SIT Nicaragua: Youth Culture, Literacy and Media
About the Program | Nicaragua and Cuba | Eligibility
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About the Program
The SIT program model is one of experiential learning abroad. SIT has been providing immersive, field-based study abroad programs for undergraduates for more than 50 years. SIT programs are based on the experiential learning model, which merges hands-on learning with reflection. Programs combine classroom learning with time spent in the field observing, interacting with local stakeholders, and learning from local experts.
Site visits and other learning experiences are relevant to the program’s theme. A program focused on global health may include visits to hospitals, rural clinics, or refugee camps. A program focused on economy may include an internship with a local business or financial institution. Students studying climate change and natural resource management may spend extensive time in nature reserves and national parks.
This experiential approach gives you the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of a critical global issue. You may find yourself interviewing local community members in the local language (with the help of a translator, when necessary), observing wildlife in its natural habitat, practicing a local art form, or participating in a community project designed by local development experts.
This program focuses on topics such as Nicaraguan social movements and realities before and after the Nicaraguan revolution, while considering the ways that these movements set the stage for the expansion of basic human rights in the country. The program also looks at the intersection between socioeconomic issues and youth development and artistic production.
Nicaragua and Cuba
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central American, bordering Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. The country's physical geography divides it into three major zones: Pacific lowlands; wet, cooler central highlands; and the Caribbean lowlands. On the Pacific side of the country are the two largest fresh water lakes in Central America, Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua. The Island of Ometepe Island is located inside Lake Nicaragua, and is well known for its popularity among tourists. Surrounding these lakes and extending to their northwest along the rift valley of the Gulf of Fonseca are fertile lowland plains, with soil highly enriched by ash from nearby volcanoes of the central highlands. Nicaragua's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems contribute to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot.
Students will also spend 10 days in Cuba, visiting with Cuban political protagonists, artists, writers and media producers.
- 3.0 cumulative GPA
- Completion of two semesters of Spanish at Tulane, including SPAN 3040 or higher, within the year prior to the start of the program with a B average or higher
- Coursework with Latin American content recommended
Fields of Study
Anthropology, Communication, Latin American Studies, Social Policy and Practice
This program will provide students interested in the arts, public policy, gender studies, Latin American Studies and other disciplines the opportunity to explore Nicaragua a generation after the revolution and find out how young people in Nicaragua and Cuba are creatively advocating for change.
Major topics of study include:
- Nicaraguan and Cuban Revolutions, literacy campaigns, and contemporary challenges
- Youth culturee.g., ethnic, sexual, class, and religious differences)
- Nicaraguan literature, literary styles, and spoken word
In addition to courses focusing on these topics, students will take a Research Methods and Ethics course to prepare you for your Independent Study Project. During the final four weeks of the program, you will conduct an Independent Study Project.
Research Methods and Ethics: Youth, Arts-Based Inquiry, Digital Media – syllabus
(ANTH3500 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
In this research methods course designed to prepare students for the Independent Study Project, students learn how to organize and conduct a research project. Through lectures, readings, and field activities, students study and practice a range of qualitative, digital, and arts-based methods appropriate for researching the program's themes. They examine the ethical issues surrounding field research related to working with youth and with more public digital media forms, and they are guided through the World Learning / SIT Human Subjects Review process, which forms a core component of the course. By the end of the course, students will have chosen a research topic, selected appropriate methods, and written a solid proposal for an Independent Study Project. Most coursework is conducted in English.
Independent Study Project – syllabus
(ISPR3000 / 4 credits / 120 hours)
Conducted in Managua or other approved locations appropriate to the project, the Independent Study Project offers students the opportunity to conduct field research on a topic of their choice within the program's thematic parameters. The project integrates learning from the various components of the program and culminates in a final presentation and formal research paper. Sample topic areas: youth and radio; tweets and texts in Nicaragua; art and protest over two generations; sexual litepoetry workshops).
During the 10-day academic excursion to Cuba, you will stay in casas particulares with Cuban families near the program’s host institution, the Institute for Literature and Linguistics in Havana. This opportunity to interact with Cubans in their homes brings authenticity and depth to the excursion and allows you to better understand the challenges facing Cuban families today.
SIT Nicaragua: Youth Culture, Literacy and Media
Contact Past Participants
Click HERE to contact recent study abroad alumni in this region.