Office of Global Engagement

Telephone: 706-542-2900

APPLY HERE

GENERAL INFORMATION

Program Dates: May 17 - June 9, 2021
Estimated Program Fee: $3,700 (includes program deposit, lodging, all breakfasts, several lunches and dinners, program-related transportation, and entrance fees for program-related academic and cultural activities). It does not include plane fare, UGA tuition, or UGA fees. For a breakdown of cost, visit the Cost of Attendance Sheets in the Study Away Portal.

Applications Open on August 28, 2020
Application Deadline October 30, 2020

Program Contacts:  Ms. Amanda Spohn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Dr. Hilda Mata (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

The (Pre) Health in Belize Program is intended for UGA students who plan to pursue careers in healthcare and who are working actively toward this goal.  During the 3-week program, the participants will have the opportunity to learn about the Belizean health system through guest lectures, tours of public and private healthcare facilities, shadowing opportunities with clinicians and volunteer community healthcare workers, and engage in conversations with traditional medicine practitioners. In addition to these experiences, program participants will enroll in two UGA courses for 6-credit hours: BIOL 4910 Topics in Biology and BIOL 4940 Internship in Biology. This program meets UGA’s experiential learning requirement.

The goal of this program is to help students gain perspective on international healthcare while also increasing their cultural competency.  Learning how to work with and communicate with patients from different backgrounds is invaluable to students who wish to pursue a healthcare profession. This program offers a unique opportunity to broaden a student’s undergraduate experience and offers up comparisons to the current healthcare system in the United States. Further, the clinical exposure will be helpful not only in terms of applying to graduate health professional programs, but will also enable our students to become more well-rounded applicants and, in turn, more conscientious healthcare providers.  This program hopes to develop mature individuals who leave Belize with significant experience in the world beyond the classroom as it is an ideal vehicle for developing some of the skills and attitudes that are valued in the practice of medicine—flexibility, self-reliance, and sensitivity to other cultures. Lastly, this program offers our students an ethical healthcare-centered shadowing option that meets AAMC ethics guidelines. 

FACULTY

Amy Baldwin, Ph.D
AU/UGA Medical Partnership
Associate Professor of Microbiology
University of Georgia | School of Social Work  
Adjunct Associate Professor

Amanda Spohn, M.Ed.
Interim Coordinator 
Pre-Dental, Veterinary, and Optometry Advisor
Pre-Professional Advising Office
Office of the Vice-President for Instruction
University of Georgia

COURSES

BIOL 4910 Topics in Biology: Women’s Health & Premedical Microbiology,  3 credits (grading A-F)
BIOL 4940 Internship in Biology, 3 credits (grading Pass/Fail)

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY

-Open to all Pre-Health students at the University of Georgia.
-Must have completed at least two hard science courses for a grade (A-F). AP & IB credit do not count towards this requirement.
-Must have a minimum of 30 credit hours prior to application. 
-BIOL 1108/L must be completed by the end of Fall 2020 to be eligible for the 2021 Maymester.
-Satisfactory academic and disciplinary records.
-Only applicants with a GPA of 3.0 or higher will be considered.
-Must submit a faculty or healthcare professional letter of recommendation.

ADMISSION PROCESS

Begin an application on the studyaway.uga.edu portal. Only applications with 100% complete pre-decision materials by the deadline will be considered. This application also requires an academic or healthcare professional letter of recommendation to be submitted by the application deadline. All completed applications will be screened and some candidates will be selected for an interview. Applicants who have been selected to move forward to the interview stage will be notified via their UGA email. An interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program, but is a mandatory part of the selection process. Applicants who have been selected for interviews will participate in a 30-minute interview with the Program Coordinator and the Instructor of Record. Once interviews are completed, applicants will be notified via the studyaway.uga.edu application portal if they have been accepted, waitlisted, or denied to the program. Admitted students will have one week from the date of acceptance to commit (or withdraw/decline) and pay a non-refundable $300 deposit. Once the program is full, eligible applicants will be waitlisted.

SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION

The Zell Miller and Hope scholarships as well as the Pell Grant apply to tuition. All UGA students in this program are eligible to apply to the OGE General Scholarships. Students are also encouraged to research other scholarships offered by UGA colleges and departments as well as national scholarships. Please check our Funding and Scholarship page in the Portal.

BELIZE

Belize is a relatively small developing nation located on the northeastern coast of Central America. It shares borders with Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean Sea. With a population nearing half a million, it is home to various languages and ethnic groups that include: Mestizo (of Spanish and indigenous descent), Creole (of European and African descent), Maya, Garifuna (of African and Caribbean indigenous descent), and smaller groups of European and Asian heritage. A former colony of the British Empire, Belize gained full independence in September 1981. While other languages are actively spoken in the country, English has remained the official language.

The Belizean two-tiered healthcare system comprises public hospitals and clinics that serve the population at little or no direct cost and private hospitals and clinics that require payment but are generally better equipped.  As part of the public health system, Belize has a network of trained volunteer community healthcare workers who assist with basic care in rural areas. 

 
PROGRAM LOCATION AND HOUSING 

The program travels and works in various locations throughout Belize: Orange Walk, San Ignacio, and Placencia. Program participants will share comfortable, air-conditioned, medium-range accommodations, with breakfast and several lunches and dinners included. Meals not included in the program will be the responsibility of each participant, but restaurant recommendations and opportunities to buy groceries in local supermarkets will be provided. The cost of laundry is not included in the program, but facilities and opportunities to do laundry will be available.

ITINERARY (subject to change)

Monday, May 17—Depart for Belize, Transfer Orange Walk, Settle at hotel
Tuesday, May 18—Orientation & Cultural activities
Wednesday, May 19—Orange Walk: Community outreach/volunteering/shadowing & classes (classes may include guest lectures)
Thursday, May 20—Orange Walk: Community outreach/volunteering/shadowing & classes
Friday, May 21—Orange Walk: Community outreach/volunteering/shadowing & classes
Saturday, May 22—Orange Walk: Excursion to Sarteneja (coastal town)
Sunday, May 23- Transfer to San Ignacio, orientation & classes
Monday, May 24—San Ignacio: Community outreach/volunteering/shadowing & classes
Tuesday, May 25—San Ignacio: Community outreach/volunteering/shadowing & classes
Wednesday, May 26—San Ignacio: Community outreach/volunteering/shadowing & classes
Thursday, May 27—San Ignacio: Community outreach/volunteering/shadowing & classes
Friday, May 28—San Ignacio: Tour and Lecture at Belize Botanical Gardens & classes
Saturday, May 29—Visit San Ignacio's farmers' market, Maya chocolate making class, and visit Xunantunich Maya Archaeological Site.
Sunday, May 30—San Ignacio: Excursion TBD
Monday, May 31—Transfer to Placencia, orientations & classes
Tuesday, June 1—Placencia: Community outreach/volunteering/shadowing & classes
Wednesday, June 2—Classes 
Thursday, June 3—Placencia: Community outreach/volunteering/shadowing & classes
Friday, June 4—Placencia: Community outreach/volunteering/shadowing & classes
Saturday, June 5—Placencia: Excursion to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Evening program debriefing. 
Sunday, June 6—Transfer to Caye Caulker and orientation
Monday, June 7—Caye Caulker: Hol Chan Marine Reserve Coral Reef Snorkeling
Tuesday, June 8— Caye Caulker: Free morning & afternoon. Farewell group dinner
Wednesday, June 9— Return home