International Students’ and Alumni Perspectives on their Transition to Graduate Level Occupational Therapy Education and Daily Life in the United States
Document Type (Journals)
International students who enroll in American occupational therapy academic programs must quickly adapt to the academic demands and everyday life rhythms within the United States. This qualitative study contributes to the body of knowledge of lived experiences of international occupational therapy students, specific to their transition to graduate occupational therapy education and daily life in a new country. Thirteen (13) international occupational therapy graduate students and alumni participated in an individual or joint interview. Three key themes emerged from the findings and include the following: 1) Challenges: Inside and Outside of the Classroom, 2) A Support System: A Home Away from Home, and 3) Giving Back to my Home Country: Improving Occupational Therapy Education, Practice, and Research. This study provides insights into the challenges experienced by international graduate occupational therapy students and alumni, strategies that are beneficial in supporting them as they transition into graduate level education and daily life within the United States, and their motivations for giving back to their home countries.
Areli Benitez, OTD, OTR/L is an Occupational Therapist in Los Angeles, CA. She was a graduate student in the Post-Professional Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the time of this writing.
Daniel Park, OTD, OTR/L is Director of Global Initiatives and Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy at the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. He has led the USC Chan Global Initiatives office since its founding in 2014.
Sarah Bream, OTD, OTR/L is currently Associate Chair, Director of the Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Program, and Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy at the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. She has worked as an occupational therapist for twenty five years.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Benitez, A. D., Park, D., & Bream, S. (2022). International Students’ and Alumni Perspectives on their Transition to Graduate Level Occupational Therapy Education and Daily Life in the United States. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 6 (2). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2022.060211
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