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Learn about community health nursing on clinical rotations in English-speaking Belize

July 9 – July 22, 2023

During this two-week community health clinical internship in tropical Belize, you will participate in clinical nursing rotations where you will have the opportunity to shadow Belizean nurses.

Because English is Belize’s official language, you will be able to easily communicate with and learn from the Belizean health care workers you are shadowing. You will develop an understanding of Belize’s health system and gain an appreciation of what it means to be a health worker in a different social and cultural context.

Although you will work hard, you will also have plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture and natural beauty of Belize, a multicultural, biodiverse country that borders the Caribbean Sea.

In addition to an organized excursion to the Xunantunich Maya site, you will have free time to dip your toes in the Caribbean Sea, shop at the town market, get to know your fellow interns, and have some fun!

Examples of possible clinical placements include:

  • Public hospital
  • Private hospital
  • Medical center
  • Home visits with community health workers
  • School health programs

Your clinical shadowing program will allow you to shadow in multiple settings throughout the program.


  • Introduction to the history, culture, and society of Belize
  • Overview of the Belizean health system and the Belizean Ministry of Health
  • Interaction with a diverse array of nurses and other medical professionals
  • Full-time two-week internship
  • Rotations in public, private, and community health sites
  • An organized excursion to the Xunantunich Maya site
  • Free time to choose your own adventure in Belize


The Center for Engaged Learning Abroad’s Community Health Nursing Clinical Internship is a two-week clinical experience in community health nursing. Nursing students from any college or university are welcome to apply. During this internship, you will shadow Belizean nurses and develop insight into different methods of healthcare delivery, effective cross-cultural communication, and the provision of culturally competent care.

You will be supervised by licensed U.S. nursing faculty in conjunction with Belizean medical personnel and supported by CELA staff in Belize and the United States. You will be comfortably housed in a guest house in shared rooms with other CELA nursing interns of the same gender. WiFi is available. Transportation to clinical sites and breakfast are included in the program tuition.

CELA does not provide academic credit directly for the community health nursing clinical internship, but you should check with your home institution to see if it will accept the clinical hours. CELA will work with you to provide any required documentation.

During your program, you will get to know the people and culture of Belize, an English-speaking Central American nation that borders the Caribbean Sea. Referred to as “the Jewel” by those who visit it, culturally diverse Belize is known for its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and ancient ruins.

You do not need a visa to travel to Belize and, in most cases, can use U.S. dollars. English is the country’s official language, so language is not a barrier.

Want to spend a month in Belize? CELA also offers a two-week Global Perspectives in Nursing program, which is a great complement to the community health nursing clinical internship. Add the Global Perspectives in Nursing course and spend an entire month with us in Belize! See the program page for the four-week program for more details.

Exact program itinerary is subject to change.

Belize was voted as a top 10 country to travel to in 2022!

Each year, the travel experts at Lonely Planet name the best destinations for travel. In naming Belize as one of its top ten places to travel to in 2022, Lonely Planet writes, “Belize is where chilled out vibes and adventure combine…With one foot in the Central American jungles and the other in the Caribbean Sea, pint-sized Belize is packed with islands, adventure and culture.”

Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2022:

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July 9 – July 22, 2023

Map of Belize


Tuition is $3,180, not including airfare, medical insurance (required), and some lunches and dinners. Transportation to clinical sites and organized program activities are included in your tuition. You may be able to use federal financial aid to cover your tuition.

The first $500 of your tuition (your program deposit) holds your space in the course. The deposit is non-refundable. All prices are in U.S. dollars.

Interest-free payment plans are available.

Included in program tuition:

  • Airport transfers in Belize
  • Orientation and welcome dinner
  • Lodging
  • Breakfast each day 
  • Any lectures, guest speakers, or learning activities
  • Clinical supervision
  • All in-country transportation
  • All fees for included tourist activities
  • Final program dinner
  • Program tee shirt
  • 24/7 staff support

Not included in program tuition:

  • $30 application fee
  • Airfare
  • Medical insurance (required)
  • Personal budget for meals (lunch and dinner), laundry, souvenirs, etc.
  • Free day and evening-time activities


For over a decade, the Center for Engaged Learning Abroad (CELA) has provided academically challenging and transformative pre-health study abroad experiences. With a full Belizean staff in our Belize office, you have the benefit of local expertise on every CELA program, with a U.S. contact for ease of communication pre-travel.

After years of organizing faculty-led programs for nursing students, CELA is excited to also offer the Community Health Nursing Clinical Internship and the Global Perspectives in Nursing study abroad program to nursing students from schools all over the country. These programs provide nursing students a unique chance to see healthcare from a variety of perspectives while giving them the opportunity to explore Belize, meet new people, and have some fun!



CELA prides itself on its valued partnerships with the local community. In addition to its relationships with local experts and community health workers, CELA has a memorandum of understanding with the Belizean Ministry of Health, which is the largest provider of public health services in Belize and is responsible for the oversight of the entire Belizean health sector.

CELA is committed to social responsibility and ensuring that our business activities benefit the culture and biodiversity of Belize. We actively pursue and value cooperative relationships with organizations across the country in pursuit of this goal.


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CELA is committed to student health and safety. We support students in managing their safety by providing them with up-to-date health and safety information and guidance. Our staff in Belize seeks to be available 24/7 should students need emergency assistance. CELA follows strict safety protocols in clinical settings based on CDC guidelines, local healthcare facility directives, and other pertinent sources.

All participants must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (including boosters, if eligible) and must adhere to CELA’s COVID policies, which will be released closer to the program time and based on the most up-to-date CDC guidance.

CELA encourages students to enroll in the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to learn more about the best practices for safe travel.


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CELA is an American-owned organization with Belizean and American staff in Belize and support staff in the United States. Programs are taught by U.S. licensed nursing faculty in conjunction with Belizean health professionals.


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CELA is a recognized center of excellence for study abroad, engaged scholarship, and experiential learning. Academic credit for the Global Perspectives in Nursing program is available through CELA’s U.S. school of record, Iowa Wesleyan University, a four-year, non-profit university in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. CELA also offers the option for credit from Sacred Heart University, a junior college in Belize.​


Want to study abroad but not sure if you can afford it? You are not alone! While studying abroad gives you an appreciation for the world outside of your home country, grows your character and confidence, and gives you great opportunities, many still worry about paying off student debt in the future. Thankfully, you can pursue a couple of options that may make that trip of a lifetime a little bit more affordable.

The Gilman Scholarship offers awards of $5000 for undergraduate study abroad for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university. Talk to us about applying!


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Many of our alumni have been successful raising money from friends, family, and community through crowdfunding. Tell your story, share your passion, and people may want to be a part of your adventure and growth!
The Gilman-McCain Scholarship is open to US citizen undergraduate students who are child dependents of active duty service members and receiving any type of Title IV federal financial aid to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.