Living in Nicaragua is challenging, but 100x more rewarding than a more "fancy" study abroad! Past Review

By (Business Administration, SUNY - College at Geneseo) for

SUNY Geneseo: El Sauce - Service Learning in Nicaragua

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
1,000,000% worthwhile. I think about it every day. I think back to the first few days where I struggled- and now I think "I did it." We didn't just visit Nicaragua, we LIVED in Nicaragua. The people were amazing, and I can't begin to explain all they've taught me. It makes me appreciate everything I have at home more, while also opening my eyes to the value of experiencing other cultures.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Kellan and Yaci are two amazing individuals. They welcomed us with open arms, and always had a smile on their faces. That being said, some aspects of the program could be planned out more effectively. Although my portion of the program was fairly well-established, I don't know how much of a physical impact I made on Enlace. They didn't provide much feedback on our work other than a "thank you" here and there, so more constructive criticism would be helpful. Overall, I can't thank them enough for the amazing six weeks I had in Nicaragua. They do great work, and I think very highly of them both!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It took some getting used to with the spiders, but my host family was very accommodating! They're a truly wonderful family. We still keep in touch through email and photos.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Volcano boarding down Cerro Negro!

* 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? Yes


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? In El Sauce, probably between $5 and $25 USD (not much at all)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? None


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

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  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The type of student who would benefit most from this is a student who is looking to challenge themselves by taking away the cosmetic things we experience so much of in the US, and looking to instead live in a completely foreign environment and experience a completely different way of life. It's not a "fancy" trip- but that's why it's 100x more rewarding.