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Hello, successful UofT applicants!

 

First of all, congrats! I’m sure the last few months of waiting weren’t the least stressful of your life but you’ve made it through.  ;)

 

I’m presently an OT1 at UofT and also part of the O-Week Team for next September. With any luck, I’ll be an OT2 by the time you all join us in the Fall.

 

I just wanted to open up this forum an opportunity for newly accepted OT students at UofT to get to know each other a little bit ahead of time and maybe answer a few questions (from a student’s perspective) along the way. After you have accepted your offer letter to UofT you should receive more information regarding O-Week and the program in general. A Facebook group will also be made available to you as well.

 

WELCOME!  :)

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Is O-Week held the week before the official orientation and start of classes? As in before the long weekend? I'd love to attend but I'm a bridesmaid for my friend's wedding here in BC over the long weekend and I get the feeling I'm going to have to miss out on all the fun stuff!

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Hello! I was accepted into UofT OT as well! Can any current students talk about their experiences in the program and what we should expect in terms of learning style, placement/research opportunities, evaluations, general lifestyle etc.? For those accepted into more than one program, how are you deciding which school to go to, and what makes the UofT OT program stand out compared to the others? 

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Hello! I was accepted into UofT OT as well! Can any current students talk about their experiences in the program and what we should expect in terms of learning style, placement/research opportunities, evaluations, general lifestyle etc.? For those accepted into more than one program, how are you deciding which school to go to, and what makes the UofT OT program stand out compared to the others? 

 

Choosing which university to attend can be a daunting task, especially when you're about to commit yourself to spending most of the next two years on campus and in the surrounding city. A year ago when I was trying to decide, I got my, sister who's actually an OT (went to Queens), to print off the curriculum and schedule of the universities I was considering and then redact any university identifying information so that I could try to evaluate each program in as unbiased a way a possible. We went through each, labeled pros and cons of each and then started looking at university specific things like the catchment areas, housing, and the general vibe of the city. 

 

What really sold me on UofT is it's catchment area. Unlike other universities, UofT has the luxury of being surrounded by all of the great healthcare facilities in the GTA so you shouldn't have to move and pay double-rent like you may have to do at other locations. I mean, just from the Rehab Sciences Building where you'll spend a lot of your time, I think you can see 4 hospitals from right there. There are also options to do placements both internationally as well as in other cities within Canada. I'm from Ottawa and I still prefer it to Toronto (not just because of the hockey teams) but I have to admit, Toronto is pretty rad too. You can find almost anything here if you look. One thing I really appreciate about Toronto is the diversity, which is something you may not get to experience as much elsewhere. Personally, I think that's a big positive. Also, as much as myself and others love to complain about the transit here, it'll get you where you need to go.

 

Something to be aware of regarding placements at UofT is the schedule. UofT has more of a back-loaded placement schedule than others where you only really have one real placement towards the end of second semester (I'm doing mine right now) with the rest coming in second year. I think the idea here is that you gain as much experience as possible right before you go out into the field and actually begin practicing so it's a little fresher (and maybe your networking connections are as well). There are also a few mini placements sprinkled in during first and second semester. If you're a hands-on person like me, all of this waiting can kind of drive you nuts but once you make it to placement, everything gets better and you finally feel like you're doing something useful (at least from my experience).

 

Academically, you'll need to maintain an average above 70% in each course with a 73% or something overall (I think it's something like that but I'm not completely positive). Don't freak out about this though. Just focus on learning what's useful to practice and the grades will come. The staff is here to educate and help you, not fail you. We're a program dedicated to enablement, it'd be pretty lame if they didn't try to enable us (students) too, wouldn't it?

UofT is big on research and theory which at times can make the hours feel long and dry but if I can survive it, I'm confident that anyone can  ;)

 

Please remember that all of this is based on my experience in the program and, as such, is a pretty subjective review. I'll admit, there have been times I've wondered why we were doing certain things but I think you'll get that anywhere you go to. Lucky for me, the program is filled with amazing people that are there to help pick you up even on your down days. As I said, it's all about enablement.

 

Hope this somewhat helped to give you a better idea of what you can expect from UofT. There is an open house on Saturday, May 27th. I went to the one last year and it really helped me get comfortable with my decision and solidified it. Unfortunately, I won't be there as I'll be out of town but my classmates will be there to share their own, unique perspectives  :) Staff will be on hand to answer questions as well.

 

Anything else I can help you with?

 

TLDR

UofT Pros: Wicked catchment area, cool city

UofT Cons: First few months can seem a little boring (but it gets better with placement), housing is expensive

 

Good Luck making your decision, I'm sure whatever you decide will be the right decision for you  :D

 

P.S.

If you, or anyone else, decides that UofT is the place to be, DM me when you accept and I can link you to the Facebook group where more people can answer more questions and you can get to know your future classmates.

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Is O-Week held the week before the official orientation and start of classes? As in before the long weekend? I'd love to attend but I'm a bridesmaid for my friend's wedding here in BC over the long weekend and I get the feeling I'm going to have to miss out on all the fun stuff!

 

O-Week is still a work in progress but, rest assured, we've got good people working to make it as fun, inclusive, and accessible as possible. Last time I checked, I believe September 1st was being targeted as the start date. After you submit your acceptance you should receive a package of UofT info which should include an O-Week flyer. If you decide you want to go or have more questions, there will be an email address included where you can send any further inquiries. Also, you do not have to attend all of the different events so if you miss the first one, you can always catch up with everyone at the next few.

 

Hope this helps!

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Choosing which university to attend can be a daunting task, especially when you're about to commit yourself to spending most of the next two years on campus and in the surrounding city. A year ago when I was trying to decide, I got my, sister who's actually an OT (went to Queens), to print off the curriculum and schedule of the universities I was considering and then redact any university identifying information so that I could try to evaluate each program in as unbiased a way a possible. We went through each, labeled pros and cons of each and then started looking at university specific things like the catchment areas, housing, and the general vibe of the city. 

 

What really sold me on UofT is it's catchment area. Unlike other universities, UofT has the luxury of being surrounded by all of the great healthcare facilities in the GTA so you shouldn't have to move and pay double-rent like you may have to do at other locations. I mean, just from the Rehab Sciences Building where you'll spend a lot of your time, I think you can see 4 hospitals from right there. There are also options to do placements both internationally as well as in other cities within Canada. I'm from Ottawa and I still prefer it to Toronto (not just because of the hockey teams) but I have to admit, Toronto is pretty rad too. You can find almost anything here if you look. One thing I really appreciate about Toronto is the diversity, which is something you may not get to experience as much elsewhere. Personally, I think that's a big positive. Also, as much as myself and others love to complain about the transit here, it'll get you where you need to go.

 

Something to be aware of regarding placements at UofT is the schedule. UofT has more of a back-loaded placement schedule than others where you only really have one real placement towards the end of second semester (I'm doing mine right now) with the rest coming in second year. I think the idea here is that you gain as much experience as possible right before you go out into the field and actually begin practicing so it's a little fresher (and maybe your networking connections are as well). There are also a few mini placements sprinkled in during first and second semester. If you're a hands-on person like me, all of this waiting can kind of drive you nuts but once you make it to placement, everything gets better and you finally feel like you're doing something useful (at least from my experience).

 

Academically, you'll need to maintain an average above 70% in each course with a 73% or something overall (I think it's something like that but I'm not completely positive). Don't freak out about this though. Just focus on learning what's useful to practice and the grades will come. The staff is here to educate and help you, not fail you. We're a program dedicated to enablement, it'd be pretty lame if they didn't try to enable us (students) too, wouldn't it?

UofT is big on research and theory which at times can make the hours feel long and dry but if I can survive it, I'm confident that anyone can  ;)

 

Please remember that all of this is based on my experience in the program and, as such, is a pretty subjective review. I'll admit, there have been times I've wondered why we were doing certain things but I think you'll get that anywhere you go to. Lucky for me, the program is filled with amazing people that are there to help pick you up even on your down days. As I said, it's all about enablement.

 

Hope this somewhat helped to give you a better idea of what you can expect from UofT. There is an open house on Saturday, May 27th. I went to the one last year and it really helped me get comfortable with my decision and solidified it. Unfortunately, I won't be there as I'll be out of town but my classmates will be there to share their own, unique perspectives  :) Staff will be on hand to answer questions as well.

 

Anything else I can help you with?

 

TLDR

UofT Pros: Wicked catchment area, cool city

UofT Cons: First few months can seem a little boring (but it gets better with placement), housing is expensive

 

Good Luck making your decision, I'm sure whatever you decide will be the right decision for you  :D

 

P.S.

If you, or anyone else, decides that UofT is the place to be, DM me when you accept and I can link you to the Facebook group where more people can answer more questions and you can get to know your future classmates.

Thank you so much for your reply! This is super helpful. 

 

Yeah, I'm actually leaning towards UofT because of the catchment area! I looked on the website and they have so many clinics/hospitals and it seems like there are more opportunities to try different things. I am worried about housing though. Other than the fact that housing is super expensive in Toronto (as a Vancouverite, not super stoked about that!) I know students are responsible for travelling to and from placements. Do most students transit to the locations, or do some actually move near their placement for the required couple of weeks? I was hoping I could stay in one place and when I looked at Queens, for example, many of their placements are located outside of the city and I wasn't sure if I had to move. I don't have a car and I dont know if transit is the best over there! 

Other than that, UofT seems like a really good school and I appreciate how detailed their website is ahah! I did notice that students have to complete a research project in second year, which may be different from other schools? It does interest me though and I think it would be fun to conduct an application based research project!

 

Also, do you know if UofT focuses more on certain areas of occupational therapy? Are there opportunities for us to explore areas that interest us in greater depth? (eg. mental health, disability)- I know Western has "intensives" courses that allow students to focus on their preferred topics

 

I would love to go to the open house but sadly can't because I'm out of province!

 

Thank you!!

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Thank you so much for your reply! This is super helpful. 

 

Yeah, I'm actually leaning towards UofT because of the catchment area! I looked on the website and they have so many clinics/hospitals and it seems like there are more opportunities to try different things. I am worried about housing though. Other than the fact that housing is super expensive in Toronto (as a Vancouverite, not super stoked about that!) I know students are responsible for travelling to and from placements. Do most students transit to the locations, or do some actually move near their placement for the required couple of weeks? I was hoping I could stay in one place and when I looked at Queens, for example, many of their placements are located outside of the city and I wasn't sure if I had to move. I don't have a car and I dont know if transit is the best over there! 

Other than that, UofT seems like a really good school and I appreciate how detailed their website is ahah! I did notice that students have to complete a research project in second year, which may be different from other schools? It does interest me though and I think it would be fun to conduct an application based research project!

 

Also, do you know if UofT focuses more on certain areas of occupational therapy? Are there opportunities for us to explore areas that interest us in greater depth? (eg. mental health, disability)- I know Western has "intensives" courses that allow students to focus on their preferred topics

 

I would love to go to the open house but sadly can't because I'm out of province!

 

Thank you!!

 

Sup,

 

Fellow OT1 at U of T (although I've admittedly been trolling a couple other threads - not trolling this time though!) and mild acquaintance of Mr. ToBeOT. 

Unless you're doing a Northern/International Placement (both dope opportunities if you're interested), everything is accessible by public transit and the fieldwork coordinators do their best to not put you in an absolutely ridiculous travel situation. None of my colleagues in OT1 has had to move out of necessity to reach their respective placements for Fieldwork 1.

 

In terms of research, yeah, that's a pretty large part of the curriculum here, and it's definitely a unique opportunity. Everyone has to complete a research project for Year 2! I know a lot of people dread that part because they have zero research experience (prime example: myself) but U of T's faculty and clinical network is top-notch and the breadth of research opportunities is pretty tremendous so I'm sure you'll find something up your alley! I was originally dreading research but stumbled upon a potential opportunity that really suited my interest (FYI: Testing the clinical utility of a high-tech wearable device that detects when healthcare workers are utilizing poor postural biomechanics during patient transfers) and now I'm super excited to move forward with the project. The scope of projects can differ greatly - mine's more applied, but others are definitely more theoretical/literature based - but it definitely is a unique experience. Also, there's the potential of presenting your research at the CAOT Conference in Year 2, and the possibility of being published, which is an added bonus as well.

 

U of T aims to graduate generalists so our courses are pretty much set in stone. That being said, there are plenty of opportunities to interact with professors and clinicians who work in your desired area and cultivate a relationship that'll help you dig deeper into those interests. I think more crucial to this though is the aforementioned catchment area, which is not only extensive in area, but equally extensive in diversity of practice areas that you can get FW experience in. You might come in with preconceived notions of an area of practice you'd like to work in, but fieldwork really can help you reaffirm or discover what you truly want to do. Sometimes it works the opposite way and you think something is going to suck but actually becomes great - my fieldwork placement is in acute care and I picked it pretty much to build my skill base with eventually working in Rehab as the end goal, but turns out I absolutely love it and could absolutely see myself do this for the rest of my career. That being said, I've got 3 more opportunities to explore totally different areas of OT in a clinical setting and U of T's diversity in placement opportunities will allow me to do that.

 

Same as Mr. ToBe, slide into the premeDMs if you have Qs. 

 

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Thank you so much for your reply! This is super helpful. 

 

Yeah, I'm actually leaning towards UofT because of the catchment area! I looked on the website and they have so many clinics/hospitals and it seems like there are more opportunities to try different things. I am worried about housing though. Other than the fact that housing is super expensive in Toronto (as a Vancouverite, not super stoked about that!) I know students are responsible for travelling to and from placements. Do most students transit to the locations, or do some actually move near their placement for the required couple of weeks? I was hoping I could stay in one place and when I looked at Queens, for example, many of their placements are located outside of the city and I wasn't sure if I had to move. I don't have a car and I dont know if transit is the best over there! 

Other than that, UofT seems like a really good school and I appreciate how detailed their website is ahah! I did notice that students have to complete a research project in second year, which may be different from other schools? It does interest me though and I think it would be fun to conduct an application based research project!

 

Also, do you know if UofT focuses more on certain areas of occupational therapy? Are there opportunities for us to explore areas that interest us in greater depth? (eg. mental health, disability)- I know Western has "intensives" courses that allow students to focus on their preferred topics

 

I would love to go to the open house but sadly can't because I'm out of province!

 

Thank you!!

 

So 'Chillz' did a pretty great job at answering and summarizing all of your questions but just a bit more information (that is hopefully correct haha).

First off, I'm pretty sure all OT programs are required to do some form of research. A year ago, I remember looking at Western and the only difference was that, just like their placements, research was spread over two years as opposed to being backloaded like UofT's is. Also, I know that a few years back when my sister was an OT student at Queens, she too had some form of research to complete. From my understanding (which I'm sure must be biased in some way), again, just as Chillz alluded to, Toronto's large healthcare system offers up lots of different research opportunities as well. You are also given some time off during the last placements to work on research.

 

Another point to elaborate on is the Northern placements that were mentioned. I'm pretty sure that the university helps to accommodate you in some respect when it comes to housing. Also, just so you have an idea about the varying fields of practice within placement, I am currently doing pediatric seating at a purely rehabilitative hospital, which draws upon and helps to build a different kind of skillset than, say, my friend's acute placement but it none-the-less useful and has translatable skills. Like many other students, I get there by using the TTC (transit).

 

Good luck deciding and don't worry, you've still got time to consider your options  :)

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Wow thanks Chillz and ToBeOTThatisTheQuestion! There definitely is a lot to think about and you guys sell UofT really well ;) It's nice to see how students can try out different areas of practice and I'm glad you both are enjoying the program so much! I'll probably make my decision soon and I can really see myself attending UofT!

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Wow thanks Chillz and ToBeOTThatisTheQuestion! There definitely is a lot to think about and you guys sell UofT really well ;) It's nice to see how students can try out different areas of practice and I'm glad you both are enjoying the program so much! I'll probably make my decision soon and I can really see myself attending UofT!

 

No problemo! If you have any more questions feel free to ask. Others may be wondering the same.

I started this thread as a welcome and also because it's something that I wish I had last year when I was trying to make up my mind. We're here to help!

 

Remember, whatever you decide will be the right decision for you. I'm sure every OT program out there has its merits and will be filled with bright and benevolent future OTs  :)

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No problemo! If you have any more questions feel free to ask. Others may be wondering the same.

I started this thread as a welcome and also because it's something that I wish I had last year when I was trying to make up my mind. We're here to help!

 

Remember, whatever you decide will be the right decision for you. I'm sure every OT program out there has its merits and will be filled with bright and benevolent future OTs  :)

 

You're something I wish I had last year   :wub:  :wub:  :wub: 

 

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So happy to have found this thread! I'll be accepting my UofT offer and also hope to attend the Orientation next weekend. Can't wait to meet you all! 

 

Looking forward to seeing you there (although my secret identity as Chillz will not be revealed LOL) - welcome and enjoy the Views from 500! #drizzy 

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Thanks for all the information! I come from Vancouver and how likely will I be approved to do one of the fieldwork in Vancouver? The website said we have to maintain a B average in order to work outside of the Toronto catchment area and I wonder what is the general class average like? Is it hard to maintain a B average? Have any of your classmates did fieldwork in Vancouver? 


 


Thank you!

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Thanks for all the information! I come from Vancouver and how likely will I be approved to do one of the fieldwork in Vancouver? The website said we have to maintain a B average in order to work outside of the Toronto catchment area and I wonder what is the general class average like? Is it hard to maintain a B average? Have any of your classmates did fieldwork in Vancouver? 

 

Thank you!

 

 

Hey there,

I actually believe I just posted my response to this on the UofA vs UofT thread but I'll post it here as well for anyone else who may be curious.

I would have posted a little sooner but I got pretty swamped.

 

Unfortunately, I can't speak to the likelihood of you getting that placement but what I can do is explain the process for out of catchment placements as I understand it. So, for your first placement, you're going to be placed within UofT's catchment area. After that; however, I believe you have the option of applying to be placed elsewhere. For instance, there are several fieldwork placements up in Northern Ontario that are facilitated through UofT. Also, you are eligible to be placed internationally, should you choose a country and work with the department to find a fieldwork opportunity. When in comes to out of catchment areas within Canada, there is an application process that you'll have to follow. I'm in the process of going through that right now actually. See, I'm originally from Ottawa and have applied to do my 2nd fieldwork placement there. Here's where things are a little less certain. So, you apply, pay an application fee ($250), choose another university's catchment area to be placed within (I suspect yours would be UBC), and then a representative from UofT works with the university who's catchment area you want to be placed in to try and find you a fieldwork opportunity. The application fee is not refundable and you are not guaranteed a placement in the part of the city you want or in the alternative catchment area at all. Now, this all sounds a little gloomy but I'm pretty sure this is how most other universities operate as well. The university who's catchment area you're applying within gives their students first pick and then you can have any unclaimed opportunities. From my understanding, UofT does have some sort of option for placements within Vancouver (I'm considering applying there as well actually as I have family there too). So, basically, there's no guarantee but UofT will work on your behalf to find you a placement opportunity that fits your interests in location and field.

 

Again, this was my interpretation from memory but I would encourage you to call the OS & OT department at UofT to direct further inquiries.

 

As for the grades, you need to get above 70% in every class to pass and I think a 73% overall for the program. If you got in, I suspect you've had some pretty decent grades so don't freak out at this somewhat high cut-off standard. I have yet to get my final marks back for this semester but so far I have also yet to get below 70% on anything and I am no genius. Also, even if you were to score below that grade on one assignment, it's all good, just try and get your overall above 70% by the end of term and you'll be golden   ;)

 

I think that pretty much covers everything (again, at least as far as I know).

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I got Accepted to U of T and Western But Im not sure which one to choose. London seems like a nicer place to live ?

 

Unfortunately, I can't help you there, that's a personal decision and it kind of comes down to what you value.

When I faced the same question I chose Toronto over London because the bigger city suited my lifestyle better and I really liked the placement opportunities and (relatively) accessible options that UofT's catchment area offered. That being said, UofT's campus is integrated within the city whereas Westen's is more of its own thing. If possible, I'd recommend visiting each and getting a feel for what each city has to offer. Doing that certainly was beneficial in my decision-making process.

 

Best of Luck! :)  

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  • 3 months later...
On 5/20/2017 at 10:14 PM, yooOT said:

Wow thanks Chillz and ToBeOTThatisTheQuestion! There definitely is a lot to think about and you guys sell UofT really well ;) It's nice to see how students can try out different areas of practice and I'm glad you both are enjoying the program so much! I'll probably make my decision soon and I can really see myself attending UofT!

You made the worst decision of your life coming here, smh

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