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  • Locations: Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
Oaxaca is a vibrant, energetic, and rich tapestry of urban and rural living in the southern part of Mexico. Oaxaca’s culture is bountiful: 16 indigenous languages, a wide range of arts and crafts, traditional food dishes with international fame, and a unique political system known as “usos y costumbres” (customs and traditions). Oaxaca offers a perfect canvas from which to look at community development and consider if programs, organizations, and businesses are playing a role in keeping residents in their rural settings rather than migrating north to the United States.
This two-week faculty-led program is guided by an instructor that lived in Oaxaca and continues to visit; completed dissertation fieldwork in Oaxaca, and wrote her dissertation on the impacts of male migration on residents that remain in their rural environment. The discussions of how community development might lessen migration can be embellished with the instructor’s personal and academic experiences that go hand-in-hand with students' observations and learnings. Students will visit nonprofit organizations and private businesses that may offer economic stability in lieu of potential migration. Each visit will be viewed through the lens of potential economic impact, community development, and migration-alleviation possibilities. We will look at organizations that focus on microfinance, arts and crafts, children’s libraries, education, and gastronomy. A few to check out on the Internet include En Via, Libros para Pueblos, and The Oaxaca Learning Center. There is so much to gain from observing first-hand the rich culture that is Oaxaca.
Students will visit 8-10 communities in the two-week trip, each with its own culture, art and food specialties, and landscape. Mornings to early afternoon will find us visiting a community, talking and working with an organization, and experiencing and observing community development programs. Afternoons will be spent engaging and conversing with the student’s homestay family enjoying a homemade Oaxacan meal, followed by Spanish language and culture classes. Weekends will include a day-trip to the Tlacolula market, widely known as one of the largest and oldest traditional, indigenous markets in the country, and a 30-minute bus ride to San Martin Tilcajete, a town where nearly all families participate in the making and selling of alebrijes (wooden folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures). You’ll be amazed at the amount of community development learning that can occur in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Tuesday, March 10th
KMC 610C
Tuesday, March 17th
KMC 610C
Education Abroad Advisor Make an appointment with Hannah Fischer at any time!
Get Started Watch Ed Abroad 101
Faculty Leader Dr. Julie Boyles
Community Development, Urban Studies
Portland State University
Travel Dates September 5-20, 2020*

*Students are expected to arrive ready to meet their host families on September 5th. Due to flight prices and arrival times, it may make more sense to arrive in Oaxaca on September 4th and spend the night. We have included the estimated cost of an additional hotel night in the Estimated Student Expenses
Areas of Study This program is open to all students, but is especially relevant for the following majors:
  • Anthropology
  • Community Development
  • International Studies
  • Public Administration
  • Urban Studies and Planning
Course & Credit USP 410/510
4 UG credits or 3 Grad credits
Language of Instruction  English
Host Country Language  Spanish*

*Knowledge of Spanish is not required to participate in this program
Housing Homestay
Class Standing Eligibility
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior
  • Postbaccalaureate 
Preference is given to degree-seeking PSU students.
Minimum GPA Requirements Undergraduate: 2.75

Must be in Satisfactory Academic Standing.
Pre-Requisites None
Application Process
(PSU Students)
  • $50 Application Fee
  • Unofficial Transcript (from banweb)
  • 2 short essays
  • 1 Recommendation Form (submitted electronically via VikingsAbroad)
    • This is not a formal letter of recommendation, rather your recommender will need to fill out a short questionnaire about you with space for comments. 
    • This cannot be submitted by the program leader
    • These must be Professional or Academic in nature
  • Interview
Application Process
(Non-PSU Students)
$2,650 $1,330 $3,980
  • 4 undergraduate Credits
  • Accommodations
  • Field Trips & Excursions
  • Guest Speakers
  • Transportation Passes for the duration of the program
  • Cultural activities
  • Welcome & Farewell dinners
  • Education Abroad Service Fee
  • International round-trip airfare (estimated at $750)
  • Additional meals (estimated at $90)
  • Additional transportation to/from the Oaxaca airport (estimated at $20 each way)
  • Additional hotel night upon arrival (estimated at $50)
  • Personal spending money (estimated at $200)
  • Immunizations (estimated at $200)
  • Passport or visa 
    • US Passport holders do not need a visa to participate in this program

*Please note, all students enrolling for PSU credit are charged the PSU Rec Center Fee. For a current listing, please refer to PSU Fees.

*Application Fee: All applications include a $50 non-refundable fee due on the application deadline. Students who do not intend to complete a program application are required to withdraw before the deadline, otherwise, the $50 application fee will be assessed to the students' account. 


This program is currently not accepting applications.