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Global Aging & Health - Enhancing Communities in Nicaragua (Int’l Capstone)

Term: Spring coursework, Summer Travel
Travel Dates: June 17 – 30, 2014 (tentative)
Credits: 6 credits (undergraduate), 6 credits (graduate)

  • Dr. Margaret Neal, Director, Institute of Aging, and Professor in School of Community Health
  • Dr. Keren Brown Wilson, President, Jessie F. Richardson Foundation and Adjunct Associate Professor with School of Community Health
  • Dr. Alan DeLaTorre, Program Coordinator, Institute on Aging, Director of Operations, Jessie F. Richardson Foundation

Program Assistant: Iris Wernher, Institute on Aging, School of Community Health
Advisor: Giustina Pelosi. Click here to schedule an appointment with this advisor.

The program connects classroom learning on the topics of gerontology, community development, cross-cultural communication, and public health with collaborative community service in Nicaragua. The classroom learning builds on student knowledge and skill sets in order to prepare teams of students to successfully complete projects in the field while traveling in Nicaragua. Students will work with each other, faculty members, and community partners in the U.S. and Nicaragua on challenges and opportunities identified by partners in Nicaragua. Upon completion of the program, students can expect to strengthen their understanding of how aging, public health, and community development projects in a developing country can prepare them for future careers and educational avenues.

The two weeks that students are in Nicaragua will have four components: building group dynamics (within the PSU group and with community partners), engaging in service-learning activities, scheduled time off, and community presentations. At the beginning of the trip students will have dedicated time off which will include optional tours and learning opportunities. After orienting themselves to the country, students will work to build bonds among themselves and with identified community partners. Students will then work on select service-learning projects for the remainder of the trip, although the final two days will be dedicated to travel between cities, a final presentation, and additional activities.

See Program Links below for more information.

Want to learn more about this program? Join us at one of the listed informational sessions:

  • Jan 8, 2014 (Wednesday): Brown-bag, 1-2pm, Urban Center (URBN), Room 311
  • Jan 14, 2014 (Tuesday): 10-Year Celebration, 4:30-6:30pm, Urban Center (URBN), Parson's Gallery (2nd floor, room 212)
  • Jan 22, 2014 (Wednesday): Brown-bag, 4-5pm, Urban Center (URBN), Room 611

Course Information:

This course is offered as a six-credit spring term course. Program travel will take place at the beginning of summer (June 17 – 30, 2014). During spring term, students will meet for separate Global Aging seminar coursework and Service-Learning group workshops (dates and time are TBD). Additionally, all participants will attend a mandatory Registration & Billing Orientation toward the end of the winter term (dates and time TBD).


  • Capstone: UNST 421: Global Aging and Health: Enhancing Communities in Nicaragua (Spring term – 6 credits)


Graduate Option:

  • PHE 562: Global Aging (Spring term – 3 credits) AND
  • PHE 563: Service-Learning in Nicaragua: Enhancing Communities in Nicaragua (Spring term – 3 credits)

Program Costs

Tuition & Fees Additional Estimated Costs Total Estimated Costs
 $2.190  $1,560  $3,750




Application Information:


  • GPA 2.75 (undergraduate) and 3.0 (graduate)
  • Spanish-language skills are helpful and preferred. While non-Spanish speakers are welcome and encouraged to apply, the program seeks at least a one-to-one parity between Spanish- and English-speaking students.
  • Students seeking to complete this program for Capstone credit should have Junior or Senior standing at the time of participation. Alternately, students may participate in the program for upper-division, non-Capstone credit (see above course information or see Complete Program Info Sheet found in Program Links section below).

Application Deadline: Deadline extended to February 10th, 2014!

Interview Required: You will be contacted following the deadline to schedule an interview.

Online Application: Click here to apply now!


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See Eligibility above for full details.