My Memorable Experience is Hanging out in an eatery in San Ignacio with my student group, our guide and locals just conversing. It allowed me to get the insider's view of the culture. I chose... D. Seelman
A Mind Opening Experience
Submitted by Scott S - Winston-Salem, NC United States Wake Forest University | March 20, 2015
The attention to detail and personal service provide by Toucan Education Services was above and beyond what was expected. I had previously traveled to Belize on my own. While I was able to learn much about the culture during that visit, it was minuscule compared to what Rohndine and John were able to share. Thanks to their support and caring, I was able to experience what the real Belize is all about- kindness and generosity toward your fellow people. I have walked away from this program with a renewed consciousness of the world in which we live.
TEP was wonderful
Submitted by morganledwards - Gainesville United States University of Florida | March 14, 2015
Having never been out of the country before, I felt totally safe with TEP. Ms. Rhondine and John were very helpful and organized. I would recommend this company to any student looking for study abroad experience!
Issues in Agricultural and Life Sciences
Submitted by Ricky - Gainesville United States | March 09, 2015
This was a wonderful experience. Students got a lot out of the academic and cultural experiences. And the TEP staff were exceptional. I felt this experience will benefit me in my job at the University of Florida and in my own personal "world view."
You MUST Study in Belize
Submitted by RLKnowles - Gainesville United States University of Florida | March 09, 2015
Belize was my first Study Abroad program and it left high standards for any other program I might do. Not only was I immersed in rich culture and history, I was surrounded by passionate individuals. A+
Submitted by Rachel Milne - University of Indianapolis | August 19, 2014
I felt like this experience put me in the heart of Belize and helped me to learn about Belizean life instead of only being on the outside as a tourist. I got the opportunity to practice physical therapy, see the beauty of the country, open my mind and heart to the people of Belize, and educate and empower people about their physical health.
Although sometimes it felt like long days with the heat, I appreciated the extra presentations at San Ignacio. I felt like they helped give more perspective to our trip. I especially liked the presentation on poverty, it really changed how I was thinking about it. The opportunities to get so much hands on experience with home visits, pediatrics, and with the elderly was eye opening and very helpful to my learning and understanding.
The people at Log Cabin were my favorite! They were so hospitable and welcoming. The people at Hopkins and Black Orchid were excellent too. I appreciate that so many meals were included in our housing arrangements. Everywhere we stayed was very clean and I felt like we were taken good care of.
I feel like I learned a lot about Belizean culture from the presentations to learn details to the tour guides in the van and on some of the expeditions to seeing what a typical day was like in a home. I was so grateful that we were not staying at the Cayes with all the tourists. I really liked Hopkins because we were right next to the locals. It was helpful to see so many cities and to lodge in both rural and more urban areas. I felt like we received a good taste of life in Belize.
Rhondine was amazing! Very helpful and kind and easy to talk with. I am very appreciative of how she organized this program. I am very glad I went on this trip.
There was good opportunity to hang out in the evenings to get to know others on the trip and talk with staff too. I was very excited how much I got to know the OT students and staff. It was wonderful to get PT and OT learning and socializing together.
Submitted by Carmen - University of Indianapolis | August 14, 2014
The ability to help those in need really made the trip was really memorable.
I was happy about the particular program chosen by staff and very pleased to have choices regarding my leisure time.
The accommodations were nice, but the Hopkins beach house was amazing. All were a short distance from where we "worked", which was so convenient.
Submitted by Carmen - University of Indianapolis | August 13, 2014
This was a terrific program in regards to service learning for alumni, staff, and students. It was an appropriate blend of education and leisure that will always be near to my heart.
Submitted by Beth Warnken - University of Indianapolis | August 13, 2014
In general, TEP is a well-run, top-notch agency for providing a combination of educational, service and cultural immersion experiences.
An Excellent Experience
Submitted by Beth Stratton - University of Indianapolis | August 12, 2014
Toucan Education Programs made my study abroad experience in Belize extremely easy and stress free. They did an excellent job in providing us with wonderful meals, accommodations, and transportation.
Submitted by Sydney Nields - University of Indianapolis | August 11, 2014
Everything about this program is very well organized. Every where we went I was able to learn a great deal.
Submitted by Bryan Gezon - University of Indianapolis | August 11, 2014
My Belize experience was incredible as it involved the perfect balance of work, learning, cultural experiences, and leisure! I give this program my highest recommendation.
Tremendous learning experience. I learned a lot about working with older adults with different forms of dementia. Learning about Belize was great as well!
I felt very fortunate with all of the accommodations!
We were constantly being immersed in the culture of Belize and had the opportunity to see a variety of locations and cultures.
Rhondine was phenomenal in her leadership and preparations.
It was a great trip for bonding!
Submitted by Wendy Koster - University of Indianapolis | August 11, 2014
My experience as an alumni/supervisor on our study abroad to Belize was amazing. The learning opportunities set up by Toucan were culturally enlightening, academically stimulating for students and supervisors and life changing! While flexibility is expected on any learning experience, details pertaining to living arrangements, meals and professional connections were attended to in detail. Our experience here was transformative! I highly recommend it!
Our team included faculty, alumni and students. Being an alum and student supervisor, I saw and experienced incredible opportunities for learning the professional and life experiences throughout our time serving!
We were there for 2 weeks and had opportunity for 3 different room accommodations. Each one was family owned, clean and safe, with the owners and staff showing a personal interest in our group and being wonderfully accommodating! And the food was wonderful! A great variety of authentic dishes!
My particular service/profession was direct intervention with the people of Belize, their children and in-country professionals...I cannot imagine a better experience! Also, our drivers, resort staff and education program leader were great at openly sharing about the culture as situations occurred.
Our program was wonderfully coordinated to meet our team's expertise, learning goals and recreation requests. Rhondine was gracious, actively involved in the trip and attentive to our every question/need.
Loved our opportunities to experience the beauty of the country and time to decompress after a time of serving.
A true educational experience!
Submitted by Janelle Snyder - University of Indianapolis | August 10, 2014
My trip to Belize to practice Physical Therapy was amazing!! As a first year student, I was able to see my mentors work with a variety of patients, ranging from a few months to 100 years old. The variety of settings TEP provided us to work in was invaluable. We were able to go on home visits, work in a skilled nursing facility, and practice in an outpatient setting for pediatric patients. A huge amount of knowledge has come from this trip. Not only did we have the chance to see diagnosis outside of a textbook, but we were able to gain something I truly believe is rare - something that only a service trip abroad could provide students. By working with the people of Belize, we gained a new perspective and appreciation for our profession and the people we help. We may have taught somethings to the Belizean people, but they taught us so much more than we could have ever imagined! This trip is one in a lifetime!
The experience we gained was invaluable!! It was great to have a variety of settings (home visits, skilled nursing facilities, and outpatient for pediatrics) as well as a range of ages.
Overall, pretty great! Log Cab-Inn was my favorite!!
I really liked that we got to travel to at least 3 different areas of Belize and were able to see where the people of Belize live, rather than just the tourist sites.
Ms. Rhondine is amazing!!!
Interdisciplinary Professional Practice
Submitted by Candace Beitman - University of Indianapolis | August 10, 2014
Rhondine Petrof is the glue that delicately and strategically holds the University of Indianapolis graduate OT and PT programs together with the Inspiration Center, NaRCIE, and HelpAge Belize. Mrs. Petrof manages all pre-and post-experience communication with our partnering agencies, as well as first-rate accommodations, meals, and transportation in-country. We could not provide this valuable experience to our students without her expert guidance and support.
Everything was first-rate! Only a couple of suggestions: 1. more food at Coconut Row if you're going to include all meals--we could easily do lunches on our own. Excellent, friendly, accommodating service, however!
2. If you can't flush toilet paper down the toilet, (as was the case at Black Orchid) make sure that trash can is emptied at least once daily--also put a sign up noting not to flush it down the toilet; also change towels daily unless they put up a sign that says they are eco-friendly (my preference).
We worked with as many folks from as many different cultural backgrounds in as many locations, life stages and circumstances as possible! (It was awesome!)
Rhondine Petrof is the best program administrator I could have asked for. She accurately anticipates and accommodates for each student and/or alum, faculty member, and the entire group's needs and desires expertly and efficiently, and works diligently to ensure program success with our various and diverse partnering agencies.
The students and alums were all so friendly and inclusive, and the people we met, worked and stayed with bent over backwards to welcome and accommodate us--just wish we could have seen some drumming and Punta dancers!
Submitted by Bill Staples - University of Indianapolis | August 10, 2014
Very well organized and coordinated
Black Orchid was not ready to have a large group for meals.
Lots of availability. Would have been better if Saturday had been available for activities.
Submitted by Brenda Howard - University of Indianapolis | August 09, 2014
TEP and Rhondine were very trustworthy and meticulous in planning and orchestrating our trip. I would definitely partner with them again.
All the staff at our accommodations were wonderful and very concerned for our welfare. We were very comfortable.
We spent a considerable amount of time in direct patient care and consultation with Belizeans.
Rhondine is excellent and took care of any issues immediately.
The excursions were excellent. My comment relates more to University Policy than TEP - I think there should be fewer opportunities for consuming alcohol.
Submitted by C. G. - Fairleigh Dickinson University | July 15, 2014
The Toucan Education Program was amazing! My professor had already been there twice with two other student groups and you can tell that he loved it so much he came back with more students for a third trip. The program provided us with insight on the economy, culture, and the people. There was something exciting planned for each day from exploring Maya ruins to visiting the Embassy, snorkeling in the coral reef and visiting the Smithsonian, to experiencing the local markets and night life. I loved it! The weather was a bit chilly when I was there but is normally warm and perfect. We took a trip to South Water Caye which is this beautiful island off the coast of Belize. It felt like paradise!
The food was provided for us both on and off the island and we event got to make out own tamales with a women's group on one of the trips. The girls lived in a small building with four or five bedrooms and shared bathrooms and then on the island we slept in one large cabin with multiple bunk beds. We were also able to meet other student groups who were in the midst of their program with TEP. Overall, the trip was unbelievably unforgettable and I wouldn't mind going back!
This was the most rewarding trip of my life.
Submitted by Kathleen Budd - University of Indianapolis | June 23, 2014
This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I'm going into Criminal Justice and International Relations, so conducting oral history interviews at the prison of a foreign nation was the best thing for me that could possibly have happened. Thank you so much for this opportunity! I loved my time spent here, and seeing the sights, too, was so unique and wonderful!
Toucan Education Programs of Belize utilizes the beautiful people and features of Belize to create a life changing experience!
Submitted by Mary Schulz - Michigan State University | June 09, 2014
Toucan Education Program of Belize has earned an A+ with the educational program it developed and delivered for the students of Michigan State University during the May 2014 trip. Ms. Petrof is personable and professional. She uses the beautiful people and features of Belize as the classroom for an enriching and life changing experience. The people TEP collaborates with, from the drivers and guides to the lectures and lay people, are handpicked and are each significant to the learning experience. An exchange program developed by TEP will give each participant the opportunity to learn and grow and perhaps even cause one to leave a little piece of their heart in Belize!
The accommodations were just perfect. I enjoyed being just outside downtown San Ignacio and the evenings were so beautiful with a chorus of insect song. The pool and restaurant were great and the staff were so friendly and accommodating.
I felt like I learned so much about Belize in just the 10 days I was there. The two formal lectures were so informative. A good balance to all of the wonderful people of Belize that I engaged with during my time there. I left a little piece of my heart in Belize!
Rhondine Petrof of Toucan Education Programs (TEP) is one of the most professional and personable people I'm had the opportunity to work with, ever! She creates a life changing experience using the beautiful people and features of Belize as her classroom and then gives each person the opportunity to learn and grow.
My experience in Belize.
Submitted by Kenneth Williams Jr. - Michigan State University | May 23, 2014
I had a phenomenal time on my study abroad trip in, Belize. This Study abroad trip was so amazing because of the administration and TEP. The professionalism and kind spirits shown to us by TEP provided for a bright and sunny experience. Ms. Rhondine Petrof was extremely competent, professional, dilligent, patient and trustworthy and I commend her for that.
All of the rooms did not have wifi. Mine did not and if it had, it would have been great. It was still a wonderful experience.
loved the whole trip!
Submitted by Misty Padilla - University of Indianapolis | May 19, 2014
I loved my entire trip! I had a great experience and I enjoyed being thrown into the culture. I think that's important when visiting a country.
I learned so much about the prison and about the Maya!
I was honestly really surprised by how nice the first place was. I wasn't expecting to have air conditioning or WiFi at either place. It was also really great that we had a pool. The staff was great about answering to any problems that we had.
I loved everything we did including the lunches where we tried traditional dishes. The only time I was upset was when our group got a different meal than the other groups at the log cab-inn because one girl was a picky eater. I think that its important for us to try their food the whole time we are there and the whole group should still get that experience. If someone doesn't like the food they can order a different dish.
I enjoyed having the free time to walk around and talk to people from the town.
TEP: This is an Exceptionally awesome Program
Submitted by Deanne Sease - University of Indianapolis | March 18, 2014
The TEP staff truly cares about the students in the program. They work so hard to ensure that the transition for students from home to Belize is as smooth as possible. TEP provides thorough communication and education before, during, and after the trip. I would definitely recommend anyone interested in studying in Belize to work with the TEP program.
I wish we had been able to engage in service all five days, but we understood with the other groups at Octavia Waight and with the holiday, that it was probably the most beneficial to wait until Tuesday to begin with the art projects.
Being at Martha's in town was great! I loved being so close to everything and the staff there was fantastic. Coconut Row and the Black Orchid were also both wonderful.
We learned about the different ethnic groups in Belize and about the culture of the country. There is so much information that it is hard to take it all in, but it was communicated well.
Rhondine communicated well before the trip, while we were there, and so far after we have left. She is an excellent coordinator who truly cares about the students and faculty in the program.
The people we interacted with were so welcoming and friendly.
Excellent Community Service and Cultural Program
Submitted by Marilyn McElwain - University of Indianapolis | March 18, 2014
The community service and cultural program coordinated through TEP provided an itinerary that allowed students to meet course objectives and learn more about Belizean life. TEP provides excellent services, while safety of students is a priority. We can't wait for our next trip to Belize and TEP will be our program of choice. We highly recommend Toucan Educational Programs.
Excellent. In some situations students said they had only had cold showers. Food was very good and overall everything was excellent. We would stay at all sites again.
Ziplining, and the local sites (Iguanas, Xuantunich, swimming, etc.) were a good balance to our service project. Going to the coast was a different cultural experience for students that they enjoyed also. Pen Cayatano's studio was a perfect experience for students in art. If we could have built these experiences into the budget it would have been better, but overall the cost was very reasonable and it made it possible to do a spring break trip.
Excellent: we know we can always have safety as the top priority. The students and faculty have a relationship with TEP that is friendly and professional. Students feel close to the Director and that they can approach her with any concerns.
Students had time for shopping and planning other activities on their own, in addition to planned activities
Opportunity of a Lifetime.
Submitted by Brianna Gannon - University of Indianapolis | March 18, 2014
I had never traveled abroad through my school before. This was hands down the best experience I have gotten in college. Going to another country is challenging enough as it is but TEP made sure our days were filled with service, education, and fun every single day. We explored 3 different cities and were immersed in the culture each one presented. If you want to learn and receive a well rounded experience in Belize, TEP will fulfill that desire.
Through TEP we were able to interact with almost all cultures Belize has to offer.
Every place we stayed was hospitable and safe.
A premier educational program enriching the world citizenship.
Submitted by Samuel Raphalides - Fairleigh Dickinson University | February 14, 2014
This was FDU's Global Scholars Program third winter session trip to Belize with TEP. It will not be its last. Its was tailored to our needs, well organized, and professionally managed. Kudos to Rhondine.
As faculty, very good.
Student feedback was positive and appreciative of the multicultural environment.
Professionally administered in planning and coordination.
A valuable intercultural experience.