¡Al Norte! Migration From and Through Oaxaca

Next Offered
Autumn 2015
Application Deadline

Program Description


This course will examine two different aspects of the immigration phenomenon in the state of Oaxaca. First, how the indigenous migrant workers from the state of Oaxaca have built cross-border political organizations that make collective action possible in both their communities of origin and those established along their migratory circuit. The migrants’ capacity for adaptation of traditional forms of organization and political participation to the migration process range from the establishment of types of leadership that are highly controlled by popular assemblies to sustaining community modes of organizing voluntary collective work known as the tequio. The Seminar will focus on how indigenous migrant workers who provide remittances, share a level of social commitment to their households and communities that is nearly identical to non-migrants. Second, because of the geographical location and the fact that a cargo train passes by its Isthmus, Oaxaca has become a state of transit by Central Americans traveling on top of the cargo trains. We’ll visit one of the best NGO’s, “Hermanos en el camino” which provides a shelter for these migrants in their long journey to the US and analyze the tragic consequences of the risks they take while crossing Mexico.

Class assignments will include readings on migration provided by a local professor. Visits to local NGO’s in the city of Oaxaca, site visits to local communities to learn about their traditional governmental systems and how they use their remmitances to improve their communities, and a visit to Padre Solalinde's NGO in the Sierra Mixteca.


The dates of the program are August 25 - September 18, 2015.


SPAN 393: 5 Credits (Counts towards the Spanish minor) and JSIS B-324 (pending approval by Linda Iltis)

To be eligible for SPAN 393 credit, students must have completed SPAN 301 or SPAN 314 prior to going abroad.

Excursions & Other Activities

Excursions in México City and outside of the city of Oaxaca, visits to NGO’s that help Oaxacan migrant workers and Central Americans as well.

Housing Information

Homestay will be selected by partner organization in Oaxaca, Instituto Cutural Oaxaca (ICO) as well as the hotel for our fieldtrip to Ixtepec and the coast. In Mexico city is a hotel where students have stayed before in other trips.


UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month)

Eligibility & Application

Eligibility Requirements

Students should have 300 level or higher proficiency in Spanish.

Application Procedure

The application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, two electronic faculty recommendation surveys, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the on-line application process, students will 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.

Applications will be considered on a first come and on a space available basis, so students are encouraged to apply early.

Financial Information


Total costs are made up of the estimated Program Fee of $3,000, plus the UW Study Abroad Fee ($300), airfare, UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money. 2 meals will be provided daily.

Program Fees

$300 non-refundable UW Study Abroad fee- October 16th, 2015

$3000 program balance- October 16th, 2015

Airfare: $1,100 – 1,300 roundtrip, subject to when & where you buy your ticket.

Payment Schedule

All fees will be charged to the student’s account and should be paid at Student Fiscal Services on the following schedule:

  • UW Study Abroad fee- October 16th, 2015
  • Program balance- October 16th, 2015

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply, so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW Academic Calendar. Exploration Seminars take place in early fall, but have payment and financial aid disbursement schedules that mirror autumn quarter. Since Exploration Seminars start before the start of the autumn quarter, your autumn quarter financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. This means you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare and health insurance at the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you plan for your time abroad.

Student short-term loans are available from the UW Financial Aid Office during quarters that you are enrolled. If you do not plan to take summer quarter coursework and are interested in taking a loan to cover upfront costs, you need to apply before spring quarter ends. The bulk of the program fee for Exploration Seminars is not due until October, after the program has ended.

Refund Schedule

$350 of the program deposit and the $300 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable. More details about the withdrawal policy will be 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 date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the Office.

Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing to both:

Program Director María Gillman
Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies

Box 354360
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-4360
AND UW Study Abroad Office
Box 355815
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-5815

Contact Information

Questions about the program can be answered by:

María Gillman
(Resident Director)
Padelford Hall, B-229
(206) 543-6208

Program Status