If you have decided to travel to Nicaragua with Kulturstudier then you have two choices when it comes to where you are going to live. You can either stay at the hostels Kulturstudier offers, or you can find a place to stay by yourself and get reduction from your study fee, and I am going to help you find out what you should go for.

The Hostels
The majority of the students are living in Kulturstudiers hostels, roughly 80% of the students this semester. Usually the students are living in two different hostels, but this semester Kulturstudier needed three. The standard of the hostels is pretty much the same, except for the third one Kulturstudier had to find last minute, which actually has a bit higher standard.

Your Bedroom
In the hostels we live in rooms of 2, 3 or 4 students, but the majority stay in rooms of 3. The rooms are sparsely equipped with one fan, wardrobe and drawer per person, and a couple of chairs or stools that can be used as nightstands. A good tip to make your room more personal and cozy is to print pictures from home and hang them up on the doors. (The paint used is very vulnerable, so nothing can be taped to the walls.)

The Common Areas
The kitchen has a gas stove, shared fridge and freezer, and the most necessary of kitchen equipment. There are many hammocks to relax in, and in Monkey, the main hostel, you’ll find a pool table as well. When it comes to bathrooms it varies from hostel to hostel if your room has a private or shared toilet/bathroom, but the majority have shared.

Apartments and host families
If you choose to stay in an apartment or host family, the standard of the house varies after how much you choose to spend. But if you compare an apartment in León and Kulturstudiers hostels, you will get a higher standard for your money if you find a place to stay by yourself. In other words, you will either stay in a nicer house, or save money. Keep in mind that one of the reasons the hostels are more expensive is that you are served 5 days a week, and you will have your room cleaned and bedsheets every week.

Apartments or host families are not something you must find before you travel to Nicaragua. As long as you have a place to stay for the first week or two, it is fairly easy finding a place to stay when you get here if you put an effort into looking for it. In the private apartments you are not always surrounded by other people, which is a plus if you would like some privacy from time to time. Keep in mind that host families are more expensive.

If I went 4 months back in time, I would have found a place to stay on my own. Also, I would try to find a place that is close to the other student’s hostels and the city center, so I would not be “isolated” from the rest of the students. However, this is my personal preference, and when you choose, you should take some time considering the pros and cons of each option and go for what you believe fits you the best.