Can I complete my major and graduate on time and still go on this program?
Yes, this program fits in to the schedule of almost every major, except Nursing. As most of the courses cover core requirements, these are courses you would need to take anyways. We would suggest that you talk with our office and your academic advisor to ensure the classes count towards what you need and which Spring semester works best for you. Some majors do have to be on campus certain semesters for specific classes or internships, so it is important to discuss this with your academic advisor.
Do any of my financial assistance or scholarships apply to this program?
Yes, all of your financial aid and scholarships apply to this program.
Do I have to be fluent in Spanish to go?
No, in fact most students are not when they go. You do have to have either completed Spanish 102 or have placed into at least Spanish 201 when entering Xavier. Some people speak English in Nicaragua, but most speak only Spanish. You will take an intensive Spanish language course during the semester. The families are patient and will help you as well. So, it is okay to make mistakes. Your Spanish will vastly improve by the end of the semester.
What happens to my housing if I study abroad?
It depends on where you are living. If you live in Xavier campus housing, your fee will be waived to get out of your housing agreement. But you do need to notify Residence Life upon acceptance to the program that you will be studying abroad. For more specific housing questions contact Residence Life.
If you rent off campus, you would need to speak to your landlord and roommates, if you have any roommates, to make arrangements. Many landlords allow renters to sublet. You could find someone to sublet your apartment, or your portion of the lease, if you have roommates. If you live alone, many landlords allow renters to break a lease for a fee.
What is the housing like in Nicaragua?
All students live with families in a working class neighborhood. Housing is substantially more modest than a U.S. middle-class setting. Students should not expect access to the same level of amenities as at home. Housing and space is more limited in Nicaragua. But, students are given their own bedroom to allow for some privacy. The program places students in a culturally diverse and challenging learning environment.
Is Nicaragua safe to travel to?
Nicaragua is one of the safest countries in Central America. But as with any other city or country, crimes or accidents do occur. Remember to use the same precautions and common sense you would use, for instance, while living in Cincinnati. The families look out for the students as well and teach them the dos and don'ts of living in Nicaragua. The Xavier University faculty and/or staff member accompanies the students on all program related excursions throughout Nicaragua.
What if I have dietary restrictions?
It is important to let our staff know so we can make appropriate accommodations. Typically, the faculty trip leader will either help you talk with your host family or help you prepare what to say to ensure there are no translation issues.
What if I have a pre-existing medical condition?
Once you have been accepted into the program, part of the initial paperwork requires you to get a physical from a doctor that says you are in good physical and mental health to participate in this program. It is important to inform our staff of pre-existing medical conditions so we can make appropriate accommodations. If the medical condition involves the use of prescriptions we strongly suggest you talk with your doctor about getting a full semester's supply of medication to take with you.
What if I get sick while I am in Nicaragua?
Before you depart from Cincinnati, our office will enroll you in international travel health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). If you do get sick while you are in Nicaragua, there are doctors in and near the neighborhood you will live in that students have seen. If you require additional medical attention, there is a nearby hospital that you can go to. Either the Xavier faculty member or assistant can accompany you to provide translation, if the medical staff available does not speak English.
If you have additional questions please contact us or visit us in the Center for International Education in GSC 230.