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  • Locations: Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Program Terms: Summer B-Term
  • Budget Sheets: Summer B-Term
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:

Title
QUICK FACTS
Location Oaxaca, Mexico
Academic Term Summer B-Term
July 19- August 15, 2018
Estimated Program Fee $4,650
Credits 12 UW credits
Prerequisites N/A
Program Directors Branden Born | bborn@uw.edu
Yolanda Valencia | valeny@uw.edu
Program Manager Ruby Machado | studyabroad@uw.edu
Priority Application Deadline January 31, 2018
Extended Application Deadline March 15, 2018
Information Sessions Please contact Program Director for more information
HIGHLIGHTS
General Learn about community development, public participation in governance, and drivers of social change in Oaxacan context. Help facilitate and participate in 1st International Assembly for Community Development Across Borders. Two credit spring preparatory class also required.
 

Program Description

Oaxaca, Mexico is home to sixteen indigenous groups and an active area of civil discourse and resistance to state and economic oppression. The communities of the region often have models of organization and public discourse that date back hundreds of years. One of the three poorest states in Mexico, Oaxaca suffers from enormous rates of migration to northern Mexico and the US as people search for work and better lives for their families. One common theme is the lack of economic opportunity and the connection to subsistence agriculture: Oaxaca is on the leading edge of the struggle over the future of the global food system. A beautiful and complex physical and social landscape, it is a perfect site to explore issues of how foreign policy (agriculture, trade, immigration, drug) impacts the Global South, and how communities organize themselves and their respective forms of knowledge in response to their context.We will be exploring the themes of forms of knowledge, food and community, land rights and natural resources, resistance, art, and youth engagement as they relate to community development in the region. The class culminates with participation in an international assembly of community organizations and universities.

We will be working with a small local partner school, Centro Ollin Tlahtoalli, to examine on-the-ground the issues in Oaxaca surrounding food and land, democracy and social justice, and migration. 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 a large family home in the center of Oaxaca. We will visit non-governmental organizations in small towns around the Oaxaca region, then spend approximately one week in the beautiful Sierra Norte mountains in Cuajimoloyas for the Assembly. We finish the trip in Oaxaca City and the fishing village Puerto Escondido (and its beautiful beaches) for debriefing, discussion, and report writing. 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, as well as the Mixtec villages of our program partners in the Sierra Mixteca.

 

LOCATION

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Oaxaca, Mexico

Sites

Oaxaca, San Antonio Cuajimoloyas, Puerto Escondido

Housing

While in Oaxaca, we stay with one large homestay family arranged through our partner school. This particular location was selected because the family regularly houses students in the local language schools, and has the ability to house larger groups. The homestay family provides breakfast and some lunches. Students will mostly share double rooms. Our local partner has a long working relationship with the family, and the location is within a ten-minute walk to our partner’s school location in the center of Oaxaca, where most of our activities are located within walking distance.

In Cuajimoloyas, we will be staying in commercial guest cabins that the local villages have developed as part of their ecotourism program. These rooms are bunkhouse style, with four beds per cabin.

In Puerto Escondido we will stay in a commercial hotel, two students to a room.

ACADEMICS

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Prerequisites and Language Requirements

None, though undergraduates would have to have a demonstrated interest in planning, policy, community engagement strategies, food systems, (im)migration, Chicano Studies, Caribbean and Latin American Studies, or similar. Some Spanish is desirable but not required--this is a planning/community development class in English, with Spanish language taught and predominant in the cultural context.

While there are no specific physical requirements, we do a lot of walking in the city on rough and uneven sidewalks and in rural areas. We will make necessary accommodations for students of all abilities. 

Credits

12 UW Credits

Courses

URBDP 598A: Community Development and Public Participation in Mexico (6 Credits)

This class will spend Summer B term in Oaxaca, Mexico examining local governing and decision making techniques of local communities and organizations. We will be working with a small local partner school, Centro Ollin Tlahtoalli, to examine on the ground the issues in Oaxaca surrounding community engagement, 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 and organizations engaged in various forms of community development and cultural preservation. 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. The course culminates with participation in an international Assembly that will bring together people from community groups in Mexico, the US, and Central America and multiple US and Mexican universities to discuss themes of western and indigenous knowledge, geopolitics and identity, food and community, land rights and natural resources, art and resistance, and community development. Theories of public participation will be applied in practice. The class will prepare a final report that collects the experiences of the class and Assembly and suggests next steps in planning for a collective future.

Learning goals include:
In this class, students will:
-Explore the issues of community development in the Oaxacan context
-Be exposed to alternative perspectives on planning, policy, socio and political economics, and governing structures
-Have the opportunity to reflect on the complexity of international issues and the basic necessities of societal living (decision making, providing for oneself, eating)
-Design and discuss community engagement strategies and specific exercises for use in community meetings and Assembly

Assessment is done through faculty and student self-assessment in relation to the learning goals and the goals that 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 will also participate in an international Assembly and a class project to summarize and report on that event.
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URBDP 598B: Migration, Food, and Governance--What Does Sovereignty Look Like in Oaxaca? (6 Credits)

This class will spend Summer B 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. We will be introduced to governance models that predate colonialism and explore how they relate to and within contemporary national and state forms of government.

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 include:
In this class students will:
- 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 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 writing project and use a group self-evaluation to assess their performance in that activity.
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PROGRAM LEADERSHIP

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Branden Born, Urban Design and Planning, Program Director
bborn@uw.edu

Yolanda Valencia, Geography Department, Co-Director
valeny@uw.edu

FINANCES

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Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $4,650

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad 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 - $750-1,000)
  • Food (about $8/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money


Payment Due Date: July 6th, 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.

Scholarships

  • 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 goglobal@uw.edu 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 CONSIDERATIONS

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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.

Orientation

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.

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. 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: 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: https://www.state.gov/s/cpr/32122.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 $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.