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UW-Platteville Short-Term Faculty-Led - Renewable Energy in Nicaragua
Managua, Nicaragua (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Spring Break
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Area of Study:
Construction Management, Cultural Studies, Economics, International Economics, Land Management, Renewable Energy, Spanish
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Program Model:
Short-Term Faculty-Led
Language(s) of Instruction:
Minimum GPA:
Homestay, Hostel/Hotel
Years of Eligibility:
Freshman, Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Program Description:

   STFL SPR14 Nicaragua 1   STFL SPR14 Nicaragua 2   STFL SPR14 Nicaragua 3

ENERGY 3830: Renewable Energy in Nicaragua
Program Dates: March 8-19, 2017
Application Deadline: November 17, 2016

Course Description:

This course focuses on the applications and challenges of implementing renewable energy technologies in a remote, rural setting in a developing nation. We will visit industrial-scale installations, but will be focusing more on how the technology can totally impact lives in poor, rural communities. The course is not highly technical, but focuses on hands-on experiences in the context of limited local resources. The class will build solar thermal cookers and install a residential photo-voltaic system for local residents. 

The course will include technical background material so students will be able to understand/evaluate the energy systems currently in use in Nicaragua, and contextual information to understand how the present situation in Nicaragua has historical/cultural roots.

Course Structure:

ORIENTATION:  Prior to departing for Nicaragua, students will attend required, weekly pre-departure sessions which will cover program logistics, academic expectations, country-specific information, health and safety, etc. Dates and times TBD.

IN NICARAGUA: Students will engage through lectures, site visits, and hands-on experience. Highlights will include:

  •          Presentations by government officials/and or faculty from the National Engineering University
  •         Tour of large-scale renewable energy installations
  •         One week spent in home stay in northern Nicaragua
  •         Hands-on experiences may include constructing or rebuilding a solar thermal cooker, installing a photo-voltaic system, and making charcoal from agricultural waste
  •         Site visits may include a coffee plantation and Somoto Canyon (geologic natural wonder)

POST-PROGRAM: Upon return from Nicaragua, students will attend a mandatory session to discuss experiences and outcomes of the program and are required to attend the Re-Entry session facilitated by the Education Abroad Office. A reflective journal must also be handed in after your return, and the group must collaborate on a PACCE poster presentation (pending PACCE funding).

STFL SPR14 Nicaragua 4   STFL SPR14 Nicaragua 5   STFL SPR14 Nicagua 6   STFL SPR14 Nicaragua 7

Level: 3000-level course

Term: Spring Break 2017

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing recommended or consent of the instructor
                        2.5 GPA and must be in good academic standing

                        Preference will be given to Renewable Energy majors/minors and SEJ students. Students of all majors can apply.
                        Students with majors outside of Renewable Energy and SEJ will be waitlisted and accepted if spaces are available. 

Energy 2130 is recommended and given preference, others will be accepted if space available

Application Materials required:  one letter of recommendation (from professor or academic advisor), interview with program instructor, and Statement of Purpose

Course load: One 3-credit course

Grading: A-F only, cannot be audited; must be enrolled in course for credit.

Students receive credit for ENERGY 3830. This course satisfies the criteria for General Education Requirements in International Education, Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems minor credit, and Social and Environmental Justice minor* credit.

*Tentative pending departmental approval.

Program Instructor:

Dr. Jorge Camacho is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He has traveled to Nicaragua before. View his page here.

Housing and Meals:

In Managua and other sites students will stay in double-occupancy hotels. In Sabana Grande, students will stay in home-stays. In home-stays students will have their own room. 

Note: living conditions in Sabana Grande will be consistent with the remote, rural setting. All toilet facilities are pit toilets; showers are outdoors in an enclosed area. Running water, electricity, and other conveniences will be limited.

All meals in Nicaragua are included in program fee, but students should budget for a few out-of-pocket meals while traveling to and from Nicaragua. In Sabana Grande breakfasts, lunches and dinners are provided by host-stay families or local co-op. 


A $50 application fee is due before applications will be reviewed. 

The estimated program cost is $3,000*+. This includes program administration fees, 3 credits, transportation (international airfare and in-country), accommodation, international health insurance, meals in Sabana Grande, and emergency sickness/accident insurance. 

*Program cost based on 12 students
+Estimated program cost reflects $600 PAACE grant per student.


Cost DOES NOT include passport, transportation to gateway airport (Chicago O’Hare), meals en route, and personal spending. Out-of-pocket estimated costs: $60-100

  • Fees may change based on final enrollment, changes in fuel prices, and exchange rates
  • Fee differentials apply for non-WI/MN residents ($100) and TSI students ($40)
  • Veterans: Please contact the Education Abroad office if you have eligibility under the Post-911 GI Bill or the Wisconsin GI Bill

Payment Schedule:

A first payment of $1000 is due on December 2, 2016

·       Second payment of $1000 is due January 6, 2017

·       Final payment of $1000 is due February 10, 2017

Cancellation Policy:

Students who withdraw prior to the first deposit will receive a full refund (minus the non-refundable $50 application fee).  Students who withdraw on or after the date of the first deposit will be financially responsible for a $165 Education Abroad administrative fee and all non-recoverable expenses.  Non-recoverable expenses include anything UW-Platteville has paid for on behalf of the participant and is unable to recover from an organization or vendor.  Students who withdraw on or after the program start date will be financially responsible for the entire program fee.

   Applying for a Passport:

Passports should be valid for at least six months after program end date (September 19, 2017). To learn more about applying for a passport, please visit the U.S. Department of State website.


Visas are not required for U.S. citizens to enter Nicaragua. Non-U.S. citizens are responsible for determining visa requirements. All students are responsible for $20.00 arrival tax.


For more information:

Program Instructor: 
Dr. Jorge Camacho
Mechanical Engineering
Phone: 608-342-1987
Office: Otts 052

Program Instructor:
Dr. Lynn Schlager
Mechanical Engineering
Phone: 608-342-1439
Office: Otts 013

Program Coordinator
Alyssa Shaff
Education Abroad
Phone: 608-342-6151
Office: Royce 102

Program Ratings:
Academic Experience: 1 2 3 4 5
Cultural Value: 1 2 3 4 5
Accommodation: 1 2 3 4 5
Food: 1 2 3 4
Safety: 1 2 3 4
Program Provider Administration: 1 2 3 4 5
Host Country Program Administration: 1 2 3 4
Overall Experience: 1 2 3 4 5
This program is currently not accepting applications.
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