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  • Locations: Oaxaca City, Mexico
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • **
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English, Spanish Field of Study: Anthropology, Latin American Studies
Housing Options: Apartment or Flat Credit Type: Resident Credit
Program Type: Department-Led Program SDSU Office: Arts and Letters
Program Description:
Ethnographic Field School in Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca Field Studies
Application opens Spring 2019; add yourself to the inquiry list:

Summer 2019
Course Dates:  June 14 – August 20, 2019
In-country Dates:  June 16– July 12, 2019 
Price: TBD

*CLICK HERE for upcoming information sessions*

This program offered through the SDSU College of Arts & Letters International Programs and the Center for Latin American Studies.

April 1, 2019

The Center for Latin American Studies invites you to join the Ethnographic Field School in Oaxaca, Mexico! Oaxaca, one of the most beautiful areas in Mexico, is home to more than 16 different indigenous groups that make up 48% of the total population. Their cultural and linguistic differences have resulted in one of the richest cuisines in the world. 

This course will introduce you to the various methods used in qualitative research design and implementation through the hands on field experience. Ixpantepec Nieves, located in the Mixteca Baja, will be our primary field site. You will be working with Dr. Ramona Pérez and Maestra Angelina on a research project that examines the influence of migration on food preferences, food practices, and farming in this indigenous community. The course will allow you to develop the skills necessary to move a conceptual plan of interest to a legitimate research project, develop participatory research, and understand both the depth and breadth of qualitative research. A significant portion of the time will be spent in a small indigenous community. Students will need to be prepared to live in a challenging setting with little access to modern comforts, such as consistent access to electricity and running water.

COURSE (Name and title)
ANTH 520: Ethnographic Field Methods (3 units)
This year's project focuses on shifts in local cuisine and nutrition as a result of tourism, migration, and food security. You will learn qualitative research methods through direct employment of these methodologies in documenting these changes and the impact they have on the lives of local residents. Study under the direction of Dr. Ramona Pérez and join the most fun, intensive and enriching ethnographic field school offered at SDSU! Spanish proficiency preferred, but not required.
  • Please note that this is a selective program and space is limited.

Oaxaca City, Mexico and rural indigenous community outside of Oaxaca City.
 ACTIVITIES (subject to change)
  • Students will spend 4 days in Mixtec community with three days free in Oaxaca each week.
  • Participation in agricultural practices, cooking lessons and food preparation, recipe elicitation, market tours, and hiking at altitude (physically strenuous)
  • Free weekends to explore and participate in local festivals
Rural Mixtec Community: For several days of the week, students will live in a rural Mixtec community and stay with a local indigenous host family. All meals will be provided. This living environment may be different from what students are accustomed to. Students will be required to bring sleeping bags and may not have consistent access to electricity, running water, and modern plumbing. Lodging arrangements will be similar to staying in a cabin while on a camping trip. The variety of foods will be limited in the indigenous community. Students will gain insight into life in this rural setting through consuming the same foods as the locals. For this reason, it may be difficult to cater to certain dietary restrictions while in the rural community.
Oaxaca City: During the remainder of the week, students will live in Oaxaca City and will stay in lodgings with amenities similar to hotels in Western countries. Students will be responsible for the cost of meals while in Oaxaca City. Students will have the freedom to explore the city’s rich culinary cuisine. The region’s vibrant cultures influence the variety of foods in the city. Students will find a wide variety of food to be readily available to them.


Perez, Ramona-Dr. Ramona Perez
Professor of Anthropology
Director, Center for Latin American Studies
Dr. Perez’s research focuses on youth identity and empowerment among transnational, Mexican and Central American migrant youth; food, nutrition, and health among marginalized populations; ethnic marginalization and the state; rural to urban community growth; the political economy of tourism in Oaxaca; and the gendered and moral nature of community economies in Mexico. Her current work spans the US/Mexico border, southern Mexico, Nicaragua, and Brazil. She conducts a summer qualitative research field school, directs internship opportunities for graduate students in the border region and throughout Latin America, and coordinates the Mixtec and Zapotec language programs at SDSU.

Program fee: TBD
Tuition: $TBD
SDSU Foreign Travel Insurance Plan: $TBD

2019 Payment Schedule (instructions will be sent to students that have applied and been accepted into the program.)
  • TBD
Withdrawal Policy
If you intend to withdraw from the program you must notify the SDSU Office of International Programs in writing. Email notification is acceptable: 
Refund Policies
  • Refund policy for program fee paid to Southwest Center:
    • 100% of the program fee is refundable up to May 1
    • 50% of the program fee is non-refundable for withdrawals after May 1
    • No refunds will be issued for withdrawals on or after May 15, 2019 
  • Refunds for course tuition follow the College of Extended Studies (CES) standard refund policy.  
  • SDSU Foreign Travel Insurance is non-refundable after May 25

Included in the Program Cost
  • Three units of SDSU Resident Credit
  • All housing and some meals
  • Program activities (see above)
  • Transportation to group activities
  • SDSU Foreign Travel Insurance
  • 24/7 onsite emergency services and support
Not included in the fee
  • International airfare
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Some meals
  • Some in-country transportation
  • Personal expenses 
Students should allocate between $400-$600 for some meals, some in-country transportation and optional personal expenses, which are not included in the program fee.

Funding and Scholarship Information 
AS Study Abroad Scholarship (Fall Cycle) - Deadline: Sept. 28, 2019

AS Study Abroad Scholarship (Spring Cycle) - Application opens Nov. 1, 2018; deadline Feb. 23, 2019

IIE Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants- San Diego State is a Commitment Partner of IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative and, as such, our students qualify for the IIE Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants. This means YOU – yes YOU – could be eligible to receive $2,000 to support your study abroad travel costs! Visit the IIE Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants website to learn more about the opportunity and program, including eligibility and deadlines/timeline. Submit your online application by March 7, 2018 for consideration of a Travel Grant to support your participation in a spring 2018 or summer 2018 study abroad program. Send questions to On the application please list Colleen Conniff <> as the SDSU financial aid contact.
Additional scholarship information
Participants will need a passport valid for 6 months past the entry date.
SDSU Passport Office

  • All applicants must attend an info session or meet with the CLAS study abroad advisor, Tyler Linvill, in order to be eligible for this program. Contact information can be found below.
  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0, or permission from program director.
  • Graduate cumulative GPA of 3.5
  • SDSU students cannot be on academic probation (less than 2.0 GPA), or disciplinary probation (expulsion, judicial, or suspension) at the time of application and/or at the time of course registration.
  • Minimum age to participate is 18 
All participants must complete BOTH a mandatory online pre-departure as well as an in-person orientation on campus. Non-students may participate in the campus orientation remotely via a Zoom web conference. Details about both will be sent after acceptance into the program.
Application deadline: April 1, 2019
Required materials:
Applicants must complete the Aztecs Abroad online application by the above deadline, along with the following supplemental materials:
  • 500-700 word essay that elaborates on the candidate’s interest in participating in the field school, and your experience working among marginalized groups.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of Recommendation – Professor providing recommendation should email recommendation letter to by application deadline.
  • Non-SDSU only - Unofficial transcript
Application available Spring 2019.

Study Abroad Coordinator
Center for Latin American Studies

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.