International Experiential Learning Opportunities for DPT Students
Arcadia University is recognized as a leader in global education. Arcadia believes that to understand the world, students should experience it—and that can mean leaving the campus for a time. Whether it is for a clinical experience in England or California or a two-week experiential learning trip to a developing country (Jamaica, Peru, or Guatemala), Arcadia’s entry-level D.P.T. students have several opportunities to experience the world as learning health professionals during the summer of their second year in the DPT program. Generally, each trip is two weeks in length and is led by an Arcadia University Physical Therapy faculty member or program graduate, or a local clinician. Some financial assistance to defray travel costs is available.
International Experiential Learning Sites
For more than 15 years, physical therapy students have been able to travel with Dr. Karen Sawyer, Arcadia University Faculty Member, to St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica. Currently, Dr. Brooke Riley, Arcadia ’04, runs the local clinic full-time and provides out-patient services primarily to persons with neuromuscular diagnoses such a stroke. Students work in the clinic four days per week and provide home visits one day per week. Students live with Jamaican families and participate in community activities, in addition to providing physical therapy services. The cost of the two-week trip is $600, plus airfare. Learn more about Dr. Brooke Rileys’s work in Jamaica by going to the following: www.friendsoftheredeemer.org.
Students going to Guatemala spend two weeks in Zacapa providing physical therapy services in a variety of settings. The students work with physical therapists in the Kevin O’Halloran Center of Rehabilitation, which is a community clinic for adults and children with musculoskeletal and neuromuscular diagnoses. Adjacent to the rehabilitation center is the Range of Motion Project (ROMP), which is a full-service prosthetic laboratory, where students have the opportunity to observe the making of prostheses and to work with clients who are being fit for prostheses. Other experiential learning opportunities include providing screenings at two local nutrition centers and at a local school. Evaluations and treatments are also provided at an adult day care center, at community centers and in homes. Hearts in Motion, a non-profit organization that has provided care and medical treatment to children, families and communities in Guatemala since 1990, provides in-country support for Arcadia’s students, faculty and clinicians for each trip. Cost is $600 plus airfare for the two-week trip.
Watch a video of Amy Schmidt and Joshua Smith (both first-year students at the time) as they reflect on their first International Service Learning experience in Guatemala.
Since 2004, Jodee Fortner, Arcadia '99, PT, M.S., has led teams of physical therapists, Arcadia students, and general helpers to Arequipa, Peru, to provide pediatric physical therapy services. The two-week project is in collaboration with Medical Ministry International. Physical therapist team members provide direct physical therapy equipment (wheelchairs, braces, walkers, crutches) and services for disabled children. Educational sessions are also offered for families and other caregivers of children with physical disabilities. The two-week trip costs $1,095 plus airfare.
For more information on any of these trips, please contact Dr. Karen Sawyer.