Education Abroad Opportunities

UCA’s Department of Occupational Therapy offers a faculty-led education abroad experience annually to Costa Rica. Participants spend ten activity-packed days immersed in Costa Rican culture. From skill-based tasks and activities to cultural experiences abroad, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities. 

In addition to the faculty-led trip, UCA’s Department of Occupational Therapy has established partnerships with occupational therapy clinics in Costa Rica. These partnerships provide opportunities for UCA Occupational Therapy students to independently participate in two-week and three-month Fieldwork rotations in Costa Rica.

Benefits of Studying Abroad

  1. New Experiences
  2. Improved Cultural Competency
  3. Personal and Educational Growth
  4. Appealing Job Candidate

Opportunities for UCA OT Students

Level I Fieldwork through the faculty-led program or independently.

Level II Fieldwork independently.

Capstone Experience with faculty-led group or independently.

Faculty-Led Program Description

Through faculty-led international study abroad experiences, students will learn how well-being, health, and longevity stems from lifestyle and occupational patterns made along the life course. The Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica was selected as the destination because it is one of five areas designated as a “Blue Zone,” a place where people reach age 100 at rates up to 10 times greater than in the United States. Using lifestyle dimensions as a guide, students will explore contributing occupational factors that promote longevity and “pura vida” (the pure life). Students will acquire unique insight regarding the Nicoyan lifestyle through hands-on activities, tours, observation and dialogue with local residents, health care professionals, and researchers who promote the peninsula’s healthy and happy lifestyle.

The following video was created by 2021 capstone student, Andree Ledbetter, and includes videos from UCA’s Department of Occupational Therapy’s trips to Costa Rica in 2019 and 2021.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit UCA’s Office of Study Abroad website.

Faculty Leaders

Brittany Saviers, Ph.D., OTR/L
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator/Clinical Instructor II
Doyne 101
(501) 852-0984

Deborah Gangluff, ScD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor
Doyne 308C
(501) 450-3334