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  • Locations: Multiple Cities, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: Elon applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:
Program DescriptionLocationDeadlinesCostInsuranceHousingRequirementsOrientationInformation / Links

*Please note: Applicants must have a confirmed clinical slot prior to submitting a GLO application. Please confirm your clinical education slot with the clinical education team prior to applying for a GLO.


Program Description

This program is in an inpatient rehabilitation facility with emphasis in neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, or cardiopulmonary practice patterns. Currently available openings are in three renowned rehabilitation centers, one in Tuscany, one in Umbria, and one in Emilia Romagna. Two sites include adult inpatient rehabilitation services; one site is 90% rehabilitation and 10% SNF, and one is 80% SNF and 20% rehabilitation. The third site is a cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation hospital with ventilator weaning, COPD, cardiac, and bariatric services. All sites also have outpatient services. Patient’s diagnoses are similar to those in the USA. Specialized services include an Alzheimer unit, an end-stage coma unit, a ventilator weaning unit, and a bariatric unit. Two facilities have well-developed aquatic therapy programs. There are no neurological pediatric services at any facility.

The working day generally is 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, with a 60- to 90-minute lunch break, five days per week. In one facility, the working day is in one of two shifts, starting at 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM. While most therapists in Europe work a standard 35- to 36-hour week, student interns are able to work extra hours or are required to do clinic-related study, including language study, for the remaining hours of a 40-hour week.

Module VII (8 weeks)
DPT 704 Clinical Practicum II  (4 credits)

Second 8-week, full-time clinical education requirement integrated into the 3-year DPT curriculum designed to provide the student opportunity to apply knowledge and skills acquired during Year I and II. Clinical settings for DPT 704 (Clinical Practicum II) and DPT 711 (Clinical Practicum III) will be selected so the student meets the Acute Care, Rehabilitation settings, and/or neuromuscular patient diagnoses requirements as defined in the APTA Guide to Physical Therapist Practice. 

About the Location

Umbria is a region of historic and modern central Italy. It is the only Italian region having neither a coastline nor a border with other countries. It includes the Lake TrasimenoCascata delle Marmore, and is crossed by the River Tiber. The regional capital is Perugia. Umbria is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy, and influence on culture.

The region is characterized by hills and historical towns such as Assisi (a World Heritage Site associated with St. Francis of Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and other Franciscan sites, works by Giotto and Cimabue), Norcia (the hometown of St. Benedict), Gubbio, Perugia, SpoletoTodiCittà di CastelloOrvietoCastiglione del Lago, NarniAmelia, and other small cities. Contained within Umbria is Cospaia, a tiny republic created by accident that existed from 1440 to 1826.

Rehabilitation Centers

Istituto Prosperius Tiberino
Rehabilitation Hospital and Outpatient Clinic
Umbertide, Umbria, Italy

Istituto Prosperius Tiberino is a private rehabilitation clinic offering both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation to neurological, orthopedic, and sports injury patients. It is located in Umbria, the region of Italy to the immediate east of Tuscany. Umbria, called the “Green Heart of Italy” because of its agricultural production, is also known for its art and culture, its hill towns, and its history as the center of world-wide Franciscanism. Assisi, Gubbio, and other sites important to the Franciscan tradition are within one hour’s drive of the clinic. The facility is part of the Istituto Prosperius Group, which also sponsors medical, surgical, diagnostic, and outpatient rehabilitation facilities in Florence, Tuscany.
The Istituto was the first public-private joint venture in health in Italy. The Italian Ministry of Health partnered with the physician owners of Istituto Prosperius to found the rehabilitation center and to link it to a public, acute care institution, the general hospital of the town of Umbertide. This hospital physically adjoins the Istituto, although it is under separate governance and has a separate staff. The Istituto is able to offer all stages of rehabilitation defined by the Italian Ministry of Health, from acute to outpatient to community-based. The Istituto is also a research center and offers periodic rehabilitation- oriented conferences in collaboration with other institutes and universities.

DPT Italy Istituto

Istituto Prosperius Tiberino – front facade

The Istituto is staffed to handle 200 rehabilitation patients, both inpatient and outpatient, in a comfortable environment that includes 75 beds. Architecturally, the Istituto is designed to fit a human scale and to constitute a warm and welcoming environment. Istituto Prosperius Tiberino organizes clinical education for Italian physical therapy students from the physiotherapy program at the University of Perugia. They have also hosted student interns from other countries in the European Union. Local facilities are available to house student interns. Student interns are provided lunch at the facility at no charge. Several therapists available to serve as clinical instructors speak English, as does the facility’s full-time neurologist.

DPT Italy Istituto 2

Istituto Prosperius Tiberino – Entrance Foyer

The Istituto collaborates with other physical therapy clinics in Italy, including the Centro Fisioterapico Fisiomedical near Lucca, the Centro Vasari in Grosseto, and the Centro Fisioterapico Life in Pistoia. Neurological patients admitted to the Istituto include those with spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, parkinsonism, head trauma, and neurodegenerative diseases. A team model of care is employed. Members of the team include physicians (physiatry and neurology), physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, art therapists, psychologists, and social workers.

Patients are rehabilitated to the highest functional level, and a sports rehabilitation approach is employed when appropriate. The Istituto has pioneered the use of high technology in the rehabilitation of neurological patients and is one of the leading centers in Italy using robotic therapy to assist in ambulation. The Istituto has a Lokomat driven gait orthosis unit and has offered conferences to professionals who desire to learn to use the device. In addition to assisting in improving ambulation, the unit has also been found to be useful to train the cardiovascular system, to reduce spasticity and rigidity, and to preserve bone density. As of February 2012, the Istituto was the first facility in Europe to use the eLEGS Professional lower extremity exoskeleton. The Istituto serves as a site to perform investigative research on this robotic ambulation device, developed in the United States by Ekso Bionics (formerly Berkeley Bionics). 

DPT Italy Istituto 4
Istituto Prosperius Tiberino – Lokomat (Patient with SCI)

The Istituto provides rehabilitation services for orthopedic patients with total joint replacement and those who have had traumatic injuries due to accidents and sports. Admitting patients immediately post-surgery, the orthopedic and sports rehabilitation services treat patients through to return to the highest level of function. The Istituto has two large therapy pools, one equipped with underwater steppers and treadmills. The pool’s buoyant and resistive qualities are used post-surgery and for injuries treated conservatively. Individual treatment areas and a full orthopedic/sports gym is available for patients treated for all conditions from amputation to total joint replacement  to extremity joint injury to mechanical back and neck pain.

Fondazione  F. Turati
Rehabilitation Center, Extended Care Facility and Outpatient Clinic
Gavinana, Tuscany, Italy

Fondazione F. Turati is a non-profit, private rehabilitation center and extended care facility offering inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation and skilled nursing to adult neurological and orthopedic patients. It is located in central Italy in the region of Tuscany, the seat of the Italian Renaissance. Tuscany is noted for its art and culture, its agricultural products, and its wine and cheese production. Tuscany’s capital is Florence, a world-famous tourist destination. Other cities of note in Tuscany include Siena, Pisa, Lucca, and Pistoia, and all are within 1-2 hour’s drive of the clinic. In addition to the facility in Gavinana, the Fondazione operates an outpatient clinic in Pistoia and a rehabilitation hospital and retirement facility in Vieste, a town in the southern region of Puglia.

DPT Italy FondazioneFondazione Turati in Gavinana was founded in 1966 and is one the oldest rehabilitation centers in Italy. Originally, a pediatric facility, the Fondazione now includes 48 rehabilitation beds, 52 sub-acute beds, and 100 extended care beds. There is also a 24-bed end-stage coma unit and a 12-bed Alzheimer’s unit. The center’s medical director is a physiatrist.  Neurologists, orthopedists, cardiologists, and other specialists provide services in regularly scheduled clinics. The Fondazione is accredited to provide rehabilitation services and operates under contract with the Italian Ministry of Health. The center offers periodic rehabilitation-oriented conferences in collaboration with other institutes and universities.

The Gavinana facility employs 15 physical therapists and contracts with occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists to provide a team approach. The physical therapists serving as Clinical Instructors speak English, as does the physician General Director. Several therapists have specialized in either neurological rehabilitation (Bobath and Perfetti) or orthopedic manual therapy.
The Fondazione’s physical plant has grown from the original two buildings in 1966 to a multi-acre campus including 10 structures.  Buildings are connected by enclosed passageways, and lounge areas with food services are distributed throughout to accommodate patients and residents in a warm and welcoming environment.

         Fondazione Turati’s facilities and campus in Gavinana (aerial view)

Fondazione Turati organizes clinical education for Italian physical therapy students from the physiotherapy program at the University of Florence’s several campuses. They have also hosted physiotherapist staff members from other countries in the European Union. For a modest monthly fee student interns reside on-campus in either a three-bedroom cottage or several private bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms. The cost of some meals is included in the housing fee.

The Fondazione has a large therapy pool. The pool’s buoyant and resistive qualities are used post- surgery and for injuries treated conservatively. Individual treatment areas and three physical therapy gyms are available for patients treated for all conditions. Modality treatments include ultrasound, short-wave diathermy, laser therapy and magnetotherapy.

Villa Pineta
Pavullo nel Frignano, Emilia Romagna, Italy

Villa Pineta is a cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation hospital rehabilitation with a cutting-edge ventilator weaning unit as well as COPD, cardiac, and bariatric programs.

DPT Villa Pineta

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.

The basic costs include airfare, housing, food, rental vehicle, uniforms/scrubs.

Administration Fee
There is a per student administrative fee payable to Eduglobal Associates for 2016 $750. Eduglobal retains paid personnel at each site to assist students in all logistical aspects of the internship including tourist travel.

  • To assist the student in case of an emergency
  • To facilitate the student's return to the USA 

For other cost information for this program, please view the budget sheet.


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 are responsible for securing housing. Housing can be arranged by Eduglobal Associates after consultation with students regarding preferences. Students can also opt to make their own housing arrangements. To date, the most common form of housing has been rental. Previous student blogs may be useful resources.


  • Students must complete the online application and pre-departure and post-departure learning modules by the published deadline.
  • 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!

View the winter 2018 DPT newsletter

Program Leader: Dr. Paula DiBiasio
Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, Global Learning Opportunities Program Coordinator
Gerald L. Francis Center 
2085 Campus Box, Elon, NC 27244 

Useful Links

Embassy, Consulate, and Visa Resources

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 12/08/2019
12/31/2019 TBA TBA

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.