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  • Locations: Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Program Terms: Summer A-Term, Summer B-Term
  • Budget Sheets: Summer B-Term
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer B-Term 2018 02/01/2018 03/01/2018 TBA TBA
Summer B-Term 2019 02/01/2019 03/01/2019 TBA TBA
Program Information:
sociology italy
     QUICK FACTS
 Location Oaxaca, Mexico
 Academic
 Term
Summer A 2017
June 19 – July 19, 2017
 Estimated    Program Fee $4,500 (includes $350 CHID fee)
 Credits 12 UW credits
 Prerequisites None
 Program      Directors Branden Born, Yolanda Valencia, Omar Nunez (Oaxaca)
 Program  Manager Carrie Moore | studyabroad@uw.edu
 Application    Deadline March 15, 2017 (deadline extended)
 Information  Session(s)  
       HIGHLIGHTS
  General This is a four week class focusing on culture, food justice/food sovereignty, and migration issues in Mexico generally and the Oaxaca region particularly. Along the way we'll travel from Mexico City to the Pacific Coast, and into the Sierra Norte mountains near Oaxaca de Juárez.
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  About
Where You Will Study
Academics
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships

Orientation
Application


Program Description

The State of Oaxaca, Mexico, is at the leading edge of the struggle over the future of the global food system. Oaxaca's sixteen indigenous groups and an active area of civil discourse and resistance to state oppression form the background upon which traditional and new "conventional" agriculture intermix. One of the most culturally rich but financially poor states in Mexico, it struggles with high rates of migration to northern Mexico and the US as people search for work and better lives for their families. A beautiful and complex physical and social landscape, it is a perfect site to explore issues of how American foreign policy (agriculture, trade, immigration, drug) impacts the Global South.

We will be working with a small local partner school, Centro Ollin Tlahtoalli, to examine on-the-ground the issues in Oaxaca surrounding food, democracy and social justice, and migration. We will be exposed to limited language and extensive cultural education in applied fashion: some in class and most out in the region, visiting villages, markets, and the countryside. We will see how the paths of migrants are changing and how they affect Oaxaca and the people there. We will learn how the debate around appropriate technology and genetically modified organisms takes shape in communities with thousands of years of subsistence agricultural history. Students will see firsthand, and discuss with locals and as a group, the complicated web of interconnected issues that make up contemporary food studies, particularly as they relate to Mexico and the United States. Throughout the experience students will have the opportunity to reflect on issues of identity, culture, power, oppression, politics, and the economy.

The class will be staying in homestays with local families, likely two students per house, in the center of Oaxaca. Field trips include Mexico City (where the program begins), small towns around the Oaxaca region, Puerto Escondido and its lovely beaches (enrollment dependent), and project partner communities in two regional mountain communities. Ollin Tlahtoalli, our partner school, has years of experience in cultural preservation and education, and we will be able to visit the Zapotec villages in which their youth programs operate.

Location

Oaxaca, Mexico

Sites

Mexico City, Puerto Escondido, Cuajimoloyas

Housing

We stay with homestays arranged through our partner school. They were selected because they regularly house students in the local language schools, and collectively have the ability to house larger groups. We originally intended for all students to be in the same guest house, but based on our experiences with family homestays in 2015, we decided to continue this arrangement. Students unanimously preferred it, saying it was a valuable and enjoyable format. The homestay families provide breakfast and some lunches. Our local partner has a long working relationship with these families, and the locations are close to our partner’s school location in the center of Oaxaca, where most of our activities are located within walking distance. On our field trips we expect to stay in commercial hotel/lodging facilities.

Academics

Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

Ideal students would be those who are interested in food studies, policy, planning, community organizing, (im)migration, international development, Chicano Studies, Latin American Studies, and Mexican culture and history. Both undergraduate and graduate students would be appropriate. Additionally, students involved with the Nutritional Sciences minor, Urban Planning MUP or minor, Landscape Architecture, Evans School, CHID, CEP, Geography, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the UW Student Farm, the UW student co-op, and the Food Living-Learning community would all be a good fit.

Beneficial but not necessary skills or interests include: the ability to speak Spanish (really desirable, but not required), and to live in accommodations that are nice but slightly rustic, and different than American standards. Be ready with an open mind and willingness to share of yourself and reflect on identity and culture in a group travel experience!

There are no language requirements, though early undergraduates would have to have a demonstrated interest in food systems, planning, or policy, (im)migration, Chicano Studies, Caribbean and Latin American Studies, or similar. Some Spanish is desirable but not required—this is a planning/food class in English, with Spanish language taught and predominant in the cultural context.

Credits

12 UW Credits

Courses

URBDP 498/598A or CHID 472A (5 credits)

This class will spend Summer A term in Oaxaca, Mexico examining the interconnected issues of food systems, political economy, and migration. Oaxaca is the ancestral home of maize (corn) and is at the leading edge of the struggle over the future of the global food system. It is also home to sixteen indigenous groups, and is an active area of civil discourse and resistance to state oppression. A beautiful and complex physical and social landscape, it is a perfect site to explore issues of how American foreign policy (agriculture, trade, immigration, drug) impacts the Global South.

We will be working with a small local partner school, Centro Ollin Tlahtoalli, to examine on the ground the issues in Oaxaca surrounding particularly food, democracy and social justice, and immigration. We use mainly structuralist and post-structuralist theory to query both Western and non-Western epistemologies and cosmovisions. We will be exposed to limited language and extensive cultural education (historical and contemporary) in applied fashion: mostly out in the region, visiting villages, markets, and the countryside. We will learn how the debate around appropriate technology and genetically modified organisms takes shape in communities with thousands of years of subsistence agricultural history. Students will see firsthand, and discuss with locals and as a group the complicated web of interconnected issues that make up contemporary food studies, particularly as they relate to Mexico and the United States.

Students will visit villages with innovative community based economic development programs relating to natural resources, sustainable agriculture, and tourism and will have the chance to speak with representatives about how these are affecting these communities.

Learning Goals: 

  • Explore their own understanding of their food and economic systems as well as their governing structures.
  • Be exposed to alternative perspectives on socio and political economics, food systems, and migration, from on-site and course materials
  • Have the opportunity to reflect on the complexity of international issues and the basic necessities of societal living (eating, decision making, providing for oneself) - Learn a modest amount of Spanish, Mexican culture, and history

Assessment is done through both faculty and student self-assessment in relation to the learning goals and goals students set for themselves at the outset of the program. Students complete personal journals, specific journal assignments in the form of reflective letters, and contribute to a class blog. They also contribute to a class project and use a group self-evaluation to assess their performance in that activity.

URBDP 498/598B or CHID 472B (5 credits)

This class will spend Summer A term in Oaxaca, Mexico examining the interconnected issues of food systems, political economy, and migration. One of the three poorest states in Mexico, Oaxaca also suffers from enormous rates of migration to northern Mexico and the US as people search for work and better lives for their families. Oaxaca is home to sixteen indigenous groups, and is an active area of civil discourse and resistance to state oppression, while simultaneously being part of the migration system in several ways. It is an origin location for Oaxacan migrants, a receiving location for those who have resettled or been deported, and a throughfare for Central American migrants. A beautiful and complex physical and social landscape, it is an excellent site to explore issues of how American foreign policy (agriculture, trade, immigration, drug) impacts the Global South.

We will be working with a small local partner school, Centro Ollin Tlahtoalli, to examine on the ground the issues in Oaxaca surrounding particularly food, democracy and social justice, and immigration. We use mainly structuralist and post-structuralist theory to query both Western and non-Western epistemologies and cosmovisions. We will be exposed to limited language and extensive cultural education (historical and contemporary) in applied fashion: mostly out in the region, visiting villages, markets, and the countryside as well as local non-profit organizations. We will see how the paths of immigrants are changing and how they affect Oaxaca. Students will see firsthand, and discuss with locals and as a group the complicated web of interconnected issues that create the context for forced migration.

Students will visit villages with high rates of migration, and also NGOs working on migration issues, to hear about the causes of migration and challenges that migrants face, as well as how governments contribute to the migration problem. Students will also learn of innovative community based economic development programs relating to natural resources, sustainable agriculture, and tourism.

Learning Goals: 

  • Explore their own understanding of their food and economic systems, their governing structures, and associated reasons that force migration
  • Be exposed to alternative perspectives on socio and political economics, food systems, and migration, from on-site and course materials
  • Have the opportunity to reflect on the complexity of international issues and the basic necessities of societal living (eating, decision making, providing for oneself)
  • Learn a modest amount of Spanish, Mexican culture, and history

Assessment is done through both faculty and student self-assessment in relation to the learning goals and goals students set for themselves at the outset of the program. Students complete personal journals, specific journal assignments in the form of reflective letters, and contribute to a class blog. They also contribute to a class project and use a group self-evaluation to assess their performance in that activity.

URBDP 498/598C or CHID 470 (2 credits)

This course provides a foundation and framework of the Mexican context in which students will be living, traveling, and learning for four weeks This class is held in Oaxaca, Mexico over the Summer A term. Oaxaca is a culturally rich and diverse city and state, with sixteen separate indigenous groups and a strong history of civil discourse. Our class will be partnering with a small local partner school, Centro Ollin Tlahtoalli, to examine Mexican culture on the ground and in the classroom. Through lectures, discussions, and field trips to historic and cultural sites in Mexico City, Oaxaca and surrounding cities, and Puerto Escondido, students will develop understanding of both contemporary and historic Mexico and Mesoamerica. Topics will include Mexican history, politics, economics, and culture. Issues of cultural identity will be explored through discussion and writing.

Learning Goals: 

  • Explore through investigation and comparison Mexico and their own cultural background
  • Begin to understand Mexico as a country with a complex, long, and powerful historical narrative
  • Learn a modest amount of Mexican culture and history
  • Learn a modest amount of Mexican and global political economic history

Assessment is done through both faculty and student self-assessment in relation to the learning goals and goals students set for themselves at the outset of the program. Students complete personal journals, specific journal assignments in the form of reflective letters, and contribute to a class blog. They also contribute to a class project and use a group self-evaluation to assess their performance in that activity. For this class, the journals are primary assessment vehicles, while the demonstration of understanding of Mexican and Oaxacan culture through the class project is also important.

Program Directors & Staff

Branden Born, Department of Urban Design and Planning, Program Director

http://urbdp.be.washington.edu/people/branden-born/

bborn@uw.edu

Yolanda Valencia, Department of Geography, Graduate Student Assistant/Co-Director

Yolanda Valencia is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Geography at UW. Originally from Michoacan, Mexico, her academic interests are in race and ethnicity, citizenship and migration, intergenerational care, and "third world" feminism. She co-led the 2015 Oaxaca class with Branden Born.

valeny@uw.edu

Oscar Nunez, On-Site Coordinator

Omar Núñez Méndez is founder and director of Ollin Tlahtoalli Center. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Oaxaca State University (1999), and a year later, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where he obtained his Master’s Degree in applied linguistics.

Program Expenses

Cost: $4,500

Estimated Program Fee of $4,500, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, food (about $10/day), UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$850 - $1,200* roundtrip

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
CHID Fee $350 July 7, 2017
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 July 7, 2017
Program Fee Balance $4,150 July 7, 2017
TOTAL FEES CHARGED $4,850 -

Scholarships

There are a variety of scholarships available to help fund your study abroad experience. Visit the Global Opportunities page for more information and application deadlines.

Orientation

To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing studyabroad@uw.edu.

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Application Process

The application includes a Personal Statement, three short answer questions, two recommendations from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the on-line application process students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.

Visas

UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. You can do so by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country.html.

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting: http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/fco/index.htm

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at disability.uw.edu.

Withdrawals

$350 of the total program fee and the $350 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the Program Director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.