High School Summer Abroad Program: Biology in Central America

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About

Why Study Biology and English in Central America?

Pairing the grade 12 Biology and English courses, students are exposed to the scientific background as well as the literary context. This allows them to gain a more holistic understanding of a rapidly changing world. The MEI Biology and English program immerses students in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world - Central America.

While traveling through the hidden gems of Belize and Costa Rica, students encounter adventures such as swimming with manatees, zip-lining through forest canopies, exploring Mayan ruins and collecting specimens beneath an active volcano. The Backpackers program includes five weeks of overseas travel and learning to Caye Caulker, San Ignacio, Placencia, Curu, La Fortuna, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

93%
based on 6 reviews
  • Growth 9.3
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 8.5
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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jadyn
9/10

Such an amazing experience!

This trip provides a truly unique experience that can't be replicated by much else. I was able to make so many meaningful connections with the other students despite not knowing anyone on my trip beforehand. I loved that what we were learning was integrated into the different locations, allowing for most of the projects to be very hands on and unique. My favourite memories definitely come from the activities like snorkeling, zip lining, white water rafting and the cave walk. The trip teaches you a lot about independent living and was I found that it helped me to become more prepared for leaving home for university. It was up to you to manage time, get assignments done and find your way around new locations, which is something I've never really gotten to to to that scale.
Future participants should know that at times the work can be very stressful because you are moving at such a fast pace to cover everything and that you will be immediately thrown outside your comfort zone. Despite that, you'll make friends and learn how to deal with the various stressors on this trip very rapidly.

How can this program be improved?
Better communication with students about assignments and schedules in areas where wifi is not strong, a larger variation of food (we had a lot of the same meals) and a larger food budget for per diem meals and better scheduling for some of the tests
Yes, I recommend
Ali
9/10

The most amazing experiences.. all put into one trip!

My MEI experience through the Backpackers Central America program was one worth sharing. So many items checked off on my bucket list, while simultaneously learning and excelling in two complex subjects, made effortlessly enjoyable throughout this trip. Going into the adventure, not knowing a single person, and coming home after a month or so having made 30+ new best friends was gratifying beyond comparison. It was important for me to see the person in myself that was able to make friends easily, and have fun while doing it. This will impact my life in new ways to come as I will be willingly open to new experiences and meeting new people. If you decide to go on this amazing adventure, take time for your work, your success, and yourself!!

Yes, I recommend
Ben
10/10

Great mixture of fun and learning

This trip is perfectly paced between academic learning and having fun where you are. The teachers used new and exciting locations to enhance the schooling experience. That, mixed with tons of time for fun, either organized by the teachers or with your friends, assures that this trip is one of a lifetime! The trip is action packed with activities everywhere you go. Being able to get two high school courses done like this is the best way to do it!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Taryn
9/10

My Experience on MEI's Backpackers: Central America Trip

Let me tell you, MEI truly changed me.
The thought of a 35 day trek in the middle of Central America was both trilling and nerve-wracking to me before I left. Ive always had a passion for travelling, so I wasn't new to it, but had never travelled anywhere without my parents. When they dropped me off at the Sheraton Hotel to meet the group, I was so nervous, but as soon as I met my everyone on the trip, I was instantly relaxed and so excited! The fun started in the hotel and didn't stop until we got home. All the experiences we had, snorkelling, zip-lining, white water rafting, spelunking, climbing Myan Ruins and so so many more all were so cool. The school work was fine too! Doing work in the summer may not seem too exciting at first, but the way it was taught and delivered was so cool, and how our biology lessons related to everything around us was so cool. The friends I are now life-long friends, and we all talk everyday. We all have a group chat and lots of us have met up so many times too!! MEI was an amazing experience and has shaped me into a better person. It is truly life changing.

Yes, I recommend
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Logan
10/10

Best Experience Ever

This MEI Trip to Belize and Costa Rica was the best experience of my life. I have been to many countries around the world on many different trips but this was by far the best. Not only being gone for a whole month but being able to do English and Biology over the summer was awesome! But it’s not just the traveling and the courses that make it awesome, it’s the community that’s built on the trip and how you really develop a family with not only the other kids doing the program but teachers as well. This experience was truly life changing and if I could do it again I would.

Yes, I recommend
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Carina
9/10

Mei Central America Summer Trip

The MEI trip I did this summer was the most incredible experience I have ever been through. Learning in exotic locations with incredible and dedicated teachers made learning fun and intruiging. I made friends I know I will have in my life forever, and share incredible memories with them. It is an adventure I wish every student could experience and prepared me for grade 12! I would highly reccomend doing this trip if you have the opportunity to do so.

How can this program be improved?
Making the before departure biology work on a different less challenging unit so that we have the teachers around to help us with it.
Yes, I recommend

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About MEI International Academy

With MEI International Academy you'll need to bring your passport, because the world is our classroom. Rather than a typical exchange program, high school students and recent graduates from around the world travel from city to city and country to...