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Belize, often referred to as "Mother Nature's best kept secret," is a tropical paradise located on the northeastern coast of Central America. In fact, due to its history of British colonization, it is the only country in the area where English is the official language. This makes the country one of the top choices to visit for study abroad students, giving them a chance to immerse themselves fully in another culture while still being able to easily navigate from place to place. Belize charms travelers with its proximity to the ocean, and offers the sense of a "true Caribbean gateway" with pristine rain forests and barrier reefs.
For those interested in exploring a busy industrial landscape, Belize City is the way to go. As the largest city in Belize, this bustling hub offers plenty of museums and zoos for the eager traveler. From Belize City, it is easy to explore the Cayes (little islands surrounding Belize) with water taxis, boats, and even small airplanes.
For the study abroad students who wants to shy away from populated cities and industrial, urban landscapes, Corozal is the place to visit! With incredibly friendly inhabitants, Corozal is a small town with stunning views of the ocean. There are very few tourists who venture here, and so it's also a much cheaper place to live for those visiting Belize.
Dangriga (coming from a Garifuna word meaning 'sweet water') is the largest town in Southern Belize and known as the "spiritual capital" of the country's Garifuna people. It's an exciting and festive town, reflecting the heritage of the Garifuna, who are descendents of the Carib, Arawak, and West African people. Study abroad students will experience the deep resonations of a cultural bond here. The music in this funky city is unique, as Dangriga is the birthplace of "punta rock" and home to a number of notable artists and festivals.
When choosing a program to study abroad at in Belize, it's important to know what academic goals you have set for yourself. Are you interested in the environmental sciences? Is medicine more your focus? What about anthropology? Although most of the universities in Belize offer a variety of courses, they each specialize and are known for only one or two specific career paths. Read on and find out what program is best for you!
With butterfly farms and the Cerros Mayan Ruins only minutes away, a curious adventurer won't run out of things to do in Corozal! To get across the bay, take a hand cranked ferry, free of charge. Corozal serves as a great rest stop for travelers trying to see all of Belize. With its relaxing and slow paced atmosphere, most people will find that they quickly adapt to life here. On a typical Sunday, most businesses and restaurants will be closed, although a general store or two will remain open.
Notable sights and landmarks in Dangriga include the Gulisi Garifuna Museum, fine food restaurants and market stands, a tortilla factory, and much more. Right off the barrier reef of Dangria is Tobacco Caye, an island where a traveler can enjoy snorkeling, diving, fishing, or just simply relaxing. There is never a boring moment in Dangriga, with its surplus in island expeditions, kayaking trips, and nightclubs bursting with cultural music!
Seen from above, Belize appears to be nothing more than a vast jungle peppered with pockets of human life. However, the deep cultural ties of the country resonate within every traveler who happens upon its beautiful beaches and cities. Whether you are looking for museums to get lost in, festivals to attend, or a marketplace to bargain at, Belize is the place to go! A melting pot of personalities and people from all around the world, Belize is one of the happiest and most peaceful countries in the region, and has a reputation of being one of the world's friendliest tourist destinations. What are you waiting for? Pack your bags!
Don't let the cost of studying abroad deter you- many scholarships are available to help you make your dream of studying abroad into a reality. Be sure to check with your university for other funding opportunities!
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