Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This is the program brochure page.
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description
Please note: this program has been cancelled for Post-Spring 2020.




Oaxaca - women

In this one-credit course, we will study the history and culture of Oaxaca City, Mexico and surrounding communities. The city of Oaxaca is recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site while the state of Oaxaca is the most diverse in Mexico with 17 different ethnolinguistic groups. The course will weave together a close examination of the complex and contested history of Oaxaca City, the city’s colonial past, and contemporary strategies practiced by indigenous communities to resist colonial influences. Through this approach, we will study transnationalism as a continually evolving cultural process. Toward this end, we will travel to and spend time in three different Zapotec communities. The Zapotecs, an indigenous pre-Columbian civilization that flourished in the Valley of Oaxaca of southern Mesoamerica, make up one of the larger ethnolinguistic groups in the state. Today, this community is well-known for its traditional system of governance “usos y costumbres” as well as strong transnational ties.

By the end of this course, you will have demonstrated that you are able to:

  • Understand Oaxaca’s complex and contested history, including the ways in which indigenous communities continue to resist colonial influence.
  • Historicize transnational migration and multi-ethnic migration from Southern Mexico.
  • To compare and contrast local efforts aimed at maintaining autonomy in relation to three distinct Zapotec communities.
  • Understand the inter-connectedness of global politics and local cultural, social, and political processes.

Quick Facts

  • May 11 – May 19, 2020

  • Based in Oaxaca City, Mexico, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Day trips to Zapotec communities

  • Overnight trip to Santa Maria Yaviche in the Sierra Juarez

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.


Oaxaca - city scape

Oaxaca - women

Location Details


Recognized as an UNESCO world heritage site, Oaxaca City is a beautiful colonial city with a rich indigenous heritage. The city is famous for its colonial architecture, traditional handicrafts, and Oaxacan cuisine. However, the area is also well known for its tremendous diversity. In fact, the state of Oaxaca is the most diverse in Mexico with 17 different ethnolinguistic groups, including the Zapotecs, an indigenous pre-Colombian civilization that flourished in the Valley of Oaxaca of southern Mesoamerica. It is home to various archeological sites, including Monte Alban, the capital of the Zapotec people, which was established as one of the earliest urban centers of Mesoamerica around 500 B.C. Since the 1980’s many Oaxacans have migrated out of the area for work. However, because of their rich community traditions and autonomous form of governance known as “usos y costumbres,” these communities have been able to maintain strong ties despite their geographical separation.  

Santa Maria Yeviche

Santa Maria Yaviche is an indigenous Zapotec community in the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca, located about five hours from Oaxaca City. The community is home to approximately 600 people who speak a mix of Zapotec and Spanish. Because of its isolated location, until recently Santa Maria did not have a commercial telephone service. However, in 2013, the community established a free community-based telephone program to connect residents with greater Oaxaca and Mexico. In addition, local residents started a university in Yaviche so that their young people could obtain a college education without having to leave their home community. Tuition for the university is free and makes higher education accessible to students in this small, rural community.


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

This course is open to Barrett Honor students who have successfully completed HON 171 by departure to Mexico.


Students will register for the following course during the Spring registration period:
  • HON394: Transnationalism in Practice: Autonomy, Indigeneity, and Community in Oaxaca, 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

This will be a Session C one-credit course. While the bulk of the coursework
will take place during the on-site stay Oaxaca in May 2020, students will need
to complete online work and attend two in-person meetings to discuss
Oaxaca’s history as well as their contemporary culture and society in March
and April. Students will submit a final reflection assignment online after they return.



Faculty Director

Abby C. Wheatley, PhD 
Honors Faculty Fellow | Barrett, The Honors College
Affiliate Faculty | School of Transborder Studies
Arizona State University | Tempe, Arizona
Office: Sage S. 145 | Phone: 480-727-5485

Rachel Fedock, Ph.D. (she/her/hers pronouns)
Honors Faculty Fellow | Barrett, The Honors College
Affiliate Faculty | Center for the Study of Race and Democracy
Arizona State University | Downtown Phoenix: UCENT 160D
Email: Phone: 602-496-6787




Oaxaca - building

Program Housing

Students will stay in shared accommodations.

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 Post-Spring 2020 is $2,435.

Program Fee includes: Housing in double rooms, most meals, site visits and cultural events, in-country transportation, ASU faculty support, and international health insurance. Not included: Tuition for the one-credit course, airfare, passport & visa fees, 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.


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.