Summary

Toucan Abroad takes place in Cartago, Costa Rica where students will shadow Licensed Physical Therapists for 2 or 3 weeks for a total of 40 or 60 Observation hours (depends if during winter or summer).  This is usually broken down to 5 hours of shadowing per day from Monday to Thursday to reach 20 hours per week. All of these hours are logged with PTCAS forms that will be signed by the appropriate Participants also receive the opportunity to observe at least two different clinics to maximize learning during their trip by visiting different settings. The we mainly have general outpatient clinics, but also specializations in athletic training, aqua therapy, and pediatrics with cerebral disorders. In addition to usual shadowing, it is not uncommon for there to be focused individual teaching of techniques and group seminars provided by our therapists if there is any extra time. Physical therapy in Costa Rica is practiced very differently than the United States, giving an opportunity for participants to learn methods and techniques directly from the PTs that they may infrequently see otherwise. Our partnered therapists are professional and dedicated to helping all of our participants learn to the best of their abilities.

During the program the students will live in secure hotel housing with daily breakfast and select group meals provided. Outside of the clinic students will be enjoying various weekly planned excursions and various group activities to maximize the experience of being in Costa Rica.  Additionally, students will be given some free time to explore on their own and foster their friendships. Free time during the weekdays are anytime participants are not in the clinics or excursions. This time is usually spent exploring Cartago, visiting nearby attractions, shopping, trying local cuisine, exercising, etc… Everyone also has long weekends off to explore further areas of Costa Rica. Typically, everyone decides and travels to the same destination together (usually beaches or volcanoes) for the best experience.

A Typical Week Day (Monday-Thursday)

Note: Schedules can vary a lot depending on which clinic you are shadowing for that week.

Without Excursion:

6:30 AM - 10:00 AM - Complimentary breakfast is provided in the hotel for all participants.

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM - Free time when participants can explore, exercise, eat lunch, or anything else before going to the clinics.

2:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Participants will go with their shadowing partner(s) to their assigned PT clinic and observe for around 5 hours, depending on the schedule. They should be ready for clinical experiences ranging from strictly observational to a more hands-on approach.

7:00 PM - End of Day - Free time after everyone has finished up for the day - typically the group will meet up for dinner, games, or some other planned activity to unwind and enjoy each other’s company. Finally, it’s lights out to rest for the next day!

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With Excursion:

6:45 AM - 7:30 AM - Complimentary group breakfast with everyone before boarding our private bus for our excursion.

7:30 AM - 11:30 AM - Time spent during one of informational, breathtaking, and cultural excursions.

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - After excursions, group lunches are provided to the students before returning to Cartago for clinicals.

2:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Participants will go with their shadowing partner(s) to their assigned PT clinic and observe for around 5 hours, depending on the schedule. They should be ready for clinical experiences ranging from strictly observational to a more hands-on approach.

7:00 PM - End of Day - Free time after everyone has finished up for the day - typically the group will meet up for dinner, games, or some other planned activity to unwind, enjoy each other’s company, and live the culture of Costa Rica. Finally, it’s lights out to rest for the next day!

Typical Weekday Excursions and Activities may include:

  • Hiking Volcan Irazu

  • Visiting a local family owned coffee farm

  • Karaoke Night

  • Swimming in natural Aguas Termales (Hot Springs)

  • Learning Costa Rica dances like Merengue, Salsa, and Cumbia

  • Walking Tours of Cartago and San Jose

  • Playing soccer with local Ticos

And much more!

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A Typical Long Weekend

Toucan Abroad Programs also give participants the opportunity to explore the beauty of Costa Rica in more depth during the long weekends. This is an independent travel time for the participants to truly experience the more adventurous side of a study abroad program. Clinics let out early on Thursday so everyone is able to hit the road and maximize their weekend time.  It is strongly recommended to travel in groups for safety and way more fun! Our team is a great resource for planning these weekends as we are able to suggest awesome trips, safe transportation, and affordable accommodation all throughout Costa Rica.

Frequently Visited Long Weekend Destinations:

  • Arenal Volcano - One of the world’s most active volcanoes surrounded by hot springs, waterfalls, forests, lakes, caves and beautiful traditional towns, such as La Fortuna. 3 hours away.

  • Monteverde - A small touristy town in the cloud and rain forests of Costa Rica. A great destination for canopy ziplining, bungee jumping, and other adventures. 4 hours away.

  • Manuel Antonio Beach - On the Pacific Coast, a charming combination of rain forests, coral reefs and beaches.  Many say the most beautiful spot in the country. 4 hours away.

  • Tamarindo Beach - Tamarindo is a major Pacific destination in Guanacaste frequented by foreigners from all over the world. It has all the amenities of a Costa Rican beach town – surf, sand, sun and a robust nightlife. 5 hours away.

  • Jacó Beach - Jacó is Costa Rica’s most visited beach – a top destination for surfers, backpackers, and land-loving resort travelers alike. Surfing, horseback riding, hiking, kayaking and sport fishing available. 2 ½ hours away.

  • Puerto Viejo - Known for its laid-back attitude and Caribbean lifestyle, this beautiful beach town has a unique blend of Latin, Afro-Caribbean and Bribri indigenous cultures.  Surrounded by natural beauty. 5 hours away.