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Programs : Brochure

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Fact Sheet:
Program Type: CUA Areas of Study: Social Work
Language of Instruction: Spanish Housing Options: Homestay, Residence Hall
Credits: 0 Language Prerequisite: 104 - Four semesters of language instruction (or the equivalent) required
Academic Level: 5. Graduate
Program Description:

Photo by Haakon S. Krohn

International Program Associates
in Nicaragua


The NCSSS International Program Associates (IPA) program serves as an educational and professional opportunity for NCSSS students to engage and partner with international social service agencies, as well as learn about various social issues facing countries and citizens around the globe.  The program aims to respond to the increasing need for international social work and provides a setting for continued learning and practice for social work students.

The Instituto Tecnico Especializado de Juan Paolo II is one of two program areas where students may work while in Nicaragua.  The Institute serves high school age adolescents who come from impoverished areas of Managua, the capitol city of Nicaragua, and surrounding areas.  It is committed to contributing to the economic and social development of Nicaragua by helping young Nicaraguans through specialized education.

The second program in Nicaragua is the Escuela Flor de Maria Rizo, an elementary and secondary school established in a rural agricultural area of Nicaragua. The school’s purpose is to provide education for the children of local coffee plantation workers.  The school works closely with the Director of the Institute as well as the sister nuns who live on site at the Escuela Flor de Maria Rizo.

NCSSS IPA students, working at either the Institute or the school, may be teaching English, mentoring and building relationships, providing assistance and support to teachers, grant writing, and assisting with program assessment.


The Institute is located in the North West Sector of the City of Managua, near the Lenin Fonseca Hospital, with easy access to transportation. Managua is the largest city in Nicaragua with a population of approximately 1.3 million people within the metropolitan region.  

The school is located in Jinotega, Nicaragua, which is in the north central region of Nicaragua. The city is located in a long valley surrounded by the cool climate and Dariense Isabelia ridge located 145km north of the capital Managua.


The NCSSS IPA program is open to all Master’s Social Work students having completed an NCSSS field placement as an MSW foundation year student or previously as a BSW student, if entering the MSW Advanced Standing program.

Academics and Curriculum

Students in this program will have the opportunity to gain 10 weeks of professional international social work experience.  This program does not award academic credit, however, does provide students the opportunity for continued experiential learning in the areas of direct social work practice, grant writing, program assessment and evaluation, strategic planning, and capacity-building projects.

The program provides the opportunity for students to become immersed in a different culture, while utilizing and practicing skills and knowledge gained during the foundation year course work and field placement.  The program also provides the unique opportunity to work with international agencies, communities, and people to address the social issues facing our world today.

Accommodations and Meals

Housing accommodations in Managua are arranged through the Instituto Tecnico Especializado de Juan Paolo II and typically consist of accommodations directly onsite at the Institute or accommodations with a host family a short distance from the Institute.

Housing accommodations in Jinotega are also arranged through the Institute and the School, and typically consist of a room with a local host family.

Meals, transportation, and all other living needs are the responsibility of each student.

Typical Cost

Costs will vary by individual, but students should budget approximately  $3,000 for this program. Click here for a detailed breakdown of expenses. Students applying to multiple programs within the same term only pay 1 application fee. Contact our office to have your fee applied to your back-up application!

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Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 03/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.