Be a part of a life-changing experience!  In Summer 2018, The Burnett Honors College will offer its highly successful study abroad program in Nicaragua.  Inaugurated in 2014, this program cultivates an understanding and appreciation of Nicaraguan society and culture through crucial service-learning projects that are developed in collaboration with our international friends and partners.  Knowledge of the Spanish language is not a requirement for this program.

The primary projects will involve developing and refining sustainable agricultural practices in farming communities located in the north-central mountains of Nicaragua and on the volcanic island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua.  One project involves increasing the capacity of tilapia fish farms to provide a healthy and cost-effective protein source in these regions.  Another project will promote the cultivation of avocado seedlings for sale in Nicaragua.

Other projects focus on water management on a large farm near Matagalpa, Nicaragua.  There is a need to divert free-flowing spring water into a series of catchments so that vegetable fields can be irrigated during the dry season and to draw water mechanically from a nearby river to the farm.  Also, many of the farmers will bring their families to this facility and we should look into developing educational/health programs that could meet some of the needs of these families.

We may develop additional projects based on the interests and backgrounds of our participating students.  For instance, we welcome ideas for service-learning projects involving disciplines as diverse as engineering, health care, business, anthropology, and education. 

TRAVEL

The trip will be about three weeks long and we are tentatively scheduled to depart Orlando on June 23rd with a return date of July 15th.  We will travel as a group for our international flights as well as in-country excursions. Students must find their own transportation to and from Orlando International Airport. 

Weekend excursions will include the Spanish colonial city of Granada, the large market at Masaya, Selva Negra near Matagalpa, and the volcanic island of Ometepe located in Lake Nicaragua! Here is a spotlight article on the 2014 program in Nicaragua. See What Students Are Saying here


 STUDENT ELIGIBILITY

Each year, TBHC selects on a competitive basis up to ten Honors students for participation in this program.  All majors are encouraged to apply. Eligible candidates must be University Honors or Honors in the Major students in good standing. 

Students are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, campus and community involvement, evidence of initiative-taking, and their commitment to engaging in study-abroad as a transformative experience. Knowledge of the Spanish language is not a requirement for this program.


IMPORTANT DATES

2018

February 7th Information Session 11:30AM-1:30PM (BHC 130)
February 22nd Information Session 11:30AM-1:30PM (BHC 130)
March 9th Applications due at Noon
Week of March 19th Interviews
Week of March 26th Selection decisions made
Summer C Classes Wed, 9:00AM-11:00AM
May 14th Classes begin
June 23rd (tentative) Depart from Orlando
July 15th (tentative) Return to Orlando

 


RESOURCE LINKS

Moon Travel Guide
Wait…is that Anthony Bourdain in Nicaragua?  Why yes it is!
CIA Factbook on Nicaragua (click the “Worldbook” link)
US Department of State webpage
Vianica.com Explore Nicaragua online using this link.

PROGRAM COSTS

The cost of the program includes airfare, in-country ground transportation, lodging, most meals, and some excursions. The total program cost for UCF Honors students is between $500 and $1,500 depending on scholarship availability.  For more information about available scholarships, click here. Students should bring some pocket money for snacks, non-group meals, and souvenirs during our excursions.  In addition, students must pay tuition for the 1-credit hour course IDH 3955H that is scheduled for the spring in preparation for summer travel.  Please note that while unlikely, the program cost is subject to change due to changes in airfare and exchange rates.

Participating students will enroll in the 1-credit hour service-learning course during the Spring and Summer A semester (IDH 3955H.0203). This class counts as an interdisciplinary seminar for Honors graduation and will have regular class meetings during the Summer semester in preparation for the trip that will tentatively take place June 23-July15.  The class meeting times are Wednesdays 9:00AM-11:00AM.  In addition, there will one or two required, follow-up class meetings toward the end of the summer. All charges will be posted to your UCF student account by the Office of International Studies.

PROGRAM APPLICATION

Eligible candidates must be Honors students in good standing. Applicants for this program should complete this application form and submit all supporting materials to Carla Portilla no later than 12 noon on Friday, March 9, 2017. All materials must be checked off before turning in. Supporting materials must include all of the following:

  1. This application form, completed and signed.
  2. By this application, permission is given to the Honors College to review your academic transcript.
  3. A cover letter describing your interest in applying to this program and your goals for studying abroad and your resume.
  4. A 500-word essay commenting on this quote from Kurt Vonnegut: “Peculiar travel plans are dancing lessons from the gods.”
  5. A letter of recommendation from a UCF faculty member familiar with your work.

Must be able to attend spring class Wednesdays from 9:00AM-11:00AM. Finalists for this program will be selected on the basis of these materials as well as an interview to be scheduled by early November. If you have any questions about this program or the application, please contact Carla Portilla at carla.portilla@ucf.edu