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Berkeley Summer Abroad

Barcelona, Spain: The Other Side/El Otro Lado: ACCEPTING LATE APPLICATIONS

  • Summary

    This program is accepting late applications. Please contact to enroll.


    Engage deeply with the histories and contemporary realities of migrant and refugee communities along the Mediterranean and US/Mexico Border corridors. This program will conduct a comparative analysis of migrant and refugee narratives in the Mediterranean sea corridor and migrant experiences (including experiences of undocumented migrants) at the US-Mexico Borderlands.

    The course will ask questions like: What are the underlying reasons driving how and why states militarize borders? What strategies are used to deter migration in both sites? How do “threat narratives” shape the ways migrant and refugee communities are racialized/gendered in their “host” country?

    Students will:

    • Meet Virtually with local NGOs, migrant collectives, and scholars from the Centro Internacional de Estudios Decoloniales (the International Center for Decolonial Studies)
    • Engage with Augmented Reality and possibly Virtual Reality to experience the sites examined in the class.
    • Learn how to create augmented reality research galleries and podcasts
    • Learn basic proficiency in Augmented Reality applications and XD Adobe

    Dates: July 6, 2021 - August 13, 2021 (Session D)
    All dates are subject to change

    Units: 5-6

    Language of Instruction: English


    • Chicano Studies 180M: The Other Side/El Otro Lado: A comparative look at migration and refugees along the Mediterranean and US-Mexico borderlands (5 units, required course)
    • Chicano Studies 197 or 199 (1 unit, optional add on)


    • At least one year of college coursework completed by the start of the program
    • 2.0 GPA or higher
    • There are no prerequisites or restrictions for participation.


    • All course content will be delivered online. Students must have access to a computer and reliable internet.
    • Courses will take place Tuesdays 2 - 3:30 p.m. & 5 - 8 p.m. (class has an extended break between 3:30 and 5) AND Thursdays 4 - 7 p.m.


    • Application opens February 1, 2021
    • Space is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
    • Deadline to apply is May 2, 2021

  • Courses

    During the program, you will take one required course for a total of 5 UC Berkeley units. You will also have the option to add a 197/199 course to reach 6 units, the minimum unit load to qualify for summer financial aid.

    Course: Chicano Studies 180M (5 units)
    Title: The Other Side/El Otro Lado: A comparative look at migration and refugees along the Mediterranean and US-Mexico borderlands
    Instructor: Dr. Pablo Gonzalez
    Units: 5 units
    This virtual course maps the formation of two particular subjects that become quintessential symbols of the twentieth and twenty-first century: the refugee and the undocumented migrant. The refugee and the migrant (especially the undocumented migrant) are products emerging out of several prevalent social, political, and economic processes that intersect with questions of war, economic imperialism, and dispossession. These two subjects are at the center of any global threat narratives that reproduce within the transnational and national contexts as either “good” or “bad” subjects. Their movement across borders and boundaries have reshaped the way we think about questions of national belonging and citizenship. Yet, such subject formations are also tied to modern/colonial state crafting and late-stage racial capitalism. For Chicana/o Studies and Ethnic Studies in the United States this means focusing on the construction of an internal/external ‘other’ underpinning racial/sexual/gendered/class hierarchies and social divisions, the construction of an “illegal” subject without rights, and the militarization and enforcement of borders, boundaries, and walls at the local, national, and international level. In particular, the US-Mexico borderlands, a strip of land 1950-miles long, is socially constructed, as Nestor Rodriguez argues, to reinforce who may come in and who must stay out of the national polity.

    Images of Mexican, Central American, and other racialized gendered subjects, help produce threat narratives of the border that further the belief that the border is a site of “crisis” that must be solved through increase militarization or enforcement. In the current moment, we see the Central American asylum seeker and migrant as the current articulation of this social construction of the US-Mexico borderlands. Yet, across the world, we have also located other places that are constructed in a similar fashion. Similarly, the Mediterranean Sea is constructed but with its own specificity, as a boundary and “treacherous geography” where those who seek refuge face life and death situations to arrive at the “Global North.” News stories of capsizing ships filled with African and West Asian passengers who risk drowning in the sea look eerily familiar to those who attempt to cross such geographies like the Sonora Desert to the United States. What has caused such movement of people to locations like Spain, Italy, and Greece? How have they been received in these newly formed “host countries”? And what similarities/differences do their stories hold in relationship to those attempting to cross la frontera norte between Mexico and the United States? Such themes help us understand the social/political/cultural/juridical landscapes and regimes in which (im)migration is shaped and understood in everyday life and more importantly how they may open opportunities for immediate and long-term political/social action.

    This summer virtual study abroad is an invitation between US ethnic Studies and global ethnic studies in relation to the construction of particular juridical/social/political subjects like refugees and undocumented migrants in two particular locations: 1)the US -Mexico borderlands and 2) the Mediterranean Sea corridor. We will engage in this invitation by studying, researching, and conversing with NGO’s, migrant collectives, and scholars over the question of refugees and migrants in the US/Mexico and European context. We will relate these conversations to the US-Mexico border, not to suggest that they are the same, but instead to build a necessary meeting between two distinct global locations with geopolitical importance.

    You can fulfill the L&S International Studies breadth requirement or the L&S Social Behavioral Sciences breadth requirement by full participation in a Berkeley Summer Abroad program. All of the required courses must be completed with a C-/P or better. Consult with your college/major advisor to see which degree requirements this course may fulfill.

    Summer Abroad staff will enroll you in courses after your acceptance to the program. Please make sure there are no active blocks on your student account that may impact your course enrollment.

  • Costs

    Tuition and Program Fee

    The fees to participate in this program are broken down into tuition and fees, which are applied to your student billing account as follows:

    2021 Fees UC Students
    (5 units)
    UC Students
    (6 units)
    Visiting Students
    (5 units)
    Tuition (6 units) $2,095 $2,514 $2,750
    Program Fee $ - $ - $ -
    Campus Fee $380 $380 $ -
    Registration Fee $ - $ - $450
    Document Management Fee $ - $ - $62
    Total Cost $2,475 $2,894 $3,262

    Fees are subject to change. Please note that the overall tuition amount you will be responsible for in Summer 2021 depends on how many total units you are enrolled in. These costs are only inclusive of the Summer Abroad program tuition costs

    Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses

    For Virtual Programs, students will participate from their own residences. Therefore, estimates of out-of-pocket expenses are not customized for each program. Each participant will determine their own unique living situation, be it with family, friends, or living independently. Because of this, each individual student must consider their own expenses and create an accurate individual budget for their summer.

    UC Berkeley students who have filed a 2020-2021 FAFSA or California Dream Act application and enroll in a minimum of 6 units will be eligible for financial aid. Financial aid eligible students who want more information on how out-of-pocket expenses will be packaged for this program can read about it here (PDF)

  • Timeline

    Program Dates
    July 6 - August 13, 2021
    Program occurs within Session D 

     Program Deadlines
    All deadlines are 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time (PT).

    Submit Application May 2, 2021
    Cancel from Program w/ Refund* July 16, 2021
    Change Grading Option August 6, 2021

    *Adding or dropping any non-program course(s) should follow the normal Summer Sessions deadlines. Canceling from the program does not constitute cancellation from the summer term if you are enrolled in any non-program courses.

  • Instructors

    Program Director: Dr. Pablo Gonzalez

    Dr. Pablo Gonzalez is a lecturer in Chicana/o Studies and Ethnic Studies with a Ph.D. in Borderlands Anthropology. His work looks at the social construction of the Mexican-US border, the production of Mexican and Latino “illegality”, transnational social movements, and forms of transnational state violence. Dr. Gonzalez received his BA in Chicana/o Studies from UC Berkeley in 1999 and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Texas Austin in 2011. His current research looks at housing dispossession in the greater Bay Area and the transnational migration of indigenous communities from Latin American to the United States and other countries. He is also interested in the similarities and differences between the managing and militarization of different borders and boundaries. In particular, the social construction of the US-Mexico border and the Mediterranean Sea as sites of migration and state violence against refugees. His teaching interests include Chicanx and Latinx culture, Chicana/o history, Latinos and the criminal justice system, Mexican and Central American Migration, and Ethnic Studies ethnographic methods.