We’ve Moved to The Beach! What You Need to Know For an Amazing Stay!
Based on our student’s feedback, International TEFL Academy Nicaragua’s campus moved to the beach of Leon in January 2018. Just 20 minutes from the city center of Leon, Nicaragua, we still continue to provide unparalleled support to all of our students and alumni, and we are here to ensure that you will have a smooth transition and have an amazing time in Nicaragua. Below is an in-depth overview of what you can expect before you arrive.
Housing Options: ITA Nicaragua offers several housing options. All are located in Las Penitas within walking distance or on campus. Our on-campus housing is all new construction with both A/C and fan options, hot water showers, hostel style kitchen, and has bicycles and surfboards to use for free. All other housing options can be reserved independently by links in the above article. We also have independent options in Leon if you would like to commute by the 40 minute local bus.
Food and Water: Although there is no official grocery store in Las Penitas/Poneloya, there are many different restaurants, comedors, and local shopping options. Most people at the beach can find everything they need there, such as produce, shampoo, basic toiletries, water, soda, and even beer at local pulperia’s. These are basically Nicaraguan convenient stores. There are also an abundance of international restaurants in the area, as well as local restaurants commonly referred to as ‘comedor’s.’ Think local food served buffet style that is very cost effective. Being we are on the Pacific Ocean, fish, shrimp and lobster are abundant when in season.
Scheduling: ITA Nicaragua has created a student friendly schedule where you will have much of your mornings free. You can take the local bus to Leon for grocery shopping for example. Maybe you prefer surfing in the mornings? Maybe you enjoy Yoga? Or simply working on your course work. Classes will start at 11:00 am Monday through Friday, unless you are performing your rotational practicum from 8:30 am – 10:30 am. You will have your practicum 2x during week one, and one time per week for the following three weeks. Your practicum schedule is random, and cannot be given prior to the class start date because people are always enrolling or transferring at the last minute.
Transportation: From the beach to Leon, which is about 15 miles or 19 kilometers, there is regular bus service every 45 minutes arriving in Las Penitas at 6:15 am, and the last bus leaves around 6:45 pm for Leon. A bus ride takes about 40 minutes each way, and costs 14 Córdoba’s or less than 50 cents US. It is also possible to hire a taxi between each location, and they cost around 300 Córdoba’s or less than $10.00 US, and that is for the whole ride, not per person. So if you were to share the taxi with three other people that is less than $3.00 each way. The bus leaves Leon from the Sutiaba Market or the mercadito which is on the western edge of Leon, directly west of the central park, and will stop in Las Penitas, and turn around to go back to Leon by Barca de Oro.
Activities: ITA Nicaragua provides a pre-course orientation of the key spots of importance on Friday before all course start dates. We will also host a graduation party which is a fantastic way to network, and get leads on English teaching jobs, or housing options as we invite all of our alumni to these events. We are also investigating discounted Yoga classes and surf board usage for all students. Weekend excursions are also possible such as the local mangrove forest tour with sea turtle sanctuary, kayaking, day trips to Leon, the Leon Cathedral & Leon Viejo (2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites!), and volcano boarding just to list a few. And we haven’t even discussed the food culture yet!
Course Prep: ITA Nicaragua is dedicated to our student’s success, and as such we have created a webinar that is recommended for all of our students to watch titled Tools For Success. This is a one hour overview of all the online platforms that you will be using, explanation of how to use the scheduling system, and the first week’s assigned readings and homework. This is done so that you can have a head start on week one of your course, and will greatly reduce your stress levels while you are here. It is also recommended that you order your book ahead of time from ITA Nicaragua so that you can read ahead. If you so choose, you can opt to pick it up here in Nicaragua, and we can send you an electronic PDF version. It is also recommended to read the first forty pages of the course book – the pre course grammar module. As we do not teach you grammar, you will be teaching grammar points in your lessons so it is a good review. We also recommend purchasing a grammar book as well.
Downloadable map of Las Penitas/Poneloya. ITA Nicaragua is number 80, and Casa Verania is near number 14, Jessica’s Pulperia. Other housing options are also listed on the map, such as Casa Elisa, and Sol y Mar B&B. Be sure to download this or take a screenshot prior to arrival in case you do not have internet access.
Downloadable Schedule. This will be your schedule for the upcoming 2018 school year. We have implemented many changes so that you can enjoy more of your time here at the beach, and even go into Leon if you want to. Classes will start at 11:00 am, so there is plenty of time for surfing, going to yoga, or even catching up on sleep.