Study Undergraduate Communication Sciences & Disorders in Belize

Video and Photos

man reading from cards
man reading from cards
girl high fiving
girl high fiving
girl in classroom
girl in classroom
Speech Camp
Speech Camp
people around a Belize Sign
people around a Belize Sign
group talking
group talking
woman checking child's mouth
woman checking child's mouth
Cave Tubing in Belize
Cave Tubing in Belize

About

This two-week program is based in the Central American country of Belize and is intended for undergraduate students ages 18 and up who are interested in pursuing a career in speech-language pathology (speech therapy), audiology or a related field. This is an ideal program for students who want to take advantage of learning from professional American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) accredited speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and Therapy Abroad staff in order to learn more about this remarkable field of study. Students will gain hands-on experience rarely found in the classroom, professional observation hours, one-on-one time with SLPs and other professionals, intercultural exchange, a better understanding of global issues, and a chance to help children with special needs and their families.

Highlights
  • Hand-On Experience in Communication Sciences
  • Work with Professionally Licensed SLPs
  • Adventure Travel in Belize
  • Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Hours
  • Speech-Language Pathology Professional Observation Hours

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 27 reviews
  • Academics 8.7
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 15 of 27
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Leila
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best 2 weeks of my undergraduate career!

This program exceeded every expectation I had for it. I got to experience things that most studying SLPs will not get the chance to experience until Grad school. We were given the opportunity to perform speech and hearing screenings in schools, run a special education camp for students, and observe treatment sessions in the homes of children in the area. It pushed me out of my comfort zone in every way possible, but in doing so it made me into a stronger, better person. I came out of this program with a new sense of confidence in myself and my abilities as a clinician. I was able to learn things about behavior regulation, working with special education students, lesson planning, thinking on my feet, cultural competence in regards to the SLP profession, and most importantly I learned how to use my failures to my advantage and grow and change from them. Being surrounded by 12 likeminded people I was able to create lifelong friendships and connections with undergraduate students from across the US and Canada whom I never would have had the chance to meet otherwise. I was also able to create connections with 3 practicing SLPs from across the US and Australia who I know I will be able to turn to for help and advice in the future, as well as for letters of recommendation in applying to grad school. In addition to all the hard work we put into to bettering the lives of children in Belize, we got to experience the best of what Belize has to offer including incredible local food, cave tubing, zip lining, the Altun Ha archeological site, and snorkeling on Caye Caulker Island. I am beyond grateful to therapy abroad for this experience and everything they have done for me.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would say to go into this program expecting to fail. This program will teach you to learn from your mistakes and accept guidance and support from your supervisors. If you let it, this program will mold you into a better clinician, student, and person, but you have to come into it with an open mind and just be a sponge for all the valuable life lessons it will teach you.
Default avatar
Marissa
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Therapy Abroad June 1-15

Therapy Abroad gave me an opportunity to gain cultural knowledge and experience in my field of interest. I got a glimpse of what it would be like to work as a speech-language pathologist in a school setting. I was exposed to aspects of speech-language pathology that I have not yet seen or learned about in my education. Therapy Abroad provided hands on experience, which is a great way to learn outside of a textbook. My time in Belize was unforgettable. Besides learning how to work as a clinician, we were able to experience and learn about Belizean culture. I was also able to seek advice from my supervisors and fellow peers. I have made connections with students and professionals from all over the country, which I feel will benefit me in the long run.

What would you improve about this program?
I think that Therapy Abroad can improve by having more discussions and reflections. We were given journal topics in our travel itinerary, however we never once discussed the topics. I expected to learn more about speech-language pathology from my supervisors. Our conversations were very surface level, and the students were the ones that had to ask questions and initiate conversations. I wish I could have learned more about their personal experiences as clinicians (e.g. how they have overcome struggles they have faced as SLPs, what they wished they would have known as undergraduates). There was also quite a bit of down time each time, from around 3:00 or 4:00 until dinner at 6:00. There is very limited things to do at Monkey Bay, and we would have liked to have a fuller schedule so that we weren't just sitting there for a few hours doing nothing. It was too hot to be inside, so we would have to sit outside. This would be a good time for discussions or some other learning module.
Default avatar
Tess
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Belize Belize Belize!

Two weeks in the beautiful country of Belize changed me in more ways than I can count! Our time was filled with learning, growing, seeing, meeting, eating, failing, achieving, adventuring, hammock-ing, and so much more. Being able to interact directly with local children and families, while also witnessing some of the most beautiful scenes in the country, this made for the perfect balance of work and play. The food was incredible, as the people of Belize and Monkey Bay are filled with hospitality. I know for a fact that my experience would not have been what it was if we wouldn't have stayed at Monkey Bay Sanctuary. This immersion into the environment was irreplaceable; the locals who worked there, the nature all around us, and of course, the hammocks. I left Belize having more trust and confidence in myself. On the last day, my team leader asked me what my biggest lesson I learned was while on the trip. I thought about it for a while, and finally I said to her, "If I could put this trip's lesson into one sentence, it would be, "I can do this."" I wouldn't trade my time in Belize for anything!

What would you improve about this program?
While a lot of the students were at the same grade level in their undergraduate careers, we were all at very different places in regards to content of our courses. If I would have been a freshman or sophomore on this trip, I can see how it would have been very overwhelming in the academic areas. A lot of the content I learned during my junior year helped me tremendously to feel comfortable and competent. Chad mentioned creating a program for students who are earlier in their undergraduate track and I thought it was a great idea. Additionally making sure that the supervisor is aware of what levels the students are at, to maximize his/her teaching, is ideal.
Default avatar
Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Two Weeks in Belize with Therapy Abroad

Therapy Abroad does an amazing job at making your two weeks in Belize the best time you could ever have. This was such an incredible and unique experience where I was able to learn so much about speech-language pathology and also have a blast. Belize is such an amazing and beautiful country and Therapy Abroad does a great job at ensuring that we work and get to play! I am so thankful that this program allows students of all skill levels to learn and grow together. During this trip you not only learn so much but also create friendships that will last a lifetime. Everything about this trip is organized and very well done, Therapy Abroad does a great job at planning and keeping their students safe! Whether I was teaching kids or swimming with sharks, it was the best experience of my life and I would love to do it again someday!

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Sarah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Therapy Abroad, Belize

If you are in a position to go on a trip with Therapy Abroad, do it. As a student who attends a university that doesn't offer a major in Communication Sciences and Disorders, only a minor, I firmly believe that Therapy Abroad is the strongest experience on my resume to help prepare me for graduate school. Chad, Jessy, and all of the organizational staff are diligent about maintaining thorough communication with participants throughout the program, whether it be providing details about flight logistics, offering medications and remedies to students whose bodies are having trouble adjusting to their new environment, or outlining the time frames for upcoming plans in the program. I did a study abroad program through my own undergraduate institution, but Therapy Abroad's program is far more organized. They remove the worry of tackling the nuances of getting around a foreign country by planning a group flight to Belize, making restaurant reservations, and arranging lodging, all of which are a tremendous comfort, especially to people who haven't traveled outside the country before. Having all the details taken care of prior to your arrival allows students to really focus on why they are joining in on the trip in the first place: to get hands-on experience in their chosen field. Having certified SLPs as chaperones and supervisors in the program was a crucial component to the program, since they were our go-to people to consult regarding decisions about planning the Tykes Camp curriculum. Their expertise and guidance helped our camp to run smoothly, and the reflection time we shared with them at the end of each day provided us with enlightening advice to help improve each subsequent day of clinical work. The insights I accumulated from that direct experience working with both typically-developing and developmentally-disabled campers, combined with the constructive feedback of my supervisors, was of paramount importance in solidifying my chosen career path. I have recently been accepted into graduate school, and feel much more confident in my ability to handle clinical situations with poise and competence than I otherwise would have. I feel so fortunate to have found out about Therapy Abroad, and highly recommend it to interested students, because you will gain clinical time that is difficult to find in the States and develop close relationships with the other students and supervisors in your group.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
This trip isn't all about clinical hours, though it is certainly the primary focus of the program. Therapy Abroad really makes an effort to balance work and play, so that students can experience Belize more fully in their two-week visit. Some of the more touristy/fun activities that you do during your stay includes cave tubing, which is where you are literally sitting in an inner tube, roped together with 4-5 other people in your group and a guide. All of you wear headlamps as you float through this otherwise dark cave, exploring the rock formations carved inside by ancient civilizations. While I trusted my guide, the experience as a whole felt pretty eerie, and as someone who isn't particularly adventurous, the concept made me a bit nervous. I definitely went outside my comfort zone with that outing.
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Angelina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Once In a Lifetime Experience!

This experience was definitely one of my favorite parts of my undergraduate career. I highly encourage everyone to take this opportunity and be a part of this program! This program also set me apart from other students when applying for graduate programs. Not only are you able to gain unique and valuable hands on clinical experience, but you also get to learn about the culture and how to work with individuals from various backgrounds. You may also discover and learn about things that you didn’t even know you were interested in! As a result of this program, I left with a deeper love and passion to serve others in the field of speech language pathology in ways I wouldn’t have known if I did not attend this program. Overall, I had an amazing time- I was well taken care of, as I got to do what I love, in such a beautiful place!

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Valerie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

You Need To Go - Trust Me!

I went on this trip not knowing a single other person and came out with the greatest of friends from all over the country that I never would have known otherwise. I also came back with more knowledge than I've ever had on speech-language pathology, Belize, and my own abilities I didn't know I possessed. I had always wanted to study abroad, but never found any programs specifically for CSD and that weren't an entire semester long - which would throw off all of my classes (especially with being a senior). When I heard about Therapy Abroad, it was the exact thing I had always been looking for. At first, it may seem too good to be true, but it IS true and you will not regret it. You get to work hands-on with children of all different levels and practice doing real things used in therapy. I learned things here that I never would have learned in my Undergrad classes let alone applying them. Even in such a short amount of time, you can possibly see progress and changes happening among the kids. There's no need to worry about your level of knowledge going in because the SLPs/supervisors teach you and allow you to trust in yourself with what you do know. Our supervisors were incredible and helped us to not be scared, but to trust that we can do this and to learn from one another. I discovered strengths and weaknesses I never knew I had. Yes, it was incredibly hot and humid which wasn't always easy, but I wouldn't have been able to forgive myself if I let that hold me back. I felt completely safe at Monkey Bay and everywhere we went. The food and people are absolutely wonderful. Zip-lining, snorkeling, cave tubing, and walking the ruins were also SO incredibly fun and I am so glad they were incorporated in the trip. Going to the island is such a fun time and you'll wish you could stay! Learning about the culture of Belize is amazing and I was genuinely sad to leave what honestly started to feel so comfortable after just two weeks. You work hard and get to experience something incomparable to anything else with a special group of people who you will always share that with. You will be pushed to limits and face challenges that will only help you grow in your CSD academics and also a personal level. This trip has developed a heart in me to want to provide speech services internationally in my future career. This trip gives you the opportunity to start a small part in changing some lives and also changing your own. To me, it opened up a whole new world of what speech pathology can be. It was pretty much the best thing I ever did and would love for as many people who can, to also experience it!!

What would you improve about this program?
I really can't think of much! Developing an easier payment plan could be helpful instead of the large increments. I think it could also be helpful to explain the camp in more detail prior to the trip and just to make sure to bring bug spray that's not just for mosquitos.
Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Therapy Abroad (Belize 2018)

Traveling with Therapy Abroad to Belize for two weeks was an experience I will treasure forever. The hands-on learning was nothing like anything I had done before. We were able to come up with and execute plans for a day camp, and also work with licensed SLPs in the process.

During my trip, we were able to travel to a school and give hearing screens as well as assist in taking speech samples that were used to determine if the students should be recommend for treatment. We also traveled into the community and observed the SLPs giving language screenings to at risk populations who were unable to travel to clinics in town.

On the weekends we were able to do SO many fun and unique things! We went cave tubing (during the hike I held a tarantula!) and zip lining the first weekend. Both were activities I had never done before. I felt completely safe and had an amazing time during both experiences. The last weekend in Belize we traveled to a near by island. This was where we got to go snorkeling!! (With sharks and sting rays!!!) Again, this was an activity I had never done before, and I felt safe and was never pressured. It was definitely a once in a life time opportunity that I will never forget!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I can think of is that I would love to see a little more information about the itinerary of the two weeks sent out slightly more in advanced. (This really was not that big of a deal, I just like to plan).
Elena
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I would 100% do it again!

I was unsure what was in stock for in on my Therapy Abroad journey starting out and I'm so glad I got the experience I did! Traveling to Belize during the summer of 2018 I had hands-on therapy experience every day. Working with amazing SLPs I was given a chance to practice without the fear of a grade looming over my head. Getting to experience all of this while making connections with other students from around the country gave me 12 lasting friendships that we have continued after returning home. On top of the therapy, we also were given the chance to go on fun excursions that I will never forget. The knowledge I obtained during my time in Belize helped me immensely throughout my following semester and made me feel like I had a leg up starting out my final year of college strong!

What would you improve about this program?
I think it could be improved by having a little more structure and explanation of what to expect.
Default avatar
Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Undergrad Student

Therapy abroad was by far the best experience I have had. The staff is awesome and you get to spend two full weeks with students like yourself learning, bonding, and experiencing everything the beautiful country Belize has to offer.

As for the clinical aspect of the program…IT WAS AMAZING!!! Therapy abroad sets up a program called Tykes Camp where children that have been previously screened are chosen to attend the two week long camp. You get paired up with another aspiring SLP on the trip with you and the two of you get assigned a kiddo. You spend the first day of the camp evaluating their speech, communication, and behavior skills. Then it is up to you and your partner to come up with a diagnosis, as well as a plan for the future. For the two weeks you are there, you work with the kiddo based off of your plan, and when you leave the next person after you can continue your plan with the child. I was able to evaluate, diagnose, and follow through with lesson plans, and SOAP notes as if I was a real life practicing clinician. The supervisors are great and they are there to teach you and guide you, but they take a step back and let you run the show. If something went wrong (and trust me it will) they were there to step in and help.

Not only does this program allow you to advance your skills, but it also changes the lives of so many children. In the entire country of Belize there is one practicing SLP, so they need as much help as they can get. ALSO…. there is so much more to the program. Yes the best thing is getting to go to another country to help others, but therapy abroad does a nice balance of work and play. On the weekends you will spend your time adventuring through the Mayan Ruins, go cave tubing, snorkeling, and so much more. And the friendships you make on this trip are for a lifetime. I still talk to all 14 of the girls that were on the program with me.

This program helped me to understand myself better as a clinician and a person and I would recommend it to every aspiring SLP. Please, please, please do it, you will not regret it one bit.

What would you improve about this program?
Everything about this program is amazing. However, one thing I would change would be to have more experience in other aspects of this field. Maybe do a home visit, or hospital instead of just doing the Tykes Camp?
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Caitlin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Therapy Abroad '18

Therapy Abroad provided me with insane experiences from learning about Belizean culture and wildlife to getting hands on experience working with speech pathologists and linguists. We went zip-lining, cave tubing, to a zoo, to the Caye Caulker island and had a blast! Aside from that fun weekend stuff, I was able to actively participate and ask questions, and kept a thorough journal of everything I did in my time there for the future. We did community based rehab and was able to trail the speech pathologist/linguist doing the assessment, as well as learning how to do an oral mechanism exam! These are opportunities that are not presented in the United States because of safety and security reasons. I am so grateful for the people I've met and the opportunities presented to me. I would definitely go again.

What would you improve about this program?
I was not particularly fond of the living conditions, but I'm also from a city setting so it's partially a culture shock.
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Cecilia
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Therapy Abroad: Belize

I had an amazing time! Everyday was something new, but I really loved that we were able to learn more about S.O.A.P. Notes and how to write a lesson plan before we went into the city to have our own client. I appreciated how fun and lighthearted everyone was. I also loved that I was getting hands-on experience. My patient was a three-year-old with a hearing loss. Being around others from different schools and in different years at school, we were able to bounce ideas off each other and learn new techniques. I was very nervous about not knowing enough, but I enjoyed that the supervisors gave more learning tools to everyone and held mini classes. I was able to learn more about taking data, developing goals, and developing objectives. Aside from the classroom aspect, I loved that I was also immersed in the culture and had a great time. This experience is one that I will never forget!

What would you improve about this program?
I loved everything about the program. However, I would suggest having a clear outline of the topics students learn in a more efficient time frame. I ended up stressing about developing S.O.A.P. Notes and staying up late. I would also recommend developing a clear outline of how many hours students have completed three days before the end of the trip -- because my group had complications with this and we ended up getting our hours certified about a month or two after our trip had ended. I would also suggest modifying the number of hours provided on the website, because my group did not end up achieving the hours being guaranteed.
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Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

More than observing

I honestly was not sure what I was getting myself into, I know my friend was applying and she did her research, but I just kind of followed lead for the experience of learning over seas. It was probably one of the best experiences I could ever have. I will say I was beyond nervous going to Belize by myself and leading a camp definitely brought out my lack of confidence in my own skills, but with my fellow goers and the support of the clinician supervisors, I say it really improved my own confidence in my knowledge and skills as I continue to work on becoming an SLP and the knowledge that working with these kids is why I fell in love with Speech Therapy. Aside form the fun, having more hands on experience enhanced my learning more than a classroom setting could provide. It really helped to with starting graduate school applications to learn about different programs across the state and creating a network for our future careers.

What would you improve about this program?
I would recommend improving the wifi at monkey bay, I know there are limited resources Belize at times, but for students whom may be homesick, it was difficult not being able to communicate with home in a place we stay at for two weeks. I had to ask my parents if I could have data just to talk to them because of being homesick.
Norah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Norah AlJunaidi’s experience in Belize

This experience is an excellent way for SLP students to gain experience in the field before entering graduate school. It is challenging and motivating to plan a two-week camp for children with disabilities that is both appropriate for their cognitive abilities and engaging. Students learn about the paperwork and documentation progress as well which is essential for graduate school. The professionals on the trip have different therapy styles and strategies that help the students learn what works and doesn’t work for their personal therapy style. This program created lifelong friends and connections within the program. The girls in my group still talk all the time, and I was able to connect with Kristofer Brock, an SLP on the trip, at ASHA! I highly recommend this program to learn about SLP in an area where there aren’t a lot of services, and gain essential skills for graduate school. Belize is a beautiful country, and a great place for people who haven’t traveled a lot to learn about life outside of the United States. We have a lot of fun on this trip zipling and cavetubing and visiting the Mayan Ruins!

What would you improve about this program?
I’d love for the program to be longer, and for students to see areas where there aren’t SLPs yet, like hospitals to understand the gaps in health care more fully.
Lisa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Abroad Experience for Any Future SLP!

Therapy Abroad was my first chance to volunteer and learn more about Speech Language Pathology in Belize. The staff went above and beyond in terms of preparation. I was very comforted The constant communication and aid made my travels much easier — especially because I was travelling from Vancouver, Canada. Observing the SLPs and leading a communication camp has allowed me to gain real-world experience that I will forever cherish!

My favourite experience was when we observed the SLPs and children during the home visits. It was an eye-opening and humbling experience to be allowed into the children's home and allowed to observe various communication and swallowing disorders.

The cherry on top was the chance to experience Belize through various activities such as snorkelling, ziplining, cave tubing, and more.

For more information about my amazing experience with Therapy Abroad, please take a look at this blog post: https://www.thetravelingtraveler.com/therapy-abroad-program/

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About 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 & audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and music therapy....