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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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My Class is a Nexus Point


September 29, 2021

Diversity International Living in LA

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A nexus is a connection of multiple links into a common point or place. In the Post-Professional Master’s program, it’s just that.

If you read about my previous blog post (OT was not my first choice . . . but I have no regrets), I mentioned that time and destiny have their unique way of bringing people together. The program I’m in is no exception to this. For the most part, it’s almost serendipitous. Can you imagine that more than 30 unique individuals, having each their own personal experiences and life stories across the globe, flew into Los Angeles to study OT? On top of that, we’re still in the middle of a global pandemic!! It sounds so crazy and thrilling to me that I have classmates from India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Colombia, the Middle East, and of course my home country the Philippines. Being at class in person, it’s essentially a melting pot of unique stories and personalities: flavors from all around the world! It still baffles me that despite all the circumstances we were all dealing with individually, life just situates us to be together in a class to learn and grow from each other.

You see, experiencing LA is one amazing thing. But can you imagine exploring it with a class that’s as diverse as this? Check out this hike we did at the Eaton Canyon we did on our second week of class! Some say the trail is pretty basic, but it’s much less about the hike but more about the company you’re with. And if you’re hiking with this bunch, you will always run out of breath from having endless, great conversations (oh, and from hiking too of course).

Classmates on a hike

The PP-MA class on our first hiking trip in Eaton Canyon! Photo credits to Yu-Hsuan (Florence) Yang.

On top of that, Dr. Danny Park along with the Global Initiatives team has been very hands-on in support of International Students at Chan, like us in our class. We had events like social mixers and support groups to emphasize togetherness in a culturally diverse environment. A chance to meet and learn from somebody else’s stories and experiences are really irreplaceable, and they are doing an amazing job at that. Fun fact: Did you know that Mooncakes symbolize togetherness and prosperity? Look at some of my classmates celebrating the Mid-Autumn (Mooncake) Festival at the CHP Patio!

Classmates in patio celebrating Mooncake festival

One of the many events hosted by Global Initiatives: Mid-Autumn Mooncake Festival! Photo credits to Joshua Digao.

In my classes so far, I have learned the importance of togetherness and community as a crucial part of a person’s optimal occupational performance. My class is the epitome of that. I thought that coming into a class full of foreign students would isolate me, but I was wrong. It is in our different backgrounds and experience that actually makes us even more together! I found an even bigger, cohesive community that is PP-MA. A home outside of home, as you may say.

So to my classmates at PP-MA, you’re all awesome. I am so honored and thrilled to be part of this class as if I haven’t made that clear in this blog post. We all come from different parts of the world, but USC Chan was the nexus point that linked us all together. How cool is that?? I am looking forward to learning more from each of you and to taking even more unforgettable adventures and experiences together this school year. Fight On!

Class on white coat ceremony in front of the CHP building

Our White Coat ceremony! Photo credits to Godfrey Lok.