Nicaragua Short Course

Wake Forest Law offers a unique opportunity to take a short course in Nicaragua in January before the spring semester officially begins, and some years during Summer Session II (when offered). Professor Steve Virgil leads the trips and teaches Microtrade Development. If you are interested in a comparative law course, or want to work on economic development or poverty issues, this is an opportunity you do not want to miss. The class offers an opportunity to look at law in a comparative, interdisciplinary class along with an opportunity to visit Nicaragua.

While in Nicaragua, students stay in Managua, Granada and Leon. Granada is a beautiful place to visit and students in the past have even swam in Apoyo Lagoon, a lagoon located in the center of a chain of volcanoes.

2018 Dates

Winter session: Jan. 2-10, 2018

The Course-Microtrade Development 

The class, Microtrade Development, explores the role of our profession in assisting community and human development. It incorporates historical and practice focused perspectives. The course begins with an overview of Nicaragua’s unique history and relationship with the United States, then moves to consider the need for development in Nicaragua. Students will learn about development strategies and work with NGO’s/MSE’s.

International Blog- Students Perspectives on Nicaragua

Be sure to read this blog post from Joseph Motto (JD, ’14), who participated in the trip in January 2013. Read about his time volcano surfing, visiting the Supreme Court of Nicaragua and working with local business owners who wish to export their products to the United States.


Winston Salem and Nicaragua. Seminars are held on campus prior to traveling to Nicaragua for 7 days of class and experiential course work.  Nicaragua is a beautiful place and while there you will spend time working with NGO’s, visiting two colonial cities and exploring the dynamics of development in an emerging economy.


The class has been approved for 2 graded credits.


Summer Session (not offered 2018): The normal summer session tuition applies for this class.  In addition, travel costs and expenses while in Nicaragua are the student’s responsibility.  A student can budget $60-70 a day while in Nicaragua for a shared room and food.  Airfare typically runs between $450 and $650.  A small fee will also be collected for each student’s pro rata transportation costs while in Nicaragua.  The final cost will be determined by the number of students, but it will most likely be approximately $25 a day. Professor Virgil will arrange for a comfortable hotel and all transportation details.

Winter Session: Tuition costs are part of the spring semester tuition.  Students will be billed a surcharge for lodging, travel within Nicaragua and translation services.  The surcharge for the course is $650.

Travel and Food

Travel to Nicaragua is fairly easy.  Delta and American offer several flights each day from Miami and Atlanta.  Travel costs to Nicaragua are the student’s responsibility (currently airfare from Greensboro to Managua is $610 round trip.  Flights from Atlanta and Miami are substantially less).  Meals are the student’s responsibility while in Nicaragua – with the exception of two dinners and all breakfasts which are included with your room.

Registration and Deadlines

Summer Session: You may register for the course online via WIN when available. Please e-mail Professor Virgil at as soon as possible if you are interested.

Winter 2018 Session:

Students may register for the class beginning in late September.  The class is limited to 12 participants.  Professor Virgil will hold an informational meeting about the trip prior to registration.

Sept. 29, 2017 - Statement of Interest due to Professor Virgil expressing your intent to take the class and asking to be registered for it.

Oct. 20, 2017 – deposit of $450 due.


For more information, please contact Professor Virgil by email: