Belize is a country full of small tropical islands, inland forests, secret caves, pristine rivers, and ancient Mayan temples. It is also home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, the Belize Barrier Reef. Study abroad in Belize, and you will fall in love with the turquoise waters and the engaging culture.
Geography & Demographics
Belize is located in the heart of Central America, with a very mild climate and an abundance of sandy beaches. With a population of 320,000 people, Belize is home to many different cultures, which include: the Maya, Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite, Arab, and Chinese. Belize’s integration of so many cultures has developed into a very welcoming and compassionate society. People in Belize are generally hospitable to tourists and will make you feel welcome and right at home when visiting the prosperous country.
Food & Culture
As a product of this meshing of different cultures, Belize’s food is an amazing display of harmony. The cuisine in Belize has been described as resembling both Mexican/Central American as well as Jamaican/Anglo-Caribbean, with ingredients, seasonings, and cooking techniques spanning both horizons.
A great place to sample Belize’s scrumptious cuisine is at a number of festivals that are held throughout the year. If you have a summer study abroad program in Belize, you can attend a Lobsterfest. There are actually three separate festivals throughout Belize marking lobster season. The parties start in mid-June with the week-long San Pedro Lobsterfest; then the Placencia Lobsterfest is held in the last week of June, and the Caye Caulker festival in early July. Belize is also known for its September Celebrations, including Belize Independence Day on Sept. 21. They celebrate their independence with parades, processions and, of course, great food. Join in the festivities to learn about and experience the amazing, bountiful culture of Belize.
Things to Do
Belize has so much to offer outdoor lovers and adventurers. The Maya ruins and temples are a must-see when studying abroad in Belize. If your study program doesn’t include at least one excursion to the ancient ruins, make sure you take one on your own. Belize also has hundreds of limestone caves, tropical rainforests, and waterfalls just waiting to be explored. The famed Belize Coral Reef is 300 miles along the Caribbean coastline and home to more than 100 different kinds of coral and around 500 species of fish. Divers will also love the Great Blue Hole: a perfectly circular limestone sinkhole filled with the brilliant blue waters of the Caribbean. Turneffe Island, Shark Ray Alley, and Lighthouse Reef are other Belize dive spots that have received enthusiastic thumbs-up from divers the world over.
Studying in Belize
There are a number of study abroad programs in Belize. Some good majors for study abroad here include: sustainable development, medical and health professions, ecology, marine biology, and biological and research field studies.
Those are just a few options, though: find a study abroad program in Belize that really suits you, and get ready to fall in love with Belize.