In 2002, UMCU and UNAN started an exchange program for medical students. From 2009 onward, exploration for further academic collaboration has resulted in various ongoing projects:
Student exchange program. Starting in 2002, UMCU students have visited Nicaragua for an internship, or pasantila as it is called locally. The majority have been involved in Obstetrics, and others have been involved in Ophthalmology, Occupational health, Surgery, Emergency medicine and Infectious diseases. As part of the exchange program, UNAN students have had the opportunity to participate in research projects at the UMCU, and in recent years the UNAN students have participated in one of the programs of the UMCU Summer course.
In order to facilitate the contact and exchange between UMCU and HU students in the Netherlands and UNAN students in Nicaragua, a Facebook group has been created, allowing students to help one another in the preparation of their foreign visit, set-up interactive language practice sessions using Skype, and collaborate on on-going projects.
E-Learning anatomy using radiological imaging. In 2010, Dra Ana Chang visited the UMCU to exchange information about the curricula at UMCU and UNAN. During this visit, a strategic project on e-learning was agreed upon, as part of the Capacitation program for UNAN faculty. Since then various e-modules have been and are being developed, partly by the UNAN group headed by Dra Ana Chang, partly in collaboration with the UMCU, and partly by the UMCU alone. In the last semester of 2011 UMCU Summa student Emile Schutgens visited UNAN to participate in and contribute to this program.
In 2012, Dra Ana Chang visited the UMCU for 3 month, and started a combined UNAN-UMCU PhD project, supervised by Prof Ten Cate, Prof Bleys, Dr Custers and Dr van Leeuwen. In addition, Jose Adan Amaya, one of the student-assistants participating in the program in León, visited the UMCU for 6 weeks, supported by a grant from the city council of Utrecht.