Study/Travel Abroad Program

Travel to Nicaragua during Winter Break!

Nicaragua: Comparative Health and Culture Travel Program

hammock overlooking mountains Travel Dates: Saturday, December 30, 2017–Saturday, January 6, 2018 (tentative)

Program Information:
The recent health care debate has brought about many questions about health care delivery in the US. But how does health care work in other countries? This program will explore health care in Nicaragua and compare it to health care in the US. Through the pre-departure course, participants will get a basic understanding of Nicaraguan culture, history and health care issues. While in Nicaragua, participants will get to see first-hand what they have been reading about and talk to experts regarding health care issues. Sister Cities of San Ramon, Nicaragua (a Durham Non-profit with over 20 years of experience leading groups in Nicaragua) will organize visits to multiple kinds of health care facilities and organize talks with medical professions. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about Nicaraguan history and meet locals through staying with host families.

Travel highlights include:

person pressing out tortillas
  • Stay several nights at an organic coffee farm and ecolodge in the amazing highlands
  • Visit different types of health facilities in rural, small town, and large cities
  • Learn about traditional and alternative medicines and therapies
  • Visit a school for children with special needs and observe the therapies used
  • Learn about traditional crafts and arts and small business practices
  • Understand Nicaraguan history and past and present US-Nicaraguan history
  • Live with a local host family in the small town of San Ramon
  • Experience and try traditional Nicaraguan dancing
  • Practice making corn tortillas and Nacatamales
  • Visit an active volcano and go on a boat tour on Lake Nicaragua

Draft Intinerary

Sister Cities of San Ramon, Nicaragua Organization

Finca Esperanza Verde Ecolodge & Coffee Farm

Pre-departure course:
This hybrid (in-classroom and online) course will prepare students for their time in Nicaragua with the Durham Tech Travel Abroad program. Topics included in the course are culture of Nicargua, history of US-Nicaragua relations and health care of Nicaragua. Travel logistics will also be covered. The final meeting will serve as an opportunity to reflect on the travel experience after return and to start planning the campus presentation on the experience. 8 classroom hours and additional online hours. $35

  • Course #TBA
    Wednesdays: 10/18, 11/15, 12/6, and 1/17
  • 4–6 p.m.
    Durham Tech Main Campus, Phillips (Building 3), 3-125 (TLC)


  • Age 18 or older
  • Register for non-credit Continuing Education class and attend pre-departure and post-return meetings
  • Spanish language ability is not required for this this program (but encouraged)

Travel program cost: $2,200 (tentative)

Travel program cost includes:

student learning how to make Nacatamales
  • Round-trip international flight from RDU
  • All housing (in multiple occupancy rooms, cabins or host family)
  • Three meals a day (other than travel days)
  • Travel medical insurance
  • All transportation to planned events and activities
  • All planned events and activities as per the itinerary (all subject to change)
  • Professional tour leader and Spanish-English interpreter with the group for all group activities/events
  • Some tips for guides and speakers

Additional costs not included in the cost (listed above):

chairs overlooking jungle
  • Passport application or renewal fees
  • Recommended travel vaccinations or medications
  • Airline upgrade fees
  • Airline baggage fees
  • Housing upgrades (single room, etc.)
  • Personal expenses while abroad (souvenirs, gifts, snack, drinks, etc.)
  • Additional tips/Gifts for guides and hosts
  • Tuition for the Continuing Education pre-departure meetings ($35)

Payment plan:

  • Initial deposit of $350 due by October 20, 2017
  • Two additional payments of $925 each are due by November 18 and December 8
  • Students who receive the scholarship will pay the $350 deposit and then the remaining $350 by December 8


volcanoDurham Tech will be offering multiple competitive scholarships of $1,500 to currently-enrolled curriculum students.

Preference for scholarships is given to applicants:

  • Who have little or no experience travelling out of the US
  • Who are admitted in a degree, diploma, or certificate program at Durham Tech
  • Who have completed at least 18 credit hours of their degree program
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Have successfully completed ENG 111 or the equivalent (with a grade of C or higher)

To apply for the competitive scholarships, students must complete the online scholarship application form.

The online application includes:

  • Application questions
  • Faculty recommendation forms (two required)
  • Essay – choose one of the following topics to write a 500 word essay:
    • The impact of study/travel abroad on a student and his/her community
    • How traveling abroad helps in professional development.
  • Scholarship Agreement form. The agreement form must be notarized and uploaded to the online scholarship application. There are several notaries available on campus. Notaries can also be found in most banks or credit unions.

The deadline for the scholarship application is September 26, 2017.

Scholarship notifications will go out by October 6. (Students who receive the scholarship will pay the $350 deposit and then the remaining $350 by December 8).

For more information contact:
Heidi White
Director of International Student Services and Study Abroad
919-536-7264, extension 4052
Center for the Global Learner, White (Building 1), room 1-148

Travel leaders:
Stephanie Dawson (Nursing)
Janet Alspaugh (Opticianry)

French Canada (summer 2018)