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  • Locations: Blue Creek, Belize; La Democracia, Belize; Lake Peten Itza, Guatemala; South Water Caye, Belize
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: CCSA- Cooperative Center for Study Abroad 
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2025 03/01/2025 03/01/2025 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Course Disciplines: Anthropology, Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, History, Race and Ethnicity, Sociology Program Type: Short Program (2-4 weeks)
Credit: 3 Credit Hours Language Requirement: No
Program Description:

Program Details:

Program Base Price: $3,988
Airfare: $850 - $1,050
Dates: May 21, 2024 - June 3, 2024
Scholarships: Yes (see scholarships page)

Program Description:

Experience a tropical rainforest and coral reef just miles apart. Belize offers fascinating biological features that characterize these systems as you observe the interactions between humans and their environment. In the rainforest, see iguanas, howler monkeys and leaf cutter ants while gaining insight into the Mayan culture and its use of medicinal plants. On the coral reef, the longest in the Western Hemisphere, swim with brilliantly colored reef fish among the diverse assemblage of corals, sponges, and other invertebrates.


Photo Gallery:

More Info:

The price of this CCSA program includes:
  • Accommodations
  • All Meals
  • Course-related activities and entrances fees
  • All course-related ground transportation
  • Additional cultural program excursions
  • Health and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Program directors and staff on-site 24/7


Participants will reside in 3 different accommodation sites throughout Belize.

The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center offers comfortable dormitory style accommodations, which are equipped with hot and cold showers, restrooms, washhouse and study area. All rooms have 110V outlets, ceiling or standing fans and fresh linen is provided.

Blue Creek Rainforest Preserve is located near a small Mayan Village in Southern Belize. Participants are housed in rustic cabins, which vary in size and accommodate 2 to 10 individuals. There is no furniture, drawers or closets. Bathrooms with toilets and showers (water pumped directly from the creek) are located in a central common building. Virtually everyone bathes in the creek (with swimsuits) using biodegradable camp soap.

The Tropical Research & Education Center (TREC), is located near the town of San Pedro in Northern Belize. Students are accommodated in rooms (typically 4 to a room w/2 bunk beds). Each bathroom includes a shower, toilet and sink with hot & cold water. Bed linens, towels and fans are provided. There is also an outdoor shower by the fresh water swimming pool. Complimentary wifi is available throughout.

Participants will need to pack bed linens and towels, as they are NOT provided at Blue Creek. Students will also need to bring a beach towel—as towels provided by TREC cannot be taken from the premises.

All meals are provided at each location.

Ground transportation is provided for all program activities.

Physical Expectations:

While on the mainland, students should expect to be living under relatively hot and humid conditions. Expect to hike 3-5 miles on a daily basis in these same conditions and should expect to encounter some rugged conditions as well as mosquitos. While at Belize TREC, students should expect a short walk on sandy roads to the beach where we will catch a boat ride out to the reef. These typically sunny days the water and due to a greater proximity to the equator, there is a greater risk of sunburn. While riding in the boat, some students do experience seasickness. While on the boat students will need to wear sunblock; while snorkeling, students should also wear a t-shirt in addition to sunblock. The physical exertion of snorkeling for up to 2-3 hours at a single location, and the sun exposure can be tiring. If you cannot swim, a life jacket will be available.

Course(s) Offered:

Biology / Earth & Environmental Science

Tropical Biology

Course Description: Experience two of Earth's most diverse ecosystems by exploring both a tropical rainforest and a coral reef in Belize. Study the fascinating biotic and abiotic features of these systems and observe the complex interactions of their flora and fauna. In the rainforest, see iguanas, howler monkeys, and leaf cutter ants while gaining insight into the Mayan culture and its use of medicinal plants. On the coral reef, the longest in the Western Hemisphere, swim with brilliantly-colored reef fish among the diverse assemblage of corals, sponges, and other invertebrates.

“This course will introduce tropical biology with an emphasis on biological diversity. Despite its small size, Belize is home to a wide diversity of habitats, including tropical rain forests, coral reefs, and pine savannas.” - Rick Kopp
Prerequisite: None

WKU Course: BIOL 285
Dr. Rick Kopp | 3 Cr. Hrs. | U / H