Cultural Immersion in Nicaragua: Learn Spanish and Volunteer

Program Overview 

This summer program provides an integrative and cultural experience to advance your Spanish skills and immerse in a foreign culture. During the six weeks in the beautiful town of León, you will actively integrate learning, discovery, and engagement. Individual instruction of Spanish allows you to progress in language skills according to your specific needs. 

Living with a Nicaraguan family enhances students’ cultural awareness and gives you the opportunity to practice your Spanish in a real life situation. In addition, there are two options for volunteering:
  • A youth center that helps underprivileged local children stay in school. Assist with homework, teach English, or play and do other interactive activities. 
  • A private clinic shadowing doctors and nurses to learn about common third-world and tropical diseases while absorbing the cultural and linguistic interactions between health providers and patients.  
León is considered the intellectual capital of the country and is home to most universities. Because the area lacks the infrastructure that attracts tourism, you have the opportunity to maximize immersion in Nicaraguan culture. León is about one hour away from the capital Managua and about 30 minutes from the Pacific Ocean.

Course Information

SPNS 6 credits. Summer Term
  • Learn one-on-one Spanish (2 hours/day) at a language school and volunteer (2 hours/day) Monday through Thursday. Students may choose to only take Spanish and not volunteer. In that case they would take 4 hours of Spanish per day.

Dates Abroad

June 24 - August 4, 2017


Students will live with local host families.


Students will be provided 3 meals per day by their host family.

Program Fee 

  • Program fee includes international health insurance, airport transfer service, homestay accomodations, meals, language instruction, and excursion
  • Program fee does not include international airfare

Financial Aid

This program is eligible for financial aid.

If you intend to apply for financial aid, bring a copy of the Financial Aid Budget Sheet to the Office of Financial Aid Services as soon as possible. 

Eligiblity Requirements

  • 2.5 GPA
  • Dean of Students Disciplinary Clearance
  • No pre-requisite required for language instruction
  • SPNS 102 is required to volunteer


Faculty LeaderDr. Patricia Catoira
Associate Professor
Modern Languages & Literatures
Co-LeaderAlyssa Kreikemeier
MSU Alumni

Application Deadline

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


  1. Meet with Faculty Leader and/or Faculty Led Program Coordinator in the Office of International Programs.  Visit the Study Abroad website for Drop-In Advising Hours and to Schedule a Faculty Led Advising Appointment.
  2. APPLY ONLINE HERE through My Global Connection.  A complete application includes: 
    • $300 Faculty Led Application Fee
    • Official Transcript
    • Acknowledgement of Faculty Led Participation and Pre-Departure Requirements
    • Additional Application Information
    • Faculty Led Application Short Essay
    • FERPA Information
    • Health History Form
    • Passport Information
  3. Complete an interview with the Faculty Leader and the Faculty Led Program Coordinator in the Office of International Programs.
  4. Upon program acceptance, confirm participation and complete Post-Acceptance Application Materials in My Global Connection.


Krysta Gorder
Faculty Led Program Coordinator
(406) 994-7512


Have questions? Click to see drop-in advising hours.


Language of Instruction: Spanish

Host Country Language Courses Offered: Yes


Minimum GPA: 2.5


Housing Options: Homestay


Program Type: Faculty Led

Subjects Available