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Program Information:

sociology italysociology italy
Location Buenos Aires, Argentina
Academic Term Summer Quarter (Full Term) 2018
June 18- August 18, 2018
Estimated Program Fee $6,500
Credits 15 UW credits
Prerequisites While not mandatory, taking GEOG 377 is highly recommended
Program Directors Mónica Farías; Elizabeth Shoffner
Program Manager Darielle Horsey |
Priority Application Deadline January 31, 2018
Extended Deadline March 1, 2018
Information Sessions January 12, 1:00-2:30 in Smith 409
January 17, 12:00-1:00 in Padelford C101
General This program studies the actions of social and political movements in the city of Buenos Aires that resist, rework and pose alternatives to neoliberal ways of organizing the urban space. Through a combination of classroom and field-based learning, students will examine the relation between changes in the materiality of the city and the contestations taking place across time, as well as the different actors involved.


Program Description

This program will provide students the opportunity to study the interplay between the enforcement of neoliberal measures and civil society's actions of resistance in the culturally eclectic and politically vibrant city of Buenos Aires. The goal is for students to to understand cities as evolving, complex and contested landscapes shaped by––and with the power to shape–neoliberal measures and policies. We will explore the ways the political landscape of the city is crisscrossed by a multiplicity of social and political movements that contest and question the legitimacy of the neoliberal agenda, by focusing on different moments in the political economy of Buenos Aires in the last four decades. We will examine the relation between changes in the materiality of the city and the contestations taking place across time, and we will pay attention to the different actors involved: the state, private investors, policy makers and urban planners, but also unions, neighborhood associations, human rights organizations, and organizations of students, the unemployed, women, indigenous communities and afro-descendants, among others. Ultimately the landscape of the city is the result of the struggles over what kind of city Buenos Aires should be, and for whom. 

Students will take classes in the space of a grassroots organization in the old neighborhood of San Telmo, will attend talks at different universities in the city and greater Buenos Aires, and will engage with different organizations currently contesting neoliberal agendas and proposing alternative ways of imagining social, economic, cultural, and political relationships. We will also walk the city based on "thematic tours," which differ from touristic and other traditional ways of approaching the city. Our visits will include sites of memory, such as former clandestine centers during the 1976-1983 dictatorship; spaces of conspicuous consumption characteristic of the 1990s like shopping malls and the newest neighborhood in the city, Puerto Madero; recuperated factories run by their workers; and gentrified former working class neighborhoods, witnesses to the enormous inequalities in terms of wealth and access to services that can take place in close proximity. Throughout all of our walks we will look beyond the built environment to uncover the struggles and conflicts, the actors involved, and the imaginaries mobilized that constitute the city. The study abroad also includes visits to two other cities in Argentina where contestations against business-oriented political agendas also shape the urban space: Rosario (Province of Santa Fe, in the region of the Pampas), and Bariloche (Province of Río Negro, Patagonia). 

Learn more on the program website.



Buenos Aires, Argentina


Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Rosario


Shared apartments



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

There are no pre-requisites, however, an ideal student will have taken GEOG 377 as recommended, and will demonstrate prior engagement or interest in the material to be covered during the study abroad. Similarly, Spanish is not required for participation, but students who are at least conversational in the language will benefit by more directly engaging with the spaces and organizations we will be visiting.


15 UW Credits


CHID 472A: The Political Economy of "Modern" Argentina (5 Credits - I&S, Diversity)

This course offers an introduction to the political economy of Argentina since the consolidation of the modern state in the late 19th Century. It examines the relationships between economic and political processes through the lens of the struggles around power and the distribution of resources in order to understand the inequalities and poverty that shape the Argentinean landscape. This course will be taught by the director of the program Mónica Farías

Learning goals include:

  • Understand the structural causes that lead to poverty and inequality in Argentina.

  • Identify the several different actors that participated and participate in the struggles for power in the last 150 years.

  • Think critically about poverty and inequality and challenge common knowledges as well as their own deep rooted beliefs.

CHID 472B: Contemporary Social Movements in Argentina (5 Credits - I&S, Diversity)

This course will combine classroom and field-based learning in different grassroots organizations to provide an overview of the social mobilizations in Argentina since the 1970s, beginning with the Mothers of the Disappeared and other human rights organizations. Particularly, the course will examine the contestations and frictions between different social groups about the materiality of the city of Buenos Aires and access to its resources, but also about its identity, imaginaries and sociopolitical configurations.

Learning goals include:

  • Understand that social movements not only resist and oppose systems of domination, but also (re)create alternative forms of social, economic and political relations.

  • Have a critical understanding of the different types of social movements in Argentina, their main claims, the particular forms of organizing, and the strategies put forward.

  • Describe the ways in which social movements have shaped and shape urban landscapes in Argentina.

CHID 472C: Independent Project (5 Credits - I&S, Diversity)

Students will have to work a project focused on one or more organizations working in the city. The project will seek to understand the situatedness of the organization within the political scenario of the city, and the ways in which its actions impact the configuration and dynamics of the urban space - the neighborhood, the city more broadly, etc. The projects could be carried out individually or in pairs. Students will present their findings at the end of the course to the whole group.

Learning goals include:

  • design a research project identifying the theoretical framework, the research questions, and the methods.

  • conduct independent research and construct a convincing argument.

  • reflect on the politics and ethics of being an 'outsider' in the fieldwork.



Mónica Farías, Comparative History and Ideas (CHID), Program Director

Mónica Farías was born and raised in Buenos Aires, a city that she deeply loves and that inspires both her intellectual work and political activism. She studied Geography at the University of Buenos Aires, and later received a MA and a PhD, also in Geography, at the University of Washington. Her interests involve questions about urban politics, social justice, citizenship, and identity. Particularly, her research has focused on political spaces that work outside institutionalized channels and have potential for creating novel ways of organizing across social difference. Community work and commitment to remaining politically active are key parts of her understanding of academic work, and so throughout the years, she has been involved in several political and grassroots organizations in Argentina.

Elizabeth Shoffner, Department of Geography, Teaching Assistant

Elizabeth Shoffner is an Argentine-American PhD student in the UW Department of Geography. She lived in Buenos Aires for several years before moving to Seattle for graduate school, and had previously conducted her master's research in Rosario, Argentina on collective processes in politicized spaces of urban agriculture. Her research interests include political ecology, decoloniality and feminist methodologies. She loves to dance, drink mate, and share the enjoyment of public space, and she has traveled extensively in Argentina and the Southern Cone. Elizabeth is thrilled to take part in the very first year of this fantastic and timely study abroad program offered through CHID!



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $6,500

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • $350 CHID Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1,700)
  • Food (about $30/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: July 6, 2018

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.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans.  To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you 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.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.

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


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. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

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:

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


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. 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 business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. 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.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.