Nicaragua High School Exchange Program

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    Location: Boaco, Nicaragua

    Cross Cultural Collaboration & Service Opportunities: Contribute towards GSE’s newest organic farm at Clinica Verde in Boaco. The garden provides healthy produce for patients at the Clinic. Participate in local school garden programs in Boaco as well!

    Housing: Stay in various hostels in Boaco and on the travel portion.

    Program Dates and Fees: 
    Spring Break HS Programs = $2,200

    To see your high school’s program details click here.

    (Spring & summer trip dates are determined based on specific school breaks.  Summer programs vary in price based on the length of the trip.)

    Program Fee Includes:
    • Airfare
    • Accommodations
    • Three meals per day
    • Local Transportation during program
    • Multiple educational, cultural and service activities
    • Foreign Liability Insurance (includes emergency medical evacuation & health coverage)
    • Continuous support from local site directors and staff
    Links to Helpful Resources

    - Vaccination Information – CDC Website

    - View the Packing List

    - Download our Fundraising Packet

    - Registration & Empowered Tutorial

    Sample Itinerary

    Day 1 —Fly in to Managua where GSE staff will meet you to travel to Boaco, Nicaragua.
    Day 2 — Wake up and head to Clinica Verde where you will get a tour of the garden and introduction to the Clinic.
    Day 3 — Spend the day in the Clinica Verde garden learning from GSE’s local staff about biointensive agriculture!
    Day 4 — Collaborate with the local students to expand a school garden in Boaco, Nicaragua.
    Day 5 — Work with a class from the nearby high school in the Clinica Verde garden!
    Day 6 — Spend the day at Clinica Verde garden and have soup cooked by the clinic staff!
    Day 7 —Travel to La Fundadora for the vacation portion where you will stay in cabins in the cloud forest.
    Day 8 —Optional hike to a waterfall or hang around the small town of La Fundadora.
    Day 9 — Optional walk to a nearby organic coffee farm
    Day 10 —Travel back to the US

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Nicaragua safe?

    Global Student Embassy has built a vast network of in-country contacts in all of our partner locations and communities. We stay in dialogue with these partners regularly and are constantly receiving the most up-to-date information about our destinations and how it affects our groups and programs. We do everything we can to safeguard our selves and our possessions, but students are also responsible for their own safety by following our policies, guidelines, and advice.

    Do students need a visa for traveling to Nicaragua?

    Students will receive a tourist visa upon entrance to the country. When you arrive, you will need to pay $10 at immigration for your visa. It is easiest to have a $10 bill with you.

    Do students need to carry a copy of their vaccination records with them?

    Yes.  Your student should carry there vaccination record with them at all times.

    What if my son or daughter cannot pay the full price of the trip?

    That is a great question. We actually have many students who cannot personally fund the whole international trip. For this reason, and because fundraising is an important part of advocacy and organizing, we have developed training and projects to help students fundraise. With the support of GSE staff, students have even fundraised their entire program costs! GSE’s fundraising packet will be sent out after the first parent meeting through email.

    Can my son or daughter bring any food with them, like Clif Bars?

    Yes. In fact, we encourage it. Many of the service workdays involve long hours or challenging labor. Water and snacks are always provided but students should bring additional energy bars that they can snack on throughout the day.

    Should my son/daughter bring money with them on their trip?

    Everything that your son/daughter needs will be provided on the trip. However, if he/she would like to buy gifts or memorabilia then they should bring some additional spending money. They may also want to have some money to buy snacks at the airport.

    I can’t speak Spanish; is that a problem?

    Not at all! All staff speak Spanish. It doesn’t hurt to learn a few greetings and if you are studying Spanish our trips are a great way to practice!

    Where will we be sleeping?

    During your stay in Nicaragua you will be staying in hostels. In Chacraseca you will be staying in GSE’s newly built hostel ‘Chacraverde’ on our main school garden site. It is a great way to get to know the local community.

    Will my student have email and phone access while in Nicaragua?

    Our programs offer students the opportunity to be away from home and explore their independence. We will not provide the wifi password for students.

    What is GSE’s policy on drugs and alcohol?

    GSE has a zero tolerance policy on the use of drugs or alcohol. Our programs are focused on community service and building relationship and students are prohibited from seeking out or using intoxicants. Students will be kept by the side of a chaperone in the event that these rules are broken and may be sent home at their family’s expense if their behavior is endangering themselves or the group. (Please see the release waiver for more info on this subject).

    What about clean drinking water?

    Filtered drinking water is available to students 100% of the time. Students should bring canteens or water bottles to re-fill throughout the trip.

    What type of insurance is provided by Global Student Embassy?

    Global Student Embassy has an international health and liability policy that covers all participants, but does not have a policy about international travel insurance (insuring belongings and cancellations of trips) and therefore, leaves the decision making to each individual family. Many homeowners and renters policies will also cover you for lost/stolen items during your travels. However, they can have high deductibles and a variety of clauses that can make this more troublesome than you’d prefer.

    Who do you typically hire as program leaders? How are your field staff qualified for this experience?

    We recognize that the quality of a students’ experience is directly related to the quality of their leaders. For this reason, trip leaders undergo a meticulous interview and training process then ensures we are working with the best. Our leaders are typically 25 – 30 years old and love working with youth. They often have traveled sufficiently to the relevant regions, speak the local language, and are experienced in youth leadership.

    There are 3 International Program leaders on each trip. All leaders undergo basic CPR and First Aid training as well as rigorous programmatic training to ground them in program itineraries, safety issues, and how to be a positive peer mentor.

    What if I get sick during the trip?

    Different environmental factors exist when traveling abroad and our bodies may not be used to the challenges posed by daily life in a new country. While a certain amount of travelers’ diarrhea is to be expected, our leaders have the travel experience and medical training required to determine when an illness is potentially severe and when it is more routine. GSE has a wilderness first aid trained staff member on each trip. Should a student ever need to go to the doctor, a leader will accompany him/her to make sure he/she asks all the relevant questions and gets the best medical care possible. It is important that you notify your program directors and leaders of ANY medications you are taking regularly, or before you begin something new during the program. The closest hospital is in Leon (Nicaragua) a few miles away from our project.

    Please be sure to consult with a travel doctor prior to your departure. If you have questions about vaccines needed for the region, please consult the CDC website. We ask that all participants be up to date with standard vaccines and have proof of immunization history in the event of a medical emergency.

    “I feel empowered regarding communities working together to promote change, mostly because of how accepting the local [Nicaraguans] were. Never did I feel not welcome or not immediately accepted. Also the relative ease with which we communicated through a language/cultural barrier at the worksite impressed me. I feel as long as us and them were both working towards a common goal, we were hardly considered different at all.”
    — Lucas Rohrer

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