Tuesday, December 15, 2020

SLU SSM Orthopedic Residency Students discuss Innovation in PT




PTs in our  SLU SSM Orthopedic Residency were joined by independent, corporate, and social PT entrepreneurs to discuss innovation in PT with the moderator Mike Markee.


For more information on the program, visit https://www.slu.edu/doisy/degrees/ssm-residency.php or contact the Residency Program Director, Dr. Chris Sebelski at chris.sebelski@health.slu.edu.

Monday, December 14, 2020

SLU PT Students Receive the Spirit of the Billiken Senior Recognition Award




Congratulations to Jemma Kim and Megan Ng for receiving the Spirit of the Billiken Senior Recognition Award! This award was created by the Saint Louis University of Alumni Engagement to recognize 18 senior students who are dedicated to being proud and loyal alumni. The honorees represent the spirit of the Billiken by excelling in academics, leadership, and community service at Saint Louis University, as well as demonstrating a commitment to living the University’s mission after graduation. You can see from the bios below why these two students are deserving of the Spirit of the Billiken Senior Recognition Award.

Jemma Kim is actively involved within the Program in Physical Therapy, acting as a Class of 2023 class representative, a PT Ambassador, and serving as the 2021 Physical Therapy Students’ Association President. On-campus, Jemma has participated in SLU Dance Marathon as a Special Events Chair and Morale Captain. She is also a part of the Micah learning community, having served as a Peer Mentor and a Service Lead for her weekly service site. She works in the Student Success Center as a Tutor Team Lead and as a U101 course instructor and U101 captain. Her other involvements on campus include her work with the Office of Admissions, serving as a Study Abroad Peer Mentor and as a member of the Campus Ministry Immersion Board. 

Megan Ng is involved in the Program in Physical Therapy, athletics, and various student organizations. She is a DPT Class of 2023 representative. A member of the women’s cross country/ track team and serves as a representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as well as a respected member of the mental health and wellness committee. Other involvements on campus include VP of philanthropy for Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow, and member of the SLU Doctors without Borders student chapter.

Congratulations on your achievements, and thank you for your contributions to Saint Louis University.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Welcome SLU-SSM Health Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residents!



Welcome to the SLU-SSM Health Physical Therapy Orthopaedic Residents!!! 



Pictured from left to right: Mary Kimbrough, PT, DPT, Hiral Tailor, PT, DPT, and Christine Chansamone, PT, DPT.

For more information on the program, visit https://www.slu.edu/doisy/degrees/ssm-residency.php or contact the Residency Program Director, Dr. Chris Sebelski at chris.sebelski@health.slu.edu.

SLU-SSM Health Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency earns ABPTRFE re-accreditation



Congratulations to the SLU-SSM Health Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency Program for earning American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) re-accreditation for a period of 10 years.  Per the ABPTRFE, “in receiving renewal of accreditation, the SLU-SSM Health PT Orthopedic Residency program demonstrated its commitment to educational standards and ethical business practices indicative of quality, accountability, and continuous improvement that enhances the physical therapy profession.” 

 The SLU-SSM Health Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency Program is an accelerated post-licensure program to advance the orthopedic skills of physical therapists.  It is the only ABPTRFE accredited orthopedic physical therapy residency in Missouri.  Founded and accredited in 2014-2015, this unique collaboration between Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy and SSM Health Physical Therapy currently has 3 Residents and has graduated 13 licensed physical therapists.  In addition to clinical practice and teaching in the entry-level DPT program, each resident completes over 150 hours of mentoring and over 300 hours of educational experiences.  

For more information on the program, visit https://www.slu.edu/doisy/degrees/ssm-residency.php or contact the Residency Program Director, Dr. Chris Sebelski at chris.sebelski@health.slu.edu.

Monday, December 7, 2020

SLU DPT Class of 2023 Attends Virtual White Coat Ceremony



DPT Class of 2023 Virtual White Coat Ceremony was Friday, December 4th, 2020.  Congratulations on all your accomplishments! 

Friday, December 4, 2020

SLU PT Faculty Present on the Implementation of Hyflex Professional Physical Therapy Education within the COVID-19 Blindspot



Lisa Dorsey, Ph.D., Ginge Kettenbach, Ph.D., Carol Beckel, Ph.D. and Tricia Austin, Ph.D., presented Dec. 2 through the Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions 2020 Live Virtual Series. The title of the presentation is Implementation of Hyflex Professional Physical Therapy Education Curricular Models within the COVID-19 Blindspot.

Monday, November 23, 2020

SLU PT Faculty Publishes Research in Sports and Exercise Medicine and Sports Physical Therapy



Oluwatoyosi Owoeye, PhD, MS, PT from the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training published “Dissemination and implementation research in sports and exercise medicine and sports physical therapy: translating evidence to practice and policy” in the BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine Journal.

To read more about his research, visit https://bmjopensem.bmj.com/content/6/1/e000974


SLU PT Faculty Members Accomplish Outstanding Research



SLU PT Faculty members Drs. Chris Sebelski, Elissa Held Bradford, and Ann Hayes published their article “The Intersection of Movement and Clinical Reasoning: Embodying “Body as a Teacher” to Advance the Profession and Practice” in the Physical Therapy Journal.

To read the full research article, visit https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzz137

Monday, November 2, 2020

SLU PT Program Lends a Hand to the Saint Louis Community



Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy partners with Northside Youth And Senior Service Center, Inc. to encourage older adults to exercise at home during the pandemic by creating and distributing exercise DVDs.

To learn more, watch https://www.youtube.com/c/GatewayGeriatricEducationCenterstl

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

SLU PT Interim Chair Celebrated for Her Work in Supporting Women



Dr. Lisa Dorsey, the Interim Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training is featured in the October WISER Woman for Missouri Cures - Education Foundation.  Dr. Dorsey has been the recipient of the Saint Louis University Woman of the Year Award and will be featured as a panelist at WISER Week, and learn more about her work supporting women. 
Congratulations, Dr. Dorsey!  

To learn more, visit https://missouricures.org/wiser/

Thursday, October 15, 2020

SLU PT Faculty Member Awarded for Leadership and Service in SLU PT Program



Kristin Hrasky from the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training received the 2020 Joyce Huelsman Outstanding SAC Member award from Saint Louis University.  

The award was established to honor founding SAC member, Joyce Huelsmann (SLU staff - 1963-2010), and recognizes a member of the Staff Advisory Committee who has best exhibited the qualities necessary for the type of leadership, service, and positive spirit that were a hallmark of Joyce Huelsmann and her involvement at Saint Louis University, and more specifically, the Staff Advisory Committee. Her high moral standards, strong work ethic, and personal commitment to leadership through example, integrity, compassion, and respect for all continue to be a cornerstone of the Staff Advisory Committee.  Congratulations, Kristin!

To learn more about our Physical Therapy Program, visit https://catalog.slu.edu/colleges-schools/health-sciences/physical-therapy-athletic-training/physical-therapy-program/

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

SLU PT Student Joins APTA Student Assembly for Missouri


Congratulations Brandon Moseley, DPT Class of 2021, APTA Student Assembly Core Ambassador for Missouri!

To learn more about our Physical Therapy Program, visit https://catalog.slu.edu/colleges-schools/health-sciences/physical-therapy-athletic-training/physical-therapy-program/

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

SLU PT Alumni Selected for APTA Missouri's First Centennial Scholar



DPT Class of 2018 Alumni, Beth Hughes, is selected to serve as APTA Missouri's First Centennial Scholar.  The APTA Centennial Scholars Program is designed to build a cadre of future association leaders at both the chapter/section/academy and national levels. 

Demonstrating APTA’s investment in the sustainability of the association as it begins its next 100 years, the program will support our collective quest for a diverse and prepared leadership pool. The 12-month program will run throughout 2021 with a goal of engaging 100 scholars, including the goal of at least one scholar sponsored by each of APTA’s chapters, sections, and academies. Congratulations, Dr. Hughes!  

To learn more about our Physical Therapy Program, visit https://catalog.slu.edu/colleges-schools/health-sciences/physical-therapy-athletic-training/physical-therapy-program/

Monday, September 14, 2020

SLU Health Resource Center Continues to Aid Virtually during the Pandemic



HRC Pro Bono Physical Therapy Visits continue via Zoom Telehealth.  Patients with a Doctor's prescription can schedule for a telehealth visit by calling 314-881-8088.  Thanks to this group of PYII and PYIII students for sharing their talents and time.

To learn more about the Health Resource Center, visit https://www.slu.edu/doisy/clinics-and-community/health-resource-center.php


Thursday, September 10, 2020

SLU PT Faculty Serves in the APTA Covid-19 Resource Panel Task Force



Kim Levenhagen, DPT, of the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, is serving as a representative from the Academy of Acute Care PT to the APTA COVID-19 Resource Panel Task Force. 

Her service has resulted in the creation of several resources for practitioners in the field related to the COVID-19 pandemic including:
A co-written report, “The Aerosol Generating Procedure,” as well as  series of webinars to respond to the needs from Outpatient to Inpatient shift and COVID 19, including:
APTA Learning Center Series
Productivity vs. Value: Why We Need to Change the Discussion, and How YOU Can! CEUs:  0.2 CEUs/2 contact hours/CCUs (including assessment)
Arterial Blood Gases (0.1 CEU)
Putting the Value Back in Lab Results (0.1 CEU)
Tips on Drips- Integrating ICU Pharmacology into PT practice (0.1 CEU) 

To learn more about our Physical Therapy Program, visit https://catalog.slu.edu/colleges-schools/health-sciences/physical-therapy-athletic-training/physical-therapy-program/

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

SLU PT Faculty Achieves Research in Sports Medicine



Oluwatoyosi Owoeye, Ph.D., of the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, recently published an article, "Epidemiology of All-Complaint Injuries in Youth Basketball," in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.  

To read the full research, visit https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/sms.13813

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

SLU PT Students and Alumni Assist in New Hospital Move



Hospital Move! Thank you to the PY2s and alumni, Jamie Prus (DPT Class of 2020), who assisted in the hospital move yesterday. The new SSM Saint Louis University Hospital has sophisticated technology and design that supports and elevates our academic-medical partnership. And it has excellent views of the city.


To learn more about our Physical Therapy Program, visit https://catalog.slu.edu/colleges-schools/health-sciences/physical-therapy-athletic-training/physical-therapy-program/

Friday, August 28, 2020

SLU PT Faculty Member Awarded Outstanding Teaching Award


Congratulations to Dr. Elissa Held-Bradford for winning the 2019 - 2020 Doisy College of Health Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award!  

To learn more about our Physical Therapy Program, visit https://catalog.slu.edu/colleges-schools/health-sciences/physical-therapy-athletic-training/physical-therapy-program/

Thursday, August 27, 2020

SLU PT Students Selected as HRC Leads for SLU ProBono PT Clinic


Meet our HRC leads for the SLU ProBono PT Clinic. The HRC is a ProBono clinic that provides healthcare to people in the St. Louis community. This year we are taking a new lead to meet with patients over Telehealth visits. Teams of student physical therapists will be treating patients under the observation of a licensed physical therapist to address pain concerns, loss of function, and post-surgical rehabilitation. It is a great way to get involved with the community virtually and practice the vital skills necessary to become our world’s future health care professionals.


To learn more about the Health Resource Center, visit https://www.slu.edu/doisy/clinics-and-community/health-resource-center.php

Thursday, August 20, 2020

SLU PT Residents Students Graduate Amidst the Pandemic


SLU SSM Health Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency Graduates of 2020.  

From left to right: Dr. Jordan Ponce, Dr. Joshua Munter, and Dr. Megan Ludwig

For more information on the program, visit https://www.slu.edu/doisy/degrees/ssm-residency.php or contact the Residency Program Director, Dr. Chris Sebelski at chris.sebelski@health.slu.edu.

Friday, August 14, 2020

SLU PT Student Learning in Clinical Site at Concentra Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa


SLU PT Student Kelsey Bequette (DPT Class of 2021) and PT Students Colleen Shearer from University of Illinois Chicago and Stevin Sturtz from University of St. Augustine with Clinical Instructor, Nick Warnken at Concentra Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa.

To learn more about our Physical Therapy Program, visit https://catalog.slu.edu/colleges-schools/health-sciences/physical-therapy-athletic-training/physical-therapy-program/


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

SLU PT Students Connect with SLU PT Alumni at Clinical Site



SLU PT Students Julie Kregel and Maddie Tisdale (DPT Class of 2021) and Missouri State PT Student Erica Friebel connect with SLU PT Alumni Erin Wallen (DPT Class of 2017) and Brianne Ernst (DPT Class of 2014) at their clinical site, Concentra Medical Center - Midtown, St. Louis, Missouri.  

To learn more about our Physical Therapy Program, visit https://catalog.slu.edu/colleges-schools/health-sciences/physical-therapy-athletic-training/physical-therapy-program/

Monday, July 27, 2020

SLU PT Faculty Member Presents at the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine


SLU Program in Physical Therapy Faculty Member, Dr. Kim Levenhagen's proposal entitled, "Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema Clinical Practice" was accepted by the 97th American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (#ACRM2020) conference for presentation on Wednesday, 10/21/20. Learn more about guidelines surrounding diagnosis and intervention by registering on the link below.

To learn more, visit here www.ACRM.org 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

SLU PT Faculty Member Invited to Present about Woman Empowerment in Science, Entrepreneurship and Research


Congrats to SLU Program in Physical Therapy Faculty Member, Dr. Lisa Dorsey who was invited to present in the Missouri Cures Education Foundations's Women in Science, Entrepreneurship and Research (WISER) event in November 2020.  Missouri Cures Doisy College of Health Sciences at Saint Louis University. 

To learn more, visit https://missouricures.org/wiser/

Monday, July 13, 2020

SLU PT Faculty Member Accomplishes Research Publication in Sports Sciences



Hats off to SLU Program in Physical Therapy, Dr. Olu Owoeye, who recently published the article. "How much, how often, how well? Adherence to a neuromuscular training warm-up injury prevention program in youth basketball" in the Journal of Sports Sciences (of @BASESUK) late last month on June 26, 2020.

To read the full article, visit https://www.tandfonline.com/.../10.../02640414.2020.1782578

Thursday, July 2, 2020

SLU PT Faculty Member Co-Authors APTA Oncology's First Major Treatment-Related CPG


Way to go SLU Program in Physical Therapy Faculty Member, Dr. Kim Levenhagen, who co-authored the APTA Oncology's first major treatment-related CPG. This is specifically a resource on the treatment of lymphedema related to breast cancer. The article highlights the physical therapist's role in recovery.

To read more about the article, visit https://www.apta.org/article/2020/06/26/new-pt-focused-lymphedema-guideline-follows-care-trajectory?_zs=8ATfV1&_zl=puAu6&fbclid=IwAR0p81lZXT-CEUk5XFxblvA73rLKZikZ5mJSD7Jqzk9d12kGWmsQNXpyIAI

Monday, May 18, 2020

SLU PT Faculty Member Presents at the 5th International Congress on Soldier's Physical Performance



Hats off to SLU Program in Physical Therapy Faculty Member, Dr. Olu Owoeye, who made the headlines of the End-of-Academic-Year Edition of Professional Notes with his presentation “Injury Prevention in Sport: What Works and How is this Relevant to the Military” at the 5th International Congress on Soldier's Physical Performance ICSPP2020 Quebec City.

To read more, visit https://www.slu.edu/news/announcements/2020/may/end-of-year-professional-notes-faculty-staff.php?fbclid=IwAR3rmT-QDyFD0j-4hZhfe57ZG7g-HH3RY6mAh_stMADfMGtpxyQUI47KwxI

Thursday, April 23, 2020

SLU PT Faculty Member Presents at the Physical Therapy Considerations of Neurologic Presentations in COVID-19


Sending a hearty "thank you" to SLU Program in Physical Therapy Faculty Member, Dr. Kim Levenhagen, who will be presenting at the "Physical Therapy Considerations of Neurologic Presentations in COVID-19" on Saturday April 25, 2020. This webinar is presented in collaboration with the APTA Section on Health Policy and Administration the Catalyst, Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, and the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy. 

To register, visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/998243714740537359?fbclid=IwAR2y97o_BkoE8AUd47voieWjWFRSpNUrQD97kNSRfhoR1pwUlygXIxczIMQ

Friday, March 27, 2020

SLU PT Students Show Class Spirit During the Pandemic



WE'VE GOT SPIRIT, YES WE DO!
We've got spirit....how about YOU?
Professional Year I students showing their spirit today during Zoom Class with Hawaiian Attire and some virtual backgrounds of the beach and palm tree!

To learn more about our Physical Therapy Program, visit https://catalog.slu.edu/colleges-schools/health-sciences/physical-therapy-athletic-training/physical-therapy-program/

Monday, March 9, 2020

SLU PT Alumni Awarded in Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy 2020 Awards



Congratulations to this year's Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy 2020 Award Winners! Let's give a standing ovation to SLU Program in Physical Therapy alum, Dr. Traci Norris (Class of 2003) distinguished awardee of the Mary Sinnott Award for Clinical Excellence. 

To learn more about our Physical Therapy Program, visit https://catalog.slu.edu/colleges-schools/health-sciences/physical-therapy-athletic-training/physical-therapy-program/

Monday, March 2, 2020

SLUT DPT Student and SLU PT Faculty Member Present at CSM 2020


Congratulations to SLU DPT Student, Lauren Groszek (Class of 2021) who was highlighted in the February 2020 SLU Professional Notes in Newslink. Groszek presents her poster with SLU Program in Physical Therapy Faculty member and mentor, Dr. Kim Levenhagen at #CSM2020.

To read more, visit https://www.slu.edu/news/announcements/2020/february/february-professional-notes.php?fbclid=IwAR2d5WzirczkUxQfVyVcqzzxSBIupSSCZixgLXRfrWE01kVrhURCGXNVbJ0

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

1818 Community Engagement Grant

Figure 1: The children enjoyed the large parachute used at the end of the program
1818 Community Engagement Grant Event
by SLU DPT Students Kelsey Bequette (Class of 2021) and Lauren Foster (Class of 2022)

The Saint Louis University Physical Therapy Student Association (SLU PTSA) successfully applied for and was awarded one of 18 “1818 Community Engagement Grants” for the second year in a row. These grants aim to provide the foundation for students to make a positive impact in the community through partnership with local organizations. On Friday, January 31, 2020, PTSA, in collaboration with the SLU Athletic Training and Nutrition and Dietetics Programs, hosted the 2nd annual ‘Building Bridges for the Future’ event. We partnered with a local community organization, Unleashing Potential (UP), to bring children ages 3-12 years old to the Saint Louis University Campus to learn about the health science professions. This project specifically focused on providing the children with an introduction to how the study of science bridges to health care professions, including Physical Therapy, Athletic Training, and Nutrition and Dietetics. This event was also designed to bring the children to the Saint Louis University Campus, providing them the opportunity to envision themselves pursuing higher education in the future.

Figure 2: SLU students were excited to volunteer

During the event, the children participated in various educational activities centered around our three health science professions. Activities focused on basic human anatomy through coloring, exercise and stretching techniques, nutrition, and healthy food choices, as well as wound care and balancing. SLU student volunteers from each of the three respective programs had a great time participating in the activities and engaging the children of UP throughout the activities. Many of the children had attended the program last year and were excited to be back on SLU’s campus and learn more about the health science field. As always, we had a great time collaborating with our community partner to advocate for our professions and for the futures of the children in our community. We are looking forward to working with these children again in the future and continuing to develop our relationship with Unleashing Potential!

Figure 3: SLU students assisted UP children in tracing their bodies to learn about human anatomy

Figure 4: SLU Students and UP children participated in exercise activities such as a jumping jack circle



Saint Louis University DPT Students Kelsey Bequette (Class of 2021) and Lauren Foster (Class of 2022) are former PTSA Co-Presidents.

This is one of several posts featuring SLU PT Student experiences. For more information about Saint Louis University's Program in Physical Therapy, please visit: https://www.slu.edu/doisy/degrees/undergraduate/physical-therapy.php.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

SLU PT Study Abroad Opportunity - Madrid, Spain

Hola! from Madrid
by Emily Redpath (DPT Class of 2023)

Studying abroad was always a dream of mine growing up. One of the main reasons that SLU’s PT program stood out to me was because it gives students the opportunity to study abroad for an entire semester – which is difficult to find in other 6-year PT programs. Deciding to go to Madrid was sort of a ‘no-brainer’ for me because I wanted the chance to travel around Europe as much as possible while still being able to work on my Spanish. The months leading up to leaving I was very stressed and anxious, but as the departure date grew near, I was so unbelievably excited for the opportunity ahead of me.

We arrived in Madrid and got the chance to meet our wonderful host parents, Marta and Jacobo.  They only spoke to us in Spanish, but they made the experience so memorable for me and my roommates. Marta and her housekeeper, Margarita, cooked us the most incredible meals that we would look forward to every single night. Marta also loved to talk to us about all things Madrid – the restaurants, the nightlife, her favorite spots, and all the touristy places she always wanted us to avoid (but we went to anyways). We got a great look into the family dynamic in Madrid on Sundays when some of Marta’s 10 children and 22 grandchildren would come for lunch. Her children loved to talk to us, and the best part was that three of her daughters are physical therapists – so we got an idea about the differences between PT in the U.S and in Europe.

 Myself, Olivia Hinkel (SLU DPT Class of 2023), Meredith Miller (SLU DPT Class of 2023), Eva Dougherty (SJU Class of 2021) and Alexis Landry (SLU DPT Class of 2023) with our host parents.

I also really enjoyed my classes at SLU Madrid. Due to the way the physical therapy curriculum is set up, I only had to take 4 classes and I had many different options. I was in two classes taught completely in Spanish so that I could complete my minor. I was also in Latin Rhythms and Dance, a class that made me completely step out of my comfort zone.  Even though I am not the best dancer, this was one of my favorite classes ever!

10 SLU DPT Class of 2023 students (and Eva Dougherty SJU Class of 2021) and I at our class dance recital.

My final class, Oceanography, was also unforgettable. Through this class we got to go on a weekend trip to Murcia, Spain. This was one of my favorite trips because we got to do and see so many of the things that we had learned about in class. We also got to go scuba diving in the Mediterranean, which was one of my favorite experiences abroad – until I got an awful jellyfish sting! I still have the scar, but it reminds me of the incredible experience that I had on the trip and in the class.

Rhadika Patel, Olivia Hinkel, Griffin Lebeau, Nathan Breckenkamp, myself (all SLU DPT Class of 2023) and Logan Williams (SLU Class of 2020) before scuba diving in the Mediterranean.

The jellyfish sting the day after it happened!

One of my favorite parts of my experience abroad was the opportunities we had to travel all around the continent.  Our first weekend trip we left Europe and went to Africa! We went with a travel group and a bunch of other physical therapy students to Morocco. We got to ride camels in Tangier and then spend another day exploring Chefchaouen - also called “The Blue City” because everything is painted blue. This trip was quite the culture shock for all of us, but I felt as though it was really eye opening and truly allowed me to experience a different culture than my own.

The group of SLU DPT Class of  2023 students on the Morocco trip.

Nathan Breckenkamp, Griffin Lebeau, myself, and Olivia Hinkel (all SLU DPT Class of 2023) riding camels on the beach

The next weekend we travelled to London, which was a stark contrast to our previous trip.  Everything was in English which was a nice change after the previous three weeks being in Spanish.  The following weekend we went to Lisbon, Portugal - which truly surprised me by its beauty.  We got to spend time exploring the hilly city, relaxing on the beach and seeing all of the amazing sites of the area.  Highlights of this trip included going on a boat cruise along the coast and meeting up with our fellow PT classmates to see the Pena Palace in Sintra!

A group of SLU DPT Class of 2023 students at the Pena Palace.

After that, we got to go to Italy, a trip that I was very excited for. We spent a day exploring the canals in Venice and two days seeing as much of Rome as we could. Both cities were incredible in completely different ways and I cannot wait to go back to Italy to see what else it has to offer. The second weekend in October we met up with more PT students and traveled to Barcelona. Everyone’s favorite part was definitely a 30-minute hike up a hill to get an incredible view over the city. Our day unfortunately ended with every traveler's nightmare - bedbugs in our Airbnb! Don’t worry, we ended up in a really nice hostel that was all paid for by Airbnb so it ended up working out better.

The view after our 30-minute hike.

At the end of October, we headed to the Netherlands to check out Amsterdam. The weather was beautiful, so we spent our days riding bikes through the park, walking along the canals, and stuffing our faces with endless amounts of Dutch Apple Pie, Stroopwaffle, and Frites. Amsterdam was one of the most beautiful places that I had ever been - which took all of us by surprise.

View of the beautiful buildings in Amsterdam.

The month of November consisted of trips to Munich, Ireland, and Seville. We were some of the few physical therapy students who did not go to Munich for Oktoberfest, but we loved visiting the city in November because we got to see all the Christmas markets! We also got to spend the afternoon at Dachau, one of the first concentration camps. The following weekend we went to Galway and Dublin.  We took a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher where we were absolutely blown away by its sheer beauty and size.


Griffin Lebeau, Alexis Landry, Nathan Breckenkamp, myself, Olivia Hinkel (all SLU DPT Class of 2023), and Eva Dougherty (SJU Class of 2021) at the Cliffs of Moher.

Our last trip to Switzerland was probably my favorite. I was stunned by the pure natural beauty of the mountains. I decided to make this last trip special by going paragliding over the Interlaken which was an experience I will truly never forget. It is truly difficult to put into words how beautiful this country was, and I know that I will be back one day.

The view over Interlaken, Switzerland.

Even with all our traveling we still found the time to explore Madrid during the week and on the few weekends that we did stay home. We did not have class on Mondays or Wednesdays, so we used that time to check out all the big sights of Madrid. We loved heading to Gran Via to shop, to Sol to check out our favorite dessert places, and to Parque de Oeste to enjoy the beautiful weather. Usually, on these days we would try and eat lunch in a new neighborhood so that we could really explore the city. I grew to love Madrid - the people, the culture, the places. I loved living right in a big, bustling city.  There was always something going on, yet everyone was so laid back and was truly enjoying their lives.

Nathan Breckenkamp (SLU DPT Class of 2023) enjoying a churro at San Gines in Madrid.

Another one of the highlights of my experience was being able to teach a free English class. I worked with a permanent Madrid student and we taught a beginner English class. No one in my class spoke any English so I had the chance to work on my Spanish. It was really rewarding to get to see how they improved and how happy they were to be learning the language. We also got to know our students, who ranged from ages 18-65, and it was beneficial to me to be able to talk to them about their lives and get to know their culture.

Overall, I learned so much on my trip abroad. I feel as though I gained a lot of independence and confidence. Being thrown into places not knowing the language or the culture really makes you step out of your comfort zone, but I loved the opportunity to do so. Things do go wrong, whether it was getting stranded outside an airport for a night, missing our buses, bedbugs in an Airbnb, or getting stung by a jellyfish. But the hard times made for the best memories and gave us the chance to truly learn about ourselves. I can really go with the flow and make the best out of difficult situations that maybe we did not plan for, which was something I was not great at before coming abroad. I formed so many bonds with people that I know will be my life-long friends. While I am glad to be back in St. Louis, I would give anything to be back in Madrid exploring the amazing city. I look back at all my pictures and memories and am so thankful that I had this opportunity to experience one of the best 4 months of my life so far.

Myself, Alexis Landry, Olivia Hinkel, Meredith Miller (all SLU DPT Class of 2023) and Eva Dougherty (SJU Class of 2021) at the metro stop right by our house on our last night in Madrid.
This is one of several posts featuring SLU PT Student study abroad experiences. Because of its unique format, the SLU PT program gives students the ability to study abroad the fall of their junior year. For more information about study abroad experiences at SLU go to: http://www.slu.edu/study-abroad.