Toucan Abroad - Physical Therapy Shadowing

Toucan Abroad


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.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Going on Toucan Abroad was one of the best decisions that I have made. It is such a unique experience that allows you to get hands on experience while exploring Costa Rica at the same time. All of the physical therapists are so welcoming and make sure you get the most out of your time in their clinics. Not only did I walk away from this experience with a much deeper knowledge of physical therapy I also met such amazing people along the way. I recommend it his program to anyone who is interested in PT

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Yes, I recommend this program

Applying to Toucan Abroad was a big step outside my comfort zone. I did not know what to expect. However, I’m so happy I decided to go. Toucan Abroad was an amazing experience and opportunity. I received hand on experience at different physical therapy clinics and learned different techniques that’s not very common in the States. I also developed real genuine bonds with the other members and physical therapists while having so much fun living in the Costa Rican culture . I would 110% recommend!
#safe #structured #lifelongbonds

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Juan Paulo
Yes, I recommend this program

Toucan Abroad is an incredible program that not only offers you hours of observation in physical therapy, but also allows you to enjoy an incredible country and meet amazing people. Therapists are the best, they will always be willing to teach you and make you feel like home. They are excited to meet new people, people who are passionate about physical therapy as much as they are. Before this trip, I never imagined the impact that this country and these people would have on my life. I take with me a lot of knowledge and incredible memories, but above all, friendships that I hope to keep the rest of my life. Thanks to the people I met and the therapists I worked with, I came back home more inspired than ever, willing to continue studying and become a great physical therapist. If you applied to this program and were lucky enough to be chosen, do not think about it to much and take the opportunity, it will be an experience that you will never forget.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most amazing thing I did during this trip was parasailing in a beautiful beach and jumping from a boat into the ocean.
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Yes, I recommend this program

This program is so much more than just physical therapy shadowing, it is a life-changing experience both professionally and personally. At the beginning of the program, I was very apprehensive, nervous, and extremely out of my comfort zone, but that completely changed after the first day of the trip when we all immediately bonded and it felt like we had all known each other for years! From a professional/academic standpoint, ToucanAbroad allowed me to learn more in ten days of shadowing with physical therapists than I would learn in an entire semester studying in college. The hands-on, patient-centered experience outweighs anything you can learn sitting in a lecture and the physical therapists truly want to share their knowledge and education with you. This experience opened my eyes to so many different treatment techniques that I have never seen in the states and that will influence my future career when I become a physical therapist. Outside of shadowing, we explored Costa Rica and created memories that will last a lifetime! Phil and Fernando made sure we all felt comfortable and safe throughout the trip and if any issue arose, they knew how to handle it. They always gave us recommendations of places to eat/things to do which really helped us make every second of the trip memorable! This program exceeded my expectations and I will highly recommend it to anyone who is interested! Costa Rica will always have a place in my heart and so will the people who I shared this amazing experience with! Pura Vida!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could do this trip all over again, I would pick a three-week trip, not just a two-week trip! Outside of that, I would not change anything because the trip was so perfect!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Toucan Abroad was by far one of the best study abroad programs I have done! I’ve studied abroad before but those experiences do not compare to the experience I had in Costa Rica. The physical therapy shadowing was excellent and very interactive. We were able to work one on one with patients and learn about different modalities that aren’t used in the US! In addition to the shadowing, the overall experience in Costa Rica was so fulfilling. The program directors Phil and Fernando helped us immerse ourselves into the culture and get the most of this amazing experience. They were always giving us recommendations and always ensured we were safe and comfortable. At the end of the two weeks we all became a family and can’t wait to reunite one day! I’m forever grateful for Toucan Abroad.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I went out of my comfort zone and went parasailing on our long weekend trip! I am terrified of heights but my friends in the program were so encouraging and helped me get over my fear! It was definitely one of the top experiences of my life!!


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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.

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.