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Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


Study Abroad



Loyola University School of Social Work is creating ways to better prepare our students for practice with immigrant communities.  For the past seven years, Loyola University Chicago students have been involved in intensive field placements with the people and communities of Chiapas.  These field-work placements have challenged students to apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations. Placements will be offered in San Cristobal which best known for the Zapatista movement's influence. The city is infused with indigenous groups, particularly of Mayan descent.  San Cristobal is filled with rich culture and history and is very international, with much Western European influence. Placements will also be offered in Tapachula, Chiapas a city near the Mexico/Guatemala border. This is a very Mexican city with many organizations dedicated to migrant and human rights work.


The School of Social Work will also be offering two courses in Mexico City: SOWK 733 and SOWK 612. Students are required to enroll in both courses.  Students are invited to participate in the coursework and/or the internship. 


All students studying abroad must complete a general application. Those who wish to complete the field placement must submit a supplemental application and participate in an interview.  In order to be accepted for a field placement, students must have at least a conversational level of Spanish. Please see below for more program details.


*Information subject to change.




 *If you have already taken SOWK 612 you can sign up for an independent study (SOWK 690). Please email emalcolm@luc.edu and mlundy@luc.edu

SOWK 612: Family Assessment and Intervention, focus on the Mexican Family: taught by Dr. Marta Lundy. This is a 3-credit social work elective.  

Description: This course examines different theoretical approaches to assessment and intervention with families, with an exclusive focus on Mexican immigrant families and transnational families with extended family in Mexico.  The focus will be on interpersonal interaction patterns, intergenerational interactions and expectations, and systems rather than on individual feelings and behaviors, although those aspects of working with family members are not excluded.  Different models of family therapy will be described, applied to case problems, compared with other models and/or theories, and evaluated for their utility and effectiveness. 


 SOWK 733: North American Migration Dynamics: Challenges, Opportunities, and Alternatives: taught by Dr. Maria Vidal de Haymes. This is a 3-credit migration elective.

Description: This course will incorporate site visits and multiple interdisciplinary guest lectures from Iberoamericana University faculty and social workers from the Mexican public and private human services sector.  The class will provide an opportunity for both Iberoamericana and Loyola students to come together to study migration-related issues affecting our respective countries and shared continent.  Specifically, the course will focus on central themes concerning opportunities as well as challenges for fundamental social institutions presented by the contemporary migration dynamics and polices of North America.  The course will be organized around several major migration themes of concern to North America.



 If you are an undergraduate student or non-social work graduate student please email the professors at: mlundy@luc.edu and mvidal@luc.edu 


 Sunday, May 18- Saturday May 31, 2014


 Mexico City, Mexico



 Sunday May 18th: Students arrive in Mexico City

 Monday May 19th: Class Day

 Tuesday May 20th: Class Day

 Wednesday May 21st: FIELD TRIP to La Patrona

 Thursday May 22nd: Class Day

 Friday May 23rd: Site Visit Day

 Saturday May 24th: Free Day              

 Sunday May 25th: Class Day

 Monday May 26th: Class Day

 Tuesday May 27th: Class Day

 Wednesday May 28th: Free Day

 Thursday May 29th: Class Day

 Friday May 30th: Class Day

 Saturday, May 31st Students can leave Mexico

Mexico Printable Calendar 2014


Students can arrive before May 18th or stay after the 31st. If you would like to do this please email emalcolm@luc.edu






There will be a 1-day field trip to La Patrona, a migrant community. There, students will assist the women of the community in preparing food and delivering it to the migrants who are traveling on freight trains through Mexico to reach the U.S.  Other site visits are being arranged and more information will be given at future meetings. 


In addition, students will have one day of site-seeing on the hop on and off tour bus to visit important historical and cultural sites around Mexico City, and one additional free day to see the city.






Includes housing at Casa Emaus, breakfast, lunch, local transportation, field trips, site seeing trips, and group reception.




$250 (nonrefundable), which goes toward your program fee






Airline ticket, dinners, health insurance, and tuition.








There will be 3-day orientation in Mexico City, followed by a two-month placement in: 1) San Cristobal, Chiapas or 2) Tapachula, Chiapas


Placements will be coordinated by Loyola and Iberoamericana University in Mexico. At a minimum, students should have a conversational level of Spanish. Students can take Spanish classes at UNAM in Chicago during the spring semester in order to prepare for summer. Loyola students will work and/or live with students from Mexico who are completing their social service and students from Washington DC who will be doing internships. Placement options will be arranged by Loyola and Ibero faculty to place students based on their interests and level of Spanish (e.g.: working with children, indigenous teen groups, migrant shelters, human rights, indigenous street children, etc.)

Housing: Students will be assisted by Loyola and Ibero to secure housing.  Cost is approximately $200/per month for a bedroom in a furnished apartment or house. Housing cannot be finalized until the group is finalized. Price may or may not include utilities.

Meals: Are not covered. Students can buy food and cook at apartment or eat at local restaurants.

Supervision: A Loyola faculty member will be at the orientation. Iberoamericana faculty will check in on students throughout the summer. A Loyola staff member will check in on students during the first month of their placements in Chiapas. Students will also remain in contact with Loyola and complete reflections through email, phone, and Skype. Students will also have a local supervisor at their placement site.










$250 (nonrefundable)


Note: Students signing up for courses + field only pay one deposit of $250






Airline ticket to Mexico City, orientation in Mexico City, transportation from orientation to Chiapas, housing including utilities, local transportation, food, leisure, health insurance. All fees (other than program fee) paid directly by student, not to Loyola. 






Monday, June 2nd – Friday, August 8th, 2014










 Dec. 13th: Last day to submit applications for field (this includes the general abroad app and the field specific app)




Dec. 16th, 17th & 19thInterviews for students who want to do the field placement in Mexico (see more info below) 




Dec. 20thStudents will be notified if they have been accepted in the field internship program




Jan 14thDeposits due for courses and field AND general abroad app due for students signing up for coursework.




Feb 28thFinal payments due for courses and field. Students must be enrolled in LOCUS for courses and field by this date.








Sunday, April 6th, 2014: 1st prep session for students enrolled in summer courses in Mexico. Will be held at WTC.




Sunday, April 13th, 2014: 2nd prep session for students enrolled in summer courses in Mexico. Will be held at WTC.




*Students will be required to attend a meeting on international travel during the spring of 2014, the date is TBD.








Students will participate in several sessions to prepare for the internship experience. Once the group is finalized the dates will be set. 






There are only 8 total spots available for field and 14 total spots available for courses. Scholarships are limited. They should cover program fees (not including deposit) but are subject to change. Priority will be given to students completing the coursework and field option.  Students must fill out an application to be considered for a scholarship.




Scholarship Awards:


-          $2,500 awards for students doing coursework and field placement


-          $1,500 awards for students doing only field placement


-          $750 awards for students doing only coursework




Application Materials

Mexico General Application 2014

Mexico Application Field 2014




All students who wish to complete their field placement in Mexico must complete an interview.  Available times are below. Please email Erin Malcolm to schedule an interview. Please note that a portion of the interview will be in Spanish.


Monday Dec 16, 2013: 

Tuesday  Dec 17, 2013: 

Thursday Dec 19, 2013: 

 Please submit all applications to Erin Malcolm: Electronic applications should be submitted to emalcolm@luc.edu. Hard copies can be turned into to Erin at Lewis Towers #1240.

Pictures from previous Mexico study abroad trips.


For questions and to RSVP for info sessions email Erin Malcolm: emalcolm@luc.edu



School of Social Work · 820 North Michigan Avenue, Lewis Towers 1200, Chicago, IL 60611 · 312.915.7005

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