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UK Sponsored: Social & Environmental Justice in Southern Mexico (Arts & Sciences)
Oaxaca, Mexico (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer 2
This UK Education Abroad program is not currently accepting applications. Please contact your EA Advisor or UK Education Abroad to determine if it is still possible to apply to this program.
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Experience Type:
Research Abroad, Study Abroad
Area of Study:
Agriculture Economics, Anthropology, Community and Leadership Development, Development Studies, Environmental Studies, Geography, Human Rights, International Studies, Latin American Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Spanish Language
Housing Options:
2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior
Minimum GPA:
Student Type:
Undergraduate students only
Niamh Minion
Program Director:
Oliver Froehling, Susan Roberts
UK Travel Medical Insurance:
Included in the UK Sponsored program fee
Program Description:
 UK Sponsored: Social & Environmental Justice in Southern Mexico
(Arts & Sciences)
2017 Dates TBD
(Departure from U.S.A. - Departure from host country)

hillsProgram Overview

This research-based program offers students the opportunity to conduct research in social or environmental science while further offering each student the ability to design and conduct their own research project under the supervision of knowledgeable and experienced local researchers.

This preparation entails in-depth learning about the diverse environments of Southern Mexico, as well as about the rich and heterogeneous cultures of Oaxaca’s distinct regions. The preparatory substantive coursework stresses the historical and contemporary dimensions of the relationship between the peoples of Oaxaca, the land and resources and a global political economy.

The research portion will commence with a training course in qualitative field research methods. This course will include a review of common methods such as interviews and surveys, as well as an introduction to collaborative research techniques. Emphasis will be placed on the ethical and cultural issues entailed in conducting research in and with relatively marginalized communities. Lastly, students will learn techniques for presenting research to diverse audiences through a variety of media.

Hear about the program from a 2015 student participant here!

See a story map created by one of the student participants here! (works best on Google Chrome or Firefox)

For a video slideshow of Oaxaca, Mexico, check out either of these two links produced by SURCO, the customizing partner that worked with the program director Drs. Susan Roberts and Oliver Froehling to develop the itinerary for this program:

Video Slideshow of Oaxaca

Video Slideshow of Oaxaca + SURCO

  • Explore one of the most ecologically diverse regions on earth.
  • Visit such sites as Monte Alban, Teotitlan, and Sirra Norte.
  • Study the diverse environments of Southern Mexico and the rich cultures of Oaxaca’s distinct regions.

This program is open to undergraduate students from all academic disciplines who are at least a sophomore standing, and who have taken at least two semesters of Spanish or who possess the equivalent proficiency. Students from universities other than UK are welcome to participate in this program as visiting students. For more information on how to apply to the University of Kentucky as a visiting student, go to UK Admissions. Non-UK students should consult with the program directors prior to applying to ensure that they have the proper academic background for the course. 

Academic Credit

UK Sponsored programs are conducted by the University of Kentucky faculty and staff. UK GPA credits and grades will be awarded by the program director for the successful and timely completion of all required program activities and assignments, including any required on-campus meetings before or after the program's international travel.
  • Student participants will enroll in GEO 365: Special Topics in Regional Geography: Society and Environment in Oaxaca, Mexico (3 credit hours); GEO 431: Political Ecology (3 credits); and GEO 406: Field Studies in Geography: Undergraduate Field Research Experience, Oaxaca, Mexico (3 credits).
  • Students may also enroll in an optional 4 week Spanish course for an additional $240 (no credit)
  • All students will enroll in EAP 599: Study Abroad (1 credit hour)
Housing & Mealsmercado

Students will reside in homestays while in Oaxaca. On field excursions, accommodations will vary. The homestays will provide 3 meals a day for student participants. Students are responsible for all meals outside of the homestay on their own, with the exception of meals provided during some excursions. 

Additional Accommodations

Students participating in this program will receive a research stipend to offset travel costs to the student's research site as well as the cost of food and lodging while at the research site. The total amount of the stipend will be determined by a committee comprised of local academics and experts (similar to an IRB), who will also give recommendations about feasibility, research design and practical and ethical concerns to the students.

Students participating in the program will also receive a local cell phone with a 200 peso credit balance and will be responsible for keeping a working balance and returning the phones to SURCO at the conclusion of the program.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Students are strongly encouraged to explore multiple funding opportunities for programs abroad. There are numerous opportunities available based on area of study, program type, length and country of destination. Smaller scholarships can often be "stacked" together to help fund education abroad.
  • Many financial aid packages (scholarships, loans and grants) used for on-campus study can be applied to education abroad programs. Students who qualify for financial aid should consult with UK Financial Aid as soon as possible to identify possible financial aid opportunities.
  • UK Education Abroad Scholarship - a campus wide selection committee awards needs-based scholarships to UK students in amounts of $750, $1,000 & $1,500. The deadline to apply is March 1 for Summer/Fall programs and October 1 for Spring/Winter programs.
For more information about scholarship and funding resources, please visit the UK Education Abroad Financial Aid & Scholarships website. 

Supplemental Materials 

This program runs in collaboration with the University of Kentucky and SURCO. Students will complete an application with UK Education Abroad (online, this website) and supplemental materials with SURCO. The supplemental application materials are for administrative purposes and will be provided to all accepted students AFTER the UK application deadline.

Program Costs

Costs and cancellation policies vary by program. Please see the "Fees and Policies" information page (the link is in the program header at the top of this website). Be sure to consider the associated UK costs, program specifications, and related travel expenses. 

Passport & Visa Requirements

Participants must have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the expected date of return to the U.S. The Wildcat Passport Acceptance Facility in the UK Student Center accepts U.S. passport applications. For more information about U.S. passport applications, please visit the U.S. Department of State website.
U.S. Passport holders are not required to obtain a visa for participation on this program. Non-U.S. passport holders must investigate the visa regulations of the Mexican Embassy as well as the associated regulations for their current U.S. student visa.

Health & Safety Abroad

Note: Although some areas of Mexico are currently under a U.S. State Department Travel Warning, the specific location of this program is NOT included in that warning. Eligible UK students may participate in this program with full support from the University. It is important to understand that should the Travel Warning change to include the location of this program there might be additional application requirements that must be completed in order to maintain University support for participation in the program.

All participants of this program will be enrolled in Travel Medical Insurance for the duration of the program. Participants wishing to travel before or after the official program dates are strongly encouraged to purchase additional coverage for the extended travel dates. Please see the UK Education Abroad Health & Safety website for more information.

All students will participate in UK pre-departure orientation activities. Students will often participate in orientation activities upon arrival in the host country as well. In addition to pre-departure orientations, students will have access to on-going orientation resources during and after their program to maximize the intercultural and intellectual learning potential at each phase of the education abroad experience. Students are strongly encouraged to independently research their host country. Participants should consider the history, current politics, social media outlets, tourism boards, etc. 

Diversity Abroad

In support of the University of Kentucky's compelling interest in the educational benefit of diversity within the UK Student body, UK Education Abroad encourages all students to apply for an education abroad program that best suits their academic and personal needs. For more information, please see our diversity abroad resources, here.

For More Information

The College of Arts & Sciences Education Abroad web page

For additional information about the program, please contact:

EA Peer Ambassadors, Education Abroad Resource Center, 315 Bradley Hall - Walk ins are welcome Monday-Friday 9am - 5pm.

Dr. Susan Roberts, faculty member in the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky,; Oliver Froehling, international faculty member working for the University of Kentucky, Mr. Froehling will be directing the program.

Ms. Niamh Minion, EA Advisor,

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This UK Education Abroad program is not currently accepting applications. Please contact your EA Advisor or UK Education Abroad to determine if it is still possible to apply to this program.