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Faculty-Led Customized Study in Belize Programs

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

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Immersion Experience

This was a transformative experience. The participants traveled to three parts of the country and were able to immerse with the different cultural groups. They participated in community service learning, host family stay, and met with local experts in various field.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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Belize Trip

This trip was absolutely a once in a lifetime opportunity. Being thrown into a world outside of our "United States" bubble gives one the opportunity to see the world through a different lens. If given the chance to return back to Belize and continue any promotion of health care or any other topics, I would not hesitate to return.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    9

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Promoting Health in Belize

Overall, my spring term went successfully. I enjoyed emerging myself into the Belizean culture, people, and weather. I enjoyed the teaching experience though I would be more interested in presenting something exercise related.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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Study abroad belize

This program was very beneficial and professional. Rhondine is very friendly and easy to work with. Our whole trip was scheduled out precisely. We always had transportation to the places wr needed to be. We were also set up with very nice lodging.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    9

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Very good program. Staff was nice and really made everyone feel comfirtable even when we were so far from home. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. The people with Tucab really made this trip the best for me!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Academics

    9

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Student

Overall, the whole experience was great. Being emerged in the culture was something that you can't get in the USA. There was a small language barrier but there were enough students in our group that we could communicate with them along with the help of some of the natives. However, it was a great learning experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

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A Mind Opening Experience

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.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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TEP was wonderful

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!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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Issues in Agricultural and Life Sciences

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."

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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You MUST Study in Belize

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+

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

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Real Experience

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.

Academics:
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.

Living Situation:
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.

Cultural Immersion:
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.

Program Administration:
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.

Social Life:
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.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

View detailed rating

Belizirific

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.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    0

  • Social Life

    0

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Belizirific

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.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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TEP Review

In general, TEP is a well-run, top-notch agency for providing a combination of educational, service and cultural immersion experiences.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

View detailed rating

An Excellent Experience

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.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

View detailed rating

Great Trip

Everything about this program is very well organized. Every where we went I was able to learn a great deal.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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UnBelizeable!

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.

Academics:
Tremendous learning experience. I learned a lot about working with older adults with different forms of dementia. Learning about Belize was great as well!

Living Situation:
I felt very fortunate with all of the accommodations!

Cultural Immersion:
We were constantly being immersed in the culture of Belize and had the opportunity to see a variety of locations and cultures.

Program Administration:
Rhondine was phenomenal in her leadership and preparations.

Social Life:
It was a great trip for bonding!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

View detailed rating

UnBELIZEable!

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!

Academics:
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!

Living Situation:
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!

Cultural Immersion:
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.

Program Administration:
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.

Social Life:
Loved our opportunities to experience the beauty of the country and time to decompress after a time of serving.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

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A true educational experience!

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!

Academics:
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.

Living Situation:
Overall, pretty great! Log Cab-Inn was my favorite!!

Cultural Immersion:
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.

Program Administration:
Ms. Rhondine is amazing!!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    0

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

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Interdisciplinary Professional Practice

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.

Living Situation:
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).

Cultural Immersion:
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!)

Program Administration:
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.

Social Life:
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!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    0

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

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Organized

Very well organized and coordinated

Living Situation:
Black Orchid was not ready to have a large group for meals.

Social Life:
Lots of availability. Would have been better if Saturday had been available for activities.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    0

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

View detailed rating

Trust TEP

TEP and Rhondine were very trustworthy and meticulous in planning and orchestrating our trip. I would definitely partner with them again.

Living Situation:
All the staff at our accommodations were wonderful and very concerned for our welfare. We were very comfortable.

Cultural Immersion:
We spent a considerable amount of time in direct patient care and consultation with Belizeans.

Program Administration:
Rhondine is excellent and took care of any issues immediately.

Social Life:
The excursions were excellent. My comment relates more to University Policy than TEP - I think there should be fewer opportunities for consuming alcohol.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

View detailed rating

Unbelievable Experience!

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!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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This was the most rewarding trip of my life.

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!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    0

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

View detailed rating

Toucan Education Programs of Belize utilizes the beautiful people and features of Belize to create a life changing experience!

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!

Living Situation:
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.

Cultural Immersion:
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!

Program Administration:
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.