Occupational TherapyWestern Health Sciences

International Placements

The School of Occupational Therapy supports its students in pursuing international placement 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.

It is important to be aware that the process of coordinating an international placement is time consuming (6-9 months). Students are advised to start the process will in advance of the anticipated start date of the placement.


Students interested in an international placement must meet the following criteria:

  • Students must be in their final year of the program to participate in an international placement.
  • A student is permitted to participate in only one international placement (OT 680 or 681) – Occupational Therapy.
  • International placements are the only placements for which the students have the responsibility of securing the placement offer from the facility.
  • Students must maintain a minimum overall average of 75%, without exception. This standing must be maintained until the commencement of the international placement.
  • The student must have progressed through the program with no conditions or failures.
  • Students must have a record of high standing in all their clinical placements prior to the international placement.


Students interested in an international placement should follow the steps below:

  1. Students interested in participating in an international placement should meet with the Fieldwork Coordinator prior to initiating any contact with foreign facilities.

  2. Once a placement is offered, students should inform the Fieldwork Coordinator of the name, address of clinical facility, and the name and telephone number of the contact person (therapist) with whom arrangements have been made to provide the placement. The supervising therapist must be a member in good standing of the regional or national professional association and have at least one year’s experience. The therapist must agree to structure the placement to meet the student’s Level 3 learning objectives and to use the evaluation process and criteria established by Western.

  3. Once all the information has been submitted to the Fieldwork Coordinator, the placement will be considered for approval.

  4. A written confirmation of the placement offer from the clinical facility must be received by the university 12 weeks prior to the commencement of the placement.

  5. Facilities must be accredited by the recognized professional organization in that country OR have a formal affiliation with an MScOT program.

  6. An affiliation agreement must be in effect with all facilities in which students participate in fieldwork education placements. This affiliation agreement will be drawn up and sent to the facility by the fieldwork coordinator as soon as written confirmation is received. This affiliation agreement outlines responsibilities of the student, university and facility. It also outlines the liability coverage of the student by the university. International placements will only be arranged with facilities that agree to sign Western's affiliation agreement.

  7. Students will be responsible for all matters and costs relating to passports, health insurance coverage, visas and work permits, and all associated arrangements (accommodation, travel, etc.).

Required Documentation

Requirements from each host country and facility will vary. It is the student’s responsibility to identify the requirements and to address them accordingly (e.g. visa arrangement, medical coverage, etc.).

The student must:

  • Be able to communicate effectively (both verbally and in writing) in the language of the country selected for an international practicum
  • Be responsible for ensuring all documentation has been obtained prior to the practicum and has been reviewed by the Professional Practice Coordinator
  • Be responsible for all costs related to the experience, inclusive of but not limited to:
    • Health requirement
    • Visa arrangements
    • Accommodation
    • Travel
    • Insurance coverage
    • Correspondence (telephone, email, etc.)