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  • Locations: Arivaca, Arizona, United States; Bisbee, Arizona, United States; Nogales, Arizona, United States; Sonora, Mexico; Tohono O'odham Nation Reservation, Arizona, United States; Tucson, Arizona, United States;
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • Restrictions: Elon applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Winter
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

Course Description

GBL 204 US   Arizona US/Mexico Borderlands: Culture, Environment, and Immigration   4 S.H.

The US/Mexico borderland region presents a unique cultural and environmental setting in which to explore the intersections of human migration and global climate change, as well as the historical legacies of imperialism and settler colonialism. This fragile desert environment is on the front lines of the immigration debate in the US, and has been witness to successive waves of border enforcement, including the construction of the border wall. With rising temperatures and deepening drought threatening to parch this already arid landscape, communities in this region are seeking out new ways to live sustainably in their desert surroundings, often drawing on indigenous knowledge to do so. This course explores the connections between migration, climate, and culture in the Sonoran Desert along the US/Mexico border. Situated in this unique environment, students will witness the ecology and ecological impact of border enforcement, and learn how drought, climate change and agricultural failure are drivers of migration. Students will also get the chance to meet with and hear the stories of numerous stakeholders involved in the immigration and border enforcement debate, both in the border area as well as here in North Carolina. Specifically, students will get to meet, and in some cases work alongside, humanitarian groups, human rights advocates, sanctuary churches, government officials, tribal elders, Mexican-American community leaders, artists, scholars, and migrants themselves.
This course counts towards Civilization Elon Core Curriculum Requirement and satisfies one unit of experiential learning toward fulfillment of the Experiential Learning Requirement.

  • Grades count toward an Elon GPA.

  • Study abroad courses may not be taken on an audit or pass/fail basis.

Prerequisite Preparatory Seminar: GBL 104

This Winter Term course has a required one semester-hour fall prerequisite preparatory seminar course associated with it. Students accepted into the Winter Term course will be automatically registered for the associated fall course. There is no additional cost for the prerequisite preparatory seminar course for students who are registered full-time even if the one credit creates an overload for a student's registration.

It is Elon University policy that students who are registered part-time for the fall semester will be charged the additional one credit hour of tuition for the fall prerequisite preparatory seminar course. Students will also be charged four credit hours of tuition for Winter Term in addition to the program fees. If students contact the Bursar's office to verify that they will be enrolled full-time in the spring semester, the four hours of Winter Term tuition will not be collected. 

There will also be a required meeting about the course in April.

Spring Meeting Information

The spring meeting will meet on Wednesday April 24, 2019 at 5 p.m., location AVAS 206 (Lindner).

Fall Course Meeting Information

The fall pre-departure course will take place on Thursdays from 5:30-7:10 p.m., location TBD.

Activity Level: Moderate

You will spend much of the day exploring. Whether walking through historic neighborhoods at a moderate pace or out and about on a coach, your days will be full. You'll need to keep up with the group, including stairs and moderate movement.

This program proposes hikes in the desert along the US/Mexico border and excursions into Mexico to visit migrant shelters and maquilas. The program is more than willing to accommodate all students, regardless of physical ability or citizenship status.




Students are required to take the fall pre-departure course associated with this Winter Term course. All students will automatically be registered for the pre-departure course but must register themselves for the Winter Term course during registration for Winter Term.

Cancellation Policy


To cancel your participation in a program, complete the Winter Term Withdrawal questionnaire in your application.


The tentative dates for the program are January 11-24, 2020.
While official flight itineraries are typically distributed in early September, the tentative group departure point is TBD.
Note: This information is subject to change based on airline changes and cancellations.



This course will be visiting cities and towns along and on either side of the US/Mexico border including Arivaca, Bisbee, and Tucson, Arizona, as well as Nogales, Arizona USA, Nogales, Sonora Mexico, and the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Note: Itinerary is subject to change due to availability of local facilities and scheduling issues.


Students will be housed in shared accommodations in hotels.


Costs for global study vary program to program and are in addition to the tuition for Winter Term (included in fall semester tuition/bill). 

Basic cost information is available on the Cost and Credit Chart.

Detailed cost information is available on the budget sheet.


Scholarships/Travel Grants

Students seeking need-based financial support are encouraged to apply for the GEC Access Scholarship.

For additional information on scholarships or other funding for global engagement, see the Financial Planning for Global Study page or the financial planning section of our FAQs.

If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your program. 

Connect with us

Questions? See if they're answered in our Short-Term Programs FAQ section

Prefer to ask in person? Drop by the GEC in Global Commons 360 for Quick Questions, no appointment necessary:
Wednesdays 2-4 PM
Thursdays 9-11 AM
Learn from program alumniConnect with a Global Ambassador to learn from students that have studied on this program or others. Search the Global Ambassadors profiles to find students in your major(s), or organization(s), or with similar experiences.  

Get social: Connect with the GEC, alumni, and prospective students on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And keep in touch with us using #ElonGlobal! You can also read blog posts from students on this program in years past and access blogs for other programs on the Study Abroad Blog.

Program Leader 1: Sandy Marshall
Assistant Professor of Geography
Lindner Hall - Arts & Sciences 112A
2335 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244

Program Leader 2: Shayna Mehas
Visiting Assistant Professor of History
Lindner Hall - Arts & Sciences 112E
2335 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244

Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC)
Global Commons 360
2375 Campus Box, Elon, NC 27244
336.278.6700 (phone)
336.278.6692 (fax)


Ready to apply?

Click "apply now" from this brochure to get started, and complete your application by the deadline listed below.

If applications are not yet available, see the deadlines webpage for information on when this program will be accepting applications.

See the application instructions webpage for more information on the application requirements and process. 

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2020 09/02/2019
Rolling Admission 01/03/2020 01/24/2020
NOTE: Please view the deadlines page for full application, payment and cancellation deadlines.

The start date and end date listed reflect the dates students are expected to arrive in and depart from the host location and reflect the best information available to the Global Education Center. Please do not purchase plane tickets based on these dates. Individual programs will provide updates after your acceptance to the program.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis and applicants will be notified of their application status within two weeks of submission.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.