Therapy Abroad

Therapy Abroad

About

Therapy Abroad offers short term study abroad programs for undergraduate and graduate students in the field of communication sciences & disorders, speech-language pathology & audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, sports & exercise sciences, and music therapy. Therapy Abroad creates an interactive educational environment for students and professionals 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, 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 the kind of hands-on experience specifically students that want to be therapists that Therapy Abroad does.

Now Accepting Applications for Summer 2020

Therapy Abroad is now accepting applications for all of our summer 2020 programs. Programs fill on a first-come basis and are limited to just 12 students per date. Apply now and secure your spot for one of our award-winning programs in Belize, Thailand, and the Dominican Republic!
Founded
2015

Reviews

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Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Therapy Abroad was an amazing and worthwhile experience! It allowed me to build my clinical skills, meet new people, build better relationships with my friends, and encounter amazing adventures (cave tubing, hiking), foods, and cultures! Everyone was super helpful and supportive, and the advice I was provided will be very beneficial in my future career! Do not miss this opportunity to help others, step out of your comfort zone, and grow your love for speech therapy! Also, this trip is perfect for a students of all experience levels!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Prior to this trip, I was unaware of Belize’s landscape and was surprised to see so many types of terrain. It was all truly beautiful from the jungle/mountains to the marshland.
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Caroline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This week was one of the most impactful times in my life. Therapy abroad allowed me to take new perspectives, grow closer to my classmates, and re-spark the passion that pulled me towards speech pathology! I could not recommend this program and beautiful country more. I will definitely be coming back!

This program provided hands on unique experience that opened my eyes to different cultures and needs. Belize's diversity was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I learned valuable lessons and skills that I will take with me as I return back to school. I believe that this trip made my cohort better clinicians in many aspects.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Get out of your comfort zone! Being able to adapt is a key part in getting the most out of this trip. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity!
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Kylee
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It was a great experience being to able meet so many new individuals and learning about the culture. The clinic director did a great job planning out all the activities and providing us with everything we needed. This experience has left me feeling like a more confident SLP. Being able to come on this trip allowed me to see a wide variety of children with different diagnoses that I would not have been able to experience in my own school clinic. I am very grateful for this opportunity and the experience.

What was your funniest moment?
Traveling to the Pontoon Jungle Eco Tour was the funniest experience for me.
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Payton
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I am so thankful for this program and the experience it has given me this past week! I feel like I have grown so much as a clinician in just one week! It has also made me try new things in my everyday life and pushed me beyond my comfort zone! The program was the perfect amount of work and “play.” I also enjoyed the supervisors and director because they seemed to truly care about us as professionals, but also wanted us to enjoy every moment we spent in Belize! I highly recommend pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and traveling abroad!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I was surprised at how welcoming and wonderful the people of Belize were.
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Henley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This trip was unforgettable! Therapy Abroad planned and organized our trip perfectly with great flexibility. We had the perfect balance of clinic & adventure. Not only did we gain an incredible amount of experience in Belize, but we also had a great time doing it. I feel as if each individual in our group grew in the short time we were here & I will forever recommend this company. This experience has made me a better clinician in many ways & I will never forget the families/children I got to meet. Thank you, Therapy Abroad, for providing us with such a great opportunity!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be open-minded! This is an amazing experience with the perfect amount of challenges! Try new things & get out of your comfort zone!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

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.

Ellen McKamey

Job Title
Country Coordinator
Ellen McKamey

Ellen serves as program coordinator for Therapy Abroad’s Belize program. She has over 14 years of experience working in domestic and international special education, including applied behavior analysis, public awareness and child advocacy. Belize holds a special place in her heart as it was the site for her 27 month service in the United States Peace Corps.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memories are definitely on Caye Caulker with my fellow Peace Corps Volunteers while we were serving in Belize. Lots of laughs and great memories were shared on that sweet little island. Late nights, long talks, and dives in the deep blue sea were some of my favorites. It was the perfect recharging station where we could meet up and spend a couple days relaxing with friends.

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

Working for Therapy Abroad has allowed me to continue the work I was doing while in Belize as a Peace Corps volunteer, but on a much larger scale. I really enjoy working with the teams we bring down and the fact that we're now in country about 6 months throughout the year aids in our ability to ensure our program's sustainability.

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

I love hearing students' individual stories of how Therapy Abroad has broadened their scope. For a lot of our students, our programs are extremely eye opening experiences and sometimes their first opportunity to travel outside of the United States. It's most impressive to me their courage and determination to take on a hands-on learning opportunity in an unfamiliar environment.

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

Our company just started a program in the Dominican Republic and I would love to check it out. It would be my first time visiting the DR and I would be interested to see the similarities and differences between there and Belize in terms of services offered for children with special needs and everyday life.

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

I think the importance that both the founders of Therapy Abroad and myself put on the sustainability of our programs makes our company unique. As returned Peace Corps volunteers, sustainability is one of our highest values. We seek to work in countries and with partnerships that WANT to work with us. We put a high priority on professional trainings to ensure carryover.

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

I believe the biggest factor in the success of Therapy Abroad in Belize are the relationships and connections we're building with not only professionals in the field there, but also with the families and communities we're working with. It's these relationships that create the foundation for change that we hope to see within country's services for their special needs population.