Nursing in Belize 4-Week Experience

Global Perspectives in Health and Community Health Nursing Clinical Internship

Spend four weeks living in English-speaking Belize learning about global health and shadowing medical professionals on clinical rotations.

June 25 – July 22, 2023

In this four-week program in tropical Belize, you will be introduced to the field of global health and then participate in clinical rotations where you will see the concepts you learned in your global health course in practice. 


You will spend the first two weeks in a combination of lectures, observational clinical experiences, and field visits, learning about global health through the lens of the Belizean healthcare system. During the second two weeks, you will participate in clinical rotations where you will have the opportunity to shadow Belizean nurses and develop a deeper understanding of Belize’s health system and what it means to be a health worker in a different social and cultural context.


During your four weeks, there will also be plenty of time to have some travel fun and get to know Belize, a multicultural, biodiverse Central American country that borders the Caribbean Sea. There will be organized excursions that will take you to ancient ruins and on a wilderness tour, and free time, where you may choose to explore the town market, hit the beach, or just relax with fellow program participants.

Global Perspectives in Health (weeks 1 and 2):

Featured topics explored in the field:

  • Social determinants of health
  • Infectious disease
  • Maternal health
  • Nutrition and global health
  • Public health policy
  • Environmental health
  • Non-communicable diseases and injuries


  • Observational clinical experiences at a community clinic and local hospital
  • Field visit with community health workers
  • Visit to the Belize Agricultural Health Authority lab
  • Meetings with national and international health care organizations
  • Lectures by experts in indigenous health
  • Visit to a medicinal garden with a local healer
  • Tour of San Ignacio and its town market
  • A guided tour of the Xunantunich Maya site
  • Free time to independently explore Belize

Community Health Nursing Clinical Internship (weeks 3 and 4):

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 medical professionals
  • Full-time two-week internship
  • Rotations in public, private, and community health sites
  • An organized wilderness tour 
  • Free time to choose your own adventure in Belize


The Center for Engaged Learning Abroad’s Global Perspectives in Nursing and Community Health Nursing Clinical Internship is a four-week program for nursing students from any college or university. For the first two weeks, you will be placed in a group with nursing students from different schools. A teaching nurse instructor will introduce you to key issues in the field of global health through a combination of lecture and field-based instruction. During the second two weeks, you will participate in a community health nursing clinical internship where you will shadow Belizean nurses and develop insight into different methods of healthcare delivery and the provision of culturally competent care.

You can earn three credits for your participation in the Global Perspectives in Nursing program. (Additional fee applies). 

A sample syllabus for the program can be found here. 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.

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 students of the same gender. WiFi is available. Transportation to program and clinical sites and breakfast are included in the program tuition.

You will have plenty of opportunities to 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

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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June 25 – July 22, 2023

Map of Belize


Tuition is $5,900, not including airfare, medical insurance (required), and some lunches and dinners. All 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.

If you are a Pell Grant recipient, we encourage you to apply for the Gilman Scholarship, which can cover your full tuition.  The application deadline for the Gilman Scholarship for Summer 2023 programs is October 6, 2022.

Included in program tuition:

  • Airport transfers in Belize
  • Orientation and welcome dinner
  • Lodging
  • Breakfast each day
  • All lectures, guest speakers, and 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)
  • $499 for course credit for the Global Perspectives in Nursing course, if desired (not 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 a four-week Global Perspectives in Nursing program and Community Health Nursing Clinical Internship to nursing students from schools all over the country. This program will 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 CELA 's Global Perspectives in Nursing program is available.


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.