Samantha Sundby

August 19, 2022

What attracted you to the Speech Language Pathology field?

I may be biased, but I think communication and language are some of the utmost important tools for human survival and well-being. I have always loved learning new languages and learning from others. This led me to Linguistics which in turn led me to my volunteer positions. Through these positions I witnessed children who became frustrated by the inability to express their needs, and I empathized with elders who had great difficulty sharing their most memorable moments in life due to loss of language. I believe that everyone deserves to be heard and to feel a sense of belonging, and the SLP field will give me the ability to fulfill this belief.

What are you most looking forward to as part of the UBC program?

I am very excited for the coursework in the UBC program and to meet the professors and classmates. I also am very pleased that I have the option to do a minor in Audiology. I have always wanted to learn more about this field but have not wanted to fully commit to being an Audiologist, so this gives me the opportunity to do so! UBC also provides the opportunity to advance to a PhD route in the first year of Masters, which I may look into more. I am also looking forward to the diverse range of practicums, especially the one in a remote location!

How did you build a strong SLP application?

I did not get accepted my first year applying to the Graduate programs and I applied across Canada. The year in between rejection letters and the next application period I did all that I could to make my application stronger. I made a realistic list of 10 areas of improvement for my application. I continued studying at SFU to retake courses to increase past grades, took more courses related to the program, and took a Graduate level phonology course. I gained more research experience by being a part of three research labs. I presented at multiple research conferences, one of which was hosted at UBC. I continued all my volunteer positions and got a new job working as an SLP Assistant working with young autistic children. I developed stronger relationships with my references and asked them if they could write a good reference letter as oppose to simply writing a reference letter. I also provided them with documents summarizing our experiences together and why I wish to enroll in the SLP program. Several people edited and read my letter of intent, and I wrote it as a story rather than an essay-like format. I thoroughly researched the programs and the school to learn about the research taking place and the professors so that I could relate it to my letter of intent. I strongly believe the letter of intent is a key component to the application, show the panel why you deserve to be at their school amongst all the other applicants.


  • LING 100: Communication and Language
  • LING 323: Morphology
  • LING 350: First Language Acquisition
  • LING 415: Neurolinguistics
  • LING 480: Topics in Linguistics - Hul'q'umi'num' Language Acquisition
  • LING 800: Graduate Phonology


It will be more work than you can imagine, although it will be rewarding once you make it, so don't give up! It may seem like the day won't come, but it will come at the right time. If you don't get in your first time like me, it is okay to be down about it at first but make a game plan. Not being accepted can be a true indicator of how badly you want to pursue it. Another note is to remember to portray in the letter of intent that you are applying to the school and not to an SLP job. You should be able to answer the question "why do you want to attend that school for their SLP program?" Lastly, the letter of intent will likely be the most difficult part of the application. The second time I applied I took a different approach to writing it. Instead of editing it over and over across time, I spoke to a family member who didn't have much knowledge of my story or my passion for SLP. This allowed me to express myself out loud and dig a little deeper. The family member took notes and afterwards I freely wrote the letter without edits. This time I finally felt my letter represented me for me and told a story of who I was. Make you edits at the end. You've got this!