Semester in Oaxaca, Mexico

 Photo Credit: Max Cheney

Johnston and the University of Redlands Study Abroad Office sponsor an Integrated Semester travel trip to Oaxaca, Mexico and Guatemala every two years (next trip, Spring 2018). This trip is distinctive to Johnston since it is designed to encourage Johnston and non-Johnston students to work together to integrate their travel and study abroad into their emphasis or major.

The travel group is gathered in the year prior to the trip on a rolling admission basis. Usually there is a good mix of Johnston and non-Johnston students bringing a variety of interests. The group is formed and develops its set of rules based upon Johnston consensus processes. They travel together for a semester and, upon return, work together to demonstrate what they have learned to our Johnston community, the University community and beyond.

The group stays in Oaxaca Mexico for about 12 weeks. Students stay in individual home-stays, take intensive language courses in Spanish or Zapotec, attend group activities and a course focusing on Globalization, Tourism and Development. Each student has 8 of the 16 credit hours to focus on a community involvement placement (ranging from working with street kids to painting murals to working with NGO's or governmental departments) and to develop and produce a piece of work that brings all of these experiences together.

While the base of the trip is in Oaxaca city, the group travels to others parts of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, and a three-week trip to a variety of places in Guatemala. Johnston affiliated professor, Pat Wasielewski, has guided this trip for the past 10 years and draws upon her extensive knowledge of Mexico, Guatemala, Sociology and Anthropology and Women's and Gender Studies to help students achieve their goals. More specific information about the trip is available by going to her website.