Jaquelynn went to Costa Rica to complete an internship in Occupational Therapy.

Experience

Each morning, my host family would cook me breakfast and I’d take a bus to my internship at a geriatric therapy center. Throughout the day, I would assist Occupational and Physical Therapists at a rehab center. I learned how to evaluate incoming patients, and work with them to make therapy fun. We used activities like coloring and word searches that help stimulate the brain and can make a huge impact on older patients’ mental health. I got to lead a group exercise class every day, and was able to incorporate my own activities. The staff were welcoming of new ideas and learning about US culture, while also showing me theirs. My employer was very accommodating with travel. I let me work however many hours I needed during the week to complete the 400-hour requirement, which I did with ease while also getting to travel to different parts of the country.

Lessons Learned

Interning abroad was priceless. I learned so much about Physical and Occupational Therapy, in addition to learning more about myself and becoming more confident in who I am. I learned how to communicate with patients from a different culture, and I am confident in my ability to communicate with any and all patients back in the US now. I truly believe that when you get to know another culture, you begin to realize how similar we are all to one another. I made friends with Costa Ricans and other volunteers and interns from across the globe.

Why World Endeavors?

The support from World Endeavors was all anyone could ask for. Every person I spoke to was always so pleasant and genuine. While abroad, they checked up on me regularly, and were always quick to respond to me. The in-country coordinator was so wonderful to work with, and helped me with a lot of paperwork for getting credit from Rowan. Even though it did cost money to do the internship, it was an extremely reasonable price and all that I got out of it made every penny worth it!