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​​Summer 2019 Study Abroad Program

An Exploration of the Food, Culture, and History of Belize

Join professors Deborah Novak and Eleanor Strauss for an in-depth exploration of the food, culture, and history of Belize. Following two and a half weeks of course study on campus, you will venture to Belize where you will travel from one end of the country to the other exploring all that Belize has to offer. Participate in numerous cultural exchanges with the various communities of Belize, including Mayan, Mestizo, Garifuna, Creole, and Mennonite. Service projects will be a significant aspect of the trip, with a sustainable garden project and a visit to an elderly community. In addition, you will explore the natural wonders of the Belize environment, including ruins, flora, fauna and native animals. And no trip would be complete without a few adventures like caving and snorkeling.

Which Majors Would Benefit From a Trip to Belize?

This trip is an excellent opportunity for students to immerse themselves within the rich social, historic, natural and cultural fabric of Belize. In addition, they will experience the vast natural beauty of this remarkable country.

  • Anthropology

  • Latin American Studies

  • History

  • Nutrition

  • Environmental Studies

Travel Spots in Belize

Belize Zoo

Xunatunich Archaelogical Reserve

Barton Creek Cave

Quiche Maya Experience

Belize Barrier Reef

Octavia Waight Centre

Course Descriptions

Nutrition 1, Introduction to Nutrition Science

Deborah Novak
Transfer: UC, CSU
C-ID Nutr 110 (Biological Sciences)

Human nutrition, integrating anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and psychology, is studied in relation to wellness and degenerative disease prevention. Scientific information and principles provide the foundation for evaluating current concepts in nutrition and wellness for practical application in daily living. For the Summer 2019 Study  Abroad program, an emphasis will be placed on using the understanding of nutrition requirements to compare and evaluate the nutrition and health profile of the traditional diets of the various cultures we will explore while in Belize. In addition, we will review issues around the growth and production of food, and consider these factors while participating in hands-on farming projects in Belize.

Anthropology 2, Cultural Anthropology

Eleanor Strauss
Transfer: UC, CSU
IGETC AREA 4 (Social and Behavioral Sciences)

Cultural Anthropology is the study of human society and culture, analyzing both similarities and differences amongst cultural groups. This course introduces students to important socio-cultural concepts used by cultural anthropologists including material culture, social organization, religion, kinship, ritual and symbolic systems, race, ethnicity, and language among others. Students examine how cultural anthropologists understand the notion of culture in the study of human behavior in different regions of the world. The ethnographic method of participant observation and the methodology of an ethnographic interview are practiced firsthand. Students are asked to practice cultural relativism and to approach difference in an inquisitive and tolerant manner.

The advantage of teaching this course in Belize is the opportunity for students to share what an anthropologist experiences when traveling to work and study abroad. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to try their hand at participant observation and to experience moving outside their comfort zone to learn about others. Visit the San Ignacio market and local farming communities and a shaman, to experience another culture first hand and prepare an anthropological fieldwork report. Traveling to the market is a unique opportunity for our anthropology students to observe this economic activity lost to many of us in a market economy. Volunteer at the Octavia Waight Elderly Clinic and practice anthropological interviewing. Also, visit a Garifuna community, participate in a drum circle or prepare local dishes to get a glimpse into Belize’s unique Afro-Caribbean Garifuna culture. In Cultural Anthropology 2 students conduct up to 4 participant observations and/or interview fieldworks.

Faculty Biographies

Program Details

Belize Itinerary - Summer 2019

Program Cost

Expense TypeCostDeadline

Program Fee

Includes round-trip airfare from LAX to Belize, ground transportation, accommodations, cultural excursions, and insurance.


First Deposit $2000 due: March 26, 2019*

Balance due: Monday  May 13, 2019

(*First deposit is non-refundable if student drops after March 26th)

Tuition for  6 units
2 courses

$46 Resident Tuition

$370 Non-Resident Tuition

International Education Center will register you for class before program departure. You must pay tuition before departure.



Total Estimated Costs


Additional Costs

Expense TypeCostDeadline

Personal Spending Money

$150-200 approximate


Course Materials



Passport (new – if you do not have a current passport)


Please allow up to 6 weeks for processing of a new passport.


US Citizens do not need a visa to enter Belize.

Permanent residents/F1 students may need a Visa to enter Belize.

Varies by country of origin

Please visit Consulate of Belize for more information.


SMC Global Citizenship Scholarships available from $500 to $2000.

U.S. Citizens/Permanent Residents need to apply for FAFSA to determine eligibility.

Payment Options

Personal Checks, Cashiers Checks, Money Order - No cash or credit cards.

Get Your Passport

Dates to Remember

TitleDatesMore Information

Informational Sessions

Thu, Feb 28 11:15 a.m. HSS 103

Tue, Mar 5 11:15 a.m. HSS 150

Thu, Mar 7 11:15 a.m. HSS 103

Mon, Mar 11 2 p.m. HSS 105 

Wed, Mar 13  2:15 p.m. HSS 104

Mon, Mar 18  12:00 p.m. LS 119


Application Deadlines and Payments

Late applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Initial Deposit to reserve space – $2000 due March 26, 2019*

Final Payment due by noon on Tues May 13, 2019

Hours of acceptance for deposits:

Mon 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Fri 8 a.m. - 12 noon.

(Program deposits are non-refundable after March 26th)

Complete online application Apply early & make your deposit to reserve your space!

SMC Global Citizenship Scholarship

Last day to meet with Financial Aid Manager Stacy Neal April 15

Notification of scholarship amount by April 22, 2019

Scholarship may not be used toward initial deposit

Mandatory Forms

March 26, 2019

Online Study Abroad application

PDF FileOverseas Release Form

PDF FileMedical Release Form

Eligibility Requirements

Be a current SMC student and take the offered courses. If you are not currently an SMC student, you may apply online

All participants must be 18 years old by March 26, 2019

  • Have a valid passport by March 26, 2019. U.S. Citizens do not need a visa to travel to Belize. If you are a permanent resident or SMC F-1 visa student, please contact the Belize Consulate of Los Angeles.
  • Pay all program fees and tuition by the deadline. If you are a financial aid recipient, check with the Financial Aid office about using financial aid to your tuition and fees.

Note: *Program fees are non-refundable if cancelled after March 26th)