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Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences

Spend five weeks examining contemporary Mexico through its history, culture, politics, and language. In-class activities, field trips, and excursions, as well as Spanish language instruction, complement instruction.

Unique study opportunities

  • Interact with community members during expedition lectures.
  • Learn about the most pressing issues facing contemporary Mexican society.
  • Develop transborder competencies in a cross-cultural engagement course.
  • Examine preconceptions of Mexico, cultural shock, language barriers, and social relationships.


Language of Instruction: English

Spanish Language Study: Required

Instruction is in English and all students take a Spanish language course. Language level is determined by the results of an on-site placement exam.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take three courses for a total of 11 quarter/7.3 semester UC units.

Current Program Courses

Along with an intensive Spanish language course, you’ll take a course on contemporary Mexican culture and an elective on cross-cultural engagement. Excursions in and around Mexico City with other UC students complement lectures.

Course List:

  • Contemporary Mexican History & Society: Listed under History and Political Science, upper division, 5 quarter/ 3.3 semester UC units, letter grade required
  • Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Spanish Language: Lower division (basico and intermedio) and upper division (avanzado), 4 quarter/2.7 semester UC units, letter grade required
  • Cross-cultural Engagement: Listed under Latin American Studies, upper division, 2 quarter/1.3 semester UC units, may be taken for pass/no pass credit

Additional or optional coursework, internships, and research for academic credit are not possible on this program.

Catalogs and resources

  • UCEAP Course Catalog: See a list of courses UC students have taken on this program.
  • Campus Credit Abroad: Learn the types of credit (major, minor, general education, elective) students from your campus received at this location.

Academic culture

The program is designed for students who may not have the time or the language skills to spend a full semester or year in Mexico. As such, it aims to provide a brief but intensive introduction to Mexico and Mexico City in particular.

The multi-disciplinary course on contemporary Mexico takes an innovative approach to current socio-political questions by taking advantage of Mexico City to explore historically rooted social dynamics. The class will be accompanied by community members on these expedition lectures to add yet another level of involvement and discussion to the topics and themes examined each week.

Finally, the cross-cultural engagement course links together knowledge gained inside and outside of the classroom.This interactive class helps you identify and reflect on your experiences over the five-week program through group discussion and a final video journal project.


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Grades are usually available by late September. Because grades may not be available for summer graduation deadlines, graduating seniors completing their participation in this program should consider planning for a fall graduation. Consult with an advisor on your campus to make your graduation plans.