Program Details

Learn Spanish and contribute to the community in Leon! Four days a week you will be enrolled in Spanish classes at a local language school to increase your proficiency. In the afternoons, do your part to help change the lives and environment of Nicaragua
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. Four days a week, you will be enrolled in Spanish classes at a local language school to increase your proficiency. In the afternoons, do your part to help change the lives and environment of Nicaragua by volunteering. On free days, spend time with your host family and fellow volunteers, 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 adventure will earn you 3 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 our on-site program staff 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. In the afternoon you will be introduced to the volunteer project. Day 3 to Day 29 – Study Spanish and volunteer – this program is four days a week. During the free three days a week 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.

Learn Spanish and contribute to the community in Leon! Four days a week you will be enrolled in Spanish classes at a local language school to increase your proficiency. In the afternoons, do your part to help change the lives and environment of Nicaragua by volunteering. You will be simultaneously enrolled in Seattle Central Community College’s course called International Cooperative Education (ITL 197). It engages students in responsible and challenging volunteer activity for the common good, while helping them gain understanding, acquire knowledge, and develop the necessary skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. Dariana Spanish School You will take Spanish classes in the morning at Leon’s best language school, Dariana Spanish School. Classes are held four days a week 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 Cooperative Education (ITL 197). This is an independent study course that provides you with the opportunity to earn academic credit for volunteer service in an international setting. It is intended to provide both personal and professional growth for students who want to work directly with another culture. It engages students in responsible and challenging volunteer activity for the common good, while helping them gain understanding, acquire knowledge, and develop the necessary skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. Assignments for this class offer a chance for research and reflection, and consist of a daily journal, proof of completion of language student and volunteer hours, and a final report.

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 mornings and volunteering in the afternoons. This combination provides a hands-on learning experience every day with local Nicaraguans. 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 four 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. Volunteering: Three weeks before departure, our students are notified of their volunteer placement. Placement is carefully determined, based on each student’s interests. All volunteer organizations are safe, well established, and are always monitored by on-site NicaEco staff. No prior knowledge of Spanish in required, but students are encouraged to learn. Throughout the volunteer program students will regularly have check-ins where they will be asked to provide feedback. We offer a variety of volunteer organization for placement, such as children’s education, environmental preservation and community building. Excursions and Activities: • Historic Tour of Leon: city orientation that takes place upon arrival • Welcome Dinner in Leon • 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. • Optional Cultural Activities (for a small fee): These activities take place throughout the week during free time and include salsa dancing, cooking lessons, and local concert within the city.
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 a

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