Q&A with Deakin Optometry Student Society – Part 1

Authors: Celine Zhang (2017 UNSW OptomSoc President) and Jingyi Chen (2017/18 DOSS Vice-President)
Earlier this year the UNSW OptomSoc Executive team (Celine, Alison, Tyson and Rhonda) had the pleasure of meeting up with the 2017 Deakin Optometry Student Society (DOSS) team (Marshall and Jingyi). We had so much to share and chat about over lunch! Although we are 947.0 km away from each other (according to Google Maps), we had a lot in common. Through our chat, the “Q&A” idea was born! Here’s Part 1 – DOSS answers all the burning questions we had for them. Stay tuned for Part 2 where UNSW OptomSoc answers the DOSS team’s questions. 
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In this edition, UNSW OptomSoc is asking the questions and DOSS is answering.

Q (UNSW OptomSoc): As an optometry student that goes through 2 semesters a year, trimesters confuse me. How do trimesters work?

A (DOSS): Whereas there are two semesters in a year, there are three 11-week trimesters at Deakin. Most Deakin students do trimester 1 and 2 and take the third trimester off, which is essentially their summer break. As optometry students, we do all three trimesters continuously until the end of our degrees. This means that a 10 term course which would normally take 5 years with 10 semesters will take 3.5 years with 10 consecutive trimesters. We are doing the same amount of study as the other optometry schools in Australia, but studying over the summer break allows us to complete our course and graduate sooner.

Q: Wow, 2 week breaks sounds short – what do DOSS members get up to in the 2 weeks? I hear Deakin students get to travel a lot for uni?

A: Many optometry students at Deakin are interstate, so most tend to travel back home to see friends and family. Some students like to also use their break to travel overseas or do programs that are difficult to fit in during the trimester. We all appreciate the breaks a lot because they don’t occur too frequently! –

Q: Your course is 3.5 years long, correct? 

A: Yes. Our course is 5 years but since it’s done over consecutive trimesters, we technically have 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th years. The 4th years complete their residential clinical placement in June and are able to start working in July/August of that year.

Q: What’s your most exciting event of the year at DOSS? Who are your big sponsors?

A: Our traditional big event for DOSS has always been the annual Eyeball, sponsored by Specsavers and Luxottica. In the past, our sponsors have also included Optometry Australia, Young Optometrists and most recently, Optometry Victoria. Our smaller social and industry events are also a big success, such as the Christmas Party, BBQs and Industry Night. Where possible, we try our best to raise money for charities such as the Fred Hollows Foundation and World Sight Day in order to give back to both our members and the community.

Q: UNSW is the only school of Optometry and Vision Science in NSW. How is it, being in such close proximity to UMelb?

A: Our associations with the University of Melbourne has always been quite limited in the past, despite being geographically so close. However, we have recently established connections with the optometry student society at UniMelb and are hoping to strengthen this relationship through events and communication for our members in future tears. DOSS is excited, as this is the start to potentially bring together the optometry schools around Australia!

Disclaimer: The views & opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of UNSW OptomSoc, NSW School of Optometry and Vision Science or Deakin Optometry Student Society and Deakin University. 

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