Wang Center for Global EducationStudent Opportunities

Study Abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico

Designed for advanced Spanish language students with an interest in Latin American Studies, this unique semester program explores the intersection of development, culture, and social change through the lens of the dynamic and evolving context of contemporary Mexico. Located in the southwestern Mexican state of Oaxaca - declared "Humanity's Cultural Patrimony" by the United Nations - the program explores and affirms the rich diversity of contemporary Mexican society and culture. It engages the issues that challenge the country's continued growth and establishes a foundation to understand the history of U.S./Mexico relations and the Mexican experience in the United States. Ultimately, the program strives to build knowledge and understanding of one of the United State's closest yet least understood neighbors.

Photo Gallery


Spanish Language, Latin American Studies, development and social justice.


Students earn 16-17 credits.

Required Intensivo (4 credits)

Session I:
HISP 301/401

Electives (up to 13 credits)

Session I:
PHED: Salsa (1)

Session II: 8 credits

ANTH 387: Mexican Anthropology 1909-2004 - SO (4)
SOCI 377: Oaxacan Society - SO (4)
HIST 377: History of Mexico in Oaxaca - SO (4)
HISP 401: Advanced Grammar and Composition - C (4)
HISP 433: Special topic - LT (4)
PLU Assistant Professor, Giovanna Urdangarain

Session III: 4 credits

ARTD 387: Oaxacan Arts - AR (4)
COOP 477 - International Work Experience* (4)
List of Organizations

*Departmental credit may be arranged.


Students take Spanish courses from the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca

The courses offered in Session II are taught by Oaxacan experts of their field. HISP 433 is taught by the PLU or UPS faculty Site Director.

Pacific Lutheran University awards all credits earned in this program. Semester-long study away programs fulfill PLU's Cross Cultural Diversity requirement.

Fall Study Tours

Mexico City


Day of the Dead

Local Communities


You will live with a host family where you will be fully immersed in the Spanish language and Oaxacan culture. You will join your family for two meals a day. You are provided with a monthly stipend for the third meal, which gives you the freedom to eat locally.

Fall Semester

Mid-August to mid December

Program Fee

The PLU comprehensive fee for Fall 2014 covers this academic experience (instruction and academic credit, housing and meal stipend, study tours, study abroad insurance, and visa fees). Financial aid applies.

Out-of-pocket expenses

Roundtrip air travel, personal excursions, and other miscellaneous expenses are not included in program cost.

Global Scholar Award

All PLU Gateway & Featured Programs are Global Scholar Award eligible. This need-based award can cover out-of-pocket expenses up to $2,500 on PLU Gateway and Featured semester programs.

For non-PLU students, please check with your home institution or sponsoring study abroad organization on program cost.

Learn More

Tamara Williams

Professor Hispanic Studies
Director, Oaxaca Program

Tanya Ulsted

Study Away Coordinator & Gateway Programs Manager


Sophomore, junior, or senior standing. Students must have a minimum 3.0 or higher G.P.A. Must be a student in good standing. Language prerequisite: Completion of Spanish 202, preferably 301, at PLU or the equivalent.

Demonstrated interest in one of the following: Latin American Studies and/or Mexican history, politics, economic development, and culture; Environmental Studies, Global Studies, Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Latino Studies, International Relations, cross-cultural education, literacy, international law, public policy/administration

All courses are taught in Spanish.

Application Deadline

Completed application materials are due to the Wang Center by March 10, 2014 for Fall 2014, Spring 2015 or Full Year 2014-2015 programs. A $50 non-refundable deposit is due with the application. A $250 non-refundable program payment to confirm participation is required within 10 days of acceptance.

Apply Now

Program Highlights
  • Fall Semester program

  • Spanish language intensive

  • Host family

  • Study Tours to Mexico City, Chiapas, local villages and more

  • PLU/UPS faculty on-site

  • Internship option