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Therapy Abroad

Why choose Therapy Abroad?

Therapy Abroad offers short-term study abroad programs for undergraduate and graduate students in the field of communication sciences & disorders, speech-language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, sports & exercise sciences, and other human and health sciences. Therapy Abroad creates an interactive educational environment for students to learn and enhance core competencies in their field, as well as to enjoy the richness and challenges of service-learning and traveling abroad. Working with partner organizations overseas including rehabilitation hospitals and clinics, schools, and home health providers, students are given the opportunity to work directly with clients, receive specialized training, and learn from experts in their field while also contributing to a unique cultural exchange experience. No other student travel program offers award-winning specialized hands-on experiences for students in these fields combined with group adventure travel!

Founded
2015

Reviews

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Brylea
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Belize

I just finished my trip with Therapy Abroad at San Ignacio and Caye Caulker. The program has taught me so much about being an SLP and about “being flexible”. My supervisors were extremely hands on and supportive through the entire process as well. The food was amazing and where we stayed was super lovely!

On top of actually getting to work with clients, you also get to do fun activities like zip line, snorkel, & cave tubing! There isn’t a lot of down time but I love that we aren’t missing out on anything while being there!

What was your funniest moment?
Seeing a huge iguana!
Default avatar
Maggie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

If you are able to go, go!

I love to travel and I love to volunteer, so when this opportunity came up I was so excited. I would be able to travel and volunteer as an SLP (I just graduated right before going and didn't need any clinical hours :)). This experience is something I will never forget. I could have easily stayed another month in Bulgaria. The country was beautiful, but the people were what made this. Our guides were some of the best people I have met in my life and the people that we got to work with will always have a place in my heart. If you have the opportunity to do this trip, do it. I just got back and I am already thinking of going back (hopefully as a supervisor)! I felt safe, supported, cared for, and appreciated the whole time. We had people in our group from all different levels of becoming/being an SLP from undergrad students, to current grad students, recently graduated SLP's, and our supervisors. This trip is for anyone. Greece was fantastic too, but Bulgaria has my heart.

What was your funniest moment?
I can't choose one. We had the best guides with us who were always making us laugh. It was such an incredible time.
Pros
  • Our amazing guides
  • The people of Bulgaria
  • Everything (honestly)
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Chloe
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Belize

I had the best time on this trip and learned so much from my amazing supervisors! Working with children and their families during this trip expanded my love and passion for the field of Speech Language Pathology. This trip helped not only expand my cultural awareness but also gave me life long friendships that I will forever cherish. If you are looking for an opportunity to learn about the field and apply things taught in the classroom in real life scenarios, then this is the trip for you. Thank you Therapy Abroad for helping me have a wonderful trip while learning at the same time!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be willing to get out of your comfort zone, be kind, be flexible, and most importantly have fun!
Pros
  • Wonderful support from well trained supervisors
  • Amazing Food
  • Good balance of work and play
Default avatar
Emily
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

An Adventure of a Lifetime

Going on this trip was the best decision I think I’ve ever made. I’ve learned so much about our field, the culture of Belize, and grew so much as a person. Before this trip I wouldn’t have considered myself an adventure traveler, but I definitely do now. I was nervous that this trip might be unsafe for me. I found that the accommodations were amazing and I never once felt unsafe. There was always purified drinking water for us to drink and plenty of food options. I was also nervous about meeting a whole new crowd of people. After meeting the girls on my trip I was anything but nervous. Everyone was very welcoming and I can say that I have made friends who will be forever friends. If you are looking for an experience of a life time to boost your motivation to pursue a career in speech and language pathology, this trip is for you!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Keep an open mind, be flexible, and remember you don’t know what you don’t know.
Default avatar
Kylee
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A Worthwhile Experience! Belize 2024

Directly following undergrad graduation, I hopped on a plane and traveled with Therapy Abroad to Belize! In just 8 days, my peers and I got to explore a new country, immerse ourselves in the Belizean culture, and gain valuable clinical experience heading into graduate school. After participating in this trip, I have more confidence in my abilities as a clinician. I enjoyed trying new foods; participating in snorkeling, deep sea fishing, and Belizean traditional drumming; and getting to work with my first ever clients.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make sure to pack a lot of sunscreen and bug spray, stay hydrated, participate in everything with an open mind, and get ready to enjoy a trip of a lifetime!
Pros
  • Safe and well-organized trip.
  • Gain clinical experience in a different country.
  • Many new experiences.
Cons
  • Our water shut off during our trip for a few hours.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

The moment I received an email from my post-bac program advisor, I opened it and I was excited to read about a bilingual SLP program in the Dominican Republic! I did my research on Therapy Abroad and applied right away and waited anxiously to hear back. As soon as I was accepted, I started fundraising. I even told a friend about the program and she went too!

I loved everything they focused on from hands-on experience with children with speech disorders, to have the opportunity to work alongside certified SLPs. It was the perfect combination of being able to work in a Spanish speaking country and to work with children with speech disorders.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My university did not assist me with any help, I had to do everything on my own but Therapy Abroad was very helpful. Therapy Abroad’s staff was an amazing source of help and always answered my questions via email or phone. The program itself is very well organized and sends you email updates when forms are due.

The only thing I had to organize on my own was my connecting flight from LAX to Miami because the person in charge of booking this flight was not responding. Other than that, Therapy Abroad was a huge help!

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

My advice would be to really take advantage and network out there. You meet so many people from SLP professors, members from your team, team leaders, psychologists, teachers, and DREAM staff members. Everyone out there is so friendly and willing to help. Exchange emails, numbers and build connections. Remember these people are also on the same page to become SLPs or some of them already went through the process. I recently sent my statement of purpose to one of the professors, that was on the team and he is helping me build my statement of purpose.

Another advice would be to take a journal and write what you did each day. Your journal might help you when writing your statement of purpose or it can just be something to look back and see all the amazing things you did out there.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The first few days before camp starts, we were preparing our activities as well as getting to know one another and exploring the town of Cabarete. Once camp started, we would meet after breakfast to do a quick overview, questions, or an ice breaker. We would then head over to the school and had about 30 minutes to set up before the children arrived.

Once the children arrived, we would play with them for about 10 minutes and then gathered outside to sing our welcoming name song. After we would all head over to the first activity, which was literature. Then we had basic concepts, behavior regulation, gross motor, snack time and lastly pretend play. These activities were selected by us and we were paired with another team member interested in the same activity. When the last activity was done, we all gathered outside again and sang a song or two and a good-bye song with their names.

After the children left, we gathered and had lunch at the school and debriefed. We would share our glows and grows of the day. When we were done eating we would then have a break for about 1-3 hours depending on the agenda. Some days we had observations that would only give us about an hour break. We would then come back to the school and observe a speech therapy session done by one of the speech pathologists on the team. The therapy sessions were very interesting and helpful to observe.

After we would have a break until it was time for dinner. We would all go to dinner together in a nice and relaxing place by the beach.

After dinner, we would meet at the hotel to go over our activities for the next day and to make sure everyone was on the same page. Most of the time we were free before 9 pm and had the rest of the night to relax, go for a night swim or prepare for the next day.

It might seem like a long day but you will enjoy every single moment of it!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

The day before my trip to the Dominican Republic, I was very excited but at the same time nervous (like many of us have felt). Many “what ifs” came to my mind. The main one was “what if I get sick?”. I went during the time when it was all over the news that Americans had been dying in the Dominican Republic, so of course, I freaked out. Most of those deaths had happened due to alcohol in certain resorts. As a member of the therapy abroad team, we were not allowed to drink alcohol which was good because then I did not have to worry about getting sick and it was one less thing on my mind to worry about.

It is okay to have these “what ifs” cross your mind; I mean, we are traveling to another country by ourselves. Another thing that helped me was taking a deep breath and just concentrating in the moment instead of worrying about the future. Once you arrive, you really forget about all the “what ifs” prior to arrival. Cabarete is a really beautiful and relaxing place to be.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Bob Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP

Job Title
SLP Supervisor
Bob is the Chair/Program Director and Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at Salus University. In addition to his administrative duties, Bob teaches several classes and supervises students in the program on-campus clinic, the Speech-Language Institute.
Two Therapy Abroad volunteers wearing blue company shirts helping two locals

What is your favorite travel memory?

During our last program, we provided services during a walk-in clinic for children and adults experiencing communication difficulties, in an open air room at a local hotel. The community coordinator had sent messages throughout the local villages that we'd be available to provide speech and hearing screenings. When the day ended, we had assessed over 30 people. Many of the clients were children and we were able to provide parent training for home programs.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I feel like I've grown in my understanding in how culture impacts education and health care. Applying cultural humility to mentoring graduate students has deeply impacted my perspective in addressing client care here in the United States. By giving students an opportunity to think creatively and quickly to address a variety of communication disorders, I have had to become a better teacher.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

There are so many - I ask students to be open and take chances during their experience, setting goals to do something outside their personal box! During our wrap-up meeting, I love to hear how they feel like they've grown. I always get one or two students who says that their friends, family and professors would not believe they did this or that - I see that as a student who has taken full advantage of the travel experience!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

There are so many great opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students studying communication sciences and disorders (and other health science professions) that allow them to deeply experience a culture different from their own! I have enjoying several trips to Belize that allow monolingual students and clinicians the opportunity to work in a culture that both reflects common and differing values. It never fails to re-energize me!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I love the transformation that students go through, in such a short time frame. Therapy Abroad's mix of cultural immersion activities and clinical experiences allows even the most novice students an opportunity to learn about themselves as they study their profession. I try to take a picture of the students during their first activity and then again during their last day, so we can document the transformation from shy and nervous travelers to confident student clinicians, collaborating with the supervisors and impacting the communities Therapy Abroad serves.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I think it is a mix of fun and work. Students get pre-service information that prepares them for travel, activities to orient them to the culture before they start their experiences, and a variety of settings and populations which gives them a broad overview of service provision in-country. Therapy Abroad picks excellent clinical supervisors and community collaborators to facilitate the events. Couple that with exciting cultural activities and delicious meals of local cuisine affords students a well-rounded adventure.