Nicaragua: Revolution, Transformation, and Civil Society
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Three recent semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish, as assessed by SIT.
This program examines the principal tendencies and historical lessons of Nicaragua studied from a variety of perspectives, exposing students to the different currents of political theory and practice in this politically polarized society. This program studies the origins, evolution, strengths and weaknesses of Nicaragua’s civil society, in particular the social movements and their historic role in the national political scene as well as the current state of affairs as Nicaragua moves into the 21st century and the age of globalization. Students are exposed to the real life experiences of a culture of peace, where former combatants now work together in harmony, where military forces are not forces for civilian repression, where urban delinquency is not met with police brutality. In addition, economic impacts, globalization, and Free Trade Agreements traverse the different program modules, including Nicaragua’s relationships with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The Research Methods and Ethics course introduces culturally appropriate, ethical field research methodology, in preparation for the Independent Study Project (ISP). The thematic courses, taught in Spanish, along with intensive language study, provide students with language opportunities in context. Students also use language skills in field research and with homestay families, resulting in extensive progress during the semester.
The following syllabi are either from a recent session of this program or for an upcoming session. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.
The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
Beyond Revolution: Encountering Globalization - syllabus (PDF)
(LACB 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
An interdisciplinary course conducted in Spanish, with required readings, examining the short- and long-term impacts of recent Central American revolutionary movements from the social, political, and cultural contexts of contemporary Nicaragua. Particular emphasis is placed on the impact of globalization and the influence from the economic powers of the North and the emerging global South. Students will hear from Nicaraguans who seek to confront the pitfalls of globalization by promoting alternatives through socially responsible ventures. Resources utilized in the delivery of course content include Nicaraguan historians, leaders of civil society, and other activists; the Centro de Estudios Internacionales (CIES); the Instituto Martin Luther King de la UPOLI ; and Universidad Centroamericana.
Identity and Social Transformation in Nicaragua - syllabus (PDF)
(LACB 3005 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
An interdisciplinary course conducted in Spanish with required readings and relevant educational excursions. The course covers a wide range of paradigms that construct Nicaraguan identities and discuss ethnicity, political identity, immigration, and transnational identity. Social transformations regarding the women’s movement and the emerging sexual diversity movement, together with the role of the youth as change agents are explored. Students witness firsthand how Nicaraguans are working, though social organizing and civic engagement, to constantly transform and construct their identities as Nicaraguans within the global context.
Intensive Language Study: Spanish for the Social Sciences I - syllabus (PDF)
(SPAN 2000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: Spanish for the Social Sciences II - syllabus (PDF)
(SPAN 2500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: Spanish for the Social Sciences III - syllabus (PDF)
(SPAN 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: Spanish for the Social Sciences IV - syllabus (PDF)
(SPAN 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Emphasis on speaking, reading, and writing skills through classroom and field instruction. Based on in-country evaluation, including oral proficiency testing, students are placed in intensive intermediate or advanced classes, with further language practice in homestays, lectures, and field visits.
Research Methods and Ethics - syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
A course in social science research methodologies and an introduction to research ethics. Includes the concepts of learning across cultures and from field experience. Serves as an introduction to the Independent Study Project. Material includes cross-cultural adaptation and skills building; project selection and refinement; methodologies; field research ethics and the World Learning/SIT Human Subjects Review Policy; developing contacts and finding resources; gathering, organizing, and communicating data; maintaining a work journal.
Independent Study Project - syllabus (PDF)
(ISPR 3000 / 4 credits / 120 class hours)
Conducted at an approved location in Nicaragua appropriate to the project. Sample topic areas: case study of a rural agricultural cooperative; organizing women in rural areas; structural adjustment and the health care sector; women’s response to the post-1996 ideological counterreforms; debt forgiveness and the International Monetary Fund (IMF); conflict resolution and reconciliation; decentralization and local autonomy.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Managua
Language Study: Spanish
Prerequisites: 3 semesters Spanish Read more...
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