Be a Global Student: Embedded Course for First Year Students (Belize)

An embedded course for first year students that will travel to Belize in August 2017.

Visit the beautiful tropical paradise of Belize in August!

  • Learn from the Mayans how you can succeed as a student.
  • Experience an ancient culture that values tradition and community.
  • Learn more about your own cultural values and beliefs, and the importance of community at Penn State.

Associated Courses

INTAG 199 Section 1: Be A Global Student (2 credits, Fall)

About the course

Students will learn about becoming a master student by studying the Mayan culture and the reasons they have been a flourishing people for thousands of years despite many trials. The class, including faculty, will travel to Belize together before the fall semester begins in August - tentative dates of the travel are August 12 - 18, 2017. Upon return, student will enroll in INTAG 199 Section 1 in the Fall 2017 semester, in order to debrief the trip and focus on reflection and goal setting.

The goals of this course are to nurture academic success, help students discover and connect with resources within Penn State University, and to develop student global competency.

Students will earn a total of two credits of INTAG 199 Section 1 in the fall semester.  These credits can be counted toward the International Agriculture minor (INTAG).

About travel to Belize

Belize is a small country, approximately the size of Massachusetts, which borders Mexico and Guatemala. English is the official language of Belize, and travel is further eased by the fact that U.S. dollars are readily accepted.

Travel will take place in the time span between the end of the summer session and the beginning of the fall semester, with tentative dates of August 12 - 18, 2017. The learning will begin with an orientation to Belize which touches on topics including health safety, culture and history and a night tour of the Belize Zoo. Other highlights of the trip include visits to the Tropical Education Center, local conservation and development NGOs,the local Mennonite community, Mayan ruins, Mayan villages, and a women's co-op. Students will also participate in an ag-related service project at a local high school and will shadow agriculture students at the University of Belize.

Why should I participate?

Participating in INTAG 199 is a great way to kick-off your Penn State career. Through this experience students will not only begin to develop global competency skills, but also to become familiar with Penn State's presence around the globe.

If you're new to international topics and travel, this is a great introductory course. If you are more experienced on the global stage, this is a great opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills.

Additionally, students enrolling both sections of INTAG 199 will earn two credits that can be applied to the International Agriculture minor.

How do I sign up?

Students must be registered for the Fall 2017 semester.

Interested students will:

  1. Contact the course instructor, Dr. Melanie Miller Foster at to receive additional information.
  2. Pay a deposit by May 15 - see Cost and Payment Deadlines below.
  3. Register for INTAG 199 Section 1 when registering for fall classes.

Essay Contest

Enter the essay contest to win a $500 grant toward the August 2017 Be a Global Student experience!

  • Open to all first-year students in the College of Agricultural Sciences enrolled in the Fall 2017 semester
  • Answer the question: Why do you want to begin your Penn State career with a study abroad experience in Belize?
  • Entries should not be more than 1,500 words
  • Submit your essays to Melanie Miller Foster at by May 5, 2017.

Cost and Payment Deadlines

Estimated cost: $3,000.00

This cost includes: airfare, transportation, lodging, tours and activities, and most in-country meals.

The final total cost is dependent on the airfare price. If the final total of all trip expenses is less than $3,000, a refund of remaining portion will be issued.

Students will need approximately $200 in spending money to cover the cost of incidentals such as drinks and snacks, souvenirs, and meals while in transit.

Payment schedule

  1. $1,000 deposit - due by May 15
  2. $2,000 - due June 1

All participating students will need a passport valid through March 1, 2018. Interested students should apply for a passport and be prepared to present a copy of the picture page by June 1.

The deposit check should be made out to Penn State University and mailed to: Ketja Lingenfelter, 106 Agricultural Administration Building, University Park, PA 16802. 


  • Students must be at least 18 years of age at the time of travel.
  • Preference will be given to students who have a major within the College of Agricultural Sciences.  Other students with an interest in agriculture are also encouraged to enroll.
  • Student participants must present a valid passport by June 1.  Students who do not present a passport will not be permitted to travel.
  • Student participants must have the ability to travel internationally.  Accommodations for special circumstances will be made whenever possible.
  • Non-U.S. citizens may need a visa to enter Belize.  Students are responsible for contacting the Belize Consulate and securing a visa.
  • All payments must be made on time.  Students who do not meet payment deadlines will not be permitted to travel.

Important Information

  • Travel costs are based on an enrollment of 10 students.  If 10 students do not enroll in the course, the course may be cancelled.  In this event, all enrolled students will receive a notification and the deposit will be refunded.
  • Students are encouraged to visit the travel nurse at the student health center to receive health and safety information about Belize.
  • Travel is tentatively planned for August 12 - 18, 2017.  Students living in university housing should ensure that the dormitories are accessible on August 18 or make other housing arrangements.
  • Deposits are not refundable after the airfare has been purchased.

Where can I get more information?

For more information please contact the lead instructor for the class: