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Programs : Brochure

This is the program brochure page.
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description


Gray whale tail

This program will explore the role of eco- tourism in sustainable community development.  Can a community depend wholly on eco- tourism to solve its development problems and what issues come along with the economic transition from traditional industries to eco-tourism? This program will also explore the role that non-profits, including the World Wildlife Fund, play in promoting and maintaining an eco-tourism industry that supports local communities and wildlife while giving tourists the life changing experiences they need to commit to environmental sustainability in their daily lives back home.   

Students will have one on one time with local community members who have switched from exploitative industries to eco-tourism.  The program will include lectures and discussions with non-profits who have transformed the tourism industry in Baja and learn the role that they play in monitoring the health of both the natural and social communities affected by tourism growth.

Quick Facts

  • One week before Spring semester 2020 begins: January 5-11, 2020

  • Snorkel with whale sharks and friendly sea lions

  • Chat with World Wildlife Fund staff about eco-tourism and conservation

  • Talk with non-profits about tourism development

  • Explore three different towns and compare tourism development

  • Kayak in the world’s aquarium

  • Affordable, accessible once in a lifetime experience

Application Requirements

To apply for this program, click the "Apply Now" button above. This will generate an online application with the requirements listed below. Please also refer to the "Academics" tab for specific eligibility information. Note: Non-ASU students should consult these instructions before applying.


La Paz Boardwalk

Location Details

La Paz is the capital of the state of Baja and the Mexican city with the highest standard of living and safety rating.  Its beautiful boardwalk hugs the Sea of Cortez which is one of the most biologically diverse bodies of water on the planet, home to more than 900 species of fish, thousands of species of invertebrates, and a wide array of marine mammals like sea lions, dolphins turtles, whales and whale sharks.  Jacques Cousteau referred to Sea of Cortez the world’s aquarium

Visa Information

It is each student’s responsibility to independently determine if a visa is necessary for travel to any foreign countries visited on this program. Limited information may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office, your faculty director, and/or partner organizations/institutions. Where visas are required, failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Payment and Withdrawal Policies

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas. If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.


Eligibility Requirements

  • Open to students of all majors with a GPA of 2.0 or higher


Students will register during the spring registration period for the following course:

  • CRD 494 / CRD 598 : Eco-tourism in Baja, Mexico (1 credit)  

*Please note that this course counts towards your Spring semester load. If registering for this course will put you in a course-overload situation, you will need to speak with your academic advisor for an override.  

Course Format

For this one credit, standalone course, you will be prepared academically for the program at the end of the fall semester so that you can enjoy your break before the program begins in January. You will receive a reading packet that discusses the most common issues related to eco-tourism as an industry. This packet will be a part of the program and include sections for notes along with the articles and background information on the destination, our partners on the ground, and major issues facing Baja socially and environmentally. 

Once we are abroad, mornings will begin with our field activities, and afternoons will be used for discussions and lectures.  You will have time for personal reflection and exploration in the evenings.  

Whale Shark

La Paz Ocean


Faculty Directors

Dr. Rebekka Goodman
School of Community Resources and Development

Kathleen Andereck
School of Community Resources and Development

Rebekka Goodman

Kathy Andereck



Our Lady Shrine La Paz

Program Housing

Students will stay in 2-3 star hotels for the duration of their stay. They will be 2-3 per room each having their own bed.

Special Considerations

Below you will find information that may help you in planning for your study abroad experience. Early discussions and planning can help to support you in having a positive experience abroad. We invite you to meet with the International Coordinator for this program to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Physical Considerations

Study abroad participants may find themselves walking or taking public transit abroad more frequently than they are accustomed at their home campus.

Disability Accommodations Abroad

Individuals with disabilities can and do study abroad, but may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from the United States. For example, in Mexico, most public buildings are inaccessible and inconsistent inspection results in construction of new facilities that are not accessible. Public transportation for persons with disabilities is very limited.

In general, the Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program. Any student who anticipates needing any kind of special accommodation due to a disability should contact the ASU Study Abroad Office early in the planning process to investigate the availability of accommodations (including accessible facilities) on this specific program. Contact the Disability Resource Center and your Disability Access Consultant to include them in the discussion; be sure to give your Disability Access Consultant permission to speak with the Study Abroad Office on your behalf. You can find additional information and resources on our Students with Disabilities page.

LGBTQIA Students Abroad

Students of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities will find that the social climate, laws, and norms of other cultures will often differ from the U.S. If you identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer student - or if you are still exploring your identity - you may face unique challenges when traveling abroad. For example, in Mexico, conservative cultural ideals influence societal norms, making LGBTQIA identity expression cause for possible discrimination.  In general, the LGBTQIA community is acknowledged and is generally tolerated.

We encourage students who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community to visit the U.S. Department of State website for helpful information about laws and attitudes in this program’s locations, including pre-travel tips and advice on staying safe while abroad. You can find additional information and resources on our LGBTQIA Students page.

Gender Identity Abroad

When traveling abroad, you may find different gender roles and norms than you’re used to. It’s possible that you may be treated differently or be expected to treat others differently based on your (or their) gender identity. For example, in Mexico, some women travelers may experience harassment in the form of cat calling and other forms of objectification by local men. Students are encouraged to travel in groups and in mixed company whenever possible.

You can find additional information and resources on our Gender Identity Abroad page.

Racial and Ethnic Minorities Abroad

Students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds may encounter unique challenges transitioning from life here in the United States to life as a student living abroad, including but not limited to access to personal care products and services.

You can prepare yourself for the situations you may experience by researching the ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations. We encourage students to start that research on our Racial and Ethnic Minority Students page.


Cost Information

The Program Fee for Pre-Spring 2020 is $2,085.

Program Fee includes: Housing, site visits and cultural events, in-country transportation, daily breakfast, ASU faculty support, and international health insurance. Not included: Tuition for 1 credit course, airfare, passport & visa fees, most meals, personal expenses, and miscellaneous items.  Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-Program activities.

Faculty Directed program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the Program Fee listed above. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student. Be sure to reference the program cost sheet for information on program fees and any additional estimated expenses.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. View the program Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  2. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  3. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  4. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  5. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  6. View our  Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.

Unique Funding Opportunities

  • ASU Tuition Waiver may be applied on this program to cover the tuition associated with this program.  The ASU Tuition Waiver cannot be used to subsidize the posted program fee.
  • Watts College Study Abroad Scholarship


Links to Additional Resources

*The ASU Study Abroad Office does not officially endorse, administer or monitor the content of these links.

Dates & Deadlines

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.