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  • Locations: Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Restrictions: Elon applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:
Program DescriptionLocationDeadlinesCostInsuranceHousingRequirementsOrientationInformation / Links

Zimbabwe sun Program Description

This GLO program is located in Harare, Zimbabwe in Africa. Elon partners with the University of Zimbabwe and works with physiotherapists in local clinics and hospitals. Elon students are each partnered with a physiotherapy student from UZim and a local physiotherapist. They gain hands-on clinical experience working within another country’s medical practice and cultural world and collaborate closely with their partners on research projects. They work with a variety of patients and a spectrum of health issues, learning much about this region and people and responding to a high public need. Students on this program can expect to be surrounded by enthusiastic and accomplished faculty, collaborate with both healthcare students and professionals, and respond to a high need for physiotherapy.

This GLO can provide credit for a 4-6 week selective. Service-learning opportunities are always widely available through outreach programs in this area.

Students will attend lectures, labs, and classes at the University of Zimbabwe for about one week prior to their first “attachment” or selective. After this period, the didactic content of the selective will be limited and students will be working directly with a UZim student and a physiotherapist on location, gaining hands-on clinical experiences.
  • Grades count toward an Elon GPA. 
  • Global engagement courses may not be taken on an audit or pass/fail basis, regardless of the host institution's policy.

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

Harare, Zimbabwe
Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, is located in the north west corner of the country. Zimbabwe has 16 official languages. English, Shona and Ndebele are the most widely spoken. Most people speak English and at least 2 other languages but many outside the city do not speak English. Physiotherapists in the clinic will translate for students. In Harare, students can learn about and visit cultural destinations including a national art gallery, several museums, and a national park. They can also participate in many historical and natural cultural activities. Students can also take part in/attend lectures and programs that will inform them on cultural elements of this region.

University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe:
The university is located in Mount Pleasant, Harare, and is supported by qualified and enthusiastic faculty. PT faculty can ask any clinic or hospital to work with GLO students, so clinic and hospital locations vary; one clinic we have investigated and worked with is Parirenyatwa Hospital. The patient population seen and the physiotherapy issues treated are also highly varied. The country has two rehab centers and separate centers for those injured at work (employer pays). Physiotherapists have direct access to patients but need referrals for reimbursement.

Parirenyatwa Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe:
This hospital has about 1800 inpatient beds and an extensive rehab department. It hosts clinics and has 12 physiotherapists and 6 occupational therapists on staff. Senior PTs have an area of practice while junior PTs rotate. Common patient populations include: stroke, TBI, multi injury (MVA is common), and common ortho problems. Usually patients are discharged two days post-op to an outpatient rehab facility. Employed patients have insurance through their employer while unemployed people wait a long time for surgeries and care and rural families may go without care altogether. Children are served “for free” (government pays) until the age of five. Schools are public and children are assessed and assigned to a school that can meet their needs. Often needs cannot be met and students are cared for at home (ex. Children with autism). No physiotherapy services are offered in schools.

Dates and Deadlines

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


Students pay the cost of their flight from the  U.S. to Harrare (between $1500-2000). Living costs while in Harare include rent (about $420 per month to stay on UZim’s campus) and food ($1 a day for lunch).

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


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 live in guest housing on the University of Zimbabwe’s main campus.


  • 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 application, 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 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. Paula DiBiasio
Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Education
Gerald L. Francis Center 100D
2085 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244

Useful Links Embassy, Consulate, and Visa Resources


Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.