Location: Chiapas, Tlaxcala, Mexico City (cities may vary), Mexico, and Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Terms: Fall (September-December) and spring (end January-early May)
Type of Program: Field-based coursework, Spanish language
Language of Instruction: English/Spanish
Fields of Study: Sociology, community organizing, political and social justice, Latin American Studies
Prerequisites: At least one year of college Spanish or ability to demonstrate equivalent mastery of the language
Through the Autonomous University of Social Movements (AUSM), students can participate in a unique study abroad experience that will connect them with other community activists struggling for change in Mexico. Students spend a semester traveling with the AUSM Mexico throughout Mexico studying critical international grassroots alliances in the struggle for democracy, sovereignty, and economic and political justice. The Autonomous University of Social Movements is committed to developing these grassroots alliances on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and organizing to promote dialogue and collective action for social change.
The Autonomous University of Social Movements Mexico study abroad experience offers a dynamic, student-centered and interdisciplinary pedagogical approach combined with direct interaction with some of Mexico's most important social movements. The program is 15 weeks (13 without the re-entry program). The inter-disciplinary course load offers up to 16 credits at the undergraduate or level.
AUSM's unique integration of theory and practice provides students with important lessons for organizing work back home and an in-depth appreciation of the struggles of:
The last two weeks students return to Chicago for the Chicago re-entry program, allowing students to re-acclimate to being in the U.S.A. by living with immigrant families who are part of the Centro Autónomo.
Photo of offering to a fallen Zapatista on the Day of the Dead. Photo taken by GEO staff while visiting the program in the fall of 2007.
The program is a 13-week inter-disciplinary course followed by a re-entry program of two weeks. Semester breakdown by week:
Week 1: San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas-UniTierra
Weeks 2-6: Oventic, Chiapas-Zapatista community
Weeks 7-9: Tlaxcala-Campesino communities
Weeks 10-13: Mexico City, "Los Panchos" autonomous urban community
Weeks 13-15: Chicago, Re-entry program
For more detailed program information, see the AUSM Program.
If you are not a Hampshire student but interested in AUSM's programs, please apply directly through AUSM. Hampshire College is the school of record for AUSM's Mexico Study Abroad program and can issue transcripts. Please contact AUSM for more information.
Non-Hampshire students may be eligible to receive financial aid from their home institution while participating in AUSM's Mexico Study Abroad program. Hampshire College cannot process financial aid for non-Hampshire students; any aid you receive would be at the discretion of the home institution. Please follow these steps to see if you are eligible to receive aid:
Hampshire College will complete the host institution section of the Agreement and return it to the home institution as instructed.
A centerpiece of AUSM's study abroad program is your immersion in communities actively involved in political, economic, and cultural organizing. During the program your lodging includes:
Hampshire Exchange Fees and Financial Aid provides detailed information on the fee policy, withdrawal policy, and how financial aid may apply.
A Spanish class for Mexico Solidarity Network students in Toluca de Guadalupe. Photo taken by GEO staff while visiting the program in the fall of 2007.
The Hampshire Exchange program with AUSM Mexico is open to division II or first semester division III Hampshire College students.
Hampshire students should review detailed information on eligibility requirements and policies in the Hampshire College Handbook under Exchange, Field Study, and Short-term Field Courses. Other students should refer to AUSM.
Contact the GEO program manager:
Professor of Sociology
School of Critical Social Inquiry