Loyola University Chicago

Center for Immigrant & Refugee Accompaniment (CIRA)

School of Social Work

Migration Focused Immersion Seminars in Mexico City and on the Mexico/U.S. Border

Two Migration focused immersion seminars are offered to undergraduate and graduate students every year, one in the summer and one over spring break.  The seminar student and faculty composition is intentionally interdisciplinary and transnational to promote interprofessional and transnational dialogue and learning among participants.  Students and faculty from disciplines and professions as diverse as: social work, psychology, public health, medicine, international relations, law, criminal justice, communication, anthropology, sociology, and political science. The seminars provide an opportunity for participants to come together to study migration-related issues affecting our respective countries and shared region. The course content and activities offer diverse perspectives, including those form the global south,  regarding the social, political, and economic factors that contribute to migration, as well as policy, advocacy and humanitarian responses to migration.  Attention is also given to local and regional efforts to create alternatives to migration and the integration of return migrants.

The two courses offered are: SOWK 733-North American Migration Dynamics & Policy and SOWK 502: The Intersection of Oppression, Privilege & Diversity. 


SOWK 733: North American Migration Dynamics & Policy is offered in Mexico City during the summer session and focuses on central themes concerning opportunities as well as challenges migration presents for fundamental social institutions in the region. The seminar incorporates site visits and multiple interdisciplinary guest lectures by various researchers from Mexican and Central American universities and research institutes, professionals from the public and private human services sector, advocacy organizations, and migrant leaders and migrant lead organizations in the Americas.

SOWK 502: The Intersection of Oppression, Privilege & Diversity is taught during the spring break intersession and offers a six-day immersion in Tucson and Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.  The seminar invites participants to examine oppression, privilege & diversity in relation to immigration and border communities. This seminar offered in collaboration with the Kino Border Initiative/Iniciativa Kino Para la Frontera.