August 04, 2022 Pre-Occupational Therapy Program-Bulgaria & Greece
Bulgaria & Greece: Pre-Occupational (OT) Program
When Can I Travel? June 30 – July 15, 2023 and July 14- 29, 2023
- 2. Bulgaria
Where Am I Going? Start your adventure in the Eastern European country of Bulgaria, located on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. It is one of the oldest states in Europe founded in the 7th century. Bulgaria joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004 and of the European Union (EU) in 2007. The country is a unique blend of Eastern and Western cultures, which can be seen through its cuisine, its architecture, and its religious heritage. Bulgaria will be your home base for the clinical portion of your program. Finish your journey by traveling to the neighboring country of Greece and spending 4 days taking in the sites of Athens & Santorini. Taste your way through traditional markets and wonder the historical cities, explore the ancient town of Akrotiri, explore the acropolis and more!
Who Should Sign Up? Undergraduate students, graduate students, recent graduates and post-bacc students. There are no prerequisites to join.
Why Should I Travel with Therapy Abroad? More than ever, Occupational Therapy (OT) program selection committees are looking for well-rounded students who have a thorough understanding of their respective fields of interest and the ability to work collaboratively across cultures. You will work with and learn from a distinguished group of professional Occupational Therapists in a cross-cultural setting.
We created this program specifically to help participants not only grow in the above areas, but also gain hands-on experience that’s hard to duplicate in the classroom: professional observation hours, one-on-one time with OTs and other professionals in formal and informal settings, direct experience in public and allied health, and a chance to support local children and families with special needs.
What Will I Do? (Program Details) Your group will collaborate with our local community partners to bring services to children and adults in the town of Sevlievo. With an intentional focus on cooperative learning and capacity building for both visiting and hosting professionals, our AOTA licensed Occupational Therapists will take you through a cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral and cross-cultural program that will change the way you develop within your field. Our community partners have developed a brand new health clinic that will offer occupational therapy services and also include a fully functioning pharmacy. Students will work directly in the pediatric clinic for the majority of their time, providing services and running a camp for kids with special needs. In addition, students will have the opportunity to visit and provide services in a local long term care geriatric facility. You will also be working directly with patients in the main hospital in Sevlievo. In addition to your supervisors you will have interpreters and guides with you during your entire trip.
Therapy Abroad students and staff provide essential services such as screenings, direct rehabilitation, referral and/or care to promote fitness, health and wellness and capacity building in the provision of occupational therapy to individuals, organizations, and communities. You will learn about diverse approaches to teaching and implement methodologies for designing and evaluating learning experiences used in the education of patients/clients, students, colleagues, and the broader community.
Excursions: While you will earn observation and clinic hours, there will also be opportunities for fun, cultural excursions. Places you may visit in Bulgaria include the Devetashka Cave and Krushina Waterfalls, city tour of the capital of Sofia, the Veliko Tarnovo and Tsarevets Fortress, a monastery, and an oasis.
- 6 and 7. Bulgaria
Will I Get Observation And Volunteer Hours?
Yes! If you are interested in becoming a future OT, observing and volunteering are essential to providing you with first-hand experience of the profession and helping you build your case for graduate school. Our OT service program in Bulgaria is a perfect way to diversify your experience working in different settings and gain needed observation and volunteer hours.
What is the Itinerary*?
- Day 1: Fly to Bulgaria either on a group flight (most popular choice) or on your own**
- Day 2: Team building and get to know your peers and clinical supervisors
- Day 3-5: Clinic Activities
- Day 6-7: Local excursions
- Day 8-10: Clinical Activities
- Day 11: Bulgaria to Athens, Greece
- Day 12: Excursion to Santoini and Akrotiri, Greece
- Day 13: Excursion to Santorini volcano
- Day 14: Explore Athens
- Day 15: Fly home
*sample itinerary can vary based on the group and dates
**students taking their own flight will pay a $300 admin fee to cover the cost of private transportation to/from airports and a Therapy Abroad staff person.
Where Will I Stay? (Program Life) The “Center” is a cultural retreat center located in the foothills of the Balkan Mountains in Stolat, Bulgaria. Spread over 2,200 acres, it is geared towards bringing together people from around the world to share in all the rich heritage that Bulgaria and Eastern Europe have to offer. You won’t find a better place to enjoy the rich heritage of Bulgaria in a safe, supported, and comfortable way.
Every day you will have access to Wifi, fresh drinking water, western style toilets and showers, and laundry services (laundry will be on site or nearby). Meals will be a combination of Bulgarian and Western cuisine. We have a 100% guarantee that you will have plenty of amazing food! We can cater to specific dietary needs as long as you let us know ahead of time. In addition to Bulgaria’s many scenic charms, the warmth and hospitality of the people and culture will make you feel at home in no time!
- 8 and 9.Bulgaria
Benefits For Students Who Participate In This Program:
- Hands-on experience
- Build experience and resume for graduate school admissions
- Gain observation and volunteer hours
- Cultural responsiveness
- Learn from professionals in small discussion based groups: Topics include disorder vs difference, oral motor and feeding techniques, applied behavior analysis, working with culturally & linguistically diverse groups and more.
- Practice skills in a multicultural environment
- Learn to compare and contrast speech-language pathology services in developing countries with that in the United States.
- Intercultural exchange in creative learning environment
- Increased skills of intercultural communication
- Experience in research and collaboration
- Greater international understandings of social issues
- Better understanding of global social change
- Greater understanding of inequalities and differences in world systems
- International travel experience
Tuition: 14- Day Program price is $3,950 USD not including *international airfare.
*Airfare from the Continental US is estimated at $1,200. Therapy Abroad will organize group flights from New York, JFK International Airport as soon as airfares have been published.
What’s Included with your tuition? Travel and study abroad is a big investment and our commitment to you is that we will work hard every day to make sure you are going to have the most amazing experience: professional staff, tasty meals and comfortable accommodations, and overall, a well-crafted itinerary full of diverse activities and good people.
With the exception of international airfare, our trips are all-inclusive. All domestic transport, meals, accommodation, all activities, supervision, and all excursions. We won’t try to upsell you on any “additional activities” or “additional optional activities” that aren’t advertised as part of the program. More specifically, your program includes:
- Pre-departure support
- Group flight booking assistance
- Flights team support staff
- Professional and licensed staff (practitioners and academics)
- 24-hour emergency support staff and in-country support
- Airport pick-up in Bulgaria
- Private transport throughout the country
- Experienced facilitators
- Shared, comfortable accommodations
- All meals
- Snacks and drinking water
- Orientation and curriculum
- All necessary equipment, materials and supplies
- All activities listed in the program itinerary
- All domestic transport
- Flights from Bulgaria to Greece
- Materials, tests and diagnostic tools
- Therapy Abroad tee-shirt
Ready to Apply? Click Here to Start your Application Process Today!
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are no prerequisites for this program, and students from any relevant department or major may apply. Spaces for this program are limited and fill up quickly. All applications will be individually evaluated on a rolling basis. Students on this program will primarily be working with children, so all applicants should be comfortable working with children and be creative and flexible to get the most out of their experience.