Empowering Educators in Belize

Service Learning Spring Break

Blue Hole
Mestizo women
Cave tubing

March 4-12, 2017

Credit hours go here

Application deadline February 1

Emergency Information

  • Dr. Lance Matheson
  • Business Information Technology
  • 2072 Pamplin
  • 231-5804
  • Lance@vt.edu

This service learning program gives students exposure to and experience in the culture of Belize. Students help empower educators in the Toledo District of Belize. VT partners with a local non-profit, Peacework, to manage the service program. This will bring students together with the community partners in the Toledo District, Belize. This program has been offered for several years by Pamplin students.

Students will collaborate with community partners in Belize to develop and deliver a computer literacy workshop for Belizean educators in the Toledo district. We will also perform service work in the local schools. This program provides students with the opportunity to gain new skills in leadership and education while exposing them to the challenges and rewards of working in a global setting.

There will be several class meetings during spring semester to prepare for the program.

Through this program Virginia Tech students will:

  • Develop and deliver computer literacy workshops for beginner and advanced educators in the Toledo District
  • Work with local partners on a small scale service project (e.g. painting classrooms, constructing a playground, etc.)
  • Interact and engage with Belizean educators and other community members to gain knowledge about local culture and customs
  • Visit cultural areas of interest in Belize
  • Gain leadership and teamwork experience collaborating and working together as a team and with community partners.

Undergraduates receive 3 credits for BIT 3954 Study Abroad, and graduate students for BIT 5954 Study Abroad. This course can also be substituted for the Area 7 requirement. These credits count as elective credits and help to complete the requirements of Pamplin’s International Business Minor.
Students must write a journal or blog of their experiences. You will write about the sights you see and the companies you visit. Keeping a journal and completing observations on cultural differences between Belize and the USA is required. Participation in all activities of the program is required.

This is a spring semester program. Virginia Tech will charge you for deposits and program fees. There is no additional tuition since this is a spring semester class.

Once you are accepted into the program you will be charged the full program fee of $3,200. This payment is due by February 10. This fee is non-refundable, unless for some unforeseeable reason the trip is cancelled. You will be billed by Virginia Tech for the balance of the program fee.

We will fly as a group to and from Belize and use local transport in country.

Cost Summary (estimated)

Costs In-state Out of state
Program Fee

$3,200

$3,200

Tuition & Fees

N/A

N/A

Books

NA

NA

Meals

Included

Included

Lodging 

Included

Included

Group Travel 

Included

Included

Airfare

Included

Included

Passport

135

135

Personal Expenses

150

150

Total Costs

$3,485

$3,485

The program fee includes:

  • Airfare
  • Meals
  • Lodging
  • Cultural excursions
  • Emergency insurance
  • Local transportation

The program fee does not include:

  • Personal expenses
  • Passport

Note
Virginia Tech reserves the right to make cancellations, date and cost adjustments, and other necessary changes in the program. Prices may change due to global economic conditions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Contact the VT Financial Aid office for assistance.

You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the University FInancial Aid Office. In addition, you must submit the study abroad cost documentation form to the study abroad office at the International Afffairs building, 526 Prices Fork Road, room 131. The form can be found on the Global Education Office Financial Aid page.

More information on financial aid and scholarships is available at Scholarships and Financial Aid page on the Education Abroad website. You must submit a FAFSA to receive scholarships or financial aid.

The 2017 program is full now and not accepting more applications.

There are a couple steps in the process. Be sure to complete the online Study Abroad Academic Review Form and Study Abroad Application. There is also a conduct check waiver form. These are all required before your application is accepted.

Passports - IMPORTANT - READ THIS

You need a passport valid for at least 3 months after you return, June 12, 2017.

Apply for your passport right away. You can apply at the Blacksburg Library on Miller St or at the Post Office on University City Blvd.

Once you are accepted into the program you will be charged the full program fee, $2,650. This is due by February 10. This fee is non-refundable, unless for some unforeseeable reason the trip is cancelled.

Acceptance

All applications are due no later than February 1. You will be accepted as they are received. There are 20 seats in this program. It will fill quickly so do not delay in applying.

Student Conduct and Honor System Records

We will review your student conduct and honor system records once you apply. We take any violation of university policies very seriously. We may not accept you if you have conduct suspensions or probations. We may also remove you from the program if you receive a suspension or probation (of any kind) before the end of the program. You will also be removed from the program if you are evicted from your apartment.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Contact the VT Financial Aid office for assistance.

You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the University FInancial Aid Office. In addition, you must submit the study abroad cost documentation form to the study abroad office at the International Afffairs building, 526 Prices Fork Road, room 131. The form can be found on the Global Education Office Financial Aid page.

More information on financial aid and scholarships is available at Scholarships and Financial Aid page on the Education Abroad website. You must submit a FAFSA to receive one of these scholarships.

All scholarships require the completion of a FAFSA. Even if you don't quality for financial aid on campus, you might qualify in study abroad. You won't know unless you complete the FAFSA.

We will stay in a modest hotel in Toledo with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We will travel as a group to and from the USA to Belize. This is the tentative schedule.

March 4 Saturday Fly to Belize
March 5-11 Sunday to Saturday Service learning projects and cultural site visits
March 12 Sunday Return to USA

 

Each student must have a valid passport from their home country. You can apply for a passport at the Blacksburg Post Office (540-552-2751) at the University Mall with appointment or at the Montgomery County Clerk's Office at the Christiansburg Courthouse (540-382-5760), no appointment required. You can get passport photos at most local pharmacies.

You should insure that you have the proper vaccinations for this program. This can be done through the University's recommended travel clinic (Intravene), a county health department, or your family physician. Your familiy physician usually does not have the more specialized vaccines and should refer you to the county health department. You can see a list of recommended vaccinations and other health information at the CDC travel website.

These sites have additional information:

It will be hot and muggy in Belize in March. Plan on wearing light clothes. Here are several packing lists tro draw from.

http://www.belizeadventure.ca/travel-tips/packing-list/

http://www.belizeexplorer.com/Belize-on-a-Budget/Packing-List.html

http://www.goatsontheroad.com/the-complete-travel-packing-list-for-men/

NOTE: Your dress should always be appropriate for the surroundings expected during the day. You do not want to look like typical tourists. Too much skin showing is not appropriate.

Electric Applicances

Belize uses the same electric current as the USA, 110 volt, 60 HZ..