BELIZE

The ISTP has an agreement with the University College of Belize toplace students at its schools. Belize's educational sustem can be described as a church-state system, with schools jointly funded by both the church and the government. Historically, the school system in Belize is modeled after the British system. Education is compulsory for Belizean children between the ages of 6 and 14. The age levels are 6-14 years for primary, 14-17 for secondary, and 17+ for post-secondary.

Belize's educational system reflects its diversity and British colonial legacy. At the end of primary school students must pass the National Selection Examination to gain access to secondary school. Secondary school students take the externally administered Caribbean Examinations Council exam in order to be admitted into a post-secondary institution. Only half of the 80% of children enrolled in primary school complete the full eight compulsory school years. A small percentage of those graduating from secondary go on to higher education.

NMSU ISTP students can request placement in primary (grades 1-8) and secondary schools, or, if qualified, may teach at the University College of Belize-Belmopan Junior College. Students will most likely be placed in Belize City or Belmopan, the capital of Belize. Teachers are needed in all subject areas, and special eduction teachers can be accommodated. Student teachers will live with families as arranged by the Belize ISTP coordinator. This is a tuition-only exhange with NMSU students paying for arranged housing in Belize.


Belize is a developing country with a rich variety of ethnic groups reflecting its Mayan, African, Spanish, and English heritage. English is the official language and the language of insturctin in schools, but almost everyone speaks a English dialect, or Creole patios, the vernacular of the country. Spanish is also widely spoken. It is taught inpublic schools in order to promote bilingualism.

When not teaching, Belize is an outstanding location for traveling and adventure. Belize has one of the world's richest habitats for flora and fauna and has the second largest barrier reef system in the world. An imprtant part of Belize's history is the Mayan legacy of palaces and temples.

Belize's climate is sub-tropical, with a brisk prevailing wind from the Caribbean Sea. The average annual temperature is about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainiy season is between June and August.