HCC student Brandon Arrington enjoys a ride on horseback through the countryside during the College’s study abroad trip. 

HCC’s study abroad group is pictured on top of the Leon Cathedral.

HCC students pose at the Ethnographic Museum in Granada, Nicaragua.


Over a dozen HCC students participated in Haywood Community College’s study abroad trip to Nicaragua. Instructors Chris Bond and Jeremy Phillips led the trip which provided a hands-on cultural diversity experience for students.

Through a Humanities Cultural Studies course, the group of students from a variety of programs of study spent a week experiencing sites such as Ometepe, the mangroves estuary and the colonial cities of Leon and Granada all while earning college credit.

“We once again had a diverse group of students in age, experience, background and field of study,” explains Phillips. “Many of our students, engaged in several ‘firsts’—first time on airplane, first time out of the state, first time out of the country, first time in the ocean, first time milking cows, exploring estuaries, climbing cathedrals, horseback riding, etc. We are not exaggerating when we say that we were struck this year, as we are every year, by the value that this trip had for all of our students in their personal and academic journeys.”

Through their connections, Bond and Phillips are able to provide the students a trip like no other. Students experience what it’s like to live in Nicaragua. This is not an expedition that the typical tourist would experience. The instructors make an effort to tie parts of the trip to each students’ program of study.

Phillips explains it as a trip to get the students out on the streets with the Nicaraguans. “It’s an in-depth cross-cultural experience.”

HCC’s Foundation has scholarships available for students to participate in this study abroad opportunity. For many of these students, receiving this scholarship provides them with the opportunity to travel abroad for the first time and experience an incredible international trip while earning college credit.

To learn more, visit haywood.edu or call 828-565-4223.