Youth Programs

University Classroom
University Classroom

Study and Exchange Opportunities offered to Nicaraguan Youth by the United States Embassy in Nicaragua

The U.S. Department of State and World Learning are pleased to announce that the competition for the Global UGRAD Program for undergraduates for the 2019-2020 Program is open for applications.

Program Description

In 2019-2020, Global UGRAD will provide one-semester, non-degree scholarships to approximately 245 undergraduate students representing all world regions to study at U.S. colleges and universities. The program includes pre-academic English language training (if needed), academic coursework, service learning opportunities, professional development workshops, and cultural enrichment activities.

The goal of the program is to provide a substantive exchange experience at a U.S. college or university for a diverse group of emerging undergraduate student leaders. Ideal candidates for this program must show leadership skills through a sustained high level of academic achievement, commitment to community and extracurricular university activities.

Program Design

Global UGRAD participants will be enrolled in undergraduate coursework at a U.S. college or university to allow ample opportunity for substantive interaction with U.S. faculty and student peers, and for exposure to U.S. academic and classroom culture. Global UGRAD participants will live on-campus with U.S. peers. The program will include a pre-departure orientation at Post, a virtual arrival orientation, and an in-person program symposium in Washington, D.C.

Important: All academic fields of study are eligible. Per J-1 visa regulations, interested applicants in majors such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacology or other clinical fields of study, please be aware that direct patient care, including animal care, is not permitted, and therefore academic coursework and/or program activities at participating U.S. institutions may be limited.

Campus Placement

Students cannot choose their host campus. World Learning will place students at the most appropriate host campus based on students’ academic interests. The Global UGRAD Program includes a diverse roster of host campuses throughout the United States, including colleges and universities in rural and urban areas, and Minority Serving Institutions.

Students may indicate a preference for a fall or spring semester placement, but final placement will be made by the implementing organization in conjunction with the office of Educational and Cultural Affairs, ECA.

Credit Transfers

The Global UGRAD Program is a non-degree program. The Global UGRAD Program does not assist with credit transfers between participants’ host and home institutions. Any credit transfers are the sole responsibility of the participants.

Course Availability

The Global UGRAD program cannot guarantee the availability of specific courses students may choose before traveling to the United States.

Community Service and Required Courses

Students will be required to participate in a minimum of 20 hours of community service activities during the program.  Students will also be required to enroll in at least two courses in their major and at least one course in a U.S. Studies field, such as U.S. history, literature, art, or government.

Code of Conduct and Terms and Conditions

Students must adhere to the host campus code of conduct as well as the terms and conditions of the Global UGRAD program.

Academic Performance

Participants must remain in good academic standing with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Failure to meet these requirements may result in dismissal from the Global UGRAD program.

Financial Support

The Global UGRAD Program provides for students’ roundtrip airfare to the United States, travel allowance, university tuition, room and board, health insurance, required books, monthly stipend for incidental expenses, and student visa.

Orientations for finalists

  • Global UGRAD students will attend a pre-departure orientation in the Embassy to get details about their travel and program prior to departing for the United States.
  • World Learning will provide a pre-program online professional and academic skills training before traveling to the U.S.
  • World Learning’s staff will provide virtual arrival orientation in the United States.
  • Global UGRAD students will attend a re-entry leadership and career development workshop in Washington, D.C. prior to their trip back to Nicaragua.


Global UGRAD is open to all academic fields of study and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or disability.

This program is highly competitive and merit based. Finalists will be selected on the basis of demonstrated leadership trough academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.

NoteWe encourage all students, including those with disabilities, to apply to the Global UGRAD Program. All qualified applicants will be considered for the program.

The Global UGRAD Program is open to anyone who meets the criteria below:

  • A citizen of Nicaragua currently residing and studying in Nicaragua;
  • Between 18-24 years of age by December 31, 2018
  • Enrolled in a fulltime undergraduate degree program at an accredited public or private university
  • Must have completed at least first year of university studies.
  • Have at least one semester or equivalent term remaining to graduate by May 2020*
  • Not enrolled in final year of studies at the time of application
  • The Global UGRAD program cannot be the final academic term of a student’s undergraduate study
  • Should demonstrate leadership potential through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.
  • A solid command of written and spoken English, strong enough to study in a U.S. university. A TOEFL equivalent of 500 or higher (61 TOEFL IBT).

    Pre-selected candidates will be invited to take a free TOEFL exam.
  • Has sustained high level of academic achievement (university cumulative percentage: 80%).
  • Priority given to economically disadvantaged students, or those who represent a minority or disadvantaged group.
  • Have had little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States or elsewhere outside of their home country.
  • Able to begin studies in the United States in January 2020.

*Thesis or professional practice/internship to be completed at the end of your studies are not considered classes.

How to Apply

Online application

Answer every question completely and carefully in every section of the online application.

  • Write your complete name as it appears on your ID (cedula) . (Family name refers to last names)
  • Cumulative GPA refers to your cumulative percentage (this is your promedio acumulado).
  • Respond to essay questions as instructed, adhering to indicated word limits. When uploading essays in MS Word or PDF, include your complete name, essay question and choice letter.

Tip For sections under the title “Program Applications, Forms and, Questionnaires” the “SAVE” button lets you save the progress of you work and continue at another time. Remember, you must click on the “SUBMIT” button until you have finished entering all the requested information in that particular section. Once you click on the “SUBMIT” button, you will not be allowed to make any changes to that particular section. You will notice that a check mark will appear.

If you have an issue with the UGRAD application website, please write an email to and request assistance explaining the problem and attaching images to show the problem.

Documents to upload

  • Scanned Copy of your national identification (cedula).  This is mandatory, applications without cedula will not be considered.
  • Scanned copy of the passport data/photo page (only if you have one).
  • Scanned high school certificate (diploma de bachiller).
  • Scanned copies of academic transcripts for years of university studies with cumulative percentage.
  • Transcripts must be translated into English.  You could translate your transcripts.
    (U.S. host universities may require official translation, but is not necessary at this stage).
  • Scanned letter from your current university, or a copy of your pre-registration receipt, certifying that you are an active student and additional information about your field of study and current year, how long is your major in years.
  • Two scanned letters of recommendation written by at least one professor familiar with your work in your major field of study, OR from an employer, former exchange program coordinator or host family, coach, or any supervisor or authority familiar with your extracurricular activities. Recommendations should not be from family members or friends. The person writing your letter should indicate in what context he/she knows you, how he/she would describe your mentality and adaptability in difficult situations, and the qualities that would make you a successful exchange student including your interaction with others. Letter should be written in English, but if you get letters written in Spanish, you must include the Spanish translation.  Check the Letter of Recommendation Guidelines at the bottom of this website or within the UGRAD application system under Learning Content. Templates are available within the online system.

TipPlease use descriptive names for your PDF or MS Word files, so it will be easy for us to identify the owner and content of each archive when we download your information. Examples: EmilyJones_EssayChoiceA.pdf, EmilyJones_Transcript, EmilyJones_Transcript_translation.pdf, EmilyJones_ID.pdf, EmilyJones_passport.pdf, EmilyJones_letter1.pdf, EmilyJones_letter2.pdf, etc.

Program Requirements

  • Agree to the placement by the Department of State of the U.S. host university or college and be enrolled full time
  • Agree that the selected student cannot travel to the U.S. with an accompanying relative
  • Make a commitment to return to Nicaragua upon completion of the program in 2020 and not stay on for degree study in the U.S.


Individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible for the Global UGRAD Program:

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States;
  • Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside Nicaragua;
  • Local employees of the U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); employees are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment;
  • Immediate family members (i.e. spouses and children) of U.S. Department of State employees; family members are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment;
  • Current World Learning employees and their immediate family members.

Last day to submit applications: December 31, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time).

Incomplete applications or submitted late will not be considered. Make sure you request transcripts and letter of recommendations in advance to upload them to your application. (Check the Letter of Recommendation Guidelines in this website or within the UGRAD application system under Learning Content. This guide will help the person writing your letters to focus on things we want to know about you).

For more information on this program or specific questions, please contact:

Willy Castillo
Claro line (505) 2252-7100
Movistar Line (505)8768-7100
Fax (505) 2252-7266


This micro-scholarship covers the upfront costs to apply for admissions to juniors or sophomores in high school, or anyone seeking a graduate program in a college or university in the United States of America. It is not a scholarship to cover tuition or any other fees after the student has been admitted to an institution.

Students must be of limited economic resources, possess academic achievements, proficiency in the English language, committed to search, and find that Higher Education Institution that has the right fit. Must be Nicaraguan citzen only. More…

Georgetown University CIED (Center for Intercultural Education and Development) under the auspices of the Office of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the Department of State and U.S. Embassies in Central America, announce the new application season for the Central American Youth Ambassadors Program (CAYA) 2017.

The Youth Ambassadors Program offers  high school students and adult mentors from Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and Dominican Republic the opportunity to apply for a three-week exchange program that will broaden their knowledge of U.S. culture, society and educational system. Through the exchange, participants will learn more about the U.S. by engaging in workshops, community service activities, team building exercises, meetings with community leaders, and home stays with American families. Upon their return home, the students apply what they have learned to implement projects that serve needs in their communities.

The experience not only enhances their skills and knowledge but also prepares them for a lifetime of leadership and community service.

Profile for youth candidates

  1. To be 15-18 years of age.
  2. To be a Nicaraguan citizen.
  3. To be in their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year of high school.
  4. To attend public school and participate in a community project.
  5. To lack economic resources.
  6. To reside in the RACS, RACN, Jinotega or Managua.
  7. To be the first member in the family to participate in the Youth Ambassadors Program.
  8. To have demonstrated leadership aptitude in the environment, community service, and social entrepreneurship.
  9. Qualities: maturity, integrity, good social skills, open-mindedness, and motivation.
  10. We encourage youth with disabilities and from minority ethnic groups to apply to the Youth Ambassadors Program.

Selected participants will be chosen through a coordinated selection process between the U.S. Embassy and Georgetown University CIED.

Contact Us

Carmen Cecilia de Narváez
Apt. Postal No. C 211
Oficina Postal “Centro Comercial Managua”
Managua, Nicaragua
Teléfonos: (505) 2276-1318 / (505) 8479-8632
Correo electrónico:


You must submit with the completed application form, the following documents*:

  1. Copy of birth certificate.
  2. Two photos (Nicaraguan passport size).
  3. Copy of a valid passport (if you do not have one, it is fine. It is not a requirement to have a passport).
  4. Copy of each of the parents’ citizen ID (cedula).
  5. Copy of parents’ proof of income.
  6. Application form completed.
  7. Annexes
  • Annex #1: Recommendation form #1.
  • Annex #2: Recommendation form # 2.
  • Annex #3: Parents’ consent.
  • Annex #4: Exemption of responsibilities and authorization for medical treatment.
  • Annex #5: Medical addendum.
  • Annex #6: Code of Conduct.
  • Annex #7: Questionnaire on home stay with American families.

*Note: Do not send original personal documents, send copies instead. All documents submitted will be property of the Youth Ambassador Program administered by Georgetown University CIED.

Important dates

(Inquiries on specific dates could be answered by National Program Coordinator)

  • September 21 – October 21, 2016: Period for submissions.
  • October 25 – 28, 2016: Interviews and selection process.
  • November 2016: Pre-departure orientation.
  • January 18 – February 8, 2017: First 3-week program in the U.S.
  • May 10-31, 2017: Second-3 week program in the U.S.

Thank you for your interest in our exchanges. This program closed on December 15, 2015. New applications will open in late October or at the beginning of November 2016.

This program will gather undergraduate student leaders 18-25 years of age and provide them with a deeper understanding of the United States and enhance their leadership skills.

The program will be offered in Spanish to a total of 19 participants from Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Panama. The program will be administered by the Institute of Training and Development (ITD) and hosted at various universities.


The Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) for Student Leaders will consist of a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures. The coursework and classroom activities will be complemented by educational travel to other parts of the United States, site visits, leadership activities and volunteer opportunities. The Institute will include an academic residency component of approximately four weeks and a domestic travel component of approximately one week.

The Institute will focus on U.S. history and the current political, social, and economic issues that shaped contemporary American society. Participants will examine the role and influence of principles and values in American society, such as democracy, the rule of law, individual rights, freedom of expression, equality, and diversity and tolerance.

Other core components of the Institute include immigration issues, the Native American experience, meetings with community leaders and representatives from non-profit organizations and visits to historic and cultural sites.

Program Funds

The Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the Department of State will cover all participant costs, including, visa, roundtrip plane tickets, program administration, domestic travel and ground transportation, book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances, and housing and subsistence.

Housing and Meal Arrangements

Housing will typically be in college or university owned housing.  Participants may be expected to share a room and bathroom with another student of the same gender.  Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.  Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.

Health Benefits

All participants will receive the Department of State’s standard medical insurance policy for the duration of the program. Pre-existing conditions are not covered.

Program Requirements and Restrictions

Participants are expected to participate fully in the academic program.  They are expected to attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings.  Candidates should be made aware that the institute is very intensive and that there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program. Under no circumstances are participants allowed to arrive in the U.S. prior to the start date of the institute or remain in the U.S. after its end date.  Similarly, participants will not be allowed to leave the institute to visit relatives or friends while in the U.S.  If a relative or friend wishes to visit them, it will be addressed on a case by case basis, in consultation with ECA and the program director. Violations of host institution rules or local, state or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.

English Language Ability

English language fluency is NOT a requirement to participate in this program.  The program will be conducted in Spanish; it is imperative that all candidates demonstrate Spanish language fluency.  The institute is a rigorous and demanding program; participants will be expected to handle reading assignments in Spanish and to be full and active participants in all seminar and panel discussions.

Candidate Description and Qualifications

The participants are expected to be highly motivated, first through third year undergraduate students from colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education, who demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.  Their fields of study will be varied, and will include the sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, business, and other professional fields. Candidates from indigenous groups and ethnic minority communities are highly encouraged to apply.

Participants should meet the following criteria:

  • Be a citizen and resident of Nicaragua (U.S. citizens are not eligible to apply);
  • Be between 18-25 years of age by December 15, 2015;
  • Be interested in the topic of U.S. History and Government;
  • Priority will be given to participants from ethnic minorities or indigenous communities;
  • Enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at an accredited university;
  • Have completed at least one semester of the first year of the university or have no less than one semester of classes left to graduate by July 2016;
  • Have had little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States or elsewhere outside of their home country;
  • Have a sustained high level of academic achievement, as indicated in grades, awards, and recommendations;
  • Demonstrate strong leadership qualities and potential in their university and community activities;
  • Have demonstrated commitment to community and extracurricular university activities;
  • Be mature, responsible, independent, confident, open-minded, tolerant, thoughtful, and inquisitive.

Documentation Needed when Submitting Application

  • Complete and signed application form.
  • Applications forms available in PDF to print and be completed by hand and in MS WORD to enter data directly to the form, and then print or use it to send digitally (see right upper side of this page).
  • Copy of cedula or birth certificate.  This is mandatory, applications without cedula or copy of birth certificate will not be considered.
  • Copies ONLY of grades/transcripts (if only one year of university studies has been completed, then we need grades/transcripts from your last two years of high school. If two or more years of university studies have been completed, then only the university grades/transcripts are needed),
  • Letter from current university certifying that you are an active student, your major and year of study, or a copy of a document (pre-matricula) that verifies registration for the following  term.
  • Three letters of recommendation; two from academic authorities and one from a person/organization you worked with doing community service, voluntary work, etc.
  • Copy ONLY of high school diploma (diploma de bachiller).
  • Other copies of awards, recognition or diplomas which demonstrate the criteria specified above.