ABOUT NICARAGUA Nicaragua is a country of contrasts, where exquisite natural beauty serves as backdrop for this nation's fascinating history. It is the land of lakes and volcanoes, of colonial architecture and modern high-rises, of both rich and p...
New friends from another nursing school as well as from UCA. Definitely was worthwhile having the collaboration between schools and disciplines.
- San Diego State University
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I gained an unforgettable experience in which I was able to meet many lifelong friends and explore a completely different culture from my own. I also gained much knowledge in the Spanish language. It was definitely worthwhile.
- Fairfield University
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ABOUT NICARAGUA Nicaragua is a country of contrasts, where exquisite natural beauty serves as backdrop for this nation's fascinating history. It is the land of lakes and volcanoes, of colonial architecture and modern high-rises, of both rich and poor. Nicaragua is the perfect place to learn, live, and experience the realities of the developing world. Known for its colorful culture, the land inhabited by the native Nahuatl was settled by the Spanish in the16th century. After independence in 1834, the country has witnessed both natural and man-made disasters, while contributing some of the best poets and artists in the Spanish-speaking world. Nicaragua finds itself at the crossroads between north and south, between yesterday and today. Today's Nicaragua boasts modern industries alongside one of the most impoverished populations in the Western Hemisphere. Its infrastructure may not be impressive, but it is a vivid testimony to its people's resilience and national identity. Social contrast, between the haves and have-nots, can be found around every corner, providing an unequaled opportunity for students to engage in personal growth and make a difference. Nicaragua has become a great destination for foreign visitors. Its beaches and rain forests are full of natural adventures. Its hospitable residents and flavorful cuisine are legendary. In Nicaragua, every conversation will be a learning experience, and every day will challenge your perceptions of the world. ACADEMICS Fairfield University, a Jesuit institution, is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which accredits schools and colleges in the six New England states. Students attending the program will receive a Fairfield University transcript. Located in the heart of Managua, Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) offers a wide variety of courses in the liberal arts, business, and engineering. Through its curriculum, UCA provides students an opportunity to understand the challenges facing Nicaraguans as they confront issues of poverty, economic competitiveness, and infrastructure development, and offers insights into Nicaragua's relationship with the world. The program provides students with a transforming experience, develops awareness of social justice issues, and prepares them for committed citizenship. The program begins with a two-week intensive Spanish language immersion course and an introduction to Nicaraguan culture. During the semester, students will take four courses from UCA's curriculum, including the required History of Nicaragua course. Courses taught in English by UCA faculty with a mix of Nicaraguan and international students are available. Each participant will be paired with a UCA student as a language partner. These intercambios, or exchanges, provide students with the opportunity to improve their language skills while learning about Nicaragua from their peers. HOUSING Students enjoy homestays with Nicaraguan families within a 5-minute walk to the UCA campus. Residences and families are carefully selected on the basis of strict standards, and every attempt is made to place participants in homes with a UCA student. Breakfast and dinner will be provided by the host family, and a stipend for lunch on campus will be available through the program. STUDENT LIFE The semester will begin with a three-day orientation, during which students settle into their homestay. The program is geared toward introducing students to Managua, the UCA campus, as well as getting them acquainted with key faculty, staff and students at UCA. Two expeditions will be organized each semester in cooperation with UCA's tourism management program.When possible, UCA faculty, assisted by UCA students majoring in tourism, will participate in the trips. Cultural activities will be offered throughout the semester to enhance the Nicaraguan experience. Examples include: theatre performances, visits to museums, visits to volcanoes, etc. The on-site director, as well as three other staff will help with academic advising, mentorship and reflection, and day-to-day concerns. The program staff is there to make the experience in Nicaragua a successful and rewarding one. ADMISSION This program is open to all students who are in good academic and social standing at their home institution, and who can certify a grade point average of at least 2.8 or more on a 4.0 scale. Students must have completed at least two years of college level courses. Participants should have second year knowledge of Spanish language. The program is competitive and applicants are expected to be mature, independent and have seriousness of purpose. PROGRAM COST INCLUDES: 15 Fairfield University credits with grades Intensive pre-session in Spanish language Homestay housing and three meals per day Onsite student support with 24-hour emergency coverage Language partner Internship option Two excursion trips in Nicaragua Cultural activities Airport pickup in Managua upon arrival Health/accident insurance