Loyola University Chicago

Study Abroad

León, Nicaragua

Faculty-Led Spring Break Program


‌WSGS 201: Global and Local Feminisms

Program Highlights

  • Learn about contemporary gender issues in Nicaragua. Visit the historic city of León, a former colonial city and a center of the Sandinista revolution in the 1970s. Gain in-depth knowledge by participating in the work of NGOs that focus on the areas of women’s education, health, activism, and economic empowerment.
  • Experience the hospitality of Nicaraguan culture through a homestay with a local family. Enjoy the natural beauty of the countryside, dotted with beaches and volcanic mountains. Swim in the Pacific Ocean! Slide down a volcano!
  • Transform your worldview by immersing yourself in a Latin American culture and gaining a deeper understanding of the forces that shape women’s lives. Think critically and creatively about your own life and become an agent for social change.

Program Description

This academic immersion in Nicaragua will focus on the daily lives of women in their communities. You will engage with people whose voices are usually underrepresented in society by conducting projects with local NGOs in León and the surrounding area. Since we will be in León at the beginning of March, we will participate in local activities to celebrate International Women’s Day. The program will also include talks with local professors and experts, who will share their knowledge of the region and their work. Possible topics include the history of women’s participation in the Sandinista revolution, the Nicaraguan education system, and strategies for women’s economic empowerment; the final schedule will depend on the specific interests of the group.

There will be plenty of time to relax and enjoy the local culture. León is an old colonial city with historic architecture and is the birthplace of Rubén Darío, the national poet and father of Modernismo. The city is famous for its murals and public art, as well as for the role of its students in the Sandinista revolution. Stroll around the city center to take in these sights. We will also have excursions to the beaches of the Pacific Ocean and to the slopes of a nearby volcano.

Click to see the program flyer.

Course Description

This spring semester course will explore the history and experiences of women in Nicaragua and several Latin American countries as a way of understanding the opportunities and challenges facing women outside of the United States. The first part of the course will be an academic investigation of gender issues and feminism globally through readings, discussions, and short papers. We will focus on the themes of education, health, activism, and economic empowerment. The immersion experience will invite students to use these conceptual tools to examine more closely the specific experiences of women in Nicaragua and efforts to bring about social change.



Click to see the tentative syllabus.

Course Offering:

‌WSGS 201: Local and Global Feminisms

All students on the program will be enrolled in this three credit hour course. This course fulfills the following academic requirements:

  • Tier 2 of Societal and Cultural Knowledge
  • Engaged Learning-Service Learning
  • WSGS Major and Minor
  • Cross-listed with Latin American/Latinx Studies and Global & International Studies

Taught By:

Dr. Betsy Jones Hemenway
Women's Studies & Gender Studies Program
Loyola University Chicago

Housing & Meals

Housing during the program will include time in both hostels and homestays. Two meals per day are covered by the program fee.


March 2 - 11, 2018 (during the semester the course meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2:45-3:35pm)

Tentative Calendar

  • March 2 – Arrive in Managua, transport to León
  • March 3 – Pacific coast cultural excursion
  • March 4-7 – Visits and projects with local organizations and agencies
  • March 8 – International Women’s Day activity
  • March 9 – Project with Xochilt-Acalt
  • March 10 – Mountain region and volcano excursion
  • March 11 – Departure

Important Dates

  • 10/15—Application Deadline
  • TBA—Mandatory Pre-departure Orientation
  • 3/02—Students Arrive in Nicaragua
  • 3/11—Students Depart Nicaragua


Program Costs

Program Fee: $1,450


  • CISI health insurance
  • On-site program support from local staff and Loyola faculty
  • In-country transportation
  • Two meals daily
  • Cultural, educational, and translation expenses

Tuition Fee: Included in Spring semester tuition

Total Cost: $1,450

Not Included:

  • Round-trip airfare (Chicago - Managua, Nicaragua) approximately $600
  • Personal spending money

Application Process

Application Deadline: October 15, 2017

As part of the online application you must:

  1. Ensure you meet the eligibility requirements to study abroad
  2. Upload a copy of your valid passport or passport application receipt
  3. Pay by credit card a $100 non-refundable Office for International Programs (OIP) study abroad fee

For more information, contact Kelly Heath in the Office for International Programs at kheath2@luc.edu or 773.508.3307; or contact Dr. Betsy Jones Hemenway at ehemenway@luc.edu.