The U.S.-Mexico Border Program offers students two weeks of intensive, academically rigorous experiential education aimed at exposing participants to a wide range of perspectives on key border issues. During the program, which runs every other June (the next program will be in 2017), students grapple with difficult questions related to immigration policy, national security, globalization, the environment, and U.S.-Mexico relations. Days are packed with meetings on both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border with government officials, community organizers, immigrant rights activists, business owners, immigration attorneys, and migrants themselves.
Traveling to the border opened my eyes to the U.S. immigration system in ways that classroom learning would never have been able to. I entered with vague opinions about immigration and the border and left with anger, passion and a desire to change the atrocities that I witnessed. For two weeks we were completely immersed in border politics as we traveled throughout the borderlands, beginning every morning and ending every evening with impassioned discussions of what we had seen that day. The thoughts and feelings I experienced on the trip have stayed with me since I left Arizona, influencing both my future career aspirations and my academic pursuits.
Kate McMurchie '15
Whitman's U.S. Mexico Border Trip opened my eyes to the complex world of immigration and globalization politics. The trip was a transformational experience for me; it inspired my academic focus while at Whitman and sparked my career in immigrant rights and social justice. I am now the Executive Director of Causa, Oregon's leading Latino immigrant rights organization. I wouldn't be in this position today had I not experienced Whitman's U.S. Mexico Border Trip.
Andrea Miller '09