"I think that this is an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and I am ecstatic about having gotten the opportunity to share it with our wonderful, weird little group. I hope I get a chance to go back to Belize soon and share my love with my husband and others." - Katy, 2015
Students interested in speaking with program alumni can browse our Alumni Reference Network. The Alumni Reference Network is password-protected and only accessible to GSU students. Please contact the Study Abroad Office at (404) 413-2529 or firstname.lastname@example.org for the password.
The Program: Geographic Information Systems in Belize: A Focus on Communities, Fieldwork and Service is intended to be a three week Maymester study abroad program (10 days in Belize and pre and post-trip class time on the GSU campus). The program aims to educate undergraduate and graduate students in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and related geospatial technologies, while working with community partners on geographic issues in Belize. Using geospatial technologies, students will design maps, databases, analytical reports and related multimedia that can be of use to Belizean residents and organizations. Such tangible products align with community-based development agendas of selected Belizean service providers, government agencies and community organizations and make the program a form of international service learning. The Belize portion of the program will occur from May 13-24, 2015.
Some highlights of the trip:
While in Belize, we will engage in fieldwork, data collection, and discussion with guides, educators, residents and local experts. Students will engage in the following activities:
· Fieldwork and data collection about social and environmental concerns and social service locations in San Ignacio and Dangriga.
*Fieldwork and observation at Mountain Pine Ridge
*Observation and snorkeling on South Water Caye Marine Reserve (part of the Belize Barrier Reef)
· Seminars on wildlife preservation and ecotourism at the world famous Belize Zoo
· Explorations below ground in caves with rich, cultural significance
· Tour of Mayan Ruins of Cahal Pech & Xunantunich
· Dinner in modern Maya community of San Antonio
· Visit with students and faculty at The University of Belize in Belmopan)
· Visit and fieldwork with government GIS and mapping facilities in Belmopan
· Intensive community GIS fieldwork with Belize community partners, students and government staff
Belize is beautiful, diverse and tropical landscape. It offers a relatively safe and affordable location for Study Abroad. It is the only English speaking country in Central America and U.S. currency is welcome in most establishments. It is also a quick 3 hour non-stop flight from Atlanta.
Please click the link for the Geographic Information Systems in Belize: A Focus on Communities, Fieldwork and Service brochure.
Please click the link for the Program Description for Medical Evaluations
Application Deadline: February 5, 2015
Eligibility: The program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students with any major in good academic standing with the University. Preference will be given to students with a 3.0 or higher GPA and a demonstrated interest in learning GIS and mapping. No prior GIS experience is required. Program size is limited and participation is contingent upon acceptance by and an interview with the Program Directors and payment of $500 for the first deposit.
*International students at Georgia State who hold F-1 visas must contact the Office of International Students and Scholar Services at 404-413-2070 to discuss possible implications of study abroad for their immigration status.
Courses and Credit: Depending on each student's GIS experience and whether s/he is an an undergraduate or graduate student, each student can sign up for one of the following: Geography 4532, or 4999 or GEOS 6532 or GEOS 6999. Upon successful completion of the course, students will receive 4 semester hours of course credit at Georgia State University. Students from other institutions should follow their institution's regulations concerning transfer credits.
Accommodations: The itinerary includes five nights in San Ignacio in the mountains of Belize at Martha’s Guest House and the remaining nights at beachfront properties on the Caribbean in Dangriga and offshore cayes.
Costs: Program fee of $2,500*; tuition for 4 credit hours, please see Tuition Rates; and mandatory student fees (only the BOR Institutional fee and Technology fee).
• Non-stop roundtrip airfare
• Lodging and some meals
• Transportation and entrance fees to all planned excursions, lectures and activities
• Student travel insurance
• Access to professor’s cell phone for emergency use
• Health/Evacuation/Repatriation insurance
Price Does Not Include
• Georgia State tuition and fees
• Optional excursions
• Additional meals
• Travel immunizations
• Personal expenses and baggage charges
$500 deposit with application
February 10, 2015: $500 payment
March 1, 2015: final $1500 balance due
Program Director: Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne
Office address: 350B Sparks Hall
Program Director: Christy C. Visaggi, Ph.D.
316 Kell Hall