Study Abroad in Nicaragua

A Guide To

Studying Abroad in Nicaragua


9 Study Abroad Programs in Nicaragua


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Venture to Nicaragua and participate in a study abroad program developed by the Center for Global Education at Augsburg College. This multi-country program lets participants end their trip in Nicaragua, where students gain more knowledge on Social Change in the region. Participants spend six whole weeks in the city of Managua, choosing from various subject areas of study, including Political Sc...


Jump start the year by enrolling with the Council on International Education Exchange's Social Justice and Development program in Managua, Nicaragua. The program provides Spanish language courses and a wide array of academic interests through matriculation at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua. International students are welcome to apply and explore the country's rich culture with C...


ICADS offers a semester-long academic Field Program in Nicaragua. They provide students with research expertise and analytic tools that will help participants learn to make substantial contributions to current projects on Sustainable Development.


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Broadreach offers experiential summer adventures for middle school, high school and college students, including scuba, sailing, multi-sport, marine biology, language immersion and community service programs that span the globe. Over the years, we've taken thousands of teenagers to some of the world's most incredible destinations -- the islands of the Caribbean, Australia, Fiji, the Solomon Isla...


Study Spanish, social change, and politically charged discourse and literature of Nicaragua and Cuba on this semester program from SIT Study Abroad. Students are immersed in Spanish language in advanced seminars focused on reading and writing and engage with a wide range of historians, advocates, and youth in conversations about social movements.


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Journey to Nicaragua, the land of lakes and volcanoes, with Where There Be Dragons on a summer study trip. The program places emphasis on community based service-learning, homestay education, and language instruction. While living in the colonial city of Esteli, students will learn from community activists, farmers, and non-government organizations about social justice and sustainability, issue...


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Use your talent as a filmmaker to research, write, shoot and edit a short documentary video about a changemaker whose work is worthy of worldwide attention. Your compelling video can make the difference for future donations, grants, volunteers and inspiring others around the globe. An Actuality Media crew is made up of four positions Producer, Director, Cinematographer and Editor. Each outre...


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Undergraduates students can broaden their educational and career development through academic studies abroad with Gilman International Scholarship Programs and Boren Awards. This program provides American students the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua and live for at least six months.


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The Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL) offers academic programs in Nicaragua with a focus on the subject of Sustainability through Community. They feature semester programs that combine rigorous coursework, service-learning activities, and field-learning experiences.

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Studying Abroad in Nicaragua

Located in one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the world, Nicaragua serves international study abroad students with a plate full of natural variety. Beautiful beaches, lush forests, and world-famous lakes and volcanoes all make studying in Nicaragua a naturally wonderful experience.

Geography & Demographics

Nicaragua, the largest country in the region, is situated between Honduras and Costa Rica near the southernmost tip of Central America. Known as the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes, Nicaragua gives students the opportunity to study abroad amidst splendid sceneries. Next to Lake Titicaca, Lake Nicaragua is the second largest lake in Latin America; Lake Nicaragua was  originally called the ‘Freshwater Sea,’ because of its vast sprawl and huge waves. This Central American nation also hosts the only lake island in the world with not one, but two volcanoes. Though it used to be plagued with political instability, the country has evolved to become one of the safest countries in Central America.

The Nicaraguan population is made up of more than 50 percent Mestizos, a group of people of mixed European and Amerindian descent, and over 15 percent White, meaning they have Western  European ancestry. The majority of Mestizos and Whites live in the western region of Nicaragua. Additionally, less than ten percent of Nicaraguans are Black, a small population of English-speaking Creoles who are typically descendants of shipwrecked slaves. That leaves the indigenous people of Nicaragua, the full Amerindians, as the minority in their native country of around 6 million people. 

The climate in Nicaragua is generally tropical, with dry and rainy seasons but no distinct winter period. The country is mostly dry from November to May, and wet from June to October. If you prefer temperate weather, the best time to travel to the country is between November and February, during which the temperature is pleasantly cool and there isn’t much rain.

March to April make up the country’s driest period, the weather often gets so extremely hot that even the tree’s leaves turn yellow. The advantage is that the dry roads make it easier for  travel from place to place, in comparison to the wet, muddy regularly inaccessible roads of the wet season. A great deal of humidity comes with the rainy season, helping bugs and insects thrive. But wildlife also blossoms through the rain, visitors even have the rare opportunity of seeing baby turtles hatch and wander out to the sea during the wet season. It is also the perfect time for the surfers to visit the country because the waves are most ideal during the wet season.

Food & Culture

Ninety-eight percent of the Nicaraguans speak Spanish and those on the Atlantic coast speak Miskito and other indigenous languages. Many Nicaraguans speak English as a second language, making it quite easy for foreign English-speakers to get around without expertise in Spanish. 

La comida nicaraguense, or the Nicaraguan cuisine, is representative of the nation’s diverse ethnicity, with obvious influences from Spanish, Creole, and indigenous cuisines. Just like other Latin American countries, corn is a staple in Nicaraguan food. Plantains, yuca, beans, pork, and beef are all commonly used ingredients as well. Breakfast is usually served early typically consisting of gallopinto a combination of rice and beans, eggs, fresh fruits, coffee, and orange juice. Lunch is after noon, usually a medium-sized meal that includes rice, steak, vegetables, plantains or salad and fruit juice. Nicaraguans usually eat dinner between seven and nine in the evening, consisting of foods not much different from lunch. Diets go flying out the window on the weekends, as Nicaraguans indulge themselves with a good dose of local specialties. They often start the day with a heavy breakfast meal of Nacatamal, which is a corn masa that incorporates pork, rice, potatoes, and spices. The weekend breakfast is most commonly take later in the morning, because Nicaraguans like to take their time to rest fully on the weekend. After eating breakfast, Nicaraguans can regularly be found taking their leisurely siesta, afternoon nap, in a hammock.

Nicaraguans are known for their big smiles and warm hospitality. Roman Catholicism is the prevalent religion in the country, and Nicaragua is the location of the largest cathedral in Central America, located in the city of Leon. Visitors should, however, take note that Nicaraguans put a lot of value to personal distance and respect. While you can expect a warm welcome and genuine friendship, make sure you don’t step into anybody’s private space.

The Nicaraguans celebrate the so-called Day of the Races, also known as Hispanic Day, every twelfth of October, the commemoration of the arrival of the Spaniards in 1942. Some indigenous groups are opposed to the celebration, claiming that the Spanish colonization is a negative thing. The celebration usually includes mural painting, food fairs, beauty pageants, and many other cultural activities.

The currency of Nicaragua is the cordoba, first implemented as the national currency in the early 1900s. Approximately, 120 cordoba are equal to five U.S. dollars, or four Euros. There is a developing currency that is planned to be implemented among certain countries in Central America and the Caribbean, creating a regional union similar to the European Union, called the SUCRE. Like most of Latin America, Nicaragua can be quite affordable for Westerners in terms of cost of living and in comparison to prices in most of North America and Europe.

Studying in Nicaragua

Programs normally include both academic courses and language courses to broaden the cultural experience of students. Students can easily study the Spanish language while in Nicaragua and become completely immersed in to its use at local markets, during traditional festivals, or by simply interacting with Nicaraguan classmates.

Programs frequently revolve around Nicaragua’s history, encompassing topics like social issues, development, politics, and conflict studies. But due to the environmental beauty of the country, courses in environmental studies and conservation are also common. Study abroad programs also offer students the chance to volunteer in local communities throughout their stay commonly, to help students gain a better understanding of the people and the extent of poverty in the nation.

Most programs provide homestay accommodation for program participants, exemplifying their experience of Nicaraguan culture.

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