International Learning

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The School of Occupational Therapy supports its students in pursuing international placement and coursework opportunities to enhance their academic program. The information outlined below serves a guide for students interested in seeking out one of these opportunities. More detailed information can be obtained by contacting the fieldwork coordinator.

International Fieldwork Placements and Coursework

The School of Occupational Therapy is dedicated to providing international learning opportunities for its students. The fieldwork team secures and fosters long-standing relationships with international partners across the globe in developed and developing nations. International experiences benefit students as future occupational therapists by providing a venue for exposure to new practice methods, sensitivity to cultural issues and growth through overcoming language, resource and cultural barriers. 

Canberra, Australia (Fieldwork)

Australian FlagLocation: Canberra University

Through an exchange program with Canberra University, students are placed in various practice areas. The primary foci of previous placements have been in the areas of:

  • Eating disorders
  • Adult mental health

Dundee, Scotland (Fieldwork)

Flag of ScotlandLocation: Queen Margaret University

Through an exchange program with Queen Margaret University, students are placed at Ninewells Hospital, a large teaching hospital in Dundee, in the winter term of year 2. Previous placements have been available in:

  • Specialized stroke unit
  • Amputee rehabilitation unit
  • Rehabilitation following neurosurgery
  • Oncology
  • Orthopaedics

Capetown, South Africa (Fieldwork)

Flag of South AfricaLocation: Stellenbosch University (USeBenzA Assessment Centre)

Through an exchange program with Stellenbosch University's USeBenzA Assessment Centre in the summer term of second year, placement opportunities are available in:

  • Driver assessment and rehabilitation
  • Driving simulation

In addition to gaining experience at the USeBenzA Assessment Centre, students also are provided with practice experience at the Tygerberg Hospital Work Assessment Unit in addition to community visits.

Ayikudy, Tamil Nudu, India (Fieldwork)

Flag of IndiaLocation: Amar Seva Sangam (ASSA)
Facilitated by: Handi-Care International (HCI)

Through a partnership with Amar Seva Sangam (ASSA), this placement opportunity is facilitated by Handi-Care International (HCI) and takes place in the summer term of year 2. It provides students with an opportunity to make a sustainable difference in the lives of people with disabilities in rural India. ASSA is located on a 30-acre campus and services provided include:

  • Post acute care spinal cord rehabilitation
  • Post stroke rehabilitation
  • Early intervention for children with neuromuscular disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and developmental delay
  • Outpatient therapy for children and adults with neuromuscular disabilities
  • Village/home-based rehabilitation program

Oslo, Norway (Coursework)

Action Research: Enabling Communities through Enacting Change

Flag of NorwayLocation: Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA)

This Intensive course may be taken in the summer term of first year and spans 2-3 weeks, with an additional pre- and post-residency learning program. Studying together with students from around the world, participants share perspectives and ideas and develop an international lens regarding health and well-being. Students engage in course content with peers and experts while in Norway and return with a rich perspective and the ability to translate this learning through a project which connects the learning to occupational therapy and/or occupational science.

Students work alongside a graduate of Western's Occupational Therapy program (or an affiliate program) who serves as a preceptor.