How do I get a visa?
If you have an American passport, you automatically receive a 90-day tourist visa upon entry to Nicaragua. This tourist visa costs $10 cash and must be provided in USD by you upon entry to the Managua airport. This cost is not included in your overall price.
How do I get around?
Walk. Matagalpa is a compact city. You can get most places on foot.
Take a taxi. Taxis are available for places that are further away for about $0.50 USD and until about midnight .
Go by bus. There is a bus system within Matagalpa. Maps or schedules are almost non-existent, making travel by bus difficult.
Is internet access readily available?
Wi-fi is common, easily accessible, and usually free in coffee shops and hotels. If you stay for a longer period of time and would like to stay in an apartment or home, wi-fi is very inexpensive.
What if I get sick?
For mild illnesses, our program coordinator will be happy to assist you in communicating with a local doctor. A doctor’s visit and other services are very inexpensive compared to the United States. A mild illness can generally be treated for around $20 USD.
The Academy highly recommends that you check with your current health insurance provider to inquire about international medical coverage options.
Can I buy medicines that I need?
If you take routine medication, The Academy recommends that you bring a sufficient supply of medicine for your time in Nicaragua. However, most common prescription and non-prescription medications are available for purchase without a prescription in Matagalpa.
What is the weather like?
Matagalpa is a temperate climate, ranging from 40 degrees fahrenheit at night to about 80 degrees during the day. Rainy season occurs from June to November, when you can expect it to rain approximately 3 hours every day. See upcoming weather in Matagalpa here.
Do I need an electrical adapter?
You do not need a voltage adapter. Nicaragua runs on a 110V to 120V system. You may, on occasions, need a plug adapter so that you can plug a three-pronged plug into a two-pronged wall socket.
Is there public transportation?
See “How do I get around?”
I have specific dietary restrictions. Will it be difficult to find food in Matagalpa?
Matagalpa has a wide variety of restaurants. Special products that are gluten-free or lactose-free (for example) may not be as readily available in restaurants as it is in the United States. However, there is a wide range of food available for purchase in large grocery stores. You should be able to find food that fits your dietary needs at grocery stores such as La Colonia, Maxi Palí or Super Estrella.
If you have food allergies, know that restaurants, cafes, and street foodvendors typically do not label their ingredients. Please keep this in mind if you have a severe food allergy.
Will I be able to get college credit for my time there?
Depending upon on your major, you will be able to get college credit if you major in requested Spanish language skills.
Other way to get college credit is if you major requested some social practice you can combine the Spanish program with volunteer working.
What should I pack?
When you sign up with The Academy, we will send you a new student orientation packet with more specific information.
How can I communicate with my friends and family back home?
Internet is easily accessible. There are great apps and programs for both laptop and smartphone. Viber and Skype are two popular programs that are easy to use for voice calls, video calls, emails, and social media.
What should I do in case of an emergency while studying abroad?
Our program coordinator will be glad to assist you in any emergency that needs resolving.
How can I access cash while in Matagalpa?
ATMs are located in downtown, Matagalpa and are easy to locate. Some banks charge an international usage fees that is generally about 1-2%. Check with your bank for their policies on international debit card usage and money withdrawal.
Cash is accepted everywhere, and credit cards are only accepted at larger businesses. We recommend that you come prepared to use cash in the majority of cases.
What is the class schedule?
You will typically be in the classroom for 4 hours a day Monday through Friday. The Academy will also work with you to arrange enriching immersion activities for you to practically use your Spanish each day.
Do I need to speak Spanish to study in Matagalpa?
Nope. All you need to do is come ready to learn!
Can I study at The Academy longer than the 4-week session?
We are flexible and would like to provide you with the best possible Spanish immersion experience. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to work with you to tailor-make your study abroad experience.
Can I work while studying in Matagalpa?
Your 90-day tourist visa does not allow you to earn an income by working in Nicaragua
What does my in-classroom time cover?
See ‘’Course Description’’
What can I do during my free time?
You will have the opportunity to enjoy museum visits, markets trips, scenic overlooks from mountain peaks, parks and bustling main streets.
Matagalpa also has multiple options for leisure and recreation like farms, natural reserves, coffee shops, restaurants, swimming pools, bars and dance clubs...just to name a few.
What do I do in case of an emergency or disaster?
ALC stays updated by the United States Embassy in Nicaragua. In case of an international emergency or disaster, we would proceed as the US Embassy advises. The Academy recommends that you enroll in the U.S. Department of State's STEP program.
Is Nicaragua a safe place for me to study abroad?
Nicaragua is currently one of the safest countries in Central America. The US Department of State is the best source of information for you.
Also, see the US Embassy in Nicaragua's webpage here.
How do I know that this program is right for my language level?
The Academy provides a placement test for let us know what is the right language level for you.