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Toucan Abroad

About

Join Toucan Abroad and other students from around the US in this highly enriching program. We aim to expand your perspective and grow into future leaders in the field of physical therapy through exposure to the work of licensed PT specialists. You’ll shadow them while they provide expert patient care. Evolve by developing a more holistic view of yourself, your future profession, and the world through immersion into a different society.

For two weeks, you’ll engage in 40 clinical observation hours in different PT specialties. You’ll also have time to bask in the breathtaking natural beauty of Costa Rica and experience its rich culture.

Toucan Abroad gives you the opportunity to stand out among other PT school applicants through a unique, unparalleled experience abroad through this program.

Reviews

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Libby
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Toucan Abroad

Toucan Abroad exceeded my expectations in so many ways! I gained so much hands on experience in the clinics as well as created many connections for my future as a physical therapist! Outside of shadowing, I loved every excursion, adventure, and hang out! I made so many great friends that I would have never connected with if I didn’t take the leap to study abroad. This was very outside of my comfort zone but through the entire experience I was only encouraged to continue to push myself and grow and supported the whole way through the program!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice would be to say “yes” to doing everything to get the full experience and learn the most! Never miss an opportunity to part take in a group activity or a new adventure because the time goes by in a blink of an eye and you don’t want to look back and say “I wish I would have done that”!
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Phillip
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Toucan Abroad

This experience is something I thought I would never be a part of. The program is the best thing that has happened to me in my academic history. The people I met and the clinics I shadowed were truly the best. The people are all so similar and we clicked quicker than I have with anyone else before in my life. When going to clinics, I was expecting to be sitting around doing nothing and just watching the therapists. That was the complete opposite, we were hands on and learning. I learned more on this trip than I have before.

What was your funniest moment?
Conga line on the last night when everyone was having an incredible time
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Mia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best time of my life

The friendships I made on this trip are ones I’ll treasure for years to come. This is the most adventurous I’ve ever seen myself be in many aspects. The excursions we went on were thrilling and had me smiling and laughing the whole time. Beyond this, I got amazing professional experience in the clinics. The physical therapists we got to work with were knowledgeable and so excited to share their knowledge and culture with us. I got hands on experience and learned more than I ever could in a traditional study abroad. If you’re unsure about applying for this program, do it!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish I could’ve spent more time in this awesome program!
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Chevon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Great 3 Weeks!

It really was a great 3 weeks! I got to learn alot from the different physical therapists while also exploring what Puerto Vallarta has to offer. I also got to do all of this with a great group of people! Philip Wykowski and Fernando Muñoz did a great job of making this the best experience for each and every one of us! The Physical Therapist are very helpful and you would be able to gain a lot of insight into what Physical Therapy comprises of. This program gives you a chance to step out of your comfort zone which is important in pursing Physical Therapy. Highly recommend!

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment was when I volunteered to eat a plant at the Botanical garden that was really spicy. My mouth was on fire for a while even with the assistance of water.
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Octavio
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Toucan Abroad Physical Therapy Shadowing

As someone who never had the opportunity to study abroad as an undergraduate, I decided to apply to Toucan Abroad to begin my Physical Therapy Shadowing journey. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I found it immensely difficult to volunteer in Los Angeles-based clinics because of the initial lack of vaccine resources. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to run into this Physical Therapy shadowing program online, where I was able to volunteer in three different clinics in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I gained confidence in the field, built my professional network, and met some of the most caring human beings that visited the clinics. I gained experience in Neurology, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, Sports Injuries, and Wellness Prevention.

Apart from work, we were in Mexico! The food was delicious, the nightlife was great, and the excursions were unforgettable! Phil and Fernando did such a fantastic job organizing this internship-- without them, this entire program would not be possible.

I look forward to reconnecting with them soon and any alumni that happen to be in the Los Angeles area.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I got to try Eye Tacos! The lady at a taco stand was so eager to let me try them and I loved it.

Programs

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Staff Interviews

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

Ashleigh Lenick

Job Title
Social Media Manager
Ashleigh is the Social Media Manager for Toucan Abroad. Not only does she work for the company, but she also participated in the program in the Summer of 2019.
Ashleigh Lenick

What is your favorite travel memory?

One of my favorite travel memories was during a spontaneous trip to a waterfall in Costa Rica.

I remember driving through the Costa Rican jungle thinking “Wow I’m really out here in Costa Rica living my best life with such amazing people.” My pure joy overcame me at that moment. When have I ever before just decided to go to a random waterfall that turned out to be so beautiful?

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

Since working for Toucan Abroad, I’ve grown a stronger interest in the field of physical therapy. Toucan Abroad has made me have a better appreciation for physical therapy techniques and the ability to share my love for becoming a PT will fellow students who have the same passion.

I love being able to share my love online and connect with so many people.

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

My favorite story from a returning student would have to be from all the amazing friendships made during the sessions. So many people who meet in Costa Rica continue their friendships after the program whether it be in the same hospital shadowing other PTs or visiting each other all over the country. I personally have had the honor to meet so many people through this program from all over North America.

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

I may be biased but the summer programs that are 3 weeks long were some of the best days I’ve ever had. Three weeks in a foreign country sounds intimidating, but those 3 weeks flew by so quickly. The weather in Costa Rica is amazing during the months of May-August.

The larger programs are so much fun because everyone gets involved as a group to have a blast at shadowing or during the travel weekend trips.

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

I love that this program is specifically designed for gaining hours toward your PTCAS application. That is something that no other program I’ve found to offer for students wanting to pursue a DPT degree. But also allows travel time for the participants. The program gives everyone just enough guidance and freedom to learn, explore and have fun!

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

I think the biggest factor in the success of the company would have to be how every person who goes on the trip has the time of their lives, then tell their friends who apply for the next trip. Many of our participants applied because of recommendations from previous students. That speaks volumes for the integrity and excitement our company offers.