Whether you conjure up images of dancing all night to the irresistible tones of Enrique Iglesias or sipping some Flor de Caña with views across the ocean when you think of studying languages in Nicaragua, there’s certainly an ideal location for everyone. Home to brightly-colored colonial architecture, towering volcanoes, Central America’s largest freshwater lake, and the extensive coastline, there is plenty to be discovered. Nicaragua language schools sit confidently upon this collective of vibrant culture and opportunity for adventure. Immerse yourself in Latin America and develop your Spanish, English, or even Indigenous language skills at the same time! Viva la vida!
From the Pacific on its west coast to the Caribbean on its east, Nicaragua plays host to the ultimate array of spectacular landscapes in between. In fact, you’ll probably be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing exactly where you would like to attend language classes in Nicaragua. With most language programs being located in the bigger cities, they also act as ideal bases for further exploration.
A popular choice is Granada language schools, and rightly so. Strolling through the city’s streets is like putting yourself into a postcard; with every turn, you will be mesmerized by the brightly-colored churches, sweeping plazas, and cobbled-stoned walkways. Sitting picturesquely on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, language schools in Granada, Nicaragua offer not only a relaxed-paced atmosphere for practicing your newly acquired language skills, but also an ideal base for adventures further afield. Be sure to check out opportunities for hiking around Volcan Mombacho or take time out to relax on the beaches at Peninsula de Asese.
Managua is the type of city that confronts you from day one with its spirited atmosphere and tight grip on reality. It will quickly shirk any expectations you had based on its less enticing reputation, as it allows you to truly experience life in Nicaragua in a way that so many before you have not. Further tap into the heart of this less-touristed city as you learn Spanish in Nicaragua. Conveniently located as a launch pad for trips to the coast, volcanoes, and lakes, as well as its cleaner-faced cousin Granada, it offers a truly unique kind of experience.
Leon, on the other hand, is the city where Granada’s colonial charm meets Managua’s bold attitude, creating an fascinating mixture of historical intrigue and cosmopolitan lifestyle. Nicaragua’s Spanish language schools in Leon will enchant you with their architecture and beauty by day, and whisk you by its energetic scene by night. No one says you can’t use those newly acquired Spanish skills to order exotic cocktails and sample local foods in some of the city’s coolest bars!
Language Programs in Nicaragua
Most people come to learn Spanish in Nicaragua; immersing yourself into the culture gives you plenty of opportunities to practice and remains the most effective way to learn. Being one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, Spanish is useful skill to have—perfect for helping you to make friends and to understand the lyrics to all those popular reggaeton songs that you’ll be dancing to! That being said, you can also find classes in Nicaragua for learning English and some of the more unusual indigenous languages.
In Nicaragua, there are three predominant indigenous languages: Miskito, Sumo, and Rama. Each one is specific to the people belonging to those cultural groups and located in different areas of the country. Learning an indigenous language in Nicaragua will provide unique insight into a very special sector of the country and culture and will really allow you to experience something special.
Language courses in Nicaragua will range in length and intensity with opportunities for longer-term programs studying fewer hours per day and shorter more intensive courses as well. If you are more flexible, consider how you want to divide your time between studying and exploring, not forgetting you might have homework to complete as well! Are you studying first and traveling later or traveling with some study alongside? Make sure you find Nicaragua language schools that match your expectations!
Costs & Affordability
They say the best things in life are free but let’s be honest, if you have traveled at all, you know that’s not always true. Studying languages abroad is a highly rewarding, culturally immersive experience; however, it does come with a price tag. Many of the language programs in Nicaragua will offer accommodation and meal options, but you will also need to consider your other costs, such as transportation and remembering not to run out of dinero before you hit up all the fantastic sights you wish to see during your stay.
Life in Nicaragua is affordable compared to home, but a lot of it also depends on how you wish to travel. If you are willing to ride the chicken bus (yes, that is everything you are imagining right now, chickens included), then you can get around for only a few dollars even for longer journeys, but if you want taxis or private transfers, this will be considerably more. A local beer will set you back only around $1 whereas a soda or bottle of water will be slightly less; a low-budget meal out will cost around $5 and a coffee will cost around $1.50.
You might want to think about applying for language study abroad scholarships that can support you or consider fundraising via FundMyTravel to help with the associated costs.
Accommodation & Visas
Knowing where you’re going to sleep at night is probably high on your list of priorities after you’ve checked off some of the bigger decisions about location and course type. Most language classes in Nicaragua will include some accommodation. A popular choice is a homestay, with meals included, as this gives you complete immersion in the language and culture, allowing you to make some fantastic memories as you interact with your hosts and learn about their amazing country.
If that isn’t your thing, some apartments or guesthouses may be possible but will limit the opportunities you have to utilize your new skills. For example, a one-bedroom apartment while attending Granada, Nicaragua language schools will cost on average $300-$400 per month whereas guesthouses further afield will be less expensive.
After all the above, knowing for sure you will be allowed to enter the country is also a vital consideration, and fortunately, Nicaragua is fairly hassle-free when it comes to visas. Most nationalities are able to get 90 days on arrival and a 90 day extension in-country. That said, Nicaragua and its neighbors (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador) have an agreement where these two 90 day periods apply across the four countries, so any travel you do within this region will be limited to 180 days. You can stay even longer, however, if you pop out of the zone (usually to Costa Rica) for 72 hours and then re-enter! Take a look at GoAbroad's Embassy Directory to learn more about visa requirements.
Benefits & Challenges
Attending language courses in Nicaragua will benefit you in so many ways. You will have ample opportunity to practice your new skills, and you will also be able to use them to enhance your experience. It’s all about being able to understand the menu (ha!), being able to chat with the locals and hear about their lives, and really feeling a part of the culture. Learning foreign languages are also great resume boosters and will help you find employment back home.
Remember, however, that you are there to study and will have to work hard to develop your skills—they don’t just pop up overnight. Consider the type of school or program into which you would like to enroll. Some may prefer the intimacy of small group sessions or opt for the anonymity associated with larger schools. Either way, weigh the pros and cons of the different Nicaragua language schools as you scour your guidebooks for your ideal course and location!!
From dancing salsa in the streets of Leon to climbing Volcan Mombacho to relaxing by the beach at Ometepe Island (how many of your friends have been to an island in a lake with a volcano on it?), get ready to soak in all that this incredible Latin gem has to offer as you learn Spanish in Nicaragua (or another B-A language few have heard of!).