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Belize, also known as the gateway of the Caribbean, is one of the most politically stable countries in South America and is a unique but often overlooked place to find an internship. After being a British colony for more than 100 years, Belize eventually gained independence in 1981. While English is Belize's official language and U.S. dollars are widely accepted, there is still a diversity of cultures in this beautiful country. Home to the second longest barrier reef in the world, numerous Mayan ruins, tropical rain forests, and over a hundred islands (better known as cayes), Belize's natural beauty makes it the perfect place for those wanting to gain a professional experience while being surrounded by paradise and adventure.
Belize has very distinct wet and dry seasons. The best time to land an internship in Belize is from December to May, during the country's dry season. While this is the time when many tourists visit, you will get to experience Belize's warm weather, clear skies, and easy access to many attractions. Try to avoid going during April and May, when it can get extremely humid, and from June to November, Belize's rainy season. Keep in mind that many establishments tend to be shut down during the off-season. With Belize being fairly small compared to other countries, you can expect to find many internships scattered all over depending on what program you choose to find an internship with.
While some say that Belize is one of the most expensive countries to visit in South America, it is still the least expensive destination in the Caribbean. Overall, Belize is a very affordable place to live compared to if you were interning in the United States, Canada, or Europe. While the standard unit of currency is the Belizean dollar (BZ$), many prices are listed in US dollars where they are widely accepted. For years, the exchange rate has usually stayed around US $1 = BZ $2. If you happen to intern in Belize during their slow season, try to negotiate prices since this is when establishments are desperate for your business. For more information, visit Numbeo.
For all visitors to Belize, a passport that has been valid for at least six months is required. If US citizens are planning to stay in Belize for longer than 30 days, then they will need to obtain a visa. For more information, check your nearest Belizean Consulate or Embassy.
No matter where you find an internship in Belize, you'll be sure to find acceptance in this multi-ethnic country. In general, Belizeans are some of the most friendly people you'll ever meet and the Belize government actually welcomes a large amount of retirees each year. With it's beautiful tropical weather and its endless amount of outdoor activities, Belize is the perfect place to find an internship where you can learn professional skills and how to enjoy life at the very same time.
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