CIE to sponsor Solidarity Semester

By: Maddie Day ~Staff Writer~

Xavier’s Center for International Education (CIE) will sponsor a study abroad trip to Nicaragua this spring as part of its “Solidarity Semester.”

The Solidarity Semester provides students with the opportunity to fulfill 12 to 15 hours of academic course credit while serving in Nicaraguan communities. The Solidarity Semester abroad is also equivalent to Xavier tuition and room and board.

The semester abroad will take place in the spring of 2015.

Participating Xavier students will be assigned to a host family and immersed in the local Nicaraguan community and culture.

The trip is service-oriented, so students will volunteer in the local community while taking courses that complement their daily experiences.

The academic component of the Solidarity Semester will provide students with knowledge of Nicaraguan culture, history, politics and religion.

The Solidarity Semester also emphasize pertinent issues of social justice.

Possible courses include Central American History, Theology and Social Justice in Central America, Central American Culture and Society, Spanish, Nicaraguan Folk Dance and more.

The service component of the trip will also provide participating students with an invaluable learning experience as they will live and work alongside the economically poor.

The Solidarity Semester is meant to provide Xavier students with unlimited opportunities for reflection. Nica group 1

In addition, the Solidarity Semester encourages students to deeply connect with the individuals they encounter, regardless of ethnic and social class differences.

Participating students will also have the opportunity to interact with local Nicaraguan leaders and community-based organizations.

“The Nicaragua program completely changed the course of my career because it made me think critically about how I can best make a difference in the world and positively affect the lives of other people,” a Nicaragua program alum said.

Applications for the Solidarity Semester are still available at

Students must submit their applications by Oct. 2 to be considered. All Xavier scholarships apply for the semester’s tuition.

For more information, students can contact the Center for International Education in the Gallagher Student Center, Room 230.

Students may also contact Dr. Walker Gollar, or Shannon O’Neill, for more information.