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July 9-25, 2013
Gales Point, Belize
Central America

Participation in this course during the summer requires that you are enrolled in SOC 127 in the spring prior to your summer course. If this is not a possibility, the pricing of the course changes slightly. (Please contact trimkus@marymount.edu for more details.)

This course will examine management and sustainability principles as applied to the tourism industry, with a special focus on rural areas, wildlife sanctuaries, and other environmentally sensitive areas. The course will consider how communities involved in service sector enterprises relate to the general concepts of sustainability, including environmental, social and economic impacts.

Through a three-week study abroad trip in combination with coursework, students will learn about the history, concepts, principles, marketing, planning, and management of ecotourism activities. Students will also learn about ecotourism development, which promotes cultural and environmental awareness and offers local economic benefits.

In addition to three weeks spent in Belize, the class will meet before and after the trip. Prior to departure, students will develop knowledge and an understanding of sustainable travel and review case studies of ecotourism in Latin America. While in Belize, students will work with a proprietor of a local hotel to analyze and possibly develop a plan for a sustainable ecotourism destination. Upon return, students will develop recommendations for the hotel in Belize.

MGT 324 Ecotourism, 3 credits
SOC 127 Through the Sociological Lens: Study Abroad Belize, 3 credits, to be taken in the spring semester prior to departure

Course Objectives
Upon successful completion of MGT 324, students will be expected to

  • understand the theories of ecotourism experience
  • identify and analyze ecotourism markets
  • critically evaluate ecotourism business operations and planning contexts
  • apply knowledge of a variety of interpretations and approaches to ecotourism
  • apply knowledge of sustainable ecotourism to management practices through case studies
  • develop knowledge and understanding of resources, products, best management practices, and opportunities in the ecotourism sub-sector
  • identify current trends in ecotourism
  • discuss the importance of the local ecology, culture, history and economic development balanced with a social responsibility

Program Cost: $3,280
The program fee includes

  • Tuition (for MGT 324)
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • Guided tours of coral reefs and Mayan ruins
  • Use of snorkeling gear
  • Travel insurance
  • Predeparture orientation

The program fee does not include airfare, textbooks or personal expenses.

Marymount University reserves the right to make any necessary changes, including adjustments in cost, in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Financial aid may be applied to Study Abroad programs. For more information, please contact the Financial Aid Office. Students are responsible for making all payments to Marymount University by the specified deadlines.

Applicants for this study abroad program must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and the approval of their academic advisor and School dean. Students on disciplinary probation will not be considered.

Students do not need a passport to apply for the program, but accepted applicants must provide the Center for Global Education with a copy of their passport before the time of departure. The passport application process takes four to six weeks. Applications for new and renewed passports can be downloaded from the State Department’s website or picked up at a post office.

Application deadline: January 10, 2013

>> Learn about the application process here.