Beautiful Country, Beautiful People, Work in Progress Program Past Review

By (University of the Pacific) - abroad from 08/05/2011 to 06/29/2012 with

ISEP Exchange: Managua - Exchange Program at Universidad Americana

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Spanish improved a lot. I feel much more confident about my spanish and about my ability to travel abroad

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I was not particularly impressed with the academic rigor of the classes. The students were disrespectful of the teachers and the students often argued every assignment. Many students would skip classes, come late, and do a minimum amount of work and attempt to talk their way out of the bad grade. Often times, professor would give numerous attempts to save their grade after sad effort all semester. This was difficult to watch. Many of the students and teachers used wikipedia shamelessly. I recognize that there is an element of this that is a cultural difference or the result of being a developing country, so I recognize that my perception may be skewed.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The adminstration was not terrible. They worked closely with us to get the classes we needed. However, the ISEP administrator was often too busy or simply too scattered to do her job well; so often not responding to emails or requests for help. As for the Assistant ISEP administator, she lived in the international house with some of the students and my first semester she gave preferential treatment to those students or students she liked more. For example, I asked her to create a Spanish film class and another student (who lived in the house with her) asked her to create a Spanish Literature class. Despite the fact that I asked first and gave her the information far ahead of time, the class I asked for was never even considered.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed with a host family and was pleased with my stay.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

The school did not have a meal plan so I had to purchase the food on campus I wanted. Also, I had to commute in a taxi ($2.5-3.5 each way) or bus ($.26). In UAM (vs. UAM CUSE) we had to pay for our photocopies of the materials.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat in, not out. Learn the bus system and use it.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Classes could be taken in Spanish or English. Also, the English University offered special Spanish classes for the exchange students if we wanted to take them

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Upper Level Spanish Literature
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Listen to Spanish Radio

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I had English Resources if I needed them
* What could be improved?
  • The connection to the country; I used my own resources to find places to volunteer and how to take the buses
  • The help of the program people: I felt I didn't have much support when I got sick
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? More Nica slang