International Experiential Learning Opportunities for DPT Students

Clinical and Service Opportunities around the world

Arcadia University prepares students for life in a rapidly changing global society and is recognized as a leader in global education. Arcadia’s entry-level DPT students have several opportunities to experience the world as developing health professionals, whether it is for a clinical experience in England or an experiential learning trip to Jamaica, Peru, or Guatemala. Trips vary from one to six weeks in length and occur after completion of the second academic year. Dr. Karen Sawyer, Director of Global Engagement for the Department of Physical Therapy, plans student experiences and identifies clinical mentors from among Arcadia University Physical Therapy faculty, program graduates, and interested clinicians. Some financial assistance to defray travel costs is available.

International Experiential Learning Sites


Jamaican  Community Service 1
Jamaican Community Service 2 

Since 1996, physical therapy students have been able to travel to St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica. Dr. Brooke Riley, Arcadia ’04, runs the local clinic full-time and provides out-patient services primarily to persons with neuromuscular diagnoses such as stroke. Students electing a six-week clinical rotation work in the clinic and provide home visits. Other opportunities include intensive, five-day programs for people with stroke. For more information about 'Stroke Camp,' view the video here. Students live with Jamaican families and participate in community activities, in addition to providing physical therapy services. Learn more about Dr. Brooke Riley’s work in Jamaica by going to the following: Hear More Forward interview with Dr. Karen Sawyer on "Arcadia University Students in Jamaica."


Arcadia PT students in Guatemala 1Arcadia PT group in GuatemalaArcadia PT students in Guatemala 2

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.

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.


Jodee Fortner
Jodee Fortner and patient 

Jodee Fortner, Arcadia '99, PT, M.S., lives in Arequipa, Peru and hosts teams of physical therapists, Arcadia students, and general helpers , to provide pediatric physical therapy services. The two-week project is in collaboration with Medical Ministry International. Physical therapist team members provide physical therapist services and equipment (wheelchairs, braces, walkers, crutches) for children with disabilities. Educational sessions are also offered for families and caregivers.

For more information on any of these trips, please contact Dr. Karen Sawyer.


Request More InformationQuestionsApply Now

PT e-Newsletter
Read latest issue

Arcadia University Physical Therapy Department News
Scholarly Activities
Follow Arcadia University Physical Therapy on Twitter
Follow Us on Twitter

PT Changing Lives Donation

Contact Us

Physical Therapy
Health Science Center