University Honors Program

University Honors Program

Nicaraguan Culture and Social Service

Nicaragua Study Abroad Group 2009

We invite you to engage in this two-week honors study abroad in Granada, Nicaragua.

This program has been canceled for fall 2012.  Future programs will be organized through the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

You will study Spanish while immersed in the Nicaraguan culture, living as a local, living with middle-class host families and engaging in community service in the oldest colonial city in mainland America. Included in the program will be:

  • 2 hours of Spanish instruction daily
  • 2 hours of instruction daily in Nicaraguan and Central           American culture, history, and politics (taught in English)
  • 4 hours of community service per day

Community Service
Various community service opportunities will be available in a variety of community organizations, including schools (subject to change):  

  • CORAZON CONTENTO: working with people with down syndrome & developmental disabilities 
  • CARITA FELIZ: teaching occupational skills for people of all ages
  • HOGAR ALEGRIA: girls’ orphanage
  • HOGAR LA PROVIDENCIAretirement home
  • HOGAR CRISTO SANA: boys’ orphanage
  • HOGAR MADRE ALBERTINA:  girls’ orphanage
  • SAGRADO CORAZON: public school for impoverished children supported by private donations

If you have a community service interest that is not listed, please let us know!

About Granada and Nicaragua 
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, located south from Costa Rica and north from Honduras and El Salvador. This country is mostly visited by less than traditional tourists who are pleased to meet the hospitality of the Nicaraguan people. Its landscape is formed by over twenty (20) volcanoes and two (2) great lakes, including Lake Nicaragua, listed as the second largest lake in Latin America (after Lake Titicaca in Bolivia-Peru).

The program will be based in Granada, Nicaragua. Granada is located on the northwest shore of Lake Nicaragua and was founded in 1524 by the Spaniard Francisco Hernández de Córdoba. It is considered the oldest colonial city in the mainland Americas.  The capital city of Managua is only 45 km's away. Granada’s location is an ideal base for easy access and travel to the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. This quaint, colonial town stands in the shadow of the Volcano Mombacho. Its inhabitants refer to Granada as “La Gran Sultana” (The Grand Sultan). The heart of the town is located around the Colon Park or Central Park where one can easily walk to visit the civic buildings, the Cathedral and all main tourist attractions. Granada is known as the most beautiful city in Central America.

Explore and learn more:,_Nicaragua

UC students stay in private, middle-class homes located in the historical center of Granada. These home stays are a fantastic way to learn more about Nicaraguan culture, develop meaningful relationships with your home stay family, and get even more time to practice your Spanish.

Students will have a private room in the home. Students will eat most meals with their families and will be able to do laundry in their homes. Homes do not have air conditioning or hot water. Accomodations are basic but comfortable.

One student is placed per host family, with selection based on student’s gender and any health needs.

Packing, Safety and Other Helpful Advice
Read this important document with packing and other information (MS Word) about traveling to Nicaragua (document is from the 2011 program; an updated version will be provided closer to the program dates for 2012). 

Important Academic Details

  • Final class assignment(s) will be due during fall semester. Pre-departure meetings will take place in spring/summer (2 or 3 meetings). Class sessions will not be held during fall semester, all class meetings will be completed in Nicaragua in August.
  • Pre-requisite - completion of Spanish 102, 102H, or 113 (or the semester equivalents or the equivalent from high school or another college/university). One full-year of Spanish is recommended in order for students to have the optimal experience in their community service placements. 
  • Participants will register for a 3 credit hour Spanish class for fall semester 2013 - either SPAN2054 or SPAN3054 (depending on the student's Spanish level). Students should work with the faculty director of the program to determine which SPAN class for which to register.
  • SPAN2054 and SPAN3054 can count towards Spanish credit for students who are majoring or minoring in Spanish. Contact Dr. Carl Bryant if you have questions about how this class will apply to your Spanish major or minor (Dr. Bryant is the Undergraduate Director for Spanish;


  • Cost is expected to be $3000-3200** (final cost contingent upon airfare).
  • Grants -
    **University Honors will give each participant an $800 travel grant to offset the cost, making the actual expected cost $2200-2400.
  • Participants should also apply for globalization grants through UC International.

Costs Include:

  • Accommodations with a middle-class host family
  • 3 meals daily with your host family (purified water included); other meals on your own are at your own expense
  • Spanish classes with Nicaraguan instructors
  • History/culture class
  • Facilitation of community service placements
  • Two cultural excursions
  • Two organized tour programs (one on each Saturday)
  • City tour of Granada
  • Airfare
  • Ground transportation to and from the airport in Managua

Costs do not include expenses such baggage fees, insurance, the International Student Identity Card (ISIC, $22), passport, meals eaten away from your host family, meals at airports, vaccinations/medications (you should talk with your personal physician for recommendations), costs for additional optional excursions, other personal expenses, and a tourist card that visitors are required to purchase upon arrival in Nicaragua (estimated cost of $10 for the tourist card).

Health and Vaccinations
Contact your physician to discuss what vaccinations and heath precautions (like taking antibiotics with you or malaria prevention) are recommended.

All participants should carefully read the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) webpage on Nicaragua.

Application required. This program has been canceled for fall 2012.

UC undergraduates who are not in the University Honors Program are welcome and encouraged to apply, provided the student has a cumulative university GPA of 3.4 or above. Graduate students are not eligible to enroll.

Comments from Previous Participants:

  • “It was amazing!”
  • “My expectations were far surpassed. The sights and opportunities opened up for us were literally unbelievable.”
  • “I was engaged in the culture completely.”
  • “We learned a tremendous amount and met lots of new and different people.”
  • “We were able to gain a deeper appreciation for the country by being able to see so many gorgeous places.”
  • “Expectations were exceeded in every way - travel, relationships, learning.”

Contact the Debbie Brawn ( in University Honors.