Kelly is an English teacher, freelance writer, yoga instructor, editor, and fiction author. Her work appears on blogs, in literary journals, and in literary criticism anthologies. She enjoys her work as an instructor and writer; she believes education and communication are the two of the highest values of an advanced society, and she is proud to contribute to both.
Students have many factors to consider when exploring a study abroad program. In addition to beginning or continuing a post-secondary education, students who study abroad have a unique opportunity to fully immerse in a culture different than their own. Learning new customs, traditions, and perhaps even a new language creates an additional layer of enjoyment and real-world learning to the experience of college. Belize, a country located in the heart of Central America, may seem like an unusual place to study abroad, but the University of Belize (UB) has much to offer international students, including direct experience with micro-worlds of biology, archeology, Mayan culture and history, art, and language. Belize is an English-speaking country and is located within 2 hours flying time of both Miami, FL and Houston, TX. Whereas in many international locations, students may face a language barrier and feel very far away from home, Belize removes those obstacles so students can immediately immerse in the culture and begin enjoying new learning in a safe, exciting environment.
The primary campus for the University of Belize is located in Belmopan, Belize’s capital city. Secondary campuses are located in Belize City, Central Farm, and Punta Gorda. These secondary campuses offer students the opportunity to explore the interior of the island. Additionally, UB has two “marine sites” in Calabash Caye and Hunting Caye, where students can immerse in marine biology and ocean life. Belize is a unique location for studying abroad because of its accessibility to diverse learning experiences: very rarely can one find lush rainforests, ancient Mayan ruins, and some of the most complex barrier reefs in the world, all in the same place!
A student traveling abroad to Belize will fall in love with the Belizean people. Proud, hard-working, and patriotic, citizens of Belize are eager to interact with visitors and share with them the beauty of Belize. Students can choose to deepen their experience abroad by choosing to live off-campus with a Belizean host family, an option organized through the university as part of the student housing package.
Weekends are for relaxing, studying, socializing, and, of course, enjoying exploring a home away from home. Belize offers endless opportunities on both land and sea for recreation. The University of Belize offers intramural sports such as football, volleyball, basketball and tennis. Students can also hike, explore Mayan ruins and the rainforest, scuba dive, shop, or enjoy traditional Belizean cuisine like rice and beans (a cultural staple), johnny cakes, ceviche, and salbutes.
When considering a destination to study abroad, certain places may come into mind immediately; Belize is probably not one of those places. Yet the University of Belize has a well-established international exchange program and is eager to increase its already diverse student body with students from around the world. With English as its primary language, several campus locations, an inviting culture, and opportunities to experience unique studies not available anywhere else in the world, students exploring study abroad locations should consider the beauty of Belize.