Tanisha poses with the YPK team in Bali

My summer internship in Bali

October 3, 2023
Author: Tanisha Wilson

Kinesiology student Tanisha Wilson shares her experience

I spent three months in Bali this summer interning with a non-profit organization called Yayasan Peduli Kemannusian (YPK). It’s an organization that focuses on helping people with disabilities become more independent through physical rehabilitation. Located in the city of Denpasar, YPK also offers a mobile clinic program to assist clients that live in rural areas.

The first two weeks of my internship were spent observing and learning more about YPK and their various programs. During this time, I commuted to Buleleng, a rural area in northern Bali, and became familiar with a partner company called Stepping Stones. At Stepping Stones, the physical therapists focus on assisting children diagnosed with club foot. As my internship progressed, I became familiar with various physical conditions such as club foot, cerebral palsy, stroke and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. I focused on developing a project that would help improve quality of life for people with these conditions.

My project

At the end of my observation period, my goal was to develop a project that would help benefit YPK. As a fourth-year Kinesiology student, I knew I could contribute my knowledge on exercise prescription and anatomy. I proposed the idea of building customized exercise programs that would address client needs and focus on improving strength and mobility. At the end of my internship, I created eight booklets filled with more than 50 exercises so that my clients could refer to pictures and instructions on how to perform these exercises by themselves after I returned to Canada.

Most of my clientele consisted of older adults who had experienced a stroke and children between the ages of eight and 17 years old with cerebral palsy or Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

I worked towards helping the clients become more independent. We practiced achieving daily tasks such as walking and improving the fine motor skills that help us write, grasp items or tie our shoes. Many of the stroke clients have had to quit their jobs due to their inability to move half of their body efficiently. Using my kinesiology education, my main goal was to help them one day return to work by increasing the range of motion in their limbs. The exercise programs I created were also designed to be accessible so clients in the mobile clinic could benefit from my project.

Because YPK is a non-profit organization, the first part of my project was to create a GoFundMe to help buy new exercise equipment for the clients.

Other projects

Other tasks that I participated in throughout my internship included YPK’s Life Skills for Children with Physical Disabilities program. I helped the children with basic education, encouraged social interaction during weekly afternoon music lessons and helped organize field trips such as the horse camp therapy. I also worked with occupational therapists to integrate a program that helps children become independent in both rehab and social settings.

What I learned

This summer was an unforgettable experience that gave me the space to learn and grow professionally and personally. Bali reminded me that there are many things in our life we can reflect on and be grateful for. The people of Bali strongly believe in karma, and I think that is why respect and compassion for others can be seen throughout this beautiful island. I’m forever grateful to experience a culture that is so welcoming and expresses compassion towards others.

All of this would not have been possible if I had not received the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship which focuses on bringing resilience to coastal communities. I chose Bali for a variety of reasons, including the fact that Indonesia is also a coastal region. Physiotherapy is not as developed a practice in Bali as it is here, and as an aspiring physiotherapist, I saw this experience as an opportunity to apply the knowledge that I’ve learned throughout my degree and benefit the quality of life for clients at YPK.


Tanisha Wilson is a fourth-year Kinesiology student at VIU. VIU’s Queen Elizabeth Scholarship program allowed her to follow her passion for improving people’s quality of life through physical therapy in Bali. Learn more about opportunities to study or intern abroad by visiting Education Abroad.

Related Posts

Got an article idea for the blog? Email students@viu.ca.

Sign up for our blog