Kristen Berge, 22, is from Owen Sound in Ontario, Canada. She is currently studying MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) full-time over two years at QMU.
Before arriving at QMU, Kristen had already achieved a BA Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. She finished her undergraduate degree in spring of 2016 and started at QMU later that year.
Kristen was confident about pursing a career in Occupational Therapy and decided to apply for the MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) at QMU straight after her undergraduate studies.
One piece of advice that Kristen was given was, “If you’re confident in your choice of career, why wait? The sooner you complete the course, the sooner you can become a qualified Occupational Therapist”.
Why did you choose to study MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) at QMU?
“One of the reasons I chose the Occupational Therapy course at QMU was the problem-based learning style, as I knew this way of learning would be beneficial to my learning. Ultimately, I chose QMU after my Skype interview for the programme. The interviewers were both professional and welcoming, and took the time to answer my questions.
“I hoped that the small class size (16 students) would provide me with a more hands-on experience, and a greater opportunity to ask questions in the classroom. I was also looking forward to gaining an education in Scotland, the opportunity to expand my thinking and consider a diverse range of perspectives.”
Why did you choose to live and study in Edinburgh/Scotland?
“As I had never been to Scotland before, I relied a lot on word of mouth. Every person I spoke to spoke highly of Edinburgh and mentioned it as an excellent place to live.
“One piece of advice I was given was to research the community you’ll be living in. I found this really helpful in the process of choosing which university to attend. After quite a bit of research on Edinburgh, I was blown away by all that the city had to offer. Edinburgh is a relatively small city (around 500,000 people) with the all the amenities of a large city.
“Now living in Edinburgh, my love for the city continues to grow. Nothing beats watching the sunset on Calton Hill or taking in the views of the city from Arthur’s Seat. I was surprised at how welcoming all the people I’ve met have been.
“I’ve also found great support in the other Canadian students at QMU. It’s helpful to have people around who understand the jokes about Canadian winters or Tim Horton’s Café & Bake Shop."
What do you like best about studying MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) at QMU?
“One of the best things about the Occupational Therapy programme at QMU is that I feel that I’m learning useful and important skills for practice. An example of this is the problem-based learning (PBL) groups. PBL groups teach us about communication, teamwork and autonomous learning, all of which are essential skills for practice.
“The four practice placements that we complete throughout the course are amazing opportunities that will help me decide which area of practice I’m most interested in. My last placement was in older people’s mental health and I really enjoyed it. The Practice Placement tutors set up a wide variety of placements, and without that opportunity, I might not have realised how much I enjoy working in older people’s mental health.
“I’ve also been delighted with how caring, knowledgeable and passionate the lecturers are. I’ve really appreciated how helpful the staff have been with providing me with information about practice in Canada. It has been encouraging to know how closely linked the Occupational Therapy programme is at QMU with Canadian Occupational Therapy programs.”
How do you find the workload?
“I find the workload keeps me busy, but it’s very manageable. We’re given weekly readings and tasks, but as adult learners, we’re expected to go beyond what is given and learn more yourself.”
What is your top tip for future students?
“I’d recommend the MSc Occupational Therapy at QMU to any potential postgraduate students. I’m personally having an incredible experience, filled with meeting life-long friends and learning skills that will be transferrable to practice in the UK and North America.”
What are your plans after you graduate from QMU?
“After finishing the course at QMU, I plan to begin the process of registering as an Occupational Therapist in Canada.”
MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration)
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