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DC Summer Institutes for High School Students

Physical Therapy Service Learning

February 20 – March 7, 2015

San Jose, Costa Rica

PT 801 is the second of 3 full-time clinical experiences in the DPT curriculum. PT 801SL is a unique opportunity for Physical Therapy students to experience a culture different from their own. Students spend the final two weeks of the 8-week clinical practicum as members of volunteer teams developing and implementing physical therapist practices, and providing direct access physical therapist and other general health services to underserved populations abroad.
In spring 2015, students in PT 801SL will travel to Costa Rica in Central America. Students will experience variations in individual, social, political, economic, and health values while delivering physical therapist services. Direct access to patients and minimal resources for patient management typical of rural settings will challenge students’ clinical reasoning, decision-making and creativity as developing practitioners. This is a continuing engagement opportunity in which students participate in development of physical therapist practices in settings where such practices do not yet exist. Teaching in-country physical therapists best practices is a necessary outcome of this project for sustainability. Appreciation for global health concerns and a requirement to contribute to the health and well-being of a disadvantaged population are included among the clinical practice outcomes in this course.


PT 801SL Clinical Practicum II (Prereq: PT 700-743; PT 800)


To apply for this community engagement, mission/service-learning program, each applicant must be in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 and not be on disciplinary probation.
In order to participate in the travel abroad component of this course, students must self-evaluate and be evaluated by clinical faculty as Intermediate or Advanced Intermediate in all areas of the Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI-Web 2.0) at midterm. Finally, students participating in travel abroad are representative ambassadors for the University and the profession of physical therapy. PT program faculty must approve each student for travel.


Program Cost 
Program Fee: $600**
Cost includes airfare, two meals per day, all lodging, ground transportation and some project supplies.
Not included in the program:
  • Costa Rica Departure Tax
  • Evening meals
  • Transportation not related to the academic program
  • Gifts and gratuities and other personal expenses

**MU reserves the right to make any necessary changes including adjustments in cost in the event that unforeseen circumstances arise. Financial aid may apply. For more information, please contact the  as soon as possible. Students are responsible for making all timely payments to Marymount University.

Traveling Abroad: Passports 
Students do not need a passport to apply for the program, but accepted applicants must provide the Center for Global Education with a copy of their passport prior to confirmation of travel reservations. The passport application process takes four to six weeks. Applications for new and renewed passports can be downloaded from the State Department’s website.

Application deadline: September 19, 2014


Apply Online


Once logged in,

  • Select "Service Learning/Volunteering"
  • Then select "PT Service Learning"