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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: San Ignacio, Belize
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Budget Sheets: Winter
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2019 10/07/2018
Rolling Admission 12/26/2018 01/07/2019

** 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.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Program Manager:
Stephanie LaCava
Language of Instruction:
Minimum G.P.A.:
Good Academic Standing
Class Standing:
Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Number of credits per term:
Program Type:
Program Description:
CELA Belize (w/ Global Health)

The Program
Travel to San Ignacio, Belize to study large animal veterinary practices, wildlife ecology and health, Global Health, Health Belief and Ethnomedicine - or a combination of offerings through CELA's hands-on courses
  • Large Animal Veterinary Practice in the Tropics - This course is designed for the veterinary, pre-veterinary, animal science or zoology students to gain working knowledge of the husbandry, and health issues confronting farm animals including horses, sheep, pigs, and cattle in Belize.
  • Wildlife, Health, Ecology & Conservation - Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Belize Zoo, learning a variety of field learning methods on wild and captive animals. Work alongside local experts in animal care and conservation, including practical opportunities in local clinics and on farms in the surrounding areas
  • Health, Belief & Ethnomedicine - be introduced to the world of traditional health as it is practiced and integrated into daily life in southern Belize. The health practices of Maya and Garifuna populations will be explored in-depth, with a focus on their vitality and relevance to people’s lives.
  • Global Health: Biology, Medicine and Public Health in the Tropics - explore the junctions of economics, health, medicine and social development in the Tropics, with Belize as the focus. This course will provide students with knowledge and insight into epidemiology, diagnosis, therapy and prevention of tropical diseases.
Your Host City: San Ignacio
San Ignacio is the second largest city in Belize (after Belize City), and is the home of the Center for Engaged Learning Abroad (CELA). The city got its start as a mahogany-producing center under British colonial rule, but has since branched out to other fields, including ecotourism. Students will use San Ignacio as their launching point for learning about local issues related to conservation, animal health, ecology, and more, as well as the impact these issues have on global events.

Rutgers University has partnered with CELA Belize to offer four programs for students interested in traveling abroad to Belize during the winter:

Large Animal Veterinary Practice in the Tropics
This course is designed for the veterinary, pre-veterinary, animal science or zoology students to gain working knowledge of the husbandry, and health issues confronting farm animals including horses, sheep, pigs, and cattle in Belize. Students get the opportunity to learn hands-on veterinary examination techniques at working ranches and farms as well as learn about animal agriculture in Belize, including analyzing laboratory specimens in a laboratory. Lectures focus on the selection, nutrition, reproduction and management of horses, beef cattle, goats, swine and sheep. Other topics taught in this course include animal anatomy and physiology, animal agriculture economy, animal diseases and animal research.  Students participate in a local animal health clinic, practicing their new skills and assisting in spay and neuter procedures. 

For more information, including a course syllabus, please click here.

Wildlife Health, Ecology and Conservation
Students will work along side zookeepers in the world renowned Belize Zoo.  The focus of the course is on wildlife veterinary practices, conservation and research methods.  Species specific focus will include the research and conservation of the jaguar (Panthera onca), puma (Puma concolor), tapir (Tapirus bairdii), jabiru stork (Jabiru mycteria), howler monkey (Alouatta pigra), spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) and the green iguana (Iguana iguana).  Students will gain insight on several field research techniques including specialized leg hold traps, cage traps, GPS and VHF tracking, camera trapping, chemical immobilization and remote drug delivery, avian mist netting, bird banding, and nest searching and monitoring. Students will also get the opportunity to observe and collect data on captive and wild animals.

For more information, including a course syllabus, please click here.

Global Health: Biology, Medicine and Public Health in the Tropics (Section B)
Approved for Public Health Majors as course 10:832:240
Students will learn to situate health in its wider social, economic and political context and acquire a basic understanding of the intimate, bi-directional relationship between health and development processes. Instruction focuses on field-based, hands-on learning. Lectures, readings from primary literature, and discussions are also integral components of the program and provide the conceptual framework for discussion, analysis, and interpreting field observations and findings.

This course will consider tropical diseases and medicine by certain key categories: geography, vectors and the route of infection (portal of entry) providing students with a broad overview of the major issues and diseases in tropical climates. 

For more information, including a course syllabus, please click here.

Health, Belief and Ethnomedicine: Traditional Healing and Medical Anthropology in Belize (Section A)
Approved for Public Health Majors as course 10:832:414
Through in-class lectures and discussions, readings, guest lectures, visits with traditional healers and other elders, tours of a medicinal plant garden and medicinal plant walks with healers, students will have the opportunity to experience unique health traditions as they have been passed down through generations and begin to understand their form and function in today’s world.

For more information, including a course syllabus, please click here.
Students will register for one three-credit course at CELA. 

Courses listed above have been approved as Rutgers credits, meaning that if you take these courses, the price listed below will appear on your term bill and the credits will transfer back as Rutgers credits. If you wish to apply to a course offered by CELA that does not appear above, you will be responsible for paying CELA directly for the appropriate amount and working through your department to receive transfer credit. Please contact the program manager (listed at the top of this page) if you have any questions.

For information about study abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.

Program Dates
Winter, 2019
Arrival: December 26th
Departure: January 7th

Accommodations and Meals
Students will be housed at the Midas Resort just outside of the city center of San Ignacio in double-occupancy rooms. Breakfast is provided as part of your program fee each weekday, but all other meals are the responsibility of the student. Airport pickup between 10am - 4pm is included. 

Financial Information
Program Cost: Winter, 2019
NJ Residents Non-NJ Residents
$3,580 $3,930

Tuition Some meals
Program administration Excursions
Housing International health insurance

Round-trip airfare to/from Belize Personal expenses
Major medical insurance Most meals
Belizean Departure Tax (could be covered in your flight charges)  

For more information about the additional non-billable expenses please click on the Budget Sheet links near the top of this page.

For more information about finances, including information about financial aid and tuition remission please visit the Finances section of our website.

Proper financial planning is crucial as winter financial aid does not exist like it does for Fall, Spring or Summer. 
If planned properly students might apply for additional loans (federal or private) during the fall semester; possibly generating a refund check that you would use to pay the winter term bill. We advise you to talk to Financial Aid and our office about this process. We also suggest students attend one of our online financial advising sessions ASAP. Online advising sessions occur throughout the academic semester. Dates and registration information are available here:

There are limited winter scholarships available and are not guaranteed to all who apply. However we ask that you aren't discourage by this information. With proper financial planning most students are able to fund their winter study abroad experience!
As part of your preparation to apply for this study abroad program, please familiarize yourself with the Rutgers Global--Study Abroad withdrawal policy.

Students are also encouraged to start researching scholarship opportunities as early as possible.  You may find the following scholarships applicable to this program.

Rutgers Global--Study Abroad Scholarships- Available to all Rutgers students participating in a Rutgers Global--Study Abroad program during the fall/spring/academic year/summer/winter. For more information please visit the Scholarship section of our website.

SEBS International Summer Scholarships- Available to SEBS students only.  For more information please visit the SEBS Scholarships web page.

Please also visit the Scholarships section of our website for additional information about Rutgers and national scholarships.