Belize

Belize

 

STUDY ABROAD IN BELIZE PROGRAM, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FAQs

Belize Group

FAQs

Sponsor for the Study Abroad in Belize Program
The location (site) of the program
Description of the program
General Goals and Objectives
Transformational to Participants
Eligibility
Enroll for credit
Who can enroll
The program fee and what it includes
Optional excursions
The faculty leader’s expertise in the area of the program
The program is unique
The program sustainable and scheduled
It has a rigorous academic component
It has a strong local interaction
Itinerary
Contact to sign-up for the program

Palm Trees


Sponsor for the Study Abroad in Belize Program _

The Department of Education at Washburn University sponsors this study abroad program.

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The location (site) of the program _

This program is located in Belize City, Ladyville, and Caye Caulker, Belize, Central America.  Belize is the former British Honduras. English is the national language. In Belize City we are lodging at the Caribbean Chateau and in Caye Caulker we are staying at the Magic Island Beach Resort. 

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Description of the program _

The Study Abroad in Belize Program is a 16-day program in Belize City, Belize, Central America, planned from December 28, 2014-January 12, 2015. The first Study Abroad in Belize Program was successfully held from December 28, 2010-January 4, 2011.  The 2014-2015 program is the 5TH time we have taken students to Belize.

Belize is the former British Honduras and English is the national language. The founder and director of the program, Dr. Judith Lynne McConnell-Farmer, Professor of Education, who travels with the students and is the resident instructor of the program.

While in Belize Washburn University students volunteer their services to Belizean orphanages and to students in an island school.  At the orphanages students clean classrooms, garden, paint, sort donated clothes, help in food preparation and tutor the children.  In addition to Washburn University students’ volunteering, they spend three days at the Belizean International Symposium on Education, listening to paper presentations from Belizeans, North Americans and scholars from other countries.  At Caye Caulker, one of the many islands that are part of Belize, students tutor children in an elementary-middle school during three mornings. One of the planned excursions is a Mayan ruins/temple tour. Dr. Judith McConnell-Farmer will be with the students during all of the volunteering activities, meals, flights, transportation in Belize, at the symposium and she will join the group for the Mayan ruins/temples tour. Another planned activity is going to the Bacab Eco Park for a day of leisure. Students may participate in other activities and excursions as their free time and finances allow.


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General Goals and Objectives _

The goal of this study abroad program is to offer a culturally, socially and economically diverse experience for Washburn students.

 Objectives of this program offer students the following:

  1. a chance to tutor English speaking Belizean students living in orphanages;
  2. an opportunity to know children and adults who live in an impoverished area and who are culturally and racially diverse;
  3. an experience volunteering at Belizean orphanages and possibly at other charities;
  4. a three-day opportunity to participate in a international symposium which is different from one’s own schooling experience; and,
  5. the chance to join in a historically and culturally relevant excursion to the Mayan Ruins/temples and the Bacab Eco Park.

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Transformational to Participants _

Visiting and living in situations different from one’s own home and schooling experience can have a transformative impact both on one’s personal and professional life.

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Eligibility _


The Study Abroad in Belize Program is available to all undergraduate and graduate students at Washburn University and others from the community. Attendance at the Belizean International Symposium on Education is particularly relevant for teachers and education majors. Every attempt is made for the symposium to be relevant to all participants.

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Enroll for credit _

Participants in this program are required to enroll in a 3 credit course, ED 474 (undergraduate) or ED 674 (graduate) at Washburn University for the fall 2014 semester.  Class meeting will be scheduled based on a convenient day/time for the students and Dr. Judith McConnell-Farmer.


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Who can enroll _

The Study Abroad in Belize Program is appealing to many different types of students. Minimally, all participants from Washburn University are required to be second semester freshman students who are in good standing at Washburn University. This program is available to all such students at Washburn University who are interested in volunteering with and tutoring children in diverse settings. In the past program students from a variety of departments, including the Department of Education, have joined our program in Belize.


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The program fee and what it includes _

In addition to tuition for ED 474 or ED 674 is the Study Abroad in Belize Program fee. The program fee for the Study Abroad in Belize Program will be set by March, 2014.  Partial scholarships are available through the Washburn University Transformational Experience International Fund.  In the 2013-2014 program each participant received a $900 scholarship. 

The scholarship documents are completed by the participants during several of our course meetings. The individual scholarship award will be credited to the student’s Washburn University Business account. The remaining balance of the program fee is due in the participant’s Washburn University Business account by December 10, 2014.

 Included in the fee are the following:

Transportation

This program fee includes the round-trip airplane flights, Kansas City, Missouri (MCI) to/from Belize City, Belize. The pre-departure night is spent in a motel at the MCI Airport. The fee includes pre-departure travel from the motel to the airport proper. The program fee includes all ground transportation for planned activities while in Belize. If there is a charge for a second piece of luggage each student assumes this cost.

Housing and Meals

Included is the pre-departure motel room near the Kansas City, Missouri Airport (MCI) and all housing costs in Belize. While in Belize a few of the lunches and dinners are included in the program fee. Students assume any costs for breakfasts, the remaining lunches, dinners and all meals purchased at airports.

Excursions

Fees for the Mayan ruins/temple tour, the Bacab Eco Park and the Belizean International Symposium on Education are included in the program fee.

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Optional excursions _

There are several optional group excursions, snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea; sunbathing on the ocean beach; kayaking through the rain forest; horseback riding; going to a butterfly reserve, cave tubing, zip lining, and visiting a zoo.

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The faculty leader’s expertise in the area of the program _

Dr. Judith McConnell-Farmer has experience creating study abroad programs in the Caribbean area.  She founded and directs the WTE in Jamaica Program.  Since 2005 she has directed eight WTE in Jamaica Program trips.  She traveled to Belize City in December, 2009, and January, 2010, and conducted a fact-finding mission.  Based on her contacts at the Liberty Children’s Home (an orphanage), located near Belize City, and contacts with hoteliers located in Belize City, she believed it reasonable for Washburn University to offer a study abroad program in this foreign country.  During her fact-finding tour, Dr. Judith McConnell-Farmer was a participant in a Mayan ruins/temples tour and at Bacab Eco Park.  Having evaluated the educational value of those experiences, she has added that tour and park as excursions in this program. 



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The program is unique _

The Belizean program is unique as it is the first Washburn University study aboard program in Belize.  It gives students an opportunity to become acquainted with a diverse culture without the barrier of a foreign language while providing needed volunteer services to Belizean orphanages.  It may also become possible for the students to participate in volunteer activities with other charities.  At the orphanages, students clean classrooms, garden, paint, sort donated clothes, help in food preparation and/or tutor children.  Students spend three mornings tutoring children in an island elementary-middle school. They spend three days at the Belizean International Symposium on Education, listening to paper presentations from Belizeans, North Americans and scholars from other countries. 

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The program sustainable and scheduled _

The program is offered each Winter Recess at Washburn University.  It is a sustainable program.  It is the intent of Dr. Pamela Cook, director of the Belizean International Symposium on Education to offer the symposium every January 2-4, as it is currently scheduled.  It is the intent of this program for students to attend and participate in the symposium every year.  Dr. Judith McConnell-Farmer has been an International Member of the Symposium Programme Committee since 2009 and has annually presented papers at the symposium.


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It has a rigorous academic component _

There are rigorous and scholarly activities assigned to the students participating in this program. Students research and become knowledgeable about the history, economy, government, culture, religions, music, art, peoples, geography and climate of Belize. The assignments include a research paper, a midterm examination, development of five literacy–based activities (to be used as enrichment activities when tutoring children at the orphanages), activity plans for tutoring in the island school, daily journaling, a final examination, a reflection paper and a post-trip ten minute oral report.


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It has a strong cultural component

This program has a strong cultural component.  Students interact with local Belizean adults and children at orphanages and possibly at other charities. During the Mayan ruins/temples tour, at the Bacab Eco Park and in their interactions with teachers and other educators at the Belizean International Symposium on Education, the students encounter diverse and various cultural perspectives.

It has a strong local interaction

Advance preparation, in the form of reading and research about the history and culture of Belize is the foundation for cultural awareness during the sixteen day experience.  While in Belize there are scheduled daily group reflective sessions with Dr. Judith McConnell-Farmer and other students in our program.  The purpose of these sessions is to give an opportunity for students to address and share questions and concerns about their experiences in Belize.

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Itinerary _
As part of the required course, ED 474: Study Abroad in Belize Program, fifteen, two-hour long pre-departure orientation classes are held during the fall semester at Washburn University. After arriving in Belize there is a two-hour orientation to tutoring and volunteering seminar. A two hour planning and assessment reflective seminar is conducted daily during the nine evenings we are in Belize. The reflective seminars are times to convey information for personal and professional reflection, assessment of tutoring and to clarify assignments.

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Contact to sign-up for the program _

Registration for the Study Abroad in Belize Program is during the spring semester pre-registration in April, 2014.  Contact Dr. Judith McConnell-Farmer as soon as possible to secure a place in this future trip. You may contact her as follows: judy.mcconnell-farmer@washburn.edu and her office phone is 670-1472.  Dr. Judith McConnell-Farmer's office is at 301 Carnegie Hall, Department of Education, Washburn University.


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