When Lindsey Breaux thought about what studying abroad is like, having a cheeseburger outside of a Belize airport wasn’t what she had in mind. But there she was having her last taste of Americana before diving into a new country head-on.
Breaux is a communications sciences and disorders student going into her senior year. As part of her big finale as an Eagle, she wanted to spend her last summer as an undergraduate doing something special for those in desperate need of speech therapy. She always wanted to travel outside the country, which was something she hadn’t done much of.
“I went on a cruise last summer to the Bahamas, but it was not really what I wanted my traveling experience to be,” Breaux said. “Doing an internship and studying abroad were the two things I was looking for in a program, essentially. When I came across the therapy abroad program, I knew that that was going to be my best choice to get clinical experience and witness another culture.”
After receiving an email from the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association, Breaux promptly applied and was granted a spot in the program. She would soon be spending two weeks of her summer break in Belize.
Admittedly, she didn’t know much about the country, but exploration drove her intrigue. And the exploration began with a burger as her first meal outside of the United States. She said she felt a little silly picking that as her first meal, but she doesn’t regret it.
“We were very hungry, so we just had burgers,” Breaux said. “But we knew that we were going to have more chances to experience the food and everything. We did have local things to eat like rice and beans, and that was what we ate for pretty much lunch and dinner the entire two-week period.”
It wasn’t all rice and beans on this educational trip. This adventure would be filled with acquiring clinical experience and making an impact in the community.
Belize doesn’t have many opportunities for locals to receive speech therapy. For many communities, services offered by study abroad programs are the only viable option
Breaux spent her time with clients in need of speech therapy, including a four-year-old child with autism. Breaux knew she only had limited time in Belize to work with her, but she found a way to make a big impact in little ways.
“She is not really able to relate with as many of her peers,” she said. “So, when they have someone that’s there to play with them, that makes a huge impact on their life. Making those connections can help you get pretty close quickly.”
After two weeks of experiencing the small, yet diverse Belizean countryside, it was time for Breaux to return to her home in Beaufort, South Carolina.
Cherished memories of her transformative journey in Belize, where she honed her clinical skills, left an indelible mark on her heart, and ignited a lifelong passion for helping others and embracing global diversity. Standing ready for new adventures, she is forever grateful for the unforgettable summer that had shaped her into a more compassionate, worldly individual.