Planning to participate in the Mexico Field Study program?

General Information | Benefits | Expectations | Grading | Eligibility | Important Dates & Deadlines
Budgets | Scholarships | Contact


General Information

Course title: Mexico Field Study Program

Listed on UW Study Abroad as: UW Sustainable Development, Food Systems and Animal Agriculture

Semester: Summer session (Mid-May to early June)

Credits: 2

Instructor: Michel Wattiaux ("Me-shell" “Wa-tea-oh")

Enrollment: A minimum of 8 participants is necessary to justify the planning and implementation of this program and a maximum of 12 participants is set to maintain the highest quality of experience for each student.

Description: This field study takes students to various parts of Mexico to visit cultural, historical and agricultural sites. The trip usually lasts between 11 and 14 days long during the last 2 weeks of May.

Prerequisite: A 1-credit spring seminar course HYPERLINK (cross-listed special topics 375) which prepares students for the field study by educating them about agricultural, social, and economic issues in Mexico. This requirement may be waived with instructor consent.

Additional resources:
See other informational pages at the menu on the left such as: Travel tips, Location of visits, etc
View previous itineraries and read what students have said about the field study in previous years here: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Latest link to the UW Study Abroad page at time of publication: Click here. 

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Benefits — What's in it for me?

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Although the actual site visits are reviewed and adapted every year given the specific interests of each cohort of participants, the field study is designed to provide participants with opportunities to deepen their understanding of the real-world issues discussed during the spring semester seminar. The tour will: 

  • Provide participants with a first-hand experience of Mexico — its cultures, its history, its natural resources, life in rural setting, small town and large city;
  • Interact with stakeholders of the Mexican dairy industry: university students, professors, smallholders, large business organizations, cheese makers, and more;
  • Allow a direct exposure to - and practice of - Spanish;
  • Offer an opportunity to collect data, pictures, interviews, etc., which will contribute to their individual projects;
  • Give participants a one-in-a-lifetime experience of Mexico, off the beaten tourist path!

Academic benefits.

This program fits well in any 4-yr road map and provides participants with:

  • A total of 3 credits (spring seminar + summer field study) which counts toward international certificate or international studies requirement or the 3-AAE credits (general requirements)
  • A unique opportunity to beef up their resume with international experience

Professional development benefits.

Additional gains to some participants include:

  • Find out whether you would enjoy longer-term study abroad programs;
  • Find out whether you would be interested in gaining more experience in international agriculture;
  • Network with other students, faculty, and professionals in your area of interest;
  • Become a global citizen by experiencing and interacting with cultures and peoples different from you!


Expectations 

— What am I expected to do?

Please be aware that the field trip is not a vacation and although we want to have fun and learn in a relaxed atmosphere, it is a course that will be graded according to how well you complete the following expectations:

  • During the field study:
    • Complete the guidebook as we visit the different sites (notes) and do the different activities (ex. “Getting to Know Your Travel Mates”)
    • Be an active participant (asking questions), a team-player (helping others), and an eager recorder (taking notes and pictures, etc.).

  • After the field study:
    • Fill out the reflection at the back of the guidebook (in the airport and on the flight back to the US)
    • Fill out the Course evaluation (in the airport and on the flight back to the US) and return to NAME OF PERSON
    • Complete at least 5 portfolio entries using the rubrics in the guidebook



Grading 

— How will I receive my grade?


Item

% Final

Binder (hand-written notes + partially completed portfolio entries)

20

Completed evaluations from binder and department course evaluation

10

Your top 5 photos of the trip with explanation of its significance

20

Portfolio entries (5 entries, 10 points each)

50

Final grade assignments: ≥95% = A; 94-85% = AB; 84-75% = B; 74-65% = C; 64-55% = D; ≤55% = F

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Eligibility 

— Am I eligible?

Before applying to the Mexico Field Study Program, please look over the following list. You must meet the following requirements in order to attend the field study.

  • Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
  • Freshmen eligible only with instructor's consent hyperlink to contact
  • 2.0 cumulative GPA as of at the end of previous fall semester
  • Be enrolled in the corresponding 2-week late summer session
  • Completed the spring semester seminar (or received instructor's consent)
  • Completed a field study application by the deadline


Important Dates & Deadlines 

— What are my deadlines?


Dates

Item

November – January

Register for 375 Spring seminar

January 31st

CALS continuing scholarship applications due

Mid-February

Mexico Field Study Abroad application due

March 

Study Abroad Program Fee due ($300)

April

Remaining program fee due

End of April

Mandatory Orientation

Mid-May

Leave for Mexico

End of May

Return from Mexico

Early June

Portfolio entries due


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Budgets 

— How much does it cost?

This information is only an estimate and includes program fees, as well as out-of-pocket expenses.

Expenses Included in IAP Program Fees

Expenses NOT Included

IAP Program Fees

Wisconsin Residents

MN Reciprocity

Non-residents


$750

$800

$850

Airfare

$400

Ground transportation in Mexico


Ground Transportation to and from airport in the US

May be included in program fee depending on flight schedule

$30

Hotel and lodging


Meals / Snacks

Meal estimate is averaged at $25 per day

$350



Personal / Miscellaneous

$300

TOTAL

Wisconsin Residents

MN Reciprocity

Non-residents


$750

$800

$850

TOTAL

$1080

GRAND TOTAL

Wisconsin Residents $1830

MN Reciprocity $1880

Non-residents $1930

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Scholarships 

— How can I afford it?

While the Mexico Field Study is one of the cheapest international experiences students can take advantage of on campus, we realize that most students are probably looking at the program fee and saying to themselves, "There's no way I can afford this!" But you are wrong! If need be, with a little bit of planning, you can easily afford this!. Below we've compiled a list of funding sources you can use to pay for this field study:

  • For Dairy Science and closely related areas, please visit UW-Madison's official scholarship page to learn more about scholarships;
  • Your application to this field study program includes a section to complete for the Study Abroad scholarships, open to all students;
  • All degree seeking CALS students should apply annually for scholarships, especially the continuing student scholarship. Click here for the CALS scholarship application. The continuing student application is an on-line submission form. Typically these scholarships comes in the form of reduction in fall semester tuition;
  • All students should also look into the UW-Madison International Institute and the Latin America, Carribean and Iberian Study (LACIS) program;
  • And finally, do talk to Laura Paris, lparis@wisc.edu of CALS International Programs to help you find additional resources both on and off campus to fund your trip!

We want you to be able to attend this field study and will help you find the money to pay for it!

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Contact 

— What if I have questions?

 

Feel free to contact Michel Wattiux, wattiaux@wisc.edu (program leader) or Laura Paris, lparis@wisc.edu (CALS Study Abroad advisor) with any questions. To get in touch with any students who have attended the field study previously, look up their names in the previous field study pages and use the UW-Madison directory to get their email addresses if they are still associated with the University.

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