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Belize Faculty-Led Immersion Academics


To apply, you must be a currently enrolled, degree-seeking, undergraduate UW-Eau Claire student. The program is open to all students, though it targets junior and senior Biology majors with strong academic records who have not previously studied abroad.  Students pursuing other science related areas are also welcome to apply. You need to be in good academic, conduct and financial standing.  You also need to have a cumulative GPA of 2.5. You must maintain enrollment and continue to meet the academic standing and GPA requirements the semester prior to departure. Students must be at least in their second year. 

Course Information

The course in Belize is BIOL 320: Studies in Tropical Environments (3 credits). During the fall semester prior to travel, students are expected to meet 3-4 times to attend an orientation on health & safety, review the course syllabus, begin discussions on the assigned readings, give student presentations on assigned topics, and prepare for travel. 

Liberal Education/General Education Requirements

For students in catalog years 2016-17 and later, this program fulfills the Responsibility Outcome 2 (R2): Global Perspectives requirement upon completion of all course assignments. 

For students in catalog years through 2015-16, this program fulfills GE-IIA Natural Science-Biology and counts as a field experience course for Biology majors. It also fulfills 3 credits of the Foreign Culture requirement upon successful program completion (students earning a B.A., B.F.A. or B.M degree in the College of Arts & Sciences cannot use study abroad to fulfill their foreign language/foreign culture requirement. See the university catalog for details).

Academic Calendar

The program runs during the first weeks of January each year it is offered, but dates for 2020 are not yet set. Flights will be purchased as a group by the course instructor.

Students will be participating in various active learning experiences throughout the program:
  • overnight canoe trip on the Sebun River to sample aquatic organisms with a local scientist to learn about human impacts on tropical river ecosystems
  • guided tours to the famous archaeological sites of Caracol and the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
  • a home stay with indigenous Mayan families in San José village
  • a tour of organic cacao groves and processing methods in San José
  • studying reef ecology at Tobacco Caye
  • a visit to the Smithsonian Institution’s Western Caribbean Marine Research Station to meet with scientists and their students to learn about the on-going research being conducted there
  • multiple snorkeling experiences in the South Water Caye and Hol Chan marine reserves.