For all you divers and adventurers, the Caribbean Sea and its wonders await you. A place that screams exotic, Honduras, the second largest country in Central America, is filled with diversity. The Honduras mainland is rich in Mayan culture and the islands that form the Honduras’ Bay Islands are breathtaking. Honduras draws history buffs as well as adventure craving travelers to its country. Quick fact: the term “Banana Republic” was first applied to Honduras by the American writer O.Henry, not the store that most of you pass by at the mall!
So pack your bags, leave your TJ's bananas behind, and head to Honduras for study abroad next semester, summer, or year. Here's how:
Photo Credits: nan palmero.
Honduras has the largest tropical biosphere in North America. This not only makes it difficult in terms of which program to choose, but also where to go! The possibilities include being on the borders of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, or enjoying the coastline of the Carribean Sea. In addition, consider these factors when deciding:
The national language of Honduras is Spanish. Other recognized languages include Garifuna and Miskito, though they are more regionally spoken than nationally. Learning the Spanish language is essential to keeping pace with the rapidly growing Hispanic community and culture. Spanish has been the official language for over twenty countries, as of today, and it is prominent both in Europe and the Americas, placing only second to Mandarin in terms of its number of native speakers throughout the world. It is safe to say that the benefits of learning Spanish will be both a personal and professional gain.
Housing, above all, is a personal preference that can be the difference that makes your study abroad program worthwhile, or one to forget. Be aware of yourself, especially your wants and needs. The homestay option is always a highly recommended choice of housing. The reason being is that there are simply no other people that know the city as well as its inhabitants. In addition, you get the added comfort of a family to take care of you, as well as the native foods, lifestyles and activities.
However, if you feel that exploring on your own, living with students from around the world and creating lasting relationships are more your style, living in the apartments or dormitories is for you. It may sound selfish, but think of yourself first for this decision, as you’ll be the only one walking away with your experiences!
The housing choices are centered on immersive opportunities that are endless, especially the Carpe Diem Education program, where options include Camping, Guest Housing, Home-stay, Hostels, or Volunteer Housing.
Arguably, the most popular city in Honduras is Coxen Hole, the capital of the Roatan, which is the largest of the Honduras’ Bay Islands. Fun activities in Roatán include diving, eco-tourism, and adventure sports.
A historically enriched city is Copán, an archaeological site of the Mayan civilization. The Mayan civilization is noted for the emergence of the first fully developed language of the pre-Columbian Americas.
The combination of beautiful beaches and rich history makes Honduras a top-tier destination. While visiting, students and travelers will appreciate the fusion of the European and Central American influence on this beautiful country.
What to Pack
Deciding what you'll need for your trip might not be as easy as you think. Our guide on what to pack for study abroad Central America can help.
Unless you're a doing a summer program, you're likely to stay in Honduras for more than 90 days. Past 90 days, you will need a visa. However, once you've finished all of the entrance formalities for Honduras, you can freely move between Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The requirements for your passport are that it must be valid for at least 6 months after entry. Visit USA Today for more information.
Social Life and Student Culture
Central America has a diverse food culture and Honduras is no exception. An unparalleled Honduras dish is Tamales. Tamales is a dish wrapped in a plantain leaf that is stuffed with meats, cheeses, vegetables, or any other items according to preference. Tamales are prominent in Central America and are typically made of sweet corn; however, in Honduras, residents add their own addition by using dent corn (simply, a variety of corn that is high in soft starch content). It is a very labor intensive dish that is typically served during Christmas, but also readily available throughout the year. If ever there were a dish that you had to try, it’s this one; it’s also interesting to see what kinds of extra ingredients the Hondurans put in their Tamales.
Besides food (though it is a big part of the Honduran culture), Honduras offers a lot of outdoor activities with magnificent scenery to accompany.
So you're finally planning for you study abroad trip, and you realize that money might be an issue. Take advantage of these scholarships: