Hey all OOP applicants!
Hope everyone's calmer than I was last year! As invites are just around the corner, I thought I'd throw together a little guide on what to expect and what to know in order to successfully interview here at U of S as an OOP. I'm currently in 1st year hailing from Toronto, and I remember scrambling around last year since I had little guidance. With the hopes that this doesn't happen to anyone else, I thought I'd write a little something something to help y'all avoid that. The Invite
Last year, I received my e-mail on February 5th at 2:11 pm EST. I was wait-listed for an interview initially (for reference, cut-off last year for a direct interview was a 521+ with a 130 CARS. Those with a 521/522 and/or a 128/129 CARS were waitlisted). However, I moved off the waitlist and received an invite on February 28th at 6:15 pm EST. Although I can't speak for what will happen this year, the OOP waitlist moved well last year so if you are stuck at this point, I would still STRONGLY recommend you begin prep anyway.
Once you receive the invite, you are given the option to pick any available time slot you want (privilege granted only to OOPs). There are four sessions: Saturday morning/afternoon and Sunday morning/afternoon. Sunday morning was full when I received an invite, but the other times were still open and I ended up interviewing Sunday afternoon. Travel
You will be making your way to YXE, Saskatoon International airport and from there you can either take a cab or rent a car. I personally rented a car from Enterprise and I had no issues there.
If you decide to rent a car or don't mind cabbing everywhere, you can pretty much stay wherever you want in the city. There is metered parking directly across from the Health Sciences Building where you will be interviewing, and it won't cost too much for a couple of hours.
However, there are two hotels within walking distance to campus should you choose to not cab or drive everywhere. The closest is Refresh Inn and Suites (http://www.refreshinnandsuites.com/), and it's almost directly across HSB (where you interview), about a 2-3 min walk. The next is Holiday Inn Express (https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/saskatoon/yxees/hoteldetail); a little pricier but it's a pretty nice hotel, about a 10 min walk from HSB. In terms of food, there are two pub/diner styled restaurants: Alexander's and Louis nearby, a campus food court that is open on the weekends, and a Subway, Dairy Queen, and pizza place.
I personally stayed at Holiday Inn near the airport since I was able to get a discount there. Not nearly as convenient as staying close to campus, but since Saskatoon is quite a small city and there's little traffic, there was no hassle getting to and from my interview.
The interview begins with an hour orientation in a lecture hall with all the other candidates. There you'll have some time to socialize, get your bearings, and learn more about the interview process. Shortly after, you'll break into circuits of 12 people and walk over to where the MMI is set up. The interview is 10 stations with 2 rest stations (12 in total) with 2 mins to read, 8 mins to answer (making it 10 mins/station, 2 hrs in total).
While I can't speak on what questions will be asked, a good base will be to read up on any pressing public health and public policy issues, especially in regards to Indigenous health, rural health, social determinants of health, poverty, drug abuse, and LGTBQ issues. If you're coming from Ontario, Saskatchewan's MMI questions are quite different so please be prepared for the unexpected. Final Thoughts
Getting an OOP interview to U of S is a huge accomplishment in and of itself so if you made it this far, give yourselves a huge pat on the back. You're probably wondering what it's like to live in Saskatoon and go to U of S, and honestly, I have nothing but good things to say about my experience so far. I love it here (which I honestly didn't expect), I love the college and I love my classmates. I do think that I am more of a small city guy at heart even though I was born and raised in Toronto so perhaps that's why I've adjusted so well, but in my opinion, if any of you hail from Western University and loved it there, you'll find yourselves right at home here too.
This was done rather quickly and right before a class haha, so let me know if there's anything else you want to know about. I'll be sure to update it whenever I can. Also, feel free to send me a direct message if you have any more questions. Also if any fellow OOP students here at USask has anything more to offer, don't hesitate! Good luck to everyone and I'm looking forward to meeting some of y'all in March!