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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: San Miguel, Belize
  • Program Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 02/03/2020 02/05/2020 05/29/2020 06/08/2020
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Housing Options: Dormitory, Hotel
Maximum Credits Available: 03 Prior Language Study: N/A
Click here for a definition of this term Eligibility Requirements: Completed at least 12 college credits, GPA of 2.75 or higher Duration: Short-term, Summer, Summer Interim
Excluded from Open Doors: Include Program Sponsor: University-Sponsored
Program Description:
Install on RoofProgram Dates: May 29- June 8, 2020

Program Overview
Work hands-on with solar applications for the rural developing world! This program is an exciting opportunity to learn about renewable energy technologies and make a difference in the lives of people in the developing world. The program combines a 10-day travel program to rural Belize with an 8-week online course that builds on the experience and data gathered in the field.

Students will learn about the geography, history, and culture of Belize and the Central American region and study how issues of energy, the environment, and economy in developing countries differ from those in the United States. During the study abroad service-learning experience, students will be engaged in hands-on installation of renewable energy systems. In order to meet the course objectives, the program may visit locations such as the Belize Zoo, a chocolate farm and factory, Mayan villages and ruins, a hydro dam, and schools.

Portions of this program are remote and will require hiking over moderately difficult terrain and will involve other physical activity.

Learn more about a similar program in this video describing the program and in this online article.

Course Information

Students enroll in Madison College course number 10-140-112, class #11019 (1 credit of Associate Degree Credit) or course number 20-806-290, class #11022 (3 credits of Transfer Credit). The course is Renewable Energy for the Developing World. This course includes field work in Belize, plus 8 weeks of online instruction. (Please note that the 8-week online course requires participants to be Madison College students. If you are currently not a student at Madison College, visit Apply Now / Register and click on Option 2.)
Instructors for this course are Joel Shoemaker, Electrical Apprenticeship and Renewable Energy Instructor at Madison College, Chris Miller, Professor of Industrial Technology at Heartland Community College, and Dean Petersen, Instructor at Madison College.

See a link to a past blog post about an installation at BFREE:

Accommodations and Meals

Participants will stay in dormitory lodging.

The cost of the program includes 3 meals per day.

Field TripAdditional Information

A passport is required for U.S. citizens traveling to Belize. If you need to apply for a passport, it is advised to allow at least 6 weeks for standard processing.

All students are required to attend the pre-departure orientation. This orientation provides information on health and safety, packing and trip planning, flight logistics, and other essential information.


Program fees for 2020 is approximately $2800-3200 (the exact cost is still being determined), which includes the following:
  • Travel and renewable energy instruction in Belize
  • Hands-on instruction and construction of multiple solar electric systems
  • Tours of various renewable energy and sustainability projects in Belize
  • Motor coach from Belize City International Airport (Belize City, Belize) to field sites
  • All lodging
  • Most meals in Belize
  • Experienced Renewable Energy, Sustainability and Engineering Instructors
  • Mandatory International Health Insurance

Additional costs include:
  • Airfare to and from Belize City, Belize
  • Additional tuition for the 1 or 3-credit, 8-week online course. The online course fee will be higher for non-Wisconsin residents.
  • Some meals in Belize
  • Incidental/recreational food and drink
  • Personal expenses: laundry, entertainment, souvenirs, etc.
  • Passport (if you do not yet have one)

To Apply

All materials, including the initial deposit of $500, must be received by 4:00 p.m. in the Center for International Education. (NOTE: Unless an applicant is rejected, the $500 deposit is non-refundable.)

For More Information

If you would like to know more about studying abroad through Madison College, please email us or call 608-246-6201 to schedule an appointment.

For more information about the program, you can also watch this video.