High School Abroad in Nicaragua

Browse Programs

Sand that looks like snow and crystal clear waters -- Nicaragua will steal the hearts of any high school student.

Most students will do a high school abroad program in Nicaragua if they're looking for an affordable destination to learn Spanish (Nicaragua is much more affordable than it's more popular neighbor, Costa Rica) or to do a volunteer project in Central America. The charm of Nicaragua's cobblestoned streets in Granada, the impressive volcano on Ometepe, and the hospitality of Nicaraguans will make it hard to go home.

High school abroad in Nicaragua is great for students who want to be immersed in Spanish, Nicaraguan culture, explore a tropical ecosystem, or volunteer abroad.

Photo credits: nimdok.

Though small, Nicaragua has several options for high school abroad programs. For those looking for a more educational program, there are high school exchanges, where students attend a local high school alongside other students, and summer study abroad programs. For either type of program, students will most likely live with a local Nicaraguan host family and focus on cultural immersion.

A lot of smaller language schools will also offer Spanish courses for high schoolers (or let high schoolers over a certain age attend class alongside adult students). High schoolers can take these courses for anywhere from 1 week to several months.

Teen travel tours are another option for high schoolers who want both exploration and education in their time abroad. These adventurous programs allow students to go zip-lining and white water rafting through the lush rainforest of Nicaragua, participate in volunteer projects, or focus on learning about ecology in Nicaragua.


Most programs will assist with paperwork, however, there is no visa required for stays under 90 days for Americans, Canadians, and EU citizens. If your stay lasts longer than that, you'll have to look into applying to a visa ahead of time.


Most programs have a homestay option, where students live with a host family for the duration of the program. Not only can you learn from your hosts, but being with a family can help you feel less homesick. Other programs will have on site housing similar to college dorms. Students will share rooms with fellow students from all around the world.

Keep in mind that housing in Nicaragua -- though usually with electricity and running water -- will be more basic than what you're used to back home.


Most high school abroad programs in Nicaragua include three meals a day and housing in their program fees. If they don't, you should plan to budget about $20 - $30 per day in order to cover any personal costs. Even if the program is all inclusive, it's still a good idea to budget at least $20 a day for your stay.

Other than food, program costs range from $5,000 - $10,000. Flights will vary from where you are departing from (though they tend to be pretty affordable from North America).

Packing Tips

As for most destinations in Central America, be sure to pack the following for your high school abroad trip to Nicaragua:

  • Bathing suit
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Light clothing
  • Rain jacket (especially from May to October, which is Nicaragua's rainy season)
  • A light jacket (it can get down to 60 degrees at night)
  • A day backpack
  • Good hiking sneakers or Tevas (I'm a big fan of trail runners since they aren't as hot and heavy as boots)

Your program provider will also likely have a packing list of their own you can follow.


Despite its reputation, Nicaragua is a fairly safe place to visit -- especially outside the capital of Managua.

However, one of the main safety concerns for travelers in Nicaragua is petty theft and dangerous transportation. From petty crime on busses and poor back roads, it's safer to always stay on the beaten path here. This being said, parents can rest assured knowing transportation is provided in almost all programs.


Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccinations are all recommended to visit Nicaragua. While in Nicaragua, it's a good idea to take care against mosquitos.

Contributed by Brittany Gibson

Showing 16 Programs

Costa Rica
Thinking Beyond Borders
Our gap year programs are exciting, supportive, and transformational. By combining daily language classes, homestays, working...
New Zealand
Pacific Discovery
Experiencing a different culture and learning to adapt to alternative ways of living greatly contributes to personal developm...
Amigos de las Americas
Matagalpa is in the cool, mountainous, coffee growing region of Nicaragua. Participants are assigned to support the work of t...
Amigos de las Americas
The AMIGOS Gap Year or Semester provides high school graduates up to the age of 25 with community development internships in...
Carpe Diem Education
This semester intertwines personal growth with adventure, service, and a greater awareness of the global community as you tra...
New Zealand
Pacific Discovery
Experiencing a different culture and learning to adapt to alternative ways of living greatly contributes to personal developm...
Global Works
During this pre-med/public health focus program, students participate in activities with the Nicaragua Ministry of Health (MI...
Amigos de las Americas
AMIGOS is excited to announce our new Discover AMIGOS Program for incoming freshmen and sophomores. Our staff in collaboratio...
Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
FIMRC's Project Limon, located on the Pacific coast approximately 120km from the capital of Managua, brings medical care to r...
Where There Be Dragons
Central America, a narrow strip of steaming jungles and fiery volcanoes, is the earth’s most recent major land formation, and...
Where There Be Dragons
Central America: a narrow strip of steaming jungles and fiery volcanoes, unites two massive continents and splits the world's...
VISIONS Service Adventures
VISIONS offers teenagers opportunities for ambitious service work and cross-cultural immersion in the United States and abroa...
Travel For Teens
Our trip to Nicaragua highlights the best the country has to offer! We will explore the old fashioned city of Granada, take a...
The Experiment in International Living
Live with a campesino host family in a mountainous rural community. You will have Spanish classes, visit an artisan pottery s...
Blyth Academy
Study abroad this summer in Nicaragua with Blyth Academy International Summers! Nicaragua’s cool surf towns, gorgeous coastal...