Physical Therapy Shadowing in Costa Rica

Video and Photos

Volcan Irazu
Volcan Irazu
Volcan Irazu
Volcan Irazu
Friendships
Friendships
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Volcan Irazu
Clinical Shadowing
Clinical Shadowing
Volcan Irazu
Volcan Irazu
Volcan Irazu
Volcan Irazu

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 to 60 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.

Highlights
  • Accumulate 40 or 60 hours of clinical observation in different PT specialties, allowing you to gain real practice alongside other undergraduates and licensed therapists.
  • Improve and practice Spanish in the professional health setting.
  • Create meaningful friendships with other students who share your dream of attending a Physical Therapy School.
  • Embark on planned excursions to a stunning rainforest, to beaches, and volcanoes as well as other beautiful places!
  • Immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture and learn about the 'pura vida'.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 23 reviews
  • Academics 9.7
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 15 of 23
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Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Physical Therapy Abroad

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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Ananda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience!

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
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best study abroad experience

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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Lindsey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Mighty Toucans

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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Veronica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience like no other!!

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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Joseph
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GREATEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE

Toucan Abroad was my first experience studying overseas. In the beginning before I even got there I was completely nervous about all of it, about being afraid I’d do too little because I was either afraid or just shy. But once I got there everything changed just meeting Philip alone, I knew that this trip was going to amazing and it was. Never have I thought I would have such amazing experiences and meet such amazing people. I came to learn about physical therapy in a different setting with a different culture and That’s exactly what I did. The therapists welcome you with open arms and take their time teaching you all the amazing ways to be able to help people. Shoutout to Philip, luisda, and of course Fernando for making this happen. Best experience of my life. Out of 5 star rating I’m giving it 1000% because that’s how sure I am of seeing bioluminescent

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would want is for I to have been longer
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Madison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience ever!

Shadowing out of the country with Toucan Abroad was one of the best and most rewarding experiences! I learned so much being able to work with the Physical Therapists there by getting to practice new techniques that I've never seen before. And the new relationships I made while I was in Costa Rica are unforgettable and I definitely suggest applying for this opportunity! The two weeks I spent there were filled with excursions and fun things to do, so you get the most out of every minute that you're there since there is always another student to do things with!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I loved seeing the wild monkeys & being able to parasail over the beaches in Costa Rica!
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Diana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience of my life so far!

Toucan Abroad was my first out of the country experience. I can without a doubt say that this was an unforgettable experience. From getting to immerse yourself in the culture, to learning so many different techniques in physical therapy that are not practiced in the United States. Not only do you learn a lot, but you also build amazing relationships with your group members, directors, and physical therapists. If I could rate this from a 1-10 I would rate it 100! If you do get the chance to be a part of this do not doubt it! It is something I will forever cherish in my heart!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't go expecting anything! Always be open to adventures and go out of your comfort zone all the time! And remember your anatomy!
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Paige
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great time!

The physical therapy experience was amazing! The physical therapists created actual relationships with all of the students, which can be hard to find in the states. I learned so much from physical therapy to Latino dancing. I made friends for life and will definitely be going back to Costa Rica! The cultural lessons that are offered through the program are lessons that you won’t forget and that will help build you as both a person and a physical therapist. I went on the trip with very little knowledge of Spanish and the culture, but I left being able to have a conversation in Spanish and find my way around the town. The weekend trips were also great because we got to grow closer as a group. The leaders of the program are very helpful during the trip and it is obvious that they care about what they do. I would recommend this program to anyone interested in the medical field. No prior knowledge is required, but you leave with so much.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment was bungee jumping.
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Ashleigh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Such an incredible experience

When I first heard of Toucan Abroad, I was apprehensive to join the program. I thought I had signed up for a interesting shadowing trip where I would gain great shadowing experience, which I did. But I didn't realize the friendships I would also gain during the trip. Not only did the entire group become instant best friends but the relationships with the therapists were so special. Before the trip was even over, we were all planning another trip to see everyone again. The therapists were such great hosts and truly wanted you to learn as much as you possibly could in the short time you spent with them. I cannot recommend Toucan Abroad enough. I actually envy those who get to sign up for a new program because I won't get to be there! Huge shoutout to Phil, Fernando and Luis Da for having such an incredible program and for being such great friends.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I know this is cliche, but absolutely nothing! I wish the program could have lasted longer.
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Mia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience Ever!!

Going on this trip was the best decision I've made hands down. I have made so many special memories with incredible people that I will never forget. Not only did I meet lots of wonderful people, but I also made life long friends and a family. The physical therapist I shadowed will always have a special place in my heart. I learned so much information and techniques from the PTs over the three weeks. All of the PT's are very passionate about their jobs and patients. They are very eager to teach you and want you to learn from them. Every one of them is so welcoming and makes you feel like you're a part of their family. We also got the chance to immerse ourselves in the Costa Rican culture by eating delicious foods, learning Spanish and exploring the beautiful country on the weekends with friends. I highly recommend this trip to anyone interested in Physical Therapy. It is a once and a lifetime experience you will never forget. I was extremely happy that I got to be apart of this trip and amazing opportunity! Shout out to Phil and Fernando for making this trip possible. They are amazing directors and do everything they can to make you feel at home. They have impacted my life so much and I can't thank them enough for that. I miss everyone so much already because we built such great friendships in a short amount of time. This was the best three weeks of my life. You will not regret coming on this trip. Pura Vida!! :))

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice for future travelers would be to go on this trip with an open mind and be yourself. It's scary going to a foreign country by yourself with knowing no one but if you keep an open mind and are open to doing and trying new things it will make your experience on the trip even better.
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Miguel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

PURA VIDA

This has been the most life changing trip I have ever had in a professional standpoint and also a personal standpoint. The amount of information we are taught really gives a clear view of what physical therapy is all about. The therapists are amazing as far as adapting to us and teaching us as much as possible in the time we have. Three weeks with people you have never met before could sound intimidating, but it turned out to be the best 3 weeks of my life. The bonds that were formed were extraordinary and these people will forever have a special place in my life. I couldn’t be more grateful to the program and the whole staff. I love everyone and this post doesn’t do it’s justice. If you have the slightest interest in physical therapy it’s a decision you won’t regret. PURA VIDA

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Alec
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best PT abroad program!

Toucan Abroad has made a huge impact on my life. I will never forget all the memories I made with my new lifelong friends and the therapists. I miss all of them already and can’t wait to see all of them soon! The experience in the clinics is much different than any clinic I’ve been in the US. The therapists treat you like family and they want to help you learn as much as possible. Even with the language barrier, it was still manageable to understand what they were saying. Also, they try their best to speak English! I left Costa Rica with no doubt in my mind that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Phil and Fernando are amazing individuals and I can’t thank them enough for starting this program and impacting my life forever. To anyone who is thinking about pursuing a career in PT, please take the leap of faith and join this program. You will not regret it.

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Alexander
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rican Fun

This trip was an incredible experience because we had the perfect group of people who loved to travel and all came into the program with an open mind and open arms. Relationships are built quickly and it will seem like you’ve known your group for years just from spending three quality weeks with each other. Overall the free weekends are the best because you get to see the pure beauty of Costa Rica. You will see anything from a volcano, to waterfalls, to beautiful beaches, to local swimming holes with rope swings. Costa Rica is full of adventurous surprises so it is important to always keep an open mind. During shadowing you with built relationships with the patients as well and they can provide you with all the local hot spots for good food places or awesome travel spots.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to you when traveling is to never complain and always go with the flow if plans are changed or altered.
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Andrea
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Physical Therapy Shadowing with Toucan Abroad

The three week shadowing program I did through Toucan Abroad was hands down the best experience of my life. The shadowing and clinic opportunities couldn't be compared to those I have been a part of here in the U.S. If you are ever questioning what you want to do as a career, and have even the smallest desire to do PT- go study abroad! Toucan abroad provided real life exposure to what the field may hold and I fell in love. Along with the academic side, this program gave me the opportunity to travel and discover all the beauty that is Costa Rica. We were fortunate enough to visit volcanoes, beaches, plantations, restaurants, and much more. I made some of the best friends and memories in these three weeks and I could not imagine a better experience.

What would you improve about this program?
This program exceeded all of my expectations! I was fortunate enough to get to participate and shadow in more than just two clinics because of my own scheduling problems, but it turned out to be a super neat experience and if possible would recommend that future groups and students may get to do the same!