At the end of their spring semester on campus, students travel to the U.S.-Mexico border for the final three weeks of the Border Studies program, spending time in Arizona and Mexico observing and considering issues of immigration, trade, and labor rights.
Students enroll in LNAM 280: “The Mexican-American Border” as one of their four spring courses. LNAM 280 is cross listed as BUSN 280, ECON 280, IREL 280, and SPAN 201. The travel portion of the course takes place for three weeks in May. Students travel to Arizona, spending time in Tucson and Douglas, preparing for the trip across the border and the homestay in Mexico. Following the orientation in Tucson, students will take a travel seminar along the U.S. side of the border and then spend one week in Agua Prieta, Mexico, where they will live with host families, attend presentations, participate in a service project, and learn from integrative field work. The course requires participation in both the on-campus class and the three week border component.
“The controversy over the impacts of the U.S. immigration policy and NAFTA were discussed in classes at Lake Forest College, and then the students got the opportunity to witness their impact on Mexican families living on both sides of the border,” said Professor Tuttle. “We visited migrant shelters (in Mexico), a Border Patrol Station (in the U.S.) and talked with Grupo Beta (in Mexico) and ICE (in U.S.) as well as lived with families in Agua Prieta, Sonora. It was a life changing experience for many of the students involved.”
The program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors of all academic majors and backgrounds. Qualified first year students may also apply.
One year of college level Spanish (or equivalent) is required – no exceptions.
The eligibility and application process is the same as for other off-campus programs. Required documents include an unofficial transcript (evidence of a minimum 2.5 GPA and Spanish language requirement), and other general off-campus study forms as well as program particular documents. The application forms can be found online: https://my.lakeforest.edu/ICS/Students/Off_Campus_Programs/.
Students will register for LNAM 280 which is cross listed as BUSN 280, ECON 280, IREL 280, and SPAN 201 as one of their four spring credits. The course will be graded.
Estimated Program Cost (in addition to Semester Tuition)
Total cost per student (including airfare) approximately $2,200.