Nicaragua Semester


Earlham’s Nicaragua program begins with a three- day orientation in Managua, the capital city of the country, where students will stay at the Quaker Guest House. From there the group will travel to the city of Ocotal where the program is based. Ocotal is located in the northwest of Nicaragua in the state of Nueva Segovia near the border with Honduras. The city was established in 1654 and is now home to approximately 40,000 inhabitants. Cattle, timber and coffee are very important for the local economy. This is also an area of incredible beauty including tree covered mountains, coffee and banana plantations, and rivers and wonderful park in the center of town.

In Ocotal, students live with host families who are located near the historic downtown, ensuring that the center city is within walking distance. Each family will host one student so that significant language learning can take place within the home and in participating in family activities.

Ocotoal is also very bike friendly.

Most classes take place at the Ruben Dario school. There will be several educational excursions to nearby locations such as visits to the city of Esteli, San Juan del Sur, and autonomous indigenous villages in the north of Nicaragua. The group will travel together for an extended educational excursion at midpoint through the semester.


Students accepted to the program are required to participate in the orientation sessions prior to leaving for the program. The sessions are designed to prepare the student for cross-cultural experiences, and will include passport, visa, and travel information, readings, films, lecutres, and discussions with former participants. Students will receive 1 semester hour credit for successful completion of the orientation.

Students will earn 18 semester credits for the program.  Courses offered include:

  • Intensive Spanish language
  • Political and Cultural History of Nicaragua
  • Nicaraguan Literature, Folklore and Dance
  • Field Study with a local organization
  • Cooking class

There will be several educational excursions to nearby locations as well as a weeklong group travel experience.

Academic Programs



The cost of the program is equivalent to one semester of on-campus tuition, room, board and fees. Program charges cover academic and educational costs, room, board, cultural events, and required group excursions.

A $350 deposit is required after acceptance into the program to reserve your spot. This deposit is part of the total fee. Students on financial aid are eligible to apply their aid to one off-campus program.

Additional Cost

Program charges do not include roundtrip transportation, passport and visa fees, health costs, personal expenses, and costs incurred during independent travel periods.


Students are responsible for arranging their own flights.


Students in good standing with the college may apply. Majors from all disciplines are welcome. Selection for the program will be conducted by a student and faculty committee.


Follow us on Facebook!


Students and faculty share stories and photos about the Nicaragua experience.

Print Friendly and PDF

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admissions