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  • Locations: Punta Gorda, Belize
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Restrictions: Elon applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Spring
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:
Program DescriptionLocationDeadlinesCostInsuranceHousingRequirementsOrientationInformation / Links

DPT Belize 3  DPT Belize

Program Description

To provide physical therapy in a unique interdisciplinary setting that includes home health, outpatient, mobile clinics, and community education while being exposed to a new culture. See Hillside Healthcare international website for Rehabilitation Education.

DPT 804 Advanced Clinical Practice Selective Tracks  (9 credits)
Continued study in selected topic areas including the broad spectrum of primary clinical practice settings. Generally, students focus on 1 of 3 areas: musculoskeletal, neuromuscular rehabilitation or research. Much of the course will be taught in a mock clinical setting with patients/clients for musculoskeletal and neuromuscular tracks and in a laboratory-based or field work setting for research track. Topics included may vary from year to year. Emphasis will be on continued development of clinical and research skills to prepare students for today’s demanding health care environment. In lieu of continued study in 1 of 3 areas, students may request an independent study in physical therapy (including a Global Learning Opportunity). Request will be generated by the student through a faculty sponsor. Requires advanced approval (by the beginning of Year III of the DPT curriculum) of the course faculty.
  • Musculoskeletal track: Dr. Christopher

  • Neuromuscular track: Dr. Freund

  • Pediatrics track: Dr. Paula DiBiasio

  • Research track: Dr. Vallabhajosula

About the Location

Toledo District is the southernmost district in Belize, and Punta Gorda is the District capital. Toledo is the most sparsely populated and the least developed region in the country. It covers an area of almost 1,700 square miles and has a population of more than 30,000. It is home to a wide range of cultures- Mopan and Q'eqchi' Maya, Creole, Garifuna, East Indians, Mennonites, Chinese, Mestizos, and descendants of U.S. Confederate settlers. It is often referred to by locals as "the forgotten land." Official language of Belize is English. However, many people speak Mopan and Q'eqchi' Maya, Creole, very little (if any) speak Spanish. 

The Toledo district is the poorest of Belize's districts with 79% of the population living below the poverty line. Most of the Maya villagers live on subsistence farming and due to their diet, there is significant malnutrition leading to stunting of growth in almost 44% of the children. Although Punta Gorda and the larger villages on the main road have amenities, many of the villages do not have electricity or running water.

Transportation Needs
Air travel to Belize; can take a bus to Punta Gorda but local airline (Tropic Air or Maya Island Air) is recommended (vs bus). The clinic provides transportation from town to clinic. Public transportation is available via bus. 

View the Hillside website for more information.

Dates and Deadlines

Applications open: Oct. 29, 2018
Applications close: Jan. 31, 2019


Costs for study away vary program to program and will not be exactly the same as on-campus costs of attendance at Elon.

For cost information for this program, please see the Hillside application for course fees.
Food, open time to explore, tours, extra activities are not included in the program fees.


Liability Coverage
Under the current University liability insurance policy, students will be covered by University liability insurance when participating in an approved GLO program. 


Students stay on site at Hillside in Abby’s House. This is a dormitory: two-person rooms, shared kitchen, and shared common area. Shared by PT, Pharmacy, Medical and PA students. Students tend to prepare meals together and share costs.

Very limited internet/Wi-Fi access.


  • Students must complete the online application and pre-departure and post-departure learning modules by the published deadline.
  • Students must apply to Hillside in addition to the GLO application, completing the online applications by the published deadlines.
  • Students must remain in good academic and professional standing to qualify for participation.
  • Students on academic or professional probation are not permitted to participate. 
  • Students are required to blog from their location as part of their course related requirements.
  • All GLO students are required to present their experiences at the School of Health Sciences Annual GLO Fest.


Prior to applying, all candidates are expected to meet with the program leader.

Additional Information and Links

To view blog posts from students on this program in years past and access blogs for other programs, view the GLO DPT Student Blog page.

Connect with the GEC, GLO alumni, and prospective students on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And keep in touch with us using #ElonGlobal and #ElonDPTGLO!

Program Leader: Dr. Melissa Scales
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Education and Assistant Director of Clinical Education
Gerald L. Francis Center 100M
2085 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244

Useful Links

Other Belize Travel Links Hillside Links Embassy, Consulate, and Visa Resources

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 11/29/2018
Rolling Admission 04/15/2019 05/24/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis and applicants will be notified of their application status within two weeks of submission.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.