Amazing way to see disability in another culture! Past Review

By (University of New Mexico) - abroad from 03/14/2016 to 03/25/2016 with

Study Abroad Programs in Nicaragua

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Great way to see disability and therapy in other cultures and immerse myself in another culture as much as I could. The program is so supportive and encouraging of your growth as a student and future practicioner. I grew and changed from this experience and you cannot completey explain the experience without trying it for youself. I encourage all my fellow students to try it!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Amazing hands on academic experience as a pediatric occupational therapy fieldwork setting! You are able to learn and apply so much you have been learning in the classroom with a great professor to student ratio. They really provide a great "just-right challenge".

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I had a wonderful opportunity to stay with a host family and they were so loving and caring and genuinely wanted to accept me into their family during the time I was there. We all learned and shared a lot with one another.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was satsified with my host family's living arrangements for me. I got my own room that had a bed with a mosquito net and they provided filtered water for me in my room. They cooked and provided me 2-3 meals a day and did my laundy.

* Food:

The food was amazing! I got to try lots of their cultural dishes and they gave me plenty of food--too much! They were always asking what I liked and did not like and enjoyed feeding me and sharing their culture.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The local culture was so kind and giving. They were also open and eager to talk with us and get to know us. They family and children in the clinics, schools, and homes, that were worked with were so grateful that we were there and very open to our thoughts and ideas. They had a great sense of humor!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not deal directly with any hospitals or clinics for my own care but it was openly shared with us what was available should we need to go. There was a local hospital near by but I am not sure about the quality of care they could provide. I needed vaccines for this trip: Hep A, Tetanus, TB test, and Typhoid. I advise you not to drink unfiltered water there and be careful with the food when eating out. A friend in my group got sick from ice cream because the cure the milk at different temperatures and different ways from the US.

* Safety:

I felt safe on the trip but I would reccomend staying with at least another person and traveling with a group. Be aware in very public and tourist places when wearing purses or backpacks as people may grab them off of you.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Amazing hands on learning opportunity with a small group so a good learning ratio.


* 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)

I had to pay everything up front before the trip and was a package deal trip. The Planting Hope office took our money and the program provided us the housing and food options. I also used a lot of financial supports from UNM such as GPSA or the Global Health office to help fund my trip and airfare.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Not sure...all included costs in package
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use the grants that UNM offers for students that I mentioned above and try to save in advance. Bring only what you think you really do need!


* 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

I spoke spanish almost the entire time that I was there as I needed to communicate with the families and children I worked with, There were translators provided if you could not speak spanish.

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? High School Spanish
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? Take language classes whenever you can and go places you have to use it to practice!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
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?
  • Good student to professor ratio
  • Great way to see disability in another culture
  • Way to apply knowledge I am learning hands on
* What could be improved?
  • More time in the country!
  • More home visits for OT!
  • Reflection after the trip back in the US
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That there is such a big, amazing world out there with so much to teach us. The classroom is a TINY part of what people in the world have to teach other. Push yourself out of your comfort zone more!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!