Social Change in Central America: Exploring Peace, Justice, and Community Engagement
On this multi-country program, experience the life and culture of the peoples of Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Learn with and from grassroots community organizations dedicated to work on issues related to conflict, foreign policy, gender, and economic and social justice. The unique histories and lives of the people not only inspire, but also challenge students to think about their role as agents of change.
- A one-on-one Spanish language course - choose from 12 different classes/levels
- Latin American Liberation Theologies (Religion 336)
- Citizen Participation within a Globalized Economy: A Nicaragua Case Study (Political Science 310)
- Cultural Conflict and Change in Latin America: The Central America Context (History/Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies 355)
In Guatemala, students spend a few days in both Guatemala City and Antigua, but the majority of the program occurs in Quetzaltenango (Xela) where students live with homestay families. Xela is characterized by the Santa María volcano, colonial-era buildings, quiet parks, plazas, open-air markets, and narrow stone-paved streets.
In Costa Rica, students spend a few days at a guesthouse in San José and then spend three weeks with local families in San Francisco de Dos Ríos neighborhood, located about 20 minutes southeast of San José.
After Costa Rica, students travel to Managua, Nicaragua and initially live at the CGEE house. Students are 15 minutes away by taxi to shopping centers, movie theaters, supermarkets, and historical landmarks of the city. Students then move in with homestay families for four weeks in the Batahola neighborhood – 10 minutes from the CGEE house. In the surrounding areas of Managua, students can visit an active volcano, spend time in the arts and crafts market of Masaya (known as the cultural birth place of Nicaraguan artisans), swim in the Lake Apoyo, hike a semi-active volcano, experience a cloud forest, and visit Granada, one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas.
Co-Sponsored Program Policy & Deadlines
This program is co-sponsored by the University of St. Thomas. Prior to submitting any application to this program you must meet with a Study Abroad Advisor to obtain approval for participation. This will ensure that you remain a St. Thomas student, your financial aid will apply to the program fee, and your credits will transfer back. University of St. Thomas deadlines are:
October 1 for spring semester programs
March 15 for summer, fall semester and year-long programs.
Please note that some programs have deadlines earlier than St. Thomas.
To begin the application process for a University of St. Thomas Co-sponsored program, you must attend a First Step Session, complete the Advising Questionnaire and meet with a Study Abroad Advisor. They will work with you to find an appropriate program, provide information about the application process and grant you access to the online application. Select the Apply Now button at the top of this page to begin this process.
Criteria for participation:
• Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5. Some programs will require a higher average.
• Students may not apply for, maintain an approved application, nor participate in an International Education program while on academic or conduct probation. Disciplinary records may be a consideration for approval in off-campus programs.
• Students must be at least in sophomore status to apply for a semester or year-long study abroad program. Some programs may require a higher class standing for participation. Transfer students applying to study abroad must complete at least one semester at St. Thomas before going abroad.
• Click here for all eligibility requirements for study abroad through St. Thomas.
In most cases all grants, loans and scholarships will apply to UST-sponsored and co-sponsored fall, spring or year-long programs. You must make an an appointment with a financial aid counselor to verify and confirm all financial aid awards.
Additional aid in the form of scholarships may also be available from St. Thomas and some co-sponsoring organizations. Refer to our Scholarships webpage for details.
Office of Study Abroad
University of St. Thomas
MHC 212 (Mail 5026)
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105-1096 USA