Program Details

Learn Spanish and explore the rest of the country on unique cultural excursions! Five days a week you will be enrolled in Spanish classes at a local language school to increase your proficiency. In the afternoons, take part in various cultural activities
Location:
Leon, Nicaragua
Program Type:
Intensive Language
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Duration:
1-3 months
Language:
Spanish

Program Overview

Program Description:
Nicaragua is the new eco-destination for alternative study abroad in Central America. Tropical climate, untouched beaches, active volcanoes, and crater lakes make Nicaragua a truly beautiful location. This trip takes you to the northwest part of the country to Leon and offers opportunities to explore the rest of the country on unique excursions. Five days a week you will be enrolled in Spanish classes at a local language school to increase your proficiency. In the afternoons, take part in various cultural activities to build your language skills in other contexts. On the remaining free days, spend time with your host family and fellow students, exploring the town and nightlife, relaxing on the beach or taking part in exciting excursions, such as volcano boarding, surfing, eco-explorations and historic tours. This 4-week or 8-week adventure will earn you 3 to 6 semester credits from our American partner university, Seattle Central Community College. Here’s a look at what your schedule will be like: Day 1- On Saturday you will be met at Managua airport by a volunteer coordinator and transferred to Leon. Once there, enjoy a welcome dinner where you will be introduced to your host family and fellow volunteers. The following day, take a city tour of Leon to get you oriented. Day 3 – Orientation for your language class begins in the morning, where you will meet your instructor. Day 3 to Day 29 – Study Spanish and Explore – this program is five days a week. During the weekends we organize a variety of exciting activities and excursions to help you maximize your time in Leon and Nicaragua Day 30 – Travel to Managua for your return trip home. Or continue the program for 30 additional days with more options for travel and excursions.

Learn Spanish and explore the rest of the country on unique cultural excursions! Five days a week you will be enrolled in Spanish classes at a local language school to increase your proficiency. In the afternoons, take part in various cultural activities to build your language skills in other contexts. You will be simultaneously enrolled in Seattle Central Community College’s course called Spanish Language through Experiential Activities (HUM 291). The goal of this course is for students to enhance their language skills via travel/research to various historic sites, cultural events, exhibits, etc. (Offered for 1 or 2 months) Dariana Spanish School You will attend Spanish classes at Leon’s best language school, Dariana Spanish School. Classes are held five days a week, for four hours a day, in order to gain foreign language proficiency. You will take a short placement test during the school orientation to determine which level you should be placed in. Dariana Spanish School was named after Leon’s most famous poet, Ruben Dario, and was founded in 2005 by native Nicaraguan educators. They specialize in offering full immersions of the Spanish language and culture. Classes are offered for all levels of Spanish speakers, from beginner to advanced. All teachers are highly qualified, native speakers with college degrees. Dariana has quickly become the most accomplished language school in Leon through the quality of their education, their contribution to the community, and the friendly and welcoming nature of the staff. Seattle Central Community College While attending your Spanish language classes, you will be simultaneously enrolled in Seattle Central Community College’s course called Spanish Language through Experiential Activities (HUM 291). This is a self-paced course designed for the undergraduate student who plans on taking advantage of language study opportunities outside the U.S. Students will be expected to complete all course requirements upon their return to the United States. The goal of this course is for students to enhance their language skills via travel/research to various historic sites, cultural events, exhibits, etc. Assignments for this class offer a chance for research and reflection. First, a daily portfolio must be kept containing notes on places visited, interviews, daily lessons, new vocabulary, oral language activities, and student observations of different and unique cultural traits. Students must also complete critical thinking papers and conduct a mini-ethnography, describing thoughts and feelings about a particular event in a community of the student’s choice. Finally, written proof of completion of a language course must be provided.

In cooperation with one of Leon’s best Spanish schools and Seattle Central Community College, we have created this unique study abroad program that incorporates learning Spanish during the day and exploring Nicaragua and its culture in the afternoon. You will be living with a local family, which will provide an insight into the Nicaraguan culture and also enforce your Spanish learning experience. This program runs five days a week, giving you the opportunity to take part in the wide variety of activities Leon has to offer or take side trips to other parts of Nicaragua on the weekends. This is truly a life changing experience where you are guaranteed to walk away not only with a higher level of Spanish but also with true in-depth knowledge of Nicaraguan culture. Excursions and Activities: • Historic Tour of Leon: city orientation that takes place upon arrival • Welcome Dinner • Cultural Activities: These activities take place throughout the week after morning Spanish lessons. A variety of activities will be offered such as salsa dancing, cooking lessons, and local concert within the city, providing you with the information to complete your assignments (see Academic Information below). • Weekend Excursion 1: On Saturday, travel outside Leon to climb an active volcano and try our thrilling volcano boarding. On Sunday, travel to the coast for some relaxing beach time, surfing lessons and a sunset barbeque. • Weekend Excursion 2: Take a trip to Granada for lunch and zip lining through the cloud forest on the Mombacho Volcano. Spend the evening with a tour of Masaya Marketplace, and after that get to know the culture and nightlife of Granada. The following day travel to Laguna Asososca. Kayak, swim, and relax. This lagoon is formed within a volcanic crater and is blessed with crystal clear, clean warm water and jungle fringed slopes. • Weekend Excursion 3 & 4 (for 2-month program only). Alternative excursions for you to choose from.
Setting Description:
Leon is a city with a rich historic background dating back to 1821 when Nicaragua gained its independence from Spain. At times, it served as the nation’s capital, which contributed to the economic and cultural value of the city. Although Managua now holds the title as Nicaragua’s capital, Leon still possesses architectural beauties, old colonial houses, churches, and monuments that captivate visitors. The city houses churches such as La Catedral de Leon, the largest cathedral in Central America, and many others, La Merced, El Calvario, San Juan, San Francisco, Sutiaba and La Recoleccion. Leon also is home to University of Leon, the first university in Central America. Near the city’s center, many monuments and museums can be found representing the social movements and uprisings that have taken place in the historic city. All this enthralling history is brought to life on your sightseeing tour around the city’s beautiful colonial center. This tour will allow you to visit sites in and

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