Toucan Education Programs

San Ignacio, Belize
(888) 841-7224
studyabroadprograms@studyinbelize.com
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Spring: October 30
Spring-Break: January 15
Summer: March 15
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Student Code of Conduct

Participant Code of Conduct

Students who participate in programs managed by Toucan Education Programs (TEP) must be mindful that your behavior and decisions will not only impact your experience abroad, also the lives of many others (peers, classmates, TEP employees and contractors, Belizean hosts, your university, among others).

Students are expected to conduct themselves respectfully and safely, and abide by the standards set forth by this agreement. 

Any student who engages in disrespectful, hostile, or violent behavior that threatens him/herself, another person, or the program will be subject to immediate disciplinary action and may be dismissed from the program, and sent home at his/her own expense, with no refund.

Students are expected to take full responsibility for their own actions at all times during this program. Students are expected to abide by the laws and regulations that govern the country of Belize and its citizens.  Students will be subject to the laws of Belize, regardless of citizenship.

Additional standards of conduct are implemented to protect the safety of participants and ensure that students benefit fully from their travel and learning experiences in Belize.


Safety

All travel experiences present inherent risk. Unfamiliar places, environments, cultural norms, and people are likely to pose some risk.  TEP can not guarantee complete safety while you are in Belize, however, it is a fact that the most likely safety risks while in Belize are completely within your control and decision-making.  TEP program design, implementation, and orientation is invested in the health and safety of our participants, staff, and partners.  Thus, it is recommended that you understand the imposed limitations we set on program activities, facilities, and structure, and the likely consequences of your decision-making if you choose to breach these limitations.


Attendance

Students are required to attend all scheduled meetings and activities outlined on the itinerary unless otherwise excused by a faculty leader or program staff.


Group Cooperation

Although you will learn about different cultural values and norms for “punctuality”, traveling as a group requires organization, coordination, and cooperation. Schedules for site visits, guest lectures, and other travel arrangements will often necessitate a punctual structure which the program staff must impose.  Tardiness will cause inconvenience to others, and Students may experience expensive consequences if not “on time”.


Driving

Students are not allowed to operate motor vehicles of any kind while on this program. Driving regulations and habits in Belize are different from those in your home country.  Driving in a new country can be confusing and potentially dangerous.  It is not always the skill of the driver at fault, but also the weather and road conditions, lack of signage, pedestrians, animals, and the lack of skill of other drivers that pose a risk. Road accidents are a leading cause of death in Belize.


Housing

Housing rules and expectations will be shared with students upon arrival or at orientation. Students are expected to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the lodge, hotel or other housing hosts. Failure to abide by the rules will result in disciplinary actions that may include dismissal from the program.


Alcohol and Drug Policies

The legal age for alcohol consumption in Belize is 18. However, misuse and abuse of alcohol is grounds for dismissal from the Program. Students who choose to consume alcohol do so with the knowledge that they remain responsible for their actions at all times and are expected to drink responsibly. Excessive drinking places you in a position where you are not in control of your situation and is dangerous to your health and safety. 

Public drunkenness marks you as an “ugly American” and leaves you vulnerable to street crime, sexual and physical assault, and guarantees that you are less likely to be accepted by your host culture. Excessive and irresponsible drinking leading to intoxication and behavior that interferes with the program or the rights of others is subject to immediate disciplinary action, and may result in dismissal from the program. Your Study Abroad Health Insurance does not cover any injuries that occur while under the influence of alcohol, intoxicants or any drug not prescribed by a physician.

Students are prohibited from selling, using, or possessing any drugs that are considered by Belize or international law to be illicit or illegal. Any drug infraction will be considered a grave violation of policy and will result in immediate disciplinary action, including possible dismissal from the program. 

Although some Belizeans will insist that marijuana is legal, students are cautioned that it is illegal to grow, buy, or transport marijuana in Belize. Drug use is dealt with harshly by Belize police and other law enforcement agencies (especially strict on tourists!). There are harsh consequences for property owners, and their families, when marijuana leads to police intervention.

Possession, use or sale of illegal drugs can result in severe penalties including huge fines and imprisonment. Neither American laws nor diplomatic representatives abroad will be of help if you are arrested and/or convicted. While the Department of State and Consular Officers overseas are concerned about all Americans arrested abroad, they cannot intervene in the legal process of another country or act as legal counsel on behalf of an imprisoned American citizen.

If you have a medical reason for taking any prescription drug that may be subject to abuse, be sure to have your prescription with you and have the original prescription container clearly labeled. It is recommended that you bring the prescription for all medications that you take with you on your trip.


Other

In addition to the rules and regulations identified above, the following is a non-exhaustive list of conduct violations:

  • Physical abuse of any person or any action that threatens or endangers the emotional well-being, health, or safety of any person (including oneself)

  • Theft of or vandalism to property

  • Unauthorized entry to property and facilities

  • Disorderly, disruptive, threatening or intimidating conduct, gestures or actions

  • Violations of residential guidelines and /or rules established by hosts, including, but not limited to, unauthorized overnight guests, excessive noise, rowdy conduct, and drunkenness

  • Criminal behavior or violation of local laws

  • Violation of any policies contained in this document and /or the Pre-departure handbook

  • Failure to follow Toucan Education Programs guidelines, directives, timetables, and instructions of the staff or faculty members

  • Permanent or temporary diversion of academic materials needed by other students, including unauthorized removal of library materials, audio-visual materials or technological materials

  • Mis-use or mis-appropriation TEP First Aid Kit and its contents

  • Mis-use or abuse of TEP cell phones

  • Self-endangerment, including involvement in activities or behavior that could result in personal harm, including, but not limited to; lack of sun and heat protection, decision-making about dangerous places, association with criminals, intoxication, etc.

  • Alcohol or drug policy violations

  • Endangerment or destruction of the natural environment, flora and fauna 


Independent Travel

Any travel, activities, or excursions made during “free-time” from the program, is neither recommended nor sanctioned by TEP.  Decision-making about risk, cost, consequences, and crisis response are completely the responsibility of the individual participant.

Prior to embarking on any independent travel (e.g., during free-time or weekends); a student must inform the TEP on-site staff of the travel destination(s) and the expected date/time of independent travel.

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