Sunday, May 24, 2009

So... How Was the Open House Experience?

In a word... Influential!

I went to the Open House hosted by the Queen's University School of Rehabilitation Therapy thinking that it would simply help me to be sure about the other university whose offer I thought I would accept. Boy was I wrong. They completely changed my mind.

The faculty were wonderful. They were not only approachable, but actually approached the students to strike up conversation and get to know them. They reiterated many times that they wanted to be sure we left with all the information we needed to make an informed decision. And it wasn't just the instructors... staff in the clinical education centre, the library, the anatomy lab... everywhere we went the people were friendly and made me feel at home. And that's the impression I left with... I felt like I was home.
Now, before I go into detail gushing about some of the highlights of my visit, I want to extend a special thank you to the students who led my group's tour. Chelsea and Andrew (I didn't write down their names :S I hope those are right!!) were wonderful... and SO patient about answering all of our questions. It was very clear that they loved the program and they represented it admirably.

Okay... now to gush!

The clinical education centre is super cool, with volunteers from the community coming in to serve as practice patients. It's a great space and a great system for learning skills.

The library was impressive. It's in a great location with a stunning view. And it looks like it's a very welcoming place to do some serious studying and group work. Given that I expect I'll be spending a lot of time in the library no matter which school I choose, that was a big seller.

And THEN... 9 floors up from the library is the anatomy lab. Or should I say, The Anatomy Lab of Awesome! I held a femur and a clavicle and I wiggled a spine. And then I went into the "hands-on" squishy part of the lab and held a BRAIN and a liver and a heart and I gawked at a human rib cage that looked disturbingly like it ought to be slathered in BBQ sauce. The techs up there were great... answering all of our questions and laughing at our (I'm sure completely lame) jokes. Plus, the view from the windows was stunning... really really stunning. Unfortunately, no cameras allowed in the lab itself.

So, in a nutshell, I'm saying two things:
- Queen's is awesome.
- The programs that do not have post-admission offer open houses are losing out on a great opportunity to help students make their admissions decisions.


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