Travel and explore — Belize 2018

Do you have the desire to pack your bags and travel to a new country, meet new people and explore different cultures?

If yes, then FM may have the answer for you! During the spring 2018 semester, fine arts Professor Joel Chapin, in conjunction with Mark Swain and the FM Biz Hub, are offering an international travel opportunity to Belize.

People who travel together stay together and that is true of Joel and Mark along with many other previous travelers. During the past five years, FM has offered both students and the community many opportunities to travel, study, and experience different cultures such as Peru, Ireland, Belize, and England.

After visiting London, some of the travelers reflected on their experiences and shared their thoughts:  “I got to see a lot of the things most travelers get to see in London. But more interestingly, I got to see parts of London that aren’t on a tourist map;” “I have made memories and friends for life…;” “My favorite moments were not being able to say I experienced just ‘London,’ but being able to experience the culture and history with friends and people who I now call friends. That’s what makes the difference.”

Travelers may choose to either focus on international business or study the art and cultural history of the Mayan civilization. Business students will study similarities and differences in the cultural, political and business practices of the United States and Belize. Travelers choosing the art and culture of Belize option will explore the relationship between Belize’s rich tropical biodiversity and the Mayan civilization, experiencing firsthand the art, architecture, and complex cultural traditions in this land of rainforests and coral reefs.

Interested in business? 

BUS 206 International Business: Study Abroad-Belize is a special topics elective that includes an experiential learning objective with a study abroad component to Belize. Students will study similarities and differences in the cultural, political and business practices of the United States, Central America and Belize. Business students will be visiting and studying at least one corporation in Belize City and an in-depth look at ecotourism and the impact of tourism on a culture and its economy.

Interested in the arts?

IDS 200 Interdisciplinary Studies-Belize: A Confluence of Art and Nature is a travel experience course focused on the art, architecture and cultural traditions of the Maya and other Mesoamerican cultures. Participants will experiencing how this dynamic culture was influenced by a tropical environment. The study also enhances cross-cultural skills and develops a greater understanding of cultural, historical and political concepts of the newest democracy in the western hemisphere. We will travel to the Mayan sites of Lamina and to the magnificent complex of architecture at Xuantunich as well as many other rainforest and costal environments.

Having the opportunity to travel is a gift; FM is pleased to share this gift with its students and community. Note, you don’t have to take a class to join this trip. The only requirement is that you sign up before December 1 to get the latest discounted price.  To see the complete itinerary, visit The cost is approximately $3,600 and includes flights to and from Albany, New York, accommodations, meals, and guided tours highlighted in the itinerary.

For more information on these trips and/or the class go to and/or contact Mark Swain, business instructor, at [email protected] or Joel Chapin, art professor, at [email protected]

Joel Chapin is an art professor and Mark Swain is a business instructor at FM. 

By Patricia Older

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