Loyola University Chicago

Study Abroad

Faculty-Led Program: ENVS 340/BIOL 340 in Belize (2020)


This ten-day program immerses students in the tropical ecosystems of Belize, an English-speaking country in Central America that lies on the Caribbean Sea. You will visit a number of tropical ecosystems, snorkel the barrier reef, visit ancient Mayan ruins and examine Belize's natural history and culture. Academic excursions into Belizean ecosystems will be coupled with field labs, discussions, and lectures from local experts. The course focuses on experiential learning through exciting activities such as hiking through a Community Baboon Sanctuary, exploring one of the largest cave structures in the world, canoe paddling down the Sibun River while observing anthropomorphic effects by doing water testing and collecting macro- invertebrate samples, and snorkeling the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. You will also tour ancient Mayan ruins, the Belize Zoo, and the Maya Centre Village and Cultural Museum.

Click to see the ENVS_340_Belize_Flyer.

This faculty-led study abroad program is part of ENVS 340 Natural History of Belize, taught by Rev. Stephen Mitten, S.J. Click here for the ENVS_340_Syllabus_2020, which includes details on planned activities.


After you have completed the OIP application for this program and been accepted, you will be registered in this course by OIP. You don't need to self-register for this course.



To learn more about this program, read students' reflections below.



For ten days, I had the opportunity to travel Belize, learn firsthand about its ecosystems and culture, and further explore my own personal and professional interests in environmental policy. During my time abroad, my group and I heard lectures from Belizean nationals on topics like conservation, politics, resource management, history and cultural preservation, economics, and international environmental protection efforts. Each lesson and discussion we had about these topics expanded my knowledge and perspective of Belize and opened me to new angles of interpreting the information I was given. 


During my time in Belize I found myself to feel very connected to the country, the environment, and the people. This was surprising to me, considering the J-Term course was only ten days and I have very little knowledge of the country before arriving. Equally as surprising, was the way in which I found myself living up to the Jesuit values of Loyola University Chicago. Now, reflecting on the mission statement of my institution, I am able to recognize ways in which my time in Belize allowed me to expand my knowledge through learning, justice, and faith.


Loyola’s mission statement is: “We are Chicago’s Jesuit Catholic university – a diverse community seeking God in all things and working to expand knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice, and faith.” The objectives of this course were “to understand the many social justice dimensions of environmental issues, to appreciate our own responsibility as citizens of our planet, and to transform our current unsustainable practices to those that are more life-giving.” After reflecting on my time in Belize, Loyola’s mission and the course objectives seem to go hand in hand. Throughout the entirety of the course, while focusing on its objectives, I feel that I not only connected with, but also performed the goals of the mission statement.


Paid to Loyola
Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program Fee $1,210 paid to LOCUS
Office of International Programs Administrative Fee $100 paid to Loyola Study Abroad Online Application
Loyola University Chicago tuition Click for current Loyola tuition. paid to LOCUS


Not Paid to Loyola
Airfare $700 (estimated) you pay directly to airline; do not buy your ticket until we notify you to do so.
Incidental expenses and additional meals $100 (estimated) take with you abroad

You will stay with the group at the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.


Term January Term
Year 2020
Application Deadline Click here for deadlines
Decision Date Rolling admission
Start Date  01/02/2020
End Date 01/11/2020


For more information, contact:

Rev. Stephen F. Mitten, S.J.
Advanced Lecturer
Institute of Environmental Sustainability