Border Studies in Tucson, Arizona

  • Location: USA - Arizona (Tucson)
  • Deadline: February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs
  • GPA Requirements: 2.75 GPA
  • Other Requirements: One year of college-level Spanish is recommended (not required) prior to joining the program
  • Program Structure: Structured - not direct enrollment
  • Application Deadline: February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs
  • Program Term(s): Fall, Spring
  • Official Website: Border Studies in Tucson, Arizona

Program Dates

No current 2024 date information for this program.

Eligibility

2.75 GPA. Although there is no formal language requirement, one year of college-level Spanish is recommended prior to joining the program.

Where

The Border Studies Program is centered on rigorous academic work, including classroom study, meaningful community engagement, and personal experiences and reflection. You will participate in two core seminars that explore the topics of settler colonialism, approaches to 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.

Based in Tucson, the Border Studies Program is situated in a complex and critical geographic bioregion, offering direct exposure 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 people who inhabit the arid lands of Sonora, Arizona, and beyond.

The program also includes a travel component, which may take you to central and southern Mexico, El Paso, and throughout the Arizona/Sonora borderlands, where you will learn from community members and organizations and engage in service to support grassroots efforts occurring at different sites. Furthermore, you will be immersed in an extended field study placement (internship) with one of many community organizations and schools in the Tucson area. The field studies class, which you will take in conjunction with your internship, will help you to contextualize the social justice issues that community organizations and groups contend with in the borderlands. Lastly, through the Spanish class and associated community engagement, as well as home life with host families in Tucson, you will continue to strengthen your Spanish language knowledge, practice, and/or comprehension.

Academics

The program curriculum includes four courses that together result in 18 credits:

  1. Movement and Movements: A Political Economy of Migration Seminar (4 credits)
  2. Routes y Raíces: Towards Collective Power (4 credits)
  3. Español in the Borderlands (4 credits)
  4. Borderlands Field Study Practicum (6 credits)

Academic Structure

Students will take classes with other program participants. The Border Studies Program is centered on rigorous academic work, including classroom study, meaningful community engagement, and personal experiences and reflection. You will participate in two core seminars that explore the topics of settler colonialism, approaches to 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 you to central and southern Mexico, El Paso, and throughout the Arizona/Sonora borderlands, where you will learn from community members and organizations and engage in service to support grassroots efforts occurring at different sites. Furthermore, you will be immersed in an extended field study placement (internship) with one of many community organizations and schools in the Tucson area. The field studies class, which you will take in conjunction with your internship, will help you to contextualize the social justice issues that community organizations and groups contend with in the borderlands. Lastly, through the Spanish class and associated community engagement, as well as home life with host families in Tucson, you will continue to strengthen your Spanish language knowledge, practice, and/or comprehension.

Courses

For a full list of course offerings, visit Earlham College’s website here.

Housing and Student Life

Students live with homestay families during the Border Studies Program. The homestay placements are typically with immigrant families who predominantly speak Spanish in the household. The homestay is an enriching experience where you and your family members alike learn and grow together. Members of the host families have personal insight into the issues explored in the program and offer you their unique perspectives on life in the borderlands.

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your preferences and the program, and we will then match you with your family. Some participants prefer more independence, and others prefer a more family-oriented experience.

The homestay has the potential to be a very important learning experience, and we view your living experience as an essential part of the overall educational program. Many Border Studies students have made long-lasting friendships with their host families over the years.

Application Process

Allegheny students must apply for approval to study off-campus from the Global Education office AND apply directly to their chosen program. For this program, students should work on the Allegheny approval application at the same time as the host program application. The Allegheny approval application deadline is February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs. Study away approval applications will be reviewed immediately following the appropriate semester deadline. The separate application deadline to apply directly to this program will vary and could be before or after Allegheny’s approval application due date. Check directly on their website (linked at the top of this page) for deadline information. For more information about the study away application process, please visit the application steps page.

Fees and Costs

Students pay Allegheny tuition, a double room, a Gator Blue meal plan, and an off-campus study fee of $800. Allegheny financial aid, except work-study/campus employment, is applied to program costs. Tuition includes housing, homestay meals, international travel insurance (CHUBB), and transcript administration fees. Estimated additional costs include books and supplies (approx. $200), airfare & local transportation (approx. $600), and personal expenses.