Mexico: Migration, Globalization and the Environment


Spring Semester: Late January through mid-May

Engage directly with diverse communities impacted by globalization, migration, emigration, and environmental issues. Explore effects on women, gender roles, and attitudes towards sexuality, as well as diverse religious responses to these important social issues. Spanish classes are offered for all levels from beginners to native speakers. Although appealing to a wide cross-section of students, this program is a particularly good fit for environmental studies, religion, women’s studies, and Spanish language majors and minors.


Mexico is more than a spring break destination – it takes center stage in debates about globalization, U.S. immigration policy, and sustainable economic development. Programs are based in Cuernavaca, a vibrant and cosmopolitan city in central Mexico known for its innovative grassroots organizations, education, alternative health practices, and history of social struggle, as well as its appeal as a manufacturing base for numerous multi-national businesses.


CGE in-country staff and faculty average 12 years of experience with our programs.  Our students benefit from their contacts, networks, and knowledge.

Student Life in Mexico

The CGE campus in Mexico, located in the neighborhood of San Antón,  is a 15-minute walk from downtown Cuernavaca and the main city plaza. CGE is well established in San Antón and has many friends and close connections in the neighborhood, including some of the homestay families. CGE is located at the top of one of the large ravines that runs through the city, offering a dramatic view from the nearby bridge that leads to downtown. Because of the ravine, there is a 100 foot waterfall right in the neighborhood, a local eco-tourist attraction. Right across the bridge, students will find a large public garden/park, an independent movie theater, the Cathedral, and several popular cafés. CGE-Mexico’s campus includes two houses across the street from each other with ample living and study space for students, a library, computer labs and wireless internet, kitchen and dining areas, and outdoor patios and gardens. The Universal language school, where students take Spanish courses, conveniently is located right up the street and has a swimming pool and racquetball court.

Learn About

  • The relationships between globalization, migration, and the environment
  • Communities that are responding to the forces of globalization and migration and fomenting positive social change around issues of race, ethnicity, socio-economic class, gender, sexuality, economics, politics, and the environment

Engaging Conversations

  • Feminist and environmentalist scholars and activists including Indigenous, Mestiza, and Afro-Mexican women and the economically poor
  • Members of rural and urban communities that have been affected by globalization, environmental issues, and U.S. immigration policies
  • Managers and workers at transnational corporations’ assembly plants
  • People who have migrated to Cuernavaca, people who have worked in the U.S. with and without documents and then returned to Mexico, family members who have been left behind, and people who have been deported
  • Officials from the US embassy in Mexico City who address U.S. economic, environmental, and immigration policies

Course Offerings

Choose three or four of the following:

  • Environmental Biology (Biology 118)
  • Environmental Theology and Ethics (Religion/Women’s Studies 313)
  • Mexican History, Culture, and Cosmovision (History/Women’s Studies 357)
  • Globalization, Social Struggles, and the Environment (Political Science/Women’s Studies 341)
  • Contemporary Latin American Women: Texts and Voices (Spanish/Women’s Studies 335); taught only in Spanish
  • Pre-Columbian, Colonial, and Contemporary Mexican Art (Art/Spanish 231)
  • An internship for credit in business, environmental studies, history, interdisciplinary studies, language and cross-cultural studies, marketing, political science, religion, Spanish, women’s studies, or youth/family ministry
  • Choose 1-3 Spanish classes from our offered 16 Spanish language courses
  • A non-credit physical education course in Latin Dance

Check out the course syllabi!

Housing and Homestays

Two houses in Cuernavaca serve as a home base for most students. four- to-six week homestays are an integral part of the academic program. Longer homestays are available upon request, as are lesbian- and gay- friendly homestays.

Regional Travel

  • A week-long seminar on migration and globalization with homestays in a village were students will learn about Nahua Indigenous spirituality, gender roles, and ecology
  • A short seminar in Mexico City to meet with elected officials, feminists, religious leaders, and prominent leaders of grassroots organizations, in addition to a shelter for migrants
  • Weekend excursions to locations such as the Monarch butterfly sanctuary, Oaxaca, Puebla, Taxco, Teotihuacan, Toluca, and the Nevado de Toluca volcano

Program Reviews from Students

Check out what former students have to say about the program at Go Abroad.  We are also happy to connect you directly with program alumni.

Blogs and Videos

Read about the student experience in Mexico on our blog.

Our You Tube Channel has several excellent introductions to the program and internship experience.  The below highlights the beautiful city of Cuernavaca, the CGE facilities, and the homestay neighborhood.


One previous college-level Spanish language class or the equivalent is recommended but not required.  Only Spanish language courses are taught in Spanish; all other classes are offered in English.

Supporting a Diverse Community of Co-learners

The Center for Global Education strives to create for its participants an intentionally diverse community of co-learners where a variety of cultures and backgrounds is represented.

If you have additional questions about issues of diversity, multiculturalism, or oppression in regards to the site to which you will travel, please let us know during the enrollment process.


Applications are accepted on a rolling admissions basis with a final deadline of October 30.