Student Ambassador Blog Articles

As a Canadian, How I Researched Optometry Programs in the U.S. by SCCO Student Ambassador Brynn Babey

A series of articles written by SCCO Student Ambassadors, here is Brynn Babey. To learn more about Brynn, where she is from, and why she chose SCCO, find her bio here listed alphabetically.

As a Canadian, How I Researched Optometry Programs in the U.S.

By SCCO Student Ambassador, Brynn Babey

As a Canadian student applying to optometry school, I knew the options within my country were limited. Yet regardless of my citizenship status, I wanted to choose the program that was the best overall fit for me…

I chose to approach my research on optometry programs both in Canada and the U.S. with 3 non-negotiables:

  1. A welcoming and caring faculty
  2. A modern and hands-on curriculum
  3. A location that would provide me with new life experiences

In addition to seeking a great reputation and solid academic program, I knew optometry school would be challenging; I wanted to find an environment that would foster my success. This was what ultimately led me to to choose SCCO.

In the past year, everything has truly come full circle. It was the SCCO Admissions Blog that initially drew me toward this program. Upon my very first google search, it was apparent that rather than induce a cut-throat or competitive atmosphere, the faculty at SCCO genuinely wish to guide students toward success. As my online research continued and further emails with SCCO Admissions were exchanged, it became increasingly evident that every aspect of SCCO far surpassed my 3 essential, non-negotiable features:

  1. Every interaction with the faculty and current students was so positive; everyone seemed genuinely happy to help
  2. The interprofessional education, cutting edge technology, extensive clinical opportunities, and extremely impressive faculty blew my academic standards away
  3. The location was a no-brainer; who could deny sunshine and palm trees on campus and study breaks at the beach?

 After my time so far at SCCO, I can confirm that it is in fact too good to be true! I undoubtedly made the right decision. After only one month on campus, SCCO already feels like a home away from home and my classmates already feel like family. When I am met daily with such warmth and kindness, the distance between myself and home feels much less drastic.

While there is so much to be gained from attending SCCO, being an international student does come with its own set of unique obstacles to overcome. From student visas, to student loans, to the smaller things such as deciding whether or not to bring a car or change your phone number, the “To-Do” list can appear endless and overwhelming. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have moments of thinking I was in over my head. However, I was constantly reminded that all it takes is a quick email to SCCO Admissions to get ample support and guidance. What I did to make the process more manageable was create a document of everything I needed to figure out and tackle one thing at a time, updating the document as each factor fell into place. Each meeting at the bank, phone call, and email is one step closer to completing the list. You will be surprised by how quickly everything can come together!

If I could give one piece of advice to international or out-of-state students, it would be to choose the optometry program that is truly your best fit and not let the additional external factors stand in your way. Obstacles are meant to be overcome and you have access to all the support you may need from SCCO to make your goals happen. If you have any questions about my process to becoming a student at SCCO, or are looking for tips as an applicant or accepted incoming student, please feel free to reach out at

I am only an email away and eager to help!

Use this link to access SCCO’s Resource Guide for Canadian Students

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