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The Border Studies Program

The Border Studies Program is designed to assist students in acquiring more complex and sophisticated analyses of issues related to migration, identity (including students' own positionalities), and social justice. Participants on this program have the unique opportunity to make connections between communities through direct living, working and traveling that accompany academic study. Throughout these experiences, students are challenged to reflect upon their roles and to critically think about the ways in which they choose to participate in movement building and community work.

The program is centered in rigorous academic work including classroom study, meaningful community engagement, and personal experience. Each student lives with a host family throughout their stay on the border. Students participate in two core seminars that explore the salient topics of settler colonialisn, decoloniality, critical race theory, queer theory, transnational feminisms, women of color and indigenous feminisms, neoliberalism, mass incarceration, environmental justice, food sovereignty, social movements and abolition. The program also includes a travel component, which may take students to central and southern Mexico, El Paso, and throughout the Arizona / Sonora borderlands where students learn from community members and organizations as well as engage in service to support grassroots efforts occurring at different sites. Furthermore, all students are immersed in an extended field study placement (internship) with different community organizations and schools in the Tucson area. Lastly, through the Spanish class and associated community engagements, as well as home life, students continue to strengthen their Spanish.  

The Border Studies Program offers students opportunities to explore alternatives to the policies that have influenced current patterns of migration and border enforcement, to speak with communities of people on both sides of the border resisting contemporary militarization and development schemes that put their lives at risk, and to dialogue about what meaningful solidary can look like.

Program Dates

Spring 2019: January 22 - May 6

Fall 2019: August 22 - December 16

Spring 2020: January 23 - May 4

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Students on BorderFrom Left to Right (clockwise): Students at the International Border in Nogales, Sonora with US Border Patrol in the background; Border art on display at the University of Arizona in Tucson; Students visiting the work of Taller Yonke along the border wall in Nogales, Sonora.

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