** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Natural History of the Neotropics
The Neotropic lands of Belize and Guatemala host some of the world’s most fascinating and colorful subjects. Seize your opportunity to gain a broad understanding of these exciting inhabitants. Take a closer look at the biodiversity of the current tropical climate and learn first-hand about the ancient Mayan ancestors. Spend time exploring the coral reefs and rainforests as you venture through the land with native guides to rustic field stations and site-specific destinations that are sure to inspire and amaze.
Location: Belize and Guatemala
Located in the tropical zones of the American continent, the Neotropics contain a diverse set of species and ecosystems, as well as a broader range of interactions compared with other tropical regions of the world. Its two coasts and its mountainous system, which provides numerous and varied microclimates, contribute to the land’s natural wealth, both in terms of species and ecosystems.
The weather in Central America is warm and generally pleasant this time of year but varies greatly and can sometimes be unpredictable. Be prepared for rain and sunshine!
Upon successful completion, students will receive 4 credits for BIO-496, Natural History of the Neotropics. Students can fulfill university requirements in the following areas: natural science with lab; general education category B; global perspective requirement.
Grading will be based upon exams, participation, online discussions and assignments, field journal while abroad, species account and individual research project.
Accommodation: Students will be housed in cabins at Possum Point Field Station and Wee Wee Caye Marine Lab. There is no air conditioning or heat, but conditions should be quite comfortable at this time of year. The conditions are rustic - there is no electricity, internet, running water or indoor plumbing.
Housing at Maya Mountain is a bit more modern, with electricity, running water, air conditioning and limited internet access. There are no in-room bath facilities, but common bath/shower facilities are available for men and women.
Finally, housing at Black Orchid will be the most comfortable of the trip. Rooms are air conditioned with in-room bathroom and showers, and internet access.
Meals: Daily meals are provided at each location. Food costs are already built into the program fee. Please notify the faculty leader or the Office of International Education of any specific dietary needs or restrictions.
Travel: Group flights will be purchased for all students. Flight costs are already included in the program fee. The faculty leader will accompany the students on the flight.
Passport: All students must have a valid U.S. passport for entrance into Belize and Guatemala. The current passport fee is $135. If you already have a U.S. passport, be sure to check the dates of validity. It must be valid for at least six months beyond the return date to the U.S.
Visa: Immigration fees will be assessed for departure/return from Guatemala as well as upon final departure from Belize. The current departure/re-entry fee from Guatemala is $30; departure from Belize is $20. Please note these fees are subject to change. ) If you are not a U.S. passport holder the requirements may be different for you. Please contact your consulate or the Office of International Education for more information.
The final program cost will be determined by the number of participants, shortly after the application deadline. The program cost includes instructional fees, health insurance, housing, meals, cultural activities, in-country transportation, snorkeling workshop and airfare.
Passport fees, visa fees, and personal expenses are not included in the program costs and are paid directly by the students.
See budget sheet (above) for cost details. Students taking at least 2 credits are eligible for Win-Term financial aid. For more information, meet with a financial aid counselor in 210 Bowman Hall