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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Tucson, AZ, United States;
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Program Sponsor: Earlham College 
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English, Spanish Click here for a definition of this term Class Status: 2-sophomore, 3-junior, 4-senior
Housing Options: Homestay Click here for a definition of this term Areas of Study: Art, Communication, Environmental Studies, History, Humanities, International Studies, Law, Linguistics, Peace & Conflict Studies, Public Policy, Religion/Theology, Social Work, Sociology, Spanish, Womens Studies
Program Type: Study Abroad
Program Description:
Border Studies
(non-Earlham Students)


More Info
You can also read a chapter about the Border Studies Program that was published in a book called Putting the Local in Global Education: Models for Transformative Learning through Domestic Off-Campus Programs.


Map - Tucson and Oaxaca
Group discussion desert floor
Border whiteboard drawing

Group pose in Sonoran Desert
BSP van in the desert

Altar with colorful items

Group with huge cactus
Staff photo



Academic Info | Logistics | Field Study | Student Life | How to Participate


Program themes

The Border Studies Program explores salient topics of our time:
  • transnational migration
  • ?neo-liberal globalization
  • the militarization of policing
  • struggles for environmental justice
  • ethnic studies and gender studies
  • indigenous rights
  • language justice
  • community-building in diverse regions
  • organizing, activism, and movement building

"?This program is life-changing and something I will hold in my heart and mind forever."


Key Program Elements

The southern Arizona borderlands are defined by intense contestation around a host of issues that are coming to define the 21st century. In this context, we have created a structured, dynamic, semester-long program that allows students an immersive engagement with:
  • hands-on experience in contemporary justice struggles
  • an expansive curriculum that values grassroots knowledge
  • an approach that challenges students to understand and articulate the context and implications of their own positionalities
  • homestays with diverse, local families
  • community-based internships in grassroots and/or non-profit organizations
  • short and overnight excursions throughout the Borderlands region, including Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and the Mexican state of Sonora
  • an intentional community of critical thinkers, learners, and activists
  • a rigorous academic curriculum

Academic Overview

At Earlham College, the courses in this program apply toward graduation as two courses in the social sciences and one course in the humanities as well as meeting the Diversity–International and Diversity–Domestic requirements. Please see details on the Academic Info tab and consult with the Registrar's Office or your academic advisor on your home campus to discuss how it may be applicable for your degree progress.


The unique combination of coursework, field studies, and travel seminars create an outstanding opportunity for you to deepen your understanding of your own positionalities in relation to space, a multitude of communities, and their particular struggles for social justice. Excursions also allow you to explore academic themes such as migration, the global economy, environmental degradation, development, sustainability, transnational communities, international boundaries, and justice in a landmarked by numerous inequalities.

Experiential Learning

The travel seminars, excursions, and community engagements are intended to enhance your understanding of the different issues faced by border communities today. As one aspect of the program's experiential learning curriculum, you will engage with diverse people and community organizations working along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border by traveling to different locales.


Overview | Logistics | Field Study | Student Life | How to Participate

Academic Info


The Border Studies Program is designed to assist you in acquiring more complex and sophisticated analyses of issues related to migration, identity (including your own positionalities), and social justice. You will have the unique opportunity to make connections between communities through direct living, working, and traveling that accompany academic study. Through these experiences, you will be challenged to reflect upon your roles and to think critically about the ways in which you 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 and reflection. You will participate in two core seminars that explore the salient topics of settler colonialism, decolonizing approaches, 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 as well as 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. Lastly, through the Spanish class and associated community engagements, as well as home life with host families, you will continue to strengthen their Spanish.

"I feel like BSP has opened my eyes ... to the rotten underbelly of our government, but also empowered me to feel like I can do something about it."

Program Courses

The program curriculum includes four courses that together result in 18 credits:
  • Movement and Movements: A Political Economy of Migration Seminar (4 credits) — This class provides robust insight into the global political and economic trends that drive and condition patterns of transnational migration in North America and beyond. This biweekly seminar places current trends in historical and geographic context and considers a variety of alternatives and solutions proposed by distinct sectors of society in Mexico and the United States. Topics considered include: settler colonialism, critical race theory, immigration law, neoliberalism, mass incarceration, social movements, and border abolition. Reading assignments are designed to complement and provide background and context for the people, places, and topics approached throughout the BSP semester.

    This is a course under the Peace and Global Studies Program, or PAGS. At Earlham, it applies as a social science course and meets the Diversity–International requirement. Other areas where it might apply at other colleges and universities: Geography; History; International Studies; Migration Studies; Politics/Political Science; Sociology
  • Routes y Raíces: Towards Collective Power (4 credits) — To better understand the place and moment that we presently inhabit, it is important to examine it and the past both in its myriad voices and in its silences. This class engages with the histories that have shaped the economic, political, and cultural landscape of the borderlands and beyond. It is not a comprehensive history, but one chosen to highlight spaces and moments that can serve to develop critical analytical tools and challenge hegemonic and reductive narratives of the spaces we reside and move through. This class uplifts the writings of indigenous peoples, BIPOC – particularly women of color – activists, organic intellectuals, and voices from the ‘Global South.’ We will examine a number of interrelated topics and struggles, including: decoloniality, immigration, the prison-industrial complex and detention, border militarization, social and environmental movements, art, and representation. Knowledge is produced in a number of spaces, within and outside academia, and is shaped by different individual and collective experiences – so our class materials will reflect that.

    This is a course under the Peace and Global Studies Program, or PAGS. At Earlham, it applies as a social science course and meets the Diversity–Domestic requirement. Other areas where it might apply at other colleges and universities: Anthropology; Art History; Comparative Literature; Ethnic Studies; Media Studies; Migration Studies; Postcolonial Studies; Sociology; Women's/Gender/Sexuality Studies
  • Español in the Borderlands (4 credits) Learning a new language — or giving priority to a language other than English — is a political act. In schools, an emphasis on non-English languages as ‘foreign’ maintains the status quo. This course will be different from other language classes you may have taken, as it will be taught through a content-based approach and will give priority to the voices of those most affected by unjust systems. We will be very intentional to learn Spanish as a language of the real people who speak it, and we will explore themes that directly relate to their experiences, as opposed to studying Spanish as a language of ‘the Other’ as is commonly done in ‘foreign’ language classes across the U.S. Through the Spanish language, we will explore certain themes of the program, such as border enforcement, neoliberalism, ethnic studies, feminism, free trade, food justice, and more. This course would not exist without the input and centering of a multitude of teachers throughout Tucson. Lastly, this course gives us the opportunity to explore together how our language(s) inform(s) how we view our own identities, our interactions with other people, and our political views.

    This is a course under the Earlham Program for an Integrated Curriculum, or EPIC. At Earlham, it applies as a humanities course. Other areas where it might apply at other colleges and universities: International Studies; Latin American and Latinx Studies; Migration Studies; Spanish
  • Borderlands Field Study Practicum (6 credits) —  The Border Studies Program (BSP) engages in a pedagogical practice known as praxis, or the spaces in which contemplation and action come together. The practicum structure of this course means that, in addition to intellectual learning, students will also gain practical skills and experiences. For many students, their field-study site is one of the most enriching, thought-provoking, challenging, and informative aspects of their time in the Border Studies Program. The primary component of this course will be the eight hours that students spend every week at their field-study site. The practicum course also meets two hours a week, during which students explore themes of personal identity and social justice, engage in dialogue with community leaders from field-study sites, and collectively troubleshoot issues that arise. The culmination of the field-study practicum is a required 10-to-15-page auto-ethnography, discussing pertinent experiences at the organization as viewed in a self-reflective analysis of your role and positionality(-ies) at the site.

    This is a course under the Earlham Program for an Integrated Curriculum, or EPIC. Because it's a field study course involving a placement with a community organization, it may be applicable as an internship, practicum, or field study course at other colleges and universities. It might also apply toward satisfying a community-engagement or service-learning requirement.

Language Learning

The borderlands is a multilingual region, which presents rich opportunities for linguistic and cultural immersion. You will no doubt hear Spanish, English, and Spanglish being spoken regularly, in addition to O'odham and Yoeme. The Border Studies Program offers ample opportunity for exposure to the Spanish language through the Spanish Language Program, travel, and the homestay. Additionally, each academic course incorporates readings and/or guest speakers in Spanish, and several of the program's weekly activities incorporate Spanish as well. 

The Border Studies Spanish Program includes three components:
  1. Español in the Borderlands, facilitated by Cristen Poynter, which meets weekly with all Border Studies students (see the academics page for more information)
  2. Community Spanish Classes, which meet one evening per week for eight weeks.
  3. The Language Justice Collective with Mari and Cristen, which is an opportunity to engage in local organizing around language justice

Community Classes

The Community Spanish Classes are open to members of the Tucson social justice community and are divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Each class is taught by a native speaker teacher or volunteer teacher.
  • The beginner class is designed for students with one year of classes or less and focuses on gaining basic conversational skills.
  • The intermediate level, geared toward students with one to two years of classes, provides students with the opportunity for extra speaking practice on the weekly themes that are explored in the Español in the Borderlands course as well as some instruction in grammar.
  • The advanced level functions as a book club and is discussion-based, with an emphasis on vocabulary development and is designed for students with three or more years of classes.

Language Justice Collective

The Language Justice Collective (LJC) of Tucson is dedicated to facilitating multilingual spaces by eliminating language barriers and building community. We work towards social justice by supporting community organizing efforts through interpretation, classes, and workshops. Our collective is committed to promoting equal rights for all by addressing the root causes of oppression. Some opportunities that BSP students have had through the LJC:
  • attending Language Justice Workshop with Tucson community members
  • interpreting for events that BSP has put on for the community
  • interpreting for BSP students during travel excursions
  • interpreting during virtual meetings held in Zoom 

Preparation in Spanish

While there is no formal language requirement for the program, you are encouraged to arrive in Tucson with basic Spanish conversational skills. Those students that have no experience with the language may choose to gain some language skills through one of the following:

How BSP participants improve their skills in Spanish

  • By living with a Spanish-speaking or bilingual homestay family while in Tucson 
  • By taking advantage of opportunities when appropriate to interact in Spanish throughout extended travel seminars in Mexico
  • Choosing to read some assignments in Spanish or write field journal entries in Spanish
  • By participating in a field study placement where Spanish is the dominant language
  • Engaging in a language exchange with a Tucson community member
  • Immersing themselves in the language as much as possible through Spanish language podcasts (Radio Ambulante), T.V., music, news (Democracy Now! en español), etc.
  • Community Language Classes with native speaking volunteer teachers who facilitate classes for Border Studies students alongside the Tucson social justice community
  • Guest speakers in Spanish and other classes
  • Weekly content-based language classes that incorporate salient topics such as border enforcement and militarization, free trade agreements, food justice, language justice, ethnic studies, art, etc.
  • Advanced and native/heritage Spanish speakers may be eligible to participate in the Language Justice Collective, which supports students in gaining skills in interpretation between Spanish and English

Overview | Academic Info | Field Study | Student Life | How to Participate



Deadline Info

For fall semester:

  • The priority deadline is March 15th

  • The final deadline is April 15th

For spring semester:

  • The priority deadline is September 15th

  • The final deadline is October 15th

A passport is required for this program, given program travel to Mexico. US students who have not yet applied for or renewed their passports should do so no less than three months before the program start date and request and pay for expediting.

Tucson, Arizona

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 peoples who inhabit the arid lands of Sonora, Arizona, and beyond.

Historic Y

The Border Studies Program classroom is located in the Historic YWCA, a shared office building that hosts a number of Tucson nonprofits, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, the Sierra Club Borderlands Campaign, and the Audubon Society; as well as the Paulo Freire Freedom School (a k-8 charter school) and two theater companies.  

The Historic Y is ideally located adjacent to 4th Ave., one Tucson’s primary bohemian commercial corridor, and less than a mile from the University of Arizona and the downtown Ronstadt transit center.  Our classroom is located on the second floor - however, plans are currently underway to construct an elevator that would dramatically improve accessibility, allowing direct access from the ground floor to the Border Studies Program’s offices and classroom.

Travel Documents

A passport is required for this program*, as it includes travel into and back from Mexico on multiple occasions. Instructions on how to apply for/renew U.S. passports can be found at If you already have a passport, you should make sure that it will be valid for at least 6 months after the program ends.

Note: Undocumented and DACA students are also welcome to participate in this program, but please see the How to Participate page for important information.

Visa Information 
In most cases, no Mexican visas are required for this program. Students who are citizens or permanent residents of Mexico, the US, or Canada do not require visas. Most international students may also enter without visas as long as you have a valid passport and a valid US visa that allows you to return to the US. If you have any questions, please contact, and we will assist you.

International students should also ensure that your US visa status will remain valid throughout the program period and get your I-20 signed for a travel authorization. Please see an international student advisor to discuss these items.

Program Costs

Students from other colleges: The cost of the program will depend on the off-campus study model at your home institution. Some colleges follow the same model as Earlham, as described above. Some may ask you to pay tuition and fees to your home campus, and Border Studies room and board directly to Earlham for the program semester. In some cases, you may be asked to pay all program costs directly to Earlham.
The program fees do not include costs of roundtrip transportation to and from program location, passport fees, visa expenses (if any), personal travel, books, or personal items.

Financial Aid

Students from other colleges may generally apply their financial aid from their home campus toward the costs of participation. Please check with your home campus financial aid or off-campus study office for details.


Students from non-Earlham institutions are not eligible for scholarships awarded through Earlham College, but many institutions offer their own scholarships for off-campus study. Please check at your home campus for details.


Overview | Academic Info | Logistics | Student Life | How to Participate

Field Study

Supervised Field Study

Participants in the Border Studies Program have the opportunity to work at a number of different organizations during their time in Tucson. The Field Study is envisioned as a way for you to take part in the life of our Tucson community, and to contribute to the work of justice that is undertaken here in our border city. It is also a way for you to learn and grow as students, work for social and environmental change, as well as develop a more complex and nuanced understanding of the work that is possible for you after you leave college. We are fortunate to have excellent community partners who are committed to providing you with guidance, mentorship, and meaningful experiences at your field-study site.

Recent field study site examples:


Overview | Academic Info | Logistics | Field Study | How to Participate

Student Life


Required program excursions then are designed to complement the academic work students are engaged while in the borderlands.
The program includes a number of one-day excursions to observe firsthand the ways policies and laws shape the experiences of people inhabiting or in transit through this region. These visits include going to Operation Streamline and visiting Border Patrol and the Eloy or Florence Detention Centers. We also learn of the responses by community groups to the needs emerging in the borderlands by engaging in workdays with grassroots organizations, visiting community gardens, engaging in a barrio walk, participating in local projects and events, and speaking to local organizers and activists.    
Longer excursions take Border Studies students to a number of sites in the Sonoran-Arizona borderlands along both sides of the border as well as the interior of Mexico. Past excursions have included:
  • Altar, Cananea, Caborca, Hermosillo, and Nogales in Sonora, Mexico
  • the O’odham Nation in Sonora
  • the Río Sonora Valley
  • Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico
  • New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness
  • El Paso and Big Bend in Texas, and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico
  • Arivaca, Ajo, Florence, and Patagonia in Arizona
Questions about international travel? Please direct questions to


During orientation. For the first week of the program, you will reside together with other participants during the orientation period. The orientation will culminate in a host family reception where you will meet your family for the first time and begin the semester together. From then on, you will live with a host family in Tucson until the end of the semester.
Homestay. 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 during the semester, and we see 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.

"My host parents were wonderful in general but also flexible and generous about sharing their space."

"We had great times shopping and cooking and watching movies."

"They were the greatest, most welcoming and loving family ever. I felt so included in family activities from the very start."


Border Studies On-Site Staff


Geoff Boyce, Academic Director and BSP Instructor
Geoff joined the Border Studies Program in January 2016 and currently serves as Academic Director.  In 2016 Geoff earned a PhD in geography at the University of Arizona, where he also completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship and maintains an academic affiliation with the Binational Migration Institute in the Department of Mexican American Studies.  Geoff's research work covers everyday dimensions of immigration and border policing across North America.  Geoff has conducted research and published on the intersections of technology, state power and social movements in Mexico and Arizona.  Geoff's writing has been featured in a number of academic journals and online in Z Magazine, The Hill, CounterPunch, and NACLA Report on the Americas.  Although born and raised in the Detroit area, Geoff has lived in Arizona since January 2001.  Since that time he has been involved in a number of social movements and community struggles in the southern Arizona borderlands. 

Diego Bustos, Director of the Spanish Language Program
Diego joined the Border Studies Program in 2021. Previously, he was the Spanish as Second Language (SSL) Assistant Coordinator at the University of New Mexico, helping in the department’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. He assisted with online teaching, placement, assessment, exam design, and evaluating instructors’ teaching. His research and teaching elaborate on the dialectic relationship between rhetorical strategies present in a corpus of cultural performances and novels, and the economic imagination on development in Latin America. His book manuscript, Writing Development: Agonistic aesthetics and middle-class politics in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico proposes that these cultural texts shaped and reinterpreted a genealogy of economic development, offering a repertoire of meanings and practices for contemporary public policy in which the concept of middle-class is predominant.


Kate Morgan, Director of Student Services and BSP Instructor

Kate Morgan came to Tucson for the first time in 2010 to volunteer with the humanitarian-aid organization, No More Deaths (NMD).  She immediately feel in love with the Sonoran desert and the amazing community of activists living, working and fighting for justice in the borderlands.  In 2011 she moved to Tucson to work as a full-time desert-aid worker and to serve as the Volunteer Coordinator with No More Deaths.  From 2013-2016, Kate lived in Chicago, IL working for The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights connecting detained immigrant youth to legal resources and support. She returned to Tucson in late 2016 and was thrilled to accept the Program Assistant position with the Border Studies Program. Kate holds a Masters in Social Work (MSW) and Masters in Public Affairs (MPA) from the University of Washington-Seattle.  She studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador and has also spent time living in Caracas, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

Mari Galup, Academic and Community Director and BSP Instructor

Originally from Chaclacayo, Peru, Mari Galup has resided in Tucson since 2006. She joined the Border Studies Program in the spring of 2017 after a number of years teaching at the University of Arizona where she received her PhD from the Gender and Women's Studies Department in 2016. Her academic work reflects her interests in transnational feminisms, Third world and women of color theories and praxis, decoloniality, indigenous knowledge, social movements in the Americas, migrant and environmental justice, food justice and food sovereignty. Since making Tucson her home, Mari has been involved in a number of grassroots organizations such as the Protection Network Action Fund (Pronet) and the Language Justice Collective that work on a number of issues present in the borderlands. Mari's self-care revolves around her dog Luna, her birth and extended queer family, and the desert landscape that she loves. She also enjoys plants, reading, yoga and travel, which she is privileged to do every so often. She uses the gender pronouns she/her/ella. 


Rosalva Romero, Housing Coordinator and Education Assistant

Rosalva Romero is the housing coordinator for the Earlham College Border Studies Program. Originally from Hermosillo, Sonora, Rosalva has lived in Tucson for twelve years, and since her arrival has been very involved in working with various community groups. She was an active organizer against the anti-immigrant Proposition 200 in Arizona, was involved in the “Mi Familia Vota” movement to activate Latino voters in Arizona, and also organized a women’s program through the Tucson Community Food Bank. After organizing health care workers for SEIU, Rosalva most recently worked with American Friends Service Committee and the Southwest Institute for Research on Women to promote labor rights among the immigrant community and especially of the rights of Women workers. She currently works for the Community Food Bank and is a personal docent to local schools, teaching them about sustainability, healthy eating and gardening. She also co-coordinates the women's empowerment group, Comité Fortín de las Flores. Rosalva has three wonderful children, and looks forward to continuing to work with Border Studies students.

Off-Site Staff


Roger Adkins, Director of the Border Studies Program

Roger Adkins is a scholar-administrator with a complex profile that includes extensive administrative work and expertise in global learning, ongoing interdisciplinary research and scholarship, and teaching in both domestic and international settings. They are a passionate interculturalist who strives to make global learning accessible for every student, both in on-campus and off-campus settings. Roger identifies as queer, lives with a disability, and comes from a working-class background. They were also a first-generation college student. They are passionate about inclusiveness and are very happy to serve as a mentor or advocate for students from diverse backgrounds. They identify as gender nonbinary and use they/them/their pronouns. 


Rossa Darni, Global Programs Coordinator

Rossa Darni is an alum of Earlham, class of 2013. She studied international studies and politics for her bachelor’s degree, worked as the senior adviser for EducationUSA (a network of the U.S. Department of State) in Indonesia, and was a partnership representative for an EdTech startup. Rossa earned her M.A. in International Education Development from Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York. Her experiences and specialties are in intercultural competence development, community engagement, educational programming, international education partnerships, career development, monitoring/evaluation, qualitative research and marketing. For Rossa, the best part of being the Global Programs Coordinator is that she chats with students daily on topics that she is passionate about, such as travel and post-college life. 


Melissa Cox, Administrative Assistant 

Melissa is the Administrative Assistant at the Center for Global and Career Education at Earlham College and the Border Studies Program. She has been with us since 2016.


Overview | Academic Info | Logistics | Field Study | Student Life

How to Participate



The Border Studies Program is open to degree-seeking students from all academic backgrounds and majors, in good standing, at any college or university. All participants must be full-time undergraduate students. We strongly recommend that you arrive with at least a conversational ability in Spanish. Although there is no formal requirement, one year of college-level Spanish is recommended prior to joining the program. 

How to Apply

The application process involves the completion of multiple steps:

Non-Earlham students:
  1. In most cases, you will first complete an off-campus study application at your home college or university (this may also include an interview with a faculty or staff member at your home campus).
  2. Receive approval to participate from your home institution.
  3. Submit the Application for Border Studies Program (click 'Apply Now' in the Overview tab).
  4. Complete an interview with a Border Studies Program faculty member.
  5. Receive notification from the Earlham College Center for Global and Career Education about your acceptance to the program.
Earlham studentsView the Earlham student Border Studies page.

Who are our participants?

Program participants are very diverse and represent:
  • All ethnic and racial identities
  • All gender identities
  • All sexual identities
  • All religious communities
  • The full spectrum of accessibility needs*
  • Both international and U.S. students
  • Documented, undocumented, and DACA students**
  • All socioeconomic classes
  • Indigenous and non-indigenous individuals
  • Everyone from first-generation students in their families to heritage students whose parent, grandparent, or other relative attended the same college
  • Veterans as well as those who are critical of the military
  • All political parties and affiliations
*For those with mobility-related accessibility needs, please note that the program is housed on the second floor of a historic building (the historic YWCA) that is not currently accessible. The building manager plans to install an elevator, but it is not yet available. At this time, the best solution will be to rely on others for assistance in moving up and down the stairs. We are happy to discuss any accessibility concerns:
**Because the program includes travel throughout the Borderlands region and border crossings into Mexico, there are concerns particular to undocumented and DACA students. Program faculty will make alternative arrangements/assignments for any travel into Mexico and any visits to U.S. Border Patrol or other official sites. However, the program’s base in Tucson and almost all sites visited are within the special enforcement zone along the U.S. border, which means that there are risks of encountering authorities who may legally demand documents. Please consider carefully with your family members whether the program’s location is one that is comfortable as a study site for you. We are happy to discuss any concerns related to DACA or undocumented status:

Where do Border Studies participants attend school? 

Degree-seeking undergraduate students from all colleges and universities are eligible to apply. Please review specific policies at your home campus related to program approval and participation. Students from the following colleges and universities have participated in the program. If your college is not listed here, please contact the program director, Roger Adkins, to indicate your interest.
  • Anderson University
  • Antioch University
  • Albion College
  • Brandeis University
  • Carleton College
  • Denison University
  • DePauw University
  • Earlham College
  • Hope College
  • Kalamazoo College
  • Kenyon College
  • Lewis and Clark College
  • Macalester College
  • Oberlin College
  • Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Reed College
  • Smith College
  • Southwestern University
  • St. Olaf College
  • Swarthmore College
  • UC Davis
  • UC Santa Cruz
  • Vassar College
  • Wesleyan University
  • Western Washington University
  • Whitman College
  • Williams College
  • Wooster, College of
  • Yale-NUS College, Singapore

Is there a typical major?

For many participants, Border Studies courses may satisfy one or more general requirements for graduation and one or more major or minor requirements (ask at your home campus!). In addition, the internship – while not infinitely customizable – can be tailored somewhat to help students earn major and/or minor credit. Past Border Studies participants (fall 2017 to the present) were pursuing a wide array of majors (note that this list includes majors not offered at all colleges):
  • (Undeclared)
  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Comparative Language and Linguistics
  • Comparative Literature
  • Computer Science
  • Conflict Studies
  • Creative Writing
  • Economics
  • Education
  • English
  • Environmental Studies/Sustainability
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Geography
  • Global Management
  • Hispanic Studies
  • History
  • Human Development and Social Relations
  • International Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Latinx Studies (or Latina/o Studies)
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Peace and Global Studies
  • Philosophy
  • PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics)
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Psychology
  • Public Policy
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Urban Studies
  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Campus Contacts

You may contact the following program representatives on your campus to learn more about the program.

Albion | Cristen CaseyElizabeth Barrios-RamírezDeborah Kanter 
Antioch | Richard Kraince
Brandeis | Alisha Cardwell
Carleton | Helena KauffmanJennifer McMurray
Denison | Taku SuzukiMónica Ayala-Martínez
DePauw | Mandy Brookins-BlinnGlen Kuecker Rebecca AlexanderMeryl AltmanAngela CastañedaAlejandro Puga 
Earlham | Rizqarossaa (Rossaa) DarniRoger AdkinsRyan MurphyJoanna SwangerJonathan Diskin 
Hope | Yolanda VegaAmy Otis-DeGrauGaby Olaguibel
Kalamazoo | Margaret WiedenhoeftShanna SalinasAdriana Garriaga-LopezAlayna LewisReid GomezFrancisco Villegas
Kenyon | Meghan Mason • Nancy Powers • Joseph Klesner • Marne Ausec • Jennifer Johnson • Víctor Rodríguez-Núñez
Lewis and Clark Magalí Rabasa • Elliot Young • Blythe Knott
Macalester | Kevin Morrison • Shanti Freitas • Paul Dosh
Oberlin | Rochelle Travis • Pablo Mitchell • Janet Fiskio • Gina Perez
Ohio Wesleyan | Darrell Albon • Lisa Ho • Juan Armando Rojas
Susquehanna Molly Roe
Vassar | Kerry Stamp • Leslie Offutt • Joseph Nevins • Susan Stephens
Wabash | Amy Weir • Gilberto Gomez • Jeremey Hartnett
Whitman | Aaron Bobrow-Strain
Susan Holme
Wooster Candace Chenoweth • Pam Frese • Rikki Palmer • Jamie Adler
Yale-NUS | Lindsay Allen • Graham Link