(Corrected Link) New Job Posting on SLP Overseas Job Board–11/29/20

Dear Readers,

Interested in an exciting job opportunity in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

Head to the SLP Overseas job board by clicking here for more details about the most recent job posting and how to apply!

Have questions? Feel free to contact me directly at slpoverseas1@gmail.com

Wishing you the best of luck on your clinical journeys around the world!

Sincerely,

Kristin AmRhein, SLP Overseas

Singapore

SLP and Culture in Singapore

Speech and Language Therapy is a well-developed field in Singapore. The professional association, Speech and Language Therapy Singapore (SALTS), was established in 1994 and has been growing ever since! From Early Intervention and school-based services, to clinics, and hospital settings, Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) in Singapore have the opportunity to work with patients across the lifespan.

Singapore is a very culturally and linguistically diverse country with four official language–Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, and English. English is the most commonly used language which unites Singaporeans from different ethnic groups. Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences can be appreciated in the cuisine, architecture, and religious festivals!

Though English is the most common language, Singaporeans often use ‘Singlish’ which is a mix of English and other languages spoken in Singapore including Malay and Hokkien. Though Singlish is more frequently used when talking with family members and friends, as a foreign SLP, it is important to have an understanding of the linguistic variations Singlish presents to better understand language differences vs. disorders. One interesting pragmatic difference is the use of terms such as ‘lah’, ‘wat’, and ‘lor’ at the end of phrases and sentences. These particles serve different purposes including conveying mood and a sense of resignation. For more information about the linguistic variables of Singlish, check out this paper.

Steps to Working in Singapore

  1. Score a job
  2. Register with the Allied Health Professions Council
  3. Apply for your work visa

More info about the process below!

Job Opportunities

There are a variety of settings and populations you can work
with in Singapore. Here are a few organizations and clinics to help you start
your search:

Qualifications and AHPC Registration

According to SALTS, in order to qualify as a Speech-Language
Pathologist in Singapore, you must have completed a 4-year undergraduate degree
or 2-year post-graduate degree locally or internationally.

You must also register with the culturally and linguistically diverse country (AHPC). Criteria for registration include:

    • Professional Qualification (4 year Bachelor’s; 2 year Post-Grad/Master’s)
      • Qualifying Examination (QE) required if professional qualification is not listed on AHPC’s List of Recognised Qualification
      • USA trained clinicians must have their CCC-SLP and prove education from a CAA accredited program
      • English Language Proficiency Test
      • Offer of employment

Visa Requirements

In order to work in Singapore, you must acquire valid pass (aka work visa)–most likely an S Pass or Employment Pass for Allied Healthcare Professions. Learn more about the application process on the Ministry of Manpower website 

  • Registration with the AHPC is required prior to applying for and obtaining your work visa.

Education Opportunities

The National University of Singapore offers a 2-year Master of Science program in Speech and Language Pathology.

Singapore Institute of Technology offers a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Speech and Language Therapy.

***For Singaporean students interested in studying overseas, scholarships are available! Learn more here.

Have questions about transferring your degree back home? Always look into the requirements with your home country’s professional organization (i.e.—ASHA, RCSLT, etc) for specifics on the process for internationally trained clinicians prior to deciding to obtain your degree overseas.

~Your SLP Overseas

Want to stay up-to-date with the latest job posts and available resources to support your search for international study, volunteering, and working? Subscribe to SLP Overseas and follow on Instagram @SLPoverseas

The Culturally Competent SLP

Cultural competence is a critical skill for all clinicians to be continuously developing through ongoing self-assessment and expansion of cultural knowledge. Why? Whether working internationally or in their home country, Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) provide services to a range of clients from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds different from their own. To be a culturally competent clinician, one must adapt their personal biases, perceptions, pragmatic behaviors, and teaching styles. In doing so, a culturally competent clinician understands and responds to the unique cultural and linguistic variables of their client and adapts their evaluation and treatment approach accordingly.

Putting Cultural Competence into practice in your international career

Clinicians seeking work in countries where SLP is underdeveloped run the risk of imparting their own cultural biases on what is considered best practice without understanding the unique needs of the culturally and linguistically diverse population they serve. As a result, the well-intentioned SLP may indirectly reinforce power inequalities or take on the role of the ‘expert’ or ‘teacher’. In addition to being culturally competent, when working in countries where the goal is to develop the field of speech-language pathology, it is important to focus on working with and training local healthcare providers and families to develop their own clinical skill set to support the child rather than taking a direct-service approach.

Before starting your international career, educate yourself on:

  1. Nationality, ethnicity, and religious values of the population that may have an impact on beliefs around health care and family member involvement
  2. The family’s access to recommended materials, toys, food/drink, etc.
  3. Languages and various dialects spoken in the country. This is an important consideration when assessing speech skills
    • Use culturally and linguistically relevant assessment and treatment materials
    • Use items that are appropriate and familiar to the child
  4. Cultural norms related to social customs
    • Greetings, appropriate and inappropriate gestures, non-verbal communication (e.g.—appropriate use of eye contact)
  5. Cultural norms and perspectives on parent-child interactions
  6. Cultural norms and perspectives related to mealtimes
    • Important foods and drinks, type of equipment utilized (or not utilized) for eating and drinking, perspective on use of bottles/formula/breastfeeding and transitioning babies to solids, mealtime communication, environment, seating
  7. Cultural and religious perspectives on communication and swallowing disorders and the special needs population

***this is not an exhaustive list but just some ideas to get your mind rolling!

Useful Resources to Learn More about How to be a Culturally and Globally Competent SLP

Join ASHA SIG 17: Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders

ASHA: Cultural Competence

Competencies for Effective Global Engagement: A Proposal for Communication Sciences and Disorders

An International Service Delivery Model for Sustainable Practices: Insights from Cambodia

Cambodia

With over 600,000 individuals in need of speech and language services, it’s no wonder why this country has become the center of SLP development in Southeast Asia. Several NGOs, volunteers, and established clinics and hospitals work towards the same goal: to bring speech, language, and swallowing services to underserved areas in Cambodia and ultimately train local therapists to become professional Speech and Language Pathologists through the development of the first university course and training program.

Check out these volunteer and paid job opportunities for professionals and students with organizations that share this same goal:

Work Opportunities

Happy Kids Clinic is a pediatric clinic located in Phnom Penh which was started by the NGO, OICCambodia. OIC recognized the need for services and established this clinic to provide SLP and OT services and raise awareness of communication difficulties. All profits go towards OIC’s work including efforts to establish the first university program in Cambodia for local therapists. Additionally, Happy Kids Clinic serves as a place for future students to complete their clinical placements. Happy Kids Clinic is hiring for paid Speech and Occupational Therapist positions! Check out their website to learn more about their work and how to contact them.

Volunteer Opportunities

Since 2007, City, University of London has been sending newly qualified therapists from their Bachelor’s and Postgraduate programs to Phnom Penh to work with various populations including cleft lip and palate, mental health, and schools. City graduates have also played an integral role in the delivery of speech and language modules for local therapists enrolled in the 12-week SLP/SLT course at Paññāsāstra University. Students, interested in this opportunity?..first step, apply for your degree at City!

Speech Therapy Cambodia’s mission is to develop an organization aimed at serving patients with speech, language, and swallowing challenges and to educate and train Cambodian Speech and Language Therapists. Speech Therapy Cambodia currently provides ongoing training and supervision to 17 doctors, nurses, and PTs in hospitals across Phnom Penh. They are always looking for volunteers with experience travelling and/or working in developing countries to support the work they do in Cambodia. They also employ 2 licensed SLPs for a year-long contract to provide ongoing education and supervision to clinicians trained through STC as well as develop training materials for future university courses in Cambodia.

Work Visa Requirements

*Always check with your organization first to see what costs they are willing to cover and double check requirements with them!

For volunteers, your tourist visa (T class) is good for 30 days and you can renew this visa once for a total of 60 days. If you anticipate being in Cambodia longer than 60 days, go for the Ordinary Visa (E class) as this can be extended indefinitely after your 30 days with an E class visa extension (different E class types but most expats are covered by the EB which is described below!).

Work visas

EB Visa Extension covers most expats including those working, volunteering, and freelancing. You’ll need a stamped letter verifying your employment with a company in Cambodia and you’ll be eligible for a visa extension of 1, 3, 6, or 12 months (but go for 6 or 12-month extension as this will get you multiple entries in and out of Cambodia which is good for travel opportunities!)

For more information about visa types, check out this useful site.

~Happy travels! want more? follow @SLPoverseas on instagram today!

UnBelizable SLP Work!

Yes, I know..the pun is corny. But hey, gotta switch things up sometimes 😉

Belize is a beautifully diverse country of unique cultures and traditions, rich languages, delicious food, raw nature, and so much more! Though English is considered the official language of Belize spoken by 62.9% of the population, Spanish (56.6%) and Kriol (44.6%) are the next most spoken languages followed by indigenous Mayan langauges and Garifuna, a language influenced by Carib, French, and Spanish. Even cooler, most of the population is multilingual!!! This makes the prospect of speech and language service provision an exciting one with the opportunity to provide services in English for several families. However, it also presents a challenge when considering and maintaining cultural sensitivity in evaluation and treatment. For example, when assessing a child and asking them to identify pictures, they may not know what a snowman is simply because they live in a country that doesn’t have snow and therefore they’ve never been exposed to this concept.

Now let’s talk about the need for SLPs! Presently, one full-time ASHA certified clinician provides bilingual English-Spanish services at The Inspiration Center, the first clinic in Belize to provide medical and therapeutic services which was established by the First Lady of Belize in 2014. However, this is not an easy task for one clinician alone! As awareness grows and the need increases in Belize, there is lack of access to services due to limited trained providers available, especially in small villages where access to transportation is a challenge.

Therapy Abroad, an organization providing undergrad and graduate students the opportunity to gain hands-on clinical experience abroad under the supervision of licensed therapists, has recently created a strong presence in Belize bringing students and licensed clinicians over for 2-week periods to help fill this need. This past summer, a total of 17 groups provided speech and language screenings, evaluations, and intervention in cities and villages across the country!

Read more about the Therapy Abroad experience through blog posts recalling my own experience as the Team Leader for TA’s first undergraduate programs during summer 2017!

Work and Volunteer Opportunities in Belize:

The Inspiration Center is currently seeking long-term volunteers for the speech department who are licensed, Clinical Fellows (that’s right, you can do your CFY abroad!), or qualified SLPAs.

Therapy Abroad is currently accepting applications for 2020 student programs (SLP/OT/PT). Also hiring licensed clinicians to provide supervision for student programs and new grads/clinicians who are interested in being a Team Leader for student groups! TA also offers volunteer programs for professfinal SLPs, OT, PTs, Music Therapists and more!

Helping Hands— Though not a clear-cut SLP opportunity, Helping Hands is an exceptitonal program established by the one and only Miss Emily, a proud Garifuna woman who is the true heart and soul of Belize! She created Helping Hands out of her own home and has now developed the resources and space for a summer camp and afterschool program which provides tutoring, Garifuna culture classes, free WiFi and more! WOW right! She’s always thrilled to welcome new volunteers who are eager to bring their own knowledge and skills to the table and many of her studens have been identified as having speech and language needs (hint hint, you’d be an asset to her program!). Email: emilypmartinez@yahoo.com to find out moreabout ways you can help!

Work Visa

If you are a resident of the US, UK, Canada, EU, Caribbean or Central American countries, Belize allows you to remain in the country for 1 month with your passport only. You can renew this 30 day visa at the local immigration office. If you plan to stay longer and work/get paid, you will need to obtain a work visa and are only eligible for this permit after residing in Belize for 6 months.

Happy travels!

-Kristin AmRhein, M.S., CCC-SLP

Follow @slpoverseas on Instagran for more fun travel SLP posts and speech and feeding therapy ideas!

SLP in Dubai

Ever thought about working in one of the most multi-cultural, ultramodern, and architecturally innovative cities in the world?!

Well Dubai is calling for youu!!!

Careers

Dubai’s speech, language, and feeding services are growing! This is not an exhaustive list of centers which provide SLP services. Check out the job opportunities available and how to apply by visiting their website:

Kids First Medical Center

The Developing Child Center

Child Early Intervention Medical Center

Inspire Therapy

Sensation Station

Al Noor Training Center Email HR for career opportunities at hr@alnoorspneeds.ae

Visit Learning Support Clinics for Children for a full list of clinics in Dubai

Indeed provides job listings for SLP positions.

Licensure

To learn more about how to apply for your Dubai Health Authority (DHA) license, click here.

Requirements for licensure:
1. You must be fully licensed in your home country.
2. If you hold a BSc in Speech and Language Therapy, you must have 2 years of experience to qualify for work in Dubai.
3. If you hold a Master’s in Speech and Language Therapy, you must have 1 year of experience to qualify for work in Dubai.
4. Employee’s visa should be approved and provided by the company following a job offer.

Lifestyle

Learn more about what it’s like to work in Dubai from an international SLP herself in this blog post written by Sarah Wu, CCC-SLP and featuring Aalia Thobani, CCC-SLP, the Director of Therapies at The Developing Child Centre in Dubai.

SLP in China

7 Dialects

Numerous Subdialects

1000 SLPs to a population of 1.3 BILLION!

Talk about a packed schedule! The field of Speech-Language Pathology is relatively new in China having only started services in the 1980s for select language disorders and dysphagia. Historically, the majority of service providers have only received a few courses focused on speech therapy within their studies of general rehabilitation as well as on-the-job training. Due to the lack of specially-trained SLPs, several providers tend to be physicians, nurses, or OTs. Additionally, the amount of dialects and subdialects in China makes it significantly more challenging to provide appropriate intervention to clients. (See ASHA Blog: Speech-Language Pathology in China: Challenges and Opportunities for full article describing speech pathology in China since 2011).

Gains have been made recently with the start of the first accredited speech pathology program created in 2014 with the support of the University of Hawaii at Kunming Medical University (KMU) located in southwestern China. Hopefully, with the installation of this established Bachelor’s program, other academic programs providing courses in SLP will be further developed, China will see a rise in well-trained and qualified SLPs, and service delivery models will be improved.

Professional Organization

Chinese International Speech-Language and Hearing Association (CISHA).

Professional Opportunities

Interested in working as part of a multi-disciplinary team in China? Here are a few organizations that welcome internationally trained and English-speaking SLPs (Madarin speaking therapists are always a plus!)

LIH Olivia’s Place:

Consulting therapists from all disciplines for Olivia’s Place are located in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen with their main site located in Shanghai. Professional development opportunities are also offered through seminars and trainings!

For more information regarding work and volunteer opportunities, email career@lih-oliviasplace.com

Essential Learning Group (ELG)

Also located in Shanghai, ChinaELG offers competitive salaries and good vacation time for international staff. PLUS they will support clinicians with work visas!

Visit their website for more information about job openings and send your resume and cover letter to careers@chinaelg.com.

ChinaELG also offers parent support groups and provides workshops for educators and professionals working with children to better support speech and language challenges.

Orient Speech Therapy Center (China) (OST) is a legal entity of Hong Kong with nearly 20 centers in cities of China including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. In addition to providing skilled intervention, OST also offers training programs for providers to further develop clinical skills.

Know of any other professional or educational opportunities in China? Share them with me to be featured on this page!

So you got your degree–Now what???

One of the most popular questions and concerns I get from readers is ‘If I get my degree overseas, will I qualify to work in the States?’ For those US speechies out there, I can reassure you–YES YOU WILL!
(Please note, this blog post is now an official page on my blog under International Education.)There are a few different options for transferring your degree and/or professional qualifications in the field back to the States, however, I am going to focus specifically on United States citizens who obtained their Master’s in the UK and the process involved in transferring the degree back to the State’s to complete your CFY and obtain your license/CCC-SLP! ***Please note, this is solely based on my personal experience and research and the information I provide is meant to support you in your own research about the process. Please make sure to thoroughly investigate any and all questions you have prior to making any decisions about your educational path!

If you have completed your degree overseas and are already licensed/certified in that country and wishing to work in the States, visit my page which gives an overview of the process through the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) route.

So you got your degree. Now what?!

Before searching for a CF position…

Step 1: Take a look at the general requirements listed on ASHA’s page for internationally educated applicants.

Step 2: Have your degree and credentials evaluated by an outside agency. ASHA provides a list of these agencies.  Once approved, your UK Master’s degree will be recognized as equivalent to a US Master’s from an accredited university and you’ll be eligible for a CF position.

Step 3: Apply for your ASHA Certification. Even though you will be notified by ASHA that you are still required to complete X amount of steps before getting your CCC-SLP, they will clear your education requirements from the start so that you don’t have to worry about this being an issue when it comes time for you to get those Cs!

*Tip: Though ASHA requires you to have your degree evaluated by an outside agency, they have to do their own evaluation too. This is why they require submission of course descriptions/syllabi) of every course/module you took. This will allow ASHA to cross-check that the UK courses covered the same material as the US courses. I recommend getting the application process started as soon as possible so that your education is approved from the get-go and you have peace of mind that all hours for your CF will 100% be recognized and there is no further delay with obtaining your CCC-SLP when the time comes.

Step 3: Find a CF position! Make sure you meet all other requirements for the State you are applying for a CF in before proceeding as all States are different! For example, in NYC (where I did my CF) I was only required to have my Master’s. However, some States may require you to have a provisional license or to have completed the PRAXIS already. So double check!

During your CFY…

Step 4: Apply for licensure. As previously noted, different States may require a different timeline for when you are required to apply for your license so research this prior to starting your CF. However, from personal experience, I suggest applying for it once you have decided where you are doing your CFY/have secured a position. The reasons are similar to why you should apply for your ASHA certification from the get-go. Because A) the process takes FOREVER and even longer as an international applicant so you will want to avoid any further delay when it comes time to get your license and B) the state will also have to approve your education as equivalent (and they will but you will want that sense of security as you start your CF). This process will most likely require you to complete a few extra steps which may or may not be noted in the general application procedure (e.g.– getting paperwork signed off by the Program Director of your uni and submitting course descriptions. So similar to ASHA’s extra steps).

Step 5: Study for and take the PRAXIS! I spent approximately 3 months studying for the PRAXIS. I took it around month 9 of my CFY (which took me 10 months total to complete) and the official scores were ready just in time for ASHA and licensure submission!

Step 6: You’ve passed the PRAXIS–You’re applications went through–You completed your CFY–You’re now a certified and licensed SLP!!! 

Tips:

-Keep a personal record of your observation and clinical hours as it will come in handy when justifying your practicum hours as equivalent to US accredited programs.

-Print out all forms required for Program Directors at your university to sign-off on and have them complete and submit these forms following completion of the program and prior to returning home. It’s a lot easier to take care of this in the UK then it is from the other side of the pond!

-I can’t emphasize enough that you should apply ASAP for ASHA certification and your State’s licensure between the time you obtain your Master’s and start your CFY. Yes, it is annoying that you will have to pay for these credentials nearly a year in advance before you can actually obtain them, however, it will greatly reduce the amount of headaches you may have to deal with if you wait till you’re nearly done with your CF. I speak from personal experience. I submitted my ASHA and licensure application in January 2017 thinking it would be enough time. I finished EVERYTHING by March 2017. I received my CCC-SLP from ASHA in April 2017 (so not terrible) but wasn’t licensed in NY until JUNE 2017! So it took an extra 3 months of headaches before I was recognized as a licensed SLP in NY. Veryyyy frustrating but it all worked out in the end : )

Good luck in all your international SLP endeavors!!!

-Kristin AmRhein

Family Fun Day

The Inspiration Center celebrated its 5th Annual Family Fun Day on August 18th and Therapy Abroad was excited to be a part of the action! A group of around 50 kiddos joined in on the fun day as they traveled through different stations including the photo booth, sensory play and the water station (my personal favorite)! The group of attendees included the speech and physical therapy clients who are seen at The Inspiration Center along with their siblings and caregivers. It was eye-opening to realize that the clients we saw at Family Fun Day were only a fraction of those who receive services from the sole SLP and PT at The Inspiration Center.

The ladies of group 3 had the best time playing with the kids all day– some of our campers from the current and previous Communication Camp groups were there too!

photobooth
Classic Photo Booth pic with the ladies of Group 3 before our day of FUNNNN got started <3

The best part about Family Fun Day was seeing the children take part in and enjoy every activity no matter what physical challenges or communication needs they presented with. It just goes to show that every child has the ability to embrace the same experiences in life and that disability is only reflected in the obstacles we allow to get in the way of success for every child. When we open our eyes and find ways to overcome these barriers is when we realize the potential of every child and their ability to grow and learn.

Your SLP Overseas,
-Kristin AmRhein

Biola Ladies in Belize!

Week 1 with our second group of Therapy Abroad students from Biola University featured a new group of campers and fresh ideas for Communication Camp at The Inspiration Center, a trip to a local school to carry-out speech and language screenings, and some fun team outings!

Communication Camp

We spent the first half of the week getting to know our new kiddos attending Communication Camp! For more info about the therapy program we run at The Inspiration Center, check out this previous blog post. Here are some highlights from our stations: Fine motor, story time, basic concepts, behavior regulation, gross motor, snack and pretend play!

School Visit

At the end of the week, we switched things up and made a visit to a local school in Cayo District where we screened several kids with an array of speech and language needs including cleft palate and language delay. Some kids just stopped by to say hi and hang out with us as we finished our screenings 🙂

Team Fun Days and a trip to the Blue Hole

The crew had a competitive few days at our home base, Monkey Bay, with a field day complete with bucket baseball (where ya get a refreshing bucket of water on your head following a strike out or caught fly ball) and a social media scavenger hunt consisting of 10 challenges around the campsite that had to be completed with photo/video evidence posted to instagram before time ran out! After all our hard working days and competitive nights, we ended the week with a cool down in the emerald green water of Blue Hole National Park!

Your SLP Overseas,

Kristin AmRhein
Team Leader
Therapy Abroad