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General Admissions & OTCAS To visit or not to visit...

Discussion in 'Occupational Therapy [ O.T.D ]' started by LLSST3, 05.20.14.

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  1. LLSST3

    LLSST3

    Joined:
    05.20.14
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Cresson, Pennsylvania
    Status:
    Pre-Rehab Sci [General], Veterinarian
    Hi, everyone!

    I will be applying during the upcoming admissions cycle for a MOT program. I live in PA, but I am looking to settle in VA, NC or SC. It's quite a hike to get down there and since I am working full time the scheduling is tricky.

    What have you all done in regards to program visits? Is it worth it to check out programs you are highly interested in? I think it's a worthwhile cause, but I am facing backlash from family who tell me it is a waste of time and money. I have a meeting scheduled with ECU and I'm really hoping to make contact with other programs as well.

    P.S. - Anyone else applying to schools in VA/NC/SC? :)
     
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  3. TennesseeOT

    TennesseeOT 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.05.13
    Messages:
    61
    Status:
    DPT / OTD
    I think visiting the program is extremely important. One school that I had in mind was #1 on my list and after I went to visit I didn't even consider it an option anymore. You really don't get a sense of the facility, the way that the professors work together, the happiness of the current students, or whether it's a good learning environment for you unless you see for yourself. I don't have any experience in those states, but maybe you can schedule to visit more than one in one trip.
     
  4. LLSST3

    LLSST3

    Joined:
    05.20.14
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Cresson, Pennsylvania
    Status:
    Pre-Rehab Sci [General], Veterinarian
    That's a really good point! I am hoping to still be in love with the school when I leave it. I tried schedule multiple visits, but it didn't pan out. Oh well, I am very excited for this road trip! :)
     
    TennesseeOT likes this.
  5. LLSST3

    LLSST3

    Joined:
    05.20.14
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Cresson, Pennsylvania
    Status:
    Pre-Rehab Sci [General], Veterinarian
    There are a few far off schools that are totally out of range. Normally I couldn't make this kind of trip either, but I will be in Baltimore so I am already half way there! Good luck with your decision!
     
  6. tobyfreedom1

    tobyfreedom1

    Joined:
    11.13.13
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Berkeley, California
    Status:
    Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
    I would highly recommend visiting the school(s) if you can! Not only does it give you insight on the program/ campus/ city, it also allows the faculty to get to know you. Many programs get hundreds of applications and if they can spot your name out of the pile and remember meeting you then it gives you an advantage! Although I'm speaking out of experience being accepted into a program that did not do interviews so in my case meeting the faculty at the open house was incredibly important.
     
  7. CurlyHairedGirl

    CurlyHairedGirl 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    09.12.10
    Messages:
    191
    Status:
    Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
    See if you can work out in advance to visit several schools on one visit. Driving down from PA through NC and back might be doable in 1 3-4 day trip.

    Unfortunately, a lot of the schools I talked to weren't really to accommodate you unless you came to visit on one of their scheduled days. I flew to Texas from Virginia to visit family a couple years ago and had several free days in which I could have visited various schools in TX. I tried calling TWU Dallas but they pretty much told me I couldn't come and there wouldn't be anything to see.

    There are also some schools that make a very strong recommendation to be there on the preview days if you want to get in. They hold these days on Saturdays, which make it possible to visit if you are sorta close, but then don't coordinate with other schools in the area so that you could do a morning at one school and and an afternoon at the school across town.

    I think Chatham or one of the Pittsburgh schools had a weekend visit day, and VCU in Richmond had Friday afternoons once a month, However, I visited VCU during a time when few OT students were there and didn't get a chance to ask questions of students.

    If you were going to schedule a trip through multiple states, I'd try plannng it out 3-6 months in advance. I wouldn't commit to scheduling an individual meeting with a particular school unless you could make it coincide with another schools regularly scheduled meeting.

    I can definitely say that driving 12 hours each way just to visit a particular school gets really, really old, really, really fast.
     
  8. LLSST3

    LLSST3

    Joined:
    05.20.14
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Cresson, Pennsylvania
    Status:
    Pre-Rehab Sci [General], Veterinarian
    Thanks for your response!

    The only reason I even considered it is because my sisters live near D.C. and I planned on visiting them. I have been getting some observations done in the Pediatric Rehabilitation Department at Johns Hopkins, so I do try and maximize my visits when possible. Because ECU is a top choice (not a great ranking but super affordable and good location), I decided to go ahead with the trip. I am actually doing another trip in July to shadow at Hopkins, visit VCU and take the GREs. I'd love VCU because I would be close to family, but it is a high ranked program that is more expensive than ECU.

    So much going on and so much stress! I cannot wait until this entire process is over :bang:
     

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