The Border Studies Program combines rigorous academic study, practical on-site learning, travel seminars and structured reflection in a semester that engages students in some of today’s most urgent social, economic, and ecological matters. A semester with the Border Studies Program facilitates the examination of issues related to migration, human rights, globalization, food systems, and the environment. Peers, scholars, farmers, indigenous peoples, state authorities, migrants and activists in both Mexico and the U.S. contribute to the learning process. This integrated experience challenges students to be more thoughtful and intentional about their participation in creating a just and sustainable world.
Based in Tucson, the Border Studies Program is situated in a complex and critical geographic bioregion, offering unique opportunities for studying social and ecological issues in local, regional, and international contexts. Known for intense activism around immigrant rights and borderlands militarization, Tucson overflows with environmental organizations working on both sides of the border to protect the binational ecosystem and to seek sustainable living models in the arid lands of Sonora, Arizona, and beyond.
Extensive travel seminars and excursions along both sides of the border and the interior of Mexico integrate two or more of the courses, enhancing students academic and personal experience by providing students with a more holistic understanding of the borderlands and the relationship the region has to broader global issues. The unique combination of coursework, field studies, and travel seminars create an outstanding opportunity to engage in an analysis of migration, the global economy, environmental degradation, development, sustainability, transnational communities, international boundaries, and justice in a land marked by numerous inequalities.
You can also read a chapter about the Border Studies Program that was published in a new book called Putting the Local in Global Education: Models for Transformative Learning through Domestic Off-Campus Programs.
Spring 2017: January 10 - May 1
Fall 2017: August 15 - December 11
Spring 2018: January 9 - May 7
How to Apply
The Border Studies Program is open to students from all academic backgrounds and majors in good standing at any college or university. All participants must be full-time undergraduate students. For Spanish language requirements, please visit the Language Learning webpage.