The Border Studies Program explores salient topics of our days such as transnational migration, neoliberal globalization, the militarization of policing, and struggles for environmental justice, ethnic studies and indigenous rights. The southern Arizona borderlands are defined by intense contestation around a host of issues that are coming to define the 21st century. Students in the Border Studies Program are immersed in this learning environment through a structured and dynamic semester-long program that offers hands-on experience in contemporary justice struggles and an expansive curriculum that valorizes grassroots knowledge and challenges students to understand and articulate the context and implications of their own positionalities. The program consists of homestays, internships in grassroots and/or non-profit organizations and excursions as well as a rigorous academic curriculum.
Based in Tucson, the Border Studies Program is situated in a complex and critical geographic bioregion, offering unique opportunities to social, cultural, ecological and political issues in a local, regional, and international context. Located in a dynamic multinational border region, Tucson’s history of cultural, environmental and social struggle has shaped the interventions of myriad individuals, organizations and communities working to protect the unique ecosystem, cultural identities and lives of peoples who inhabit the arid lands of Sonora, Arizona and beyond.
Potential excursions take Border Studies students to a number of sites that include trips to the Sonoran-Arizona borderlands along both sides of the border as well as the interior of Mexico. Past excursions have included Nogales, Sonora, Mexico; the O’odham Nation in Sonora; the Río Sonora Valley; El Paso and Ciudad Juárez; Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico; New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness; as well as sites in Arizona like Florence and Arivaca. The unique combination of coursework, field studies, and travel seminars create an outstanding opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of their own positionalities in relationship to space, a multitude of communities and their particular struggles for social justice. Excursions also allow for students to explore several academic themes such as migration, the global economy, environmental degradation, development, sustainability, transnational communities, international boundaries, and justice in a land marked by numerous inequalities. Please direct questions about international travel to Patty Lamson at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Fall 2018: August 24 - December 10
Spring 2019: January 22 - May 6
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.