UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD-Spring Break: Nicaragua: History, Politics & Culture (SPAP)

Granada, Nicaragua
Managua, Nicaragua
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Terms offered: 
Spring Break
Program Type: 
Credit Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
EA Advisor: 
Language of Instruction: 

The program in Nicaragua is an elective one credit component of a three credit course. This onsite component will provide students with the opportunity to immerse in the Spanish language, explore the history, politics, literature and culture of Nicaragua, as well as participate in a service activity. You will spend time in Managua, Granada and San Juan del Sur. Highlights of the program in addition to historical and cultural excursions, will include meeting and talking to people who are part of the history, politics and culture of the country, i.e., former Vice President, under Daniel Ortega, writer and intellectual Sergio Ramirez; Susan Bursey, who brought Sprint to Nicaragua and has lived through the several transitions endured by the country; Jane Mirandette, who was the first to bring, develop and expand the concept of lending libraries; as well as other knowledgeable people who will share their knowledge and love of the country and it's people. The service activity will allow the students to participate in services provided the San Juan del Sur Biblioteca (Library) such as a bookmobile program, which currently supports 33 elementary schools on a rotating basis. You will travel with the bookmobile staff to visit some of the schools, participating in the activities provided by the program. The activities include reading to and with the children, telling stories, playing games and finding creative ways to engage with the children. Through these real life experiences and activities the students will gain an understanding of the people and the country, thus building on the knowledge learned from books and theories in the 3 credit course, but in an actual way that is not possible by studying it in the United States.

By the end of this course, students can expect to be able to:
•   Explain and analyze issues in Nicaraguan history, politics, and culture by responding to questions and writing daily travel-blog entries. 
•   Communicate and collaborate effectively with community members and students by assisting in learning activities and creating digital stories (videos) at local sites. 
•   Demonstrate use of digital story methodologies and WeVideo application to complete videos. 
•   Demonstrate use of standard English (or Spanish) grammar to write and edit scripts for digital stories. 
•   Evaluate service-learning experience by writing critical reflection at end of program.


You must be in good academic and judicial standing and you must not have any registration blocks to participate in this program. The minimum GPA for this program is listed above.

SPAP majors and minors would highly benefit from this program.  Additionally, Latin American Certificate Students, students interested in history, politics, culture, education and service-learning activities related to literacy would enjoy this program. 

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the eligibility requirements, reach out to the program director (listed in the Contacts tab) to discuss your interest in the program.


After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in one of the following three (3) credit UMD courses:

  • SPAN448N: Nicaragua: History, Politics & Culture
  • LASC448N: Nicaragua: History, Politics & Culture

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit.


You will stay in double rooms in hotels throughout the course. 

Costs for winter 2018 will be updated shortly. 

Application Fee $50
Billable Costs
Billable costs are charged to your student account. They are due based on the Bursar's payment schedule. Be sure to check your statements when they are available.
Education Abroad Fee $500
This fee is charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted" to "Committed." This fee includes Education Abroad services including registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance TBD
Tuition TBD
This fee is charged to your UMD account upon course registration. This fee includes: Tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
Housing Fee TBD
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
Out-of-pocket Costs
Meals (estimate) TBD
Visa TBD
Passport TBD
Roundtrip Airfare (estimate) TBD
Course Materials TBD
Optional Activities/incidental expenses TBD
Optional trip cancelation/interruption Insurance (estimate) TBD

NOTE: If you are a non-UMD graduate student, you will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD graduate school to participate in this program.

Please refer to the following resources for more information on funding study abroad

PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancelation due to low enrollment.

Ana Patricia Rodríguez is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Coordinator of Community Engagement for the SLLC at UMD. She teaches classes on Latin American, Central American, and U.S. Latina/o literatures and cultures. She has published widely on Central American transnational cultural production. She is the author of Dividing the Isthmus: Central American Transnational Histories, Literatures, and Cultures (University of Texas Press, 2009) and co-editor (with Linda Craft and Astvaldur Astvaldsson) of De la hamaca al trono y al más allá: Lecturas críticas de la obra de Manlio Argueta (San Salvador: Universidad Tecnológica, 2013). 

Lily Griner and Patricia Herron are University of Maryland library faculty who have accompanied Professors and students on previous study abroad courses to Nicaragua. They will accompany Ana and the students on this study abroad course. 

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact the Program Director. For general questions or assistance with applying, contact EA Short-term Programs.

As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  •  Service ­learning/Community Engagement project 
  •  Guest lectures by leading local experts
  • Total immersion in the Spanish language 
  • Exploration of various locales - capital city (Managua), volcanos (Masaya and Mombacho), Granada (a colonial town) and San Juan del Sur (a small town on the Pacific (opportunities for zip lining, beaches, etc.)
Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Spring Break 2017 10/15/2016 10/11/2016