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Miskitu Language and Culture : Reviews (Managua)

The following program review responses have been selected for publication by Study Abroad & Global Engagement
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Emily Marsh Carpenter, Summer 2012 Participant
My favorite part of this programs was getting the chance to see so many different parts of the country. Home stays in Granada, shopping in Managua, riding horses on the beach in Ometepe, and learning Miskitu in Bilwi gave me a broader understanding of Nicaraguan life and culture. The pace of life is so different in each of these places--each one opened my eyes to a different aspect of Nicaragua.

 

Tasha Rose Messer, Summer 2012 Participant
Picking one favorite part of Language and Culture in Nicaragua is nearly an impossible task. If I absolutely had to, I would pick our weekend excursion to Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua. The mythological story behind the island's history combined with the ancient petroglyphs, white sandy beaches, clear waters, and two volcanoes makes for an awesome trip; well worth the three hour ferry ride.

 

Nelson Jorge Prieto, Summer 2012 Participant
My favorite part of the program was the immersion in the Nicaraguan culture both inland as well as on the coasts. The people I formed relationships with, and learning in such a unique setting offered amazing perspective. Oh, and going to class right by the beach was pretty nice too.

 

Amanda Kay Swanson, Summer 2013 Participant
The program in Nicaragua is so unique from every other program KU offers. It gives students the opportunity to explore a very different way of living, forcing you to challenge yourself mentally and emotionally. I loved every opportunity we were given to interact with the locals and learn through their stories and experiences.

 

Alexandra Torquemada, Summer 2013 Participant
Some of my favorite experiences of my study abroad program were the weekend visits to local villages. I found these visits to be a crucial part understanding the countries culture and way of lifestyle that was dramatically different from our own.

 

LaToya Lynn Hinton, Summer 2014 Participant
My favorite part of this program is the fact that we get to learn the Miskitu language while practicing it at the same time. I also enjoyed the trips to different parts of Nicaragua!

 

Summer 2014 Participant
My favorite part of the program was experiencing a part of Nicaragua that would be difficult to see if I were traveling on my own. I enjoyed getting acquainted with a different culture and learning an entirely new language.

 

Summer 2015 Participant
My favorite part of this program was the opportunity to visit smaller, rural communities on the Atlantic coast where no to little English or Spanish was spoken and we could experience total language immersion with the locals.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
The TA Fernando did a great job teaching the language classes. I learned a lot about the Miskitu language in a short 6 weeks - way more than I thought I ever could. I also got to know some amazing fellow students from around the country, who have become some of my closest friends.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
For the most part, the other students on this program were fantastic scholars with interesting things to add to any discussion, and I really appreciated learning with them. The TA, who taught the morning class, is an excellent instructor and I really enjoyed classes with him.

 

Summer 2019 Participant
My favorite part of the program was how much I've changed and grown. The program was only six weeks, but I pushed myself in a lot of ways I didn't predict I would. I've definitely learned a lot about myself socially, academically, and mentally. I came out of this program with a new understanding of myself that will be helpful for future travels. It's really cool to look back on how much I've grown over the summer.

 

Emily Marsh Carpenter, Summer 2012 Participant
Speaking with the locals in Miskitu was so rewarding, I was amazed at how much my group learned after a few weeks. A lot of our lingual success came from the willingness of Bilwi residents to help us learn! Walking through the grocery store, or even through our hotel, people were excited to quiz us or teach us new phrases.

 

Tasha Rose Messer, Summer 2012 Participant
Learning an indigenous language is more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. Miskitu is more than a language; it's a tool to build relationships with the amazing people around you.

 

Nelson Jorge Prieto, Summer 2012 Participant
I feel the most rewarding parts of the program were the interaction with culture in Nicaragua, and the days that we were able to see and learn about its incredible history, visiting sites such as Mombacho Volcano and the Ometepe Petroglyphs.

 

Summer 2012 Participant
Interacting with and interviewing Miskitu people and learning about their cultural differences was the most rewarding part of the trip to me. I loved learning about their way of life.

 

Mary Rose Scarpelli, Summer 2014 Participant
I found successfully using the language skills I developed to interact with locals, especially the taxi drivers, to be especially rewarding. People were always a little tickled I was there learning their indigenous language, being able to communicate with them using Miskitu was wonderful. I also really found the research segment of the program to be very helpful. I am studying anthropology and as an undergraduate to have gone out and done my own ethnographic field research that's just exceptional. Not only will this program look great to graduate programs in the future, it personally helped strengthen my love for anthropology and gave me the confidence to say that this is definitely the field for me. It gave me skills that most student don't get until much later in their academic careers. It was a wonderful experience.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
The most rewarding part of the program were the language courses. It is amazing how quickly you can pick up a language if you have a great teacher.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
The morning grammar class was great and I feel like I gained a lot of knowledge about the Miskitu language in a short amount of time.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
I came on this program in order to get a basic grasp of Miskitu, and I feel that I definitely got that. I have a solid understanding of the grammar and language structure as well as a good vocabulary base from which to continue learning. I also appreciated the connections that I made with other scholars interested in the region.

 

Summer 2019 Participant
I'm so surprised at how much my language skills have increased because of studying abroad. At first I was so nervous to talk to anyone outside of our group, because I had never been to Latin America before and I was the only student in the group who had never been. I relied on my peers for social interaction with the locals because I was so afraid of messing up in conversation. However, once I decided to step out of my comfort zone and talk to people, both my Spanish and Miskitu became exponentially better. You can only learn so much on paper, real life conversations are the true teacher.

 

Michael J Hernandez, Summer 2015 Participant
This is real fieldwork, like the kind you read about in class. The Miskitu people are fantastic and happy to engage with you.

 

Summer 2015 Participant
The five weeks go by quickly, so if you have a project to complete, get started as early and frequently as possible, because the program schedule gets quite busy.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
It´s always important to stay open-minded when experiencing a new place and culture.

 

Summer 2016 Participant
Working and living in the Nicaraguan Muskitia requires patience and flexibility. Be prepared to go with the flow. Bring a lot of bug spray and sunscreen. Be proactive in terms of you own health and mental well-being.