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Nicaragua, Women's Lives and Experiences Winterim Faculty-Led Immersion
Matagalpa, Nicaragua (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Winterim
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Fact Sheet:
2.30 (may be flexible) Language of Instruction: English
Year in School: May apply as freshman; must have at least soph. standing by program begin Academic Pre-requisites: One semester university-level Spanish
Coordinator: Shanti Freitas Experiential Education: Internship, Volunteer/Service Learning
Program Description:

Women's Lives in Nicaragua
This program is a Faculty-Led Immersion, coordinated by Shanti Freitas, Intercultural Immersion Coordinator in Academic Affairs. Please direct all questions to or 715-836-6037, and submit all application materials to Schofield 17. It is listed on the Center for International Education website to assist students in exploring all international opportunities.

The objective of this program is to give students a vision of the social struggle for women´s rights in Nicaragua, but more importantly, the struggle of women to claim their place in the development of the country and take action to promote freedom and sexual diversity. Students get the opportunity to meet women who had and continue to have important roles in Nicaraguan history, the revolution, the economy, social movements, and those who have suffered under the Nicaraguan patriarchal system and are members of our constant struggle.

This program will engage you in the lives of some of these women. Talking with them about their societal roles and taking field trips to see different ways that women live will help you understand feminism in the context of a developing country and to become a more engaged citizen in the world community.

Furthermore, the growing number of Spanish speakers in the United States has increased the need for individuals who have an understanding of Latin American culture. This program will help you gain the cultural skills necessary to communicate with Spanish speakers in the U.S.
Academic field trips will introduce you to a few of the many faces of Nicaragua. These trips include visits to places such as women’s cooperatives, women's centers, and health care centers. You will also have the opportunity to engage in discussion with university students, rural women, and indigenous women. Last but not least, you will visit the colonial city of Leon, the Masaya volcano, and Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.

This program in 2018 will be led by UWEC faculty members Dr. Analisa DeGrave (Languages) and Dr. Theresa Kemp (English).

group picture

The program is located in Matagalpa, a valley city surrounded by green hills. Known as “The Pearl of the North,” Matagalpa has steep, hilly streets and clean mountain air.  The city has about 150,000 people and is the center of the coffee growing region in Nicaragua. “Matagalpa’s true precious stone is a ripe, red coffee bean, the production and harvest of which is essential to the region’s – and the nation’s – economy” (Moon, Nicaragua). While the city was settled by the Nahuatl Indians, the Spaniards introduced cattle ranching in the 17th century and the Germans introduced coffee in the 19th century. Matagalpa is a good place to explore the beautiful tropical forest nearby.

You will live with host families. Past participants report that the informal learning with their family was as important as their coursework to their academic experience. In the words of a past student, "I was so glad to live with a host family rather than in a hotel or dorm. It was a great cultural experience."

To apply, read the application instructions on the How to Apply Page. Then return to this program brochure page, and click the 'apply now' button at the top of the page.

  • Schedule a general advising appointment with Faculty-Led Immersion staff by calling 715-836-6037 or emailing Shanti Freitas at


Coffee Beans Nicaragua
To learn about eligibility requirements, academic offerings, and the academic calendar; click here: Academics - Women in Nicaragua

Below you will find more information on an estimated program cost: Nicaragua Winterim16.pdf

*This faculty-led program receives funding from the Blugold Commitment Faculty-Led International Immersion Experiences (FLIIE) program. The goals of the Blugold Commitment are to extend access and affordability to these exceptional high-impact practices for all UW-Eau Claire undergraduates, to ensure that more of these opportunities are available for these students, and to increase the numbers of students who participate. Therefore, while UW-Eau Claire undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in multiple high-impact immersion programs, each student is eligible to receive BCDT funding for only one FLIIE experience. 

To encourage immersion into the Nicaraguan culture, all students live with Spanish-speaking families. Our partners in Nicaragua arrange accommodations with carefully selected host families.

Want to see pictures? Click here! And read an article about the Nicaragua program. 

"My study abroad experience was such a whirl wind experience. I learned so much about myself and Nicaragua in my time abroad. By being a part of this program I was forced to think critically and be exposed to an entirely different way of living. It was a challenging and very rewarding experience that I will carry with me forever." -Breanna Bryant, summer 2015

"Che Guevara once said that a true revolutionary is guided first and foremost by a great feeling of love. Living with Nicaraguan people and experiencing Nicaragua intimately instilled a great sense of love in me for the region and its inhabitants. Because of this, I think it's safe to say that my experience abroad was, first and foremost, revolutionary." -Emilio Taiveaho, summer 2015

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winterim 2018 04/03/2017 04/04/2017 TBA TBA
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