SIT in Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights
What Makes SIT Unique
SIT Study Abroad offers a field-based, experiential approach to learning. Each program has a small group of students (typically 10–35). On an SIT program, students gain high levels of access to many different stakeholders and experts relevant to the issues the program is examining. While some learning will be conducted at the SIT program center, extensive learning is done outside the classroom — in host communities, field stations, NGO headquarters, ecological sites, health clinics, and art studios.Many students go on to use their Independent Study Projects as a basis for senior theses on their home campuses. Others use their undergraduate research and overall study abroad experience to successfully apply for fellowships such as Fulbrights and Watsons.
Students will earn 16 credit hours for this semester program. Classes will be taught in Spanish, so students are expected to have completed Spanish through the second year level before participating. The set courses for the program cover topics related to:
- The international system of human rights protection
- The relationship between social movements and human rights, from theoretical and applied perspectives
- Social movements and human rights organizations in Latin America and Argentina
- Argentina’s political, economic, and social history
- Neoextractivism and neodevelopmentalism, including territory and environmental rights, and anti-mining movements.
- Urban, peasant, and indigenous social movements in northern Argentina, and the differences between and similarities with other Argentine and Latin American social movements.
- Environmental and anti-mining movements, social movements and social economy, political participation, demonstrations and youth organizations, popular education, identity, and diversity in social movements
- Human rights through the lenses of gender, discrimination and racism, migration, state violence, education, right to communication, the right to urbanization, and reproductive health
Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website for details on the program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.
There is no "typical day"on an SIT program. Activities may take place on any day of the week and at any time of day to be in accordance with according to local norms and to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities. Thus, the schedule and structure of the program are likely very different from what students are used to on their home campuses. The semester progresses in phases:
The program begins with a thorough orientation.
During the first two and a half months of the program, students are engaged in foundational coursework, including:
- thematic seminars, including education excursions
- language instruction focused on improving practical communication skills
- a field research methods and ethics course that prepares students to conduct independent research.
For the last month of the program, students conduct an Independent Study Project (ISP) on an approved topic of their choosing. Students may also choose to complete an internship for this last month. Finally, students present their project, participate in program evaluations, and prepare to return home.
The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During the homestay, students become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program.
Students will live with a family in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital and largest city, for six weeks. Buenos Aires offers an outstanding array of cultural assets and offerings, which many students enjoy together with their families. Most host families are middle class and live in apartments or small houses in the city. All live within the Capital Federal District.
During the excursion to Patagonia, students will immerse themselves in rural indigenous life by staying for two days in a Mapuche community in the beautiful Patagonian mountains. This rural homestay gives students the opportunity to experience a lifestyle very different from the one in Buenos Aires. By participating in community life and daily activities, students will better understand the challenges faced by rural communities. Other accommodations during the program include small hotels and hostels.
Northwestern Argentina and Rosario, Santa Fé (two weeks)
One of the most beautiful and least developed regions of Argentina, the Northwest is also the poorest area in the country. Largely deprived of economic development resources, communities in this region are struggling to survive and maintain their cultural traditions. During this excursion, students will examine peasant, indigenous, and gender movements and social economy, and will analyze opposition to mining projects due to environmental impacts.
Students will be based in the provincial capital of Salta, a beautiful city with a strong colonial flavor in the foothills of the Andes. Salta is also well-known as one of Argentina’s most traditional and conservative areas. Arguably because of this, it is central to the struggle for women’s rights and the fight against gender-based violence. Students will hear lectures and participate in discussions on gender or the social economy at the National University of Salta, our host institution. They will visit an organization focused on women’s rights and a community soup kitchen to examine collective coping strategies of the city’s poor. Students will also visit the magnificent Quebrada de Humahuaca valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site recently declared “Historic Patrimony of Humanity,” and consider the impact tourism has on preserving cultural and economic stability in this community. They will also visit the Salt Flats (Salinas Grandes) and mining projects to see how the neighboring communities have organized themselves in protest.
In contrast to northwestern Argentina, the province of Santa Fe, especially the city of Rosario, plays a major role in Argentine strategy related to the global trade of commodities (soy, oil, biodiesel) and the exports from its port. In Rosario, students will learn about the consequences of the real estate boom, development of agribusiness, pollution and environmental struggles, and the development of drug trafficking.
Patagonia (one week)
The focus of the Patagonia excursion is on human rights and legal resources to support social movements. The region’s abundance of natural resources has invited extensive human intervention over the years. Mining, tourism, and other human involvement challenge the region’s natural environment. You will examine these challenges and the movements working to address them, as well as impoverished and indigenous communities’ struggles over land in both urban and rural settings. This excursion also focuses on the conflicts surrounding land access and occupation from a human rights perspective.
In Bariloche, students will witness the social and environmental impacts of tourism and the efforts that poor communities are making for access to land. While Bariloche is a beautiful city boasting abundant natural resources and stunning landscapes, the “other Bariloche” reveals the discrimination and poverty endured by many of the city’s poor. Students will visit a recycling cooperative created to provide opportunities within the community and consider the role of environmental movements in preventing the erosion of natural resources. In Mapuche communities, students will observe indigenous groups’ battles for rights and recognition by the Argentine government and their fight for land and territory within the framework of community land rights. Through visits to the local community center where Mapuche women create and sell artisanal crafts, they will learn about traditional ways of working and living. A visit to the picturesque Nahuel Huapi national park provides a broader definition of sustainable management and development as a cultural as well as environmental issue.
**Estimate of costs to be added soon**
SIT awards nearly $1.3 million in needs-based scholarships and grants annually. Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000. The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad semester program. Additionally, any Binghamton/SUNY student who is accepted to an SIT program that is approved by Binghamton University for a fall or spring semester will automatically be granted a $1,500 reduction in program cost!
Students who are eligible for financial aid may apply it. The amount of financial aid that you may be eligible to receive is of an individual nature. All students should print out this Estimate of Costs Sheet, bring it to the Financial Aid office, and consult with a counselor there about what the implications of this cost would be for them individually. Federal and New York State financial aid is generally applicable to study abroad programs. The Binghamton Financial Aid Services Office is able to consider only the application of students matriculated at Binghamton for degree study.
Binghamton and SUNY Scholarships
Students applying for this program are highly encouraged to apply for the Dr. Israel J. Rosefsky Language and Culture Scholarship ($3,000), and also the Myers Family Scholarship if eligible ($1,500). For more information about scholarships and financial aid in general, click here.
SIT Argentina Program Homepage
SIT Argentina Program Facebook
Past Research Projects from SIT Argentina Program
Please contact the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives at email@example.com for more information or to set up an appointment.