Bachelor’s degree, while a Master’s degree is required in the US. However, undergraduate education is more focused toward a career in Australia, as determined by an exit exam taken at the end of high school which plays a role in determining students’ future paths.

USC students presenting to Griffith students

USC students presenting to Griffith students about leadership and professionalism within OT in the US

Now for the fun stuff! (Not that learning about OT isn’t fun. 😉)

We held koalas:

Kimmy holding a koala

We pet kangaroos:

Kimmy petting a kangaroo

We walked along the coastline to see the beautiful beaches:

View of beach and rocky coastline

We were total tourists at the Sydney Opera House:

Group photo in front of Sydney Opera House

We snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef:

Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

. . . and we became even more enthusiastic about occupational therapy! I would encourage every student to consider planning an amazing and meaningful externship. Click on the bold names to learn more about Global Initiatives and the USC Summer Occupational Therapy Immersion.

Group photo with big OT sign