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Out-of-Catchment Placements

International Placements

Please note: If you wish to do an international placement, please read this section thoroughly before contacting the International Fieldwork Coordinator or the Fieldwork Administrative Assistant.

The opportunity to participate in an out-of-country placement is considered to be a privilege which may be negotiated for a second year student with good academic standing (B average) who has a record of excellent performance in all previous fieldwork placements and has abided by the OS&OT Student Code of Conduct.

Students who are interested in participating an out-of-country placement will be able to request particular placements. However, there is no guarantee that a placement in the requested area can be arranged.

The department has established relationships with a variety of international fieldwork partners that offer student placements. Students will be informed of these opportunities through information meetings led by the U of T International Fieldwork Coordinator in October/November of first year. The Department of OS & OT has developed guidelines for the prioritization of international placements and these guidelines will be reevaluated yearly and shared with students.

The placements currently prioritized are those linked with the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation (ICDR) (see for more information). These placements are in lower and middle income countries that have established partnerships with ICDR and the OS & OT Department. We also have exchange agreements with several international universities in countries such as Sweden, Holland, Australia and Hong Kong. Students must contact the International Fieldwork Coordinator for permission and guidance if they wish to arrange their own international placement as this option is only available on a very limited basis and once the listed priority placements have been filled.

The following resources can be used to help the student find an appropriate placement:

  • A list of programs and schools approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) can be found at

  • A database of placements completed by students in previous years is available on Quercus in the fieldwork courses.

Deadlines for submission of appropriate documentation for students wishing to have an international fieldwork experience will be communicated by the University International Fieldwork Coordinator and/or the Fieldwork Administrative Assistant. Please use the International Placement Forms to make sure you have all documentation required before submitting to the Fieldwork Office.

Student Responsibilities and Timelines

Throughout Process

Accept responsibility for all costs, including:

  • Medical coverage

  • Visas

  • Accommodation

  • Travel

  • Any required insurance not provided by the university (it is the student’s responsibility to obtain this information)

  • Phone calls and faxes to the facility

  • Cost of supervision in countries where there is a fee.

6-12 Months Prior to Placement

If developing a self-initiated placement (these do NOT include any ICDR sites and/or formal exchanges that the department already has) – make preliminary contact with prospective facilities (if approved to do so by the University International Fieldwork Coordinator) to obtain written documentation as follows:

  • Description of OT service

  • Obtain an abbreviated résumé for the potential supervising therapist, including educational background and years of experience directly supervising students. Please note that in order to supervise a student, the therapist must have had at least one year of clinical experience and must be certified/registered according to the standards of the host country.

Deadline set by the fieldwork coordinator (approx. 4 months before placement commences)

The International Fieldwork Coordinator will bring these to faculty for approval of the student’s request. 

Deadline set by the Administrative Assistant – Clinical Education (approx.1 to 2 months before placement begins)

Once students have been assigned their placement, they must register with the Safety Abroad Office and

During an international placement, students are to immediately contact the Safety Abroad Office for any accidents, illness, theft and breach of security, harassment or sexual assault, etc. Safety Abroad Office has 24 hour assistance accessed by phoning 416-978-2222. They will take a collect call. Students are also asked to contact the International Fieldwork Coordinator, Director of Clinical Education and the Administrative Assistant – Clinical Education via email as soon as possible after the incident.

As Directed by University Fieldwork Coordinator

Apply for a placement in Canada if directed by Fieldwork Coordinator; in the event that the international placement is canceled for any reason (host country cancels, student does not maintain academic/fieldwork standing), the student will still be able to complete the required fieldwork.

Facility Responsibilities and Timelines When Student Initiated

The facility must commit to a placement approximately five months prior to placement and must provide the following information in writing, in order to meet the approval criteria:

  • A description of their OT service;

  • An abbreviated résumé of the supervising therapist. 

International Fieldwork Coordinator Responsibilities and Timelines

Three Months Prior to Placement:

  • Meet with University Fieldwork Coordinator who is responsible for that fieldwork block to review applications and decide student eligibility. 

  • Review all of the information submitted by the student and ensure that the University Placement Agreement has signed and returned to the Fieldwork or Rehabilitation Sector Office. 

  • Subject to approval of the above, send an email of confirmation to the facility, which will include the following:

    • Placement date

    • Copy of the CBFE-OT

    • Copy of the Fieldwork Resource Manual

    • Copy of the course outline

  • Notify the student to finalize travel and accommodation arrangements once everything is finalized (signed Placement Agreement, etc.).

1 month Prior to Placement

  • Code placement to enter into electronic database

Midterm of Placement

  • Initiate contact with facility via phone or fax at midterm to obtain feedback re: progress in placement. 

After completion of placement

  • Write a letter of appreciation to facility.

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