Study Argentina’s social movements and the country’s past and current struggles to guarantee human rights for its diverse populations.
Visit grassroots organizations fighting for human rights and social welfare.
Engage with activists from a broad array of backgrounds, including those from traditional human rights organizations such as the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, memorials of the dictatorship such as ESMA and Parque de la Memoria; workers' cooperatives such as Chilavert; neighborhood organizations such as La Alameda; territorial social movements such as Movimiento de Trabajadores Desocupados and Servicio de Paz y Justicia; and organizations and social movements related to migration, feminism, Afro-Argentines, LGTBQ issues, state violence victims, alternative communication, popular education, environmental rights, peasant and indigenous communities, and youth activism.
Hone your Spanish speaking, reading, and writing skills through homestays and classroom and field instruction.
Receive intensive instruction in Spanish through the three-credit language course. Based on an in-country evaluation, you will be placed in intensive classes and obtain additional language practice during the homestays, lectures, and field visits. Language courses are delivered in interactive, small-group formats; there are typically no more than seven students to a class. You will be encouraged to take advantage of the myriad daily opportunities in a Spanish-speaking environment that provide a source of constant learning. You will also be encouraged to go to the theater and enjoy other cultural offerings.
Participate in community service work.
Choose from volunteer opportunities in Buenos Aires, including opportunities at a shelter for victims of domestic violence, a cultural center for children and muralists, a school, or a community health center. Community service components are also integrated into the program’s excursions.
Get a firsthand look at Argentina’s prolific and dynamic social movements from your base in the vibrant capital city of Buenos Aires.
Talk with workers taking on factory bosses, peasants fighting to maintain their livelihood, and indigenous communities organizing to retain their land, identity, and natural resources.
Study at one of the top think tanks in Latin America, the Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES).
Travel for three weeks throughout Argentina, including trips to Patagonia, the northwestern region, and the vibrant city of Rosario in the province of Santa Fe.
Choose to intern with a local organization, social movement, university, research organization or NGO or conduct independent research.
Critical Global Issue of Study
Peace | Human Rights | Social Movements
Previous college-level coursework and/or other significant preparation in social work, political economy, development studies, or Latin American studies, as assessed by SIT. Three recent semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish, as assessed by SIT.
Key Topics of Study
Key Topics of Study
- 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
Conducted in Spanish, the courses typically include lectures and discussions on the political and social history of Argentina; human rights and the struggle for justice, from theoretical and applied perspectives; and theory and practice of social movements, including discussions on the future of social movements and their challenges in the international context. The Research Methods and Ethics course addresses culturally appropriate, ethical field methodology, in preparation for the Independent Study Project. Spanish language study bolsters students’ ability to communicate, conduct field research, and delve deeply into the culture and theme of the program.
The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
- Social Movements and Human Rights in Argentina – syllabus
- (LACB3000 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- This seminar introduces students to social movements and human rights issues in Argentina, focusing on the quest for social change in this country and Latin America. Students analyze the roles played by NGOs and other organizations, as well as by broader social movements, in Argentina’s struggle to attain and uphold human rights for its diverse citizens. The seminar includes both theoretical and experiential components, and students learn to draw connections from concepts to case studies and actual issues. Some of the main concepts studied in this seminar include: decolonizing, territory, social economy, and popular education. This class is taught primarily in Buenos Aires but also in Salta, Jujuy, and Santa Fe. All coursework is conducted in Spanish.
- History and Human Rights in Argentina – syllabus
- (LACB3005 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- This course introduces students to Argentina's long struggle to guarantee its diverse populations' human rights, defined broadly to include civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the so-called “solidarity rights.” Students examine the history of Argentina to facilitate the contextualization of the struggle for human rights that have taken place in the country during the past few years. They then examine the present international system of human rights protection and the use of legislation as a tool for social transformation, as human rights issues are continually redefined in Argentina. Students are expected to be familiar with the contents of special protection rights, such as the rights of women, immigrants and indigenous people, the right to communication, the right to the city, and environmental rights. They also discuss topics that endanger respect for human rights including discrimination, racism, and state violence. This class is taught primarily in Buenos Aires but also in Patagonia. All coursework is conducted in Spanish.
- Spanish for Social Sciences I – syllabus
- (SPAN2003 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- Spanish for Social Sciences II – syllabus
- (SPAN2503 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- Spanish for Social Sciences III – syllabus
- (SPAN3003 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- Spanish for Social Sciences IV – syllabus
- (SPAN3503 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- In this course, students hone their speaking, reading, and writing skills through classroom and field instruction. They practice reading professional social science literature as they learn the terms and expressions needed to discuss human rights and social movement issues, to conduct field research, and to interact in settings related to the program themes. Students are placed in small classes based on an in-country evaluation that tests both written and oral proficiency.
- Research Methods and Ethics – syllabus
- (ANTH3500 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- This research methods course is designed to prepare students for an Independent Study Project or internship. Through lectures, readings, and field activities, students study and practice basic social science methods. They examine the ethical issues surrounding field research related to human rights and other program themes and are guided through the World Learning / SIT Human Subjects Review process, which forms a core component of the course. By the end of the course, students will have chosen a research topic or internship placement, selected appropriate methods, and written a solid proposal for an Independent Study Project or internship related to the program themes. All coursework is conducted in Spanish.
- Independent Study Project – syllabus
- (ISPR3000 / 4 credits / 120 hours)
- Conducted in Buenos Aires or in another approved location appropriate to the project, the Independent Study Project offers students the opportunity to conduct field research on a topic of their choice within the program's thematic parameters. The project integrates learning from the various components of the program and culminates in a final presentation and formal research paper. Sample topic areas include: labor rights; rights of migrants; issues of identity; women's rights; LGBTQ and human rights in Argentina; indigenous rights and community; memory and memorialization; art as a tool for social transformation; children's rights; indigenous participation in social movements; environmental movements.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
This program includes exceptional field-based learning opportunities to develop a broader and deeper understanding of course content. You will visit and live in three settings in Argentina: the northwest, Santa Fe, and Patagonia. In each location, intensive seminar sessions are organized by university faculty, development practitioners, government officials, and local community and labor groups.
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, you will examine peasant, indigenous, and gender movements and social economy, and you will analyze opposition to mining projects due to environmental impacts.
You 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. You will hear lectures and participate in discussions on gender or the social economy at the National University of Salta, our host institution. You will visit an organization focused on women’s rights and a community soup kitchen to examine collective coping strategies of the city’s poor.
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. You 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, you 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, you 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. You 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, you 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, you 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.
Program in a minute-ish
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff
Ana Laura Lobo, PhD Candidate, Academic Director
Ana Laura has a master’s degree in social investigation from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and completed doctoral work in social sciences at UBA and the National University of San Martin. Her postgraduate research was completed at the UBA’s Gino Germani Research Institute. She began her tenure with SIT in 2010 as academic coordinator of the Regional Integration, Development, and Social Change program, also based in Buenos Aires. In January 2011, she joined the Social Movements and Human Rights Program as associate director.
Her research interests include sociology, social justice and human rights, and social transformation using art and culture. She is a member of the research project team Human Rights and the Protection of Strategic Resources in Latin America in the 21st Century. She has served as adjunct professor for UNICEF and the judicial power of the province of Buenos Aires and as a lecturer at UBA. Currently, she teaches Peace Culture and Human Rights, a seminar chaired by Nobel Peace laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel.
She worked as an advisor to the Argentine Ministry of Industry and Production on enterprise and regional development projects related to social and local economic development. She also serves as a technical consultant for Programa de Inclusión Social Envión in Avellaneda.
Eliana Ferradás, Academic Coordinator
Eliana did her undergraduate degree in history at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and currently is a master’s degree student in journalism and social communication at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata. She has worked for SIT since 2011, broadening her knowledge on social movements and human rights. Her research focuses on Argentine history and human rights, especially the period of Argentina’s last dictatorship (1976–1983). For several years she volunteered at La Alameda Foundation, a Buenos Aires–based NGO that fights human trafficking. Her background also includes working with and studying migration in Argentina, and she has taken courses and seminars related to gender and human rights.
María Eugenia Díaz, Program Assistant
María Eugenia is a sociologist from the University of Buenos Aires. She is working on her master’s degree in social research with a specialization on social policy planning and management. Her tenure with SIT began in 2011 as a student assistant. She also works as a researcher in the Department of Social Sciences at the Cultural Center of Cooperation. Her research team focuses on labor exploitation in Argentina. Previously, she worked at the National Register of Agricultural Workers and Employers in the Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Social Security addressing child labor and labor exploitation in the agricultural sector.
Carla Rosciano, Homestay and Student Affairs Coordinator
Carla is a graphic designer with a degree from Universidad de Buenos Aires. She is also involved with human rights and social economy. She and her parents have been a host family for several students of this program. Carla also works at the Buenos Aires Herald, the only media outlet to publish information about the forced disappearances of members of the opposition during the military dictatorship. Carla is a member of a workers’ cooperative.
Faculty and lecturers typically include:
Matias, a history professor, received his degree from Universidad de Buenos Aires. He is currently an associate professor teaching Problems in Argentinean History at the National University and Arturo Jauretche and Economic and Social History of Argentina at Universidad de Buenos Aires. He is pursuing a master’s degree in cultural sociology and cultural analysis at the National University of San Martín. His work has focused on urban studies and the history of the Peronist party. He has published academic articles and a book about the history of social housing in Argentina.
Ernesto Cussianovich, MA
Ernesto holds an MA in economic history from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in history from Universidad de Buenos Aires. He is a history lecturer at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella and Universidad Palermo and has also been a history lecturer at Universidad de Buenos Aires. He is also a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme. Ernesto has worked and studied in France, the UK, and Japan. His teaching and research areas include Argentine and Latin American history, state theory, and public policy.
Pablo Vommaro, PhD
Pablo holds a postdoctoral degree in social science with a focus on childhood and youth from the Universidad Católica de São Paulo, Universidad de Manizales, CINDE, Colegio de la Frontera Norte, and CLACSO. He holds a PhD in social sciences and a BA in history from Universidad de Buenos Aires, Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, where he teaches and researches in undergraduate and graduate schools of education sciences and history. He is also a researcher at the Oral History Program at Universidad de Buenos Aires, a member of the Foundation for Political and Social Research, and part of the study group on social protest and collective action at Instituto Gino Germani at Universidad de Buenos Aires. He coordinates the CLACSO working group on youth and new political practices in Latin America and is involved with the Latin American Program of Distance Learning in Social Sciences. His areas of research are the history of urban social organizations with a territorial base, the political participation and practices of youth, oral history, and recent Argentine history.
Juan Wahren, PhD
Juan is a sociologist with a master’s degree in social science research and a PhD in social sciences from the Universidad de Buenos Aires. His areas of research include social movements, natural resource struggles, alternative development, territorial struggles, Latin American movements, and popular education. He is professor of rural sociology, popular education, and social movements in Latin America and Argentina, and protest/collective action research at the Faculty of Social Science at Universidad de Buenos Aires. Juan is also a researcher in the rural studies and the Latin American social movements groups at Instituto Gino Germani at Universidad de Buenos Aires. He is a member of the research team Rural Development: Territorial Struggles, Peasants, and Decolonization at Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales. He also directs investigations within the group Social Movements and Popular Education.
Sonia Winer, PhD
Sonia holds a degree in political science and a master’s degree in research and Latin American studies from the University of Toulouse Le Mirail and a PhD in social sciences from Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA). She is a researcher from CONICET at the Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean, where she directs the research team Democratic Reforms: Advocacy and Human Rights in South America. Her research areas include comparative policies of security and defense and the role of security agencies in Latin America. She serves as academic coordinator of the Geopolitics and Defense diploma at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, and as professor of the chair Culture for Peace and Human Rights from the Faculty of Social Science at UBA.
Keynote speakers / guests lecturers also include Nobel Peace Prize recipient Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Dr. Maristella Svampa.
I am grateful for my time here in Argentina because I believe that international experience is . . . crucial
I am grateful for my time here in Argentina because I believe that international experience is . . . crucial to building relationships between different communities around the world, which we can then utilize towards solving global challenges together.
The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll 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. Read more about SIT homestays.
This program includes an urban and a rural homestay, giving you the opportunity to experience two very different Argentine communities.
You 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, you will immerse yourself in rural indigenous life by staying for two days in a Mapuche community in the beautiful Patagonian mountains. This rural homestay gives you the opportunity to experience a lifestyle very different from the one in Buenos Aires. By participating in community life and daily activities, you will better understand the challenges faced by rural communities.
Other accommodations during the program include small hotels and hostels.
Independent Study Project
Independent Study Project
During the final four weeks of the program, you can choose to use your new Spanish and cultural skills and the academic knowledge you have acquired to complete an Independent Study Project (ISP) on a topic of interest to you. The ISP is conducted in Buenos Aires or another approved location. You will integrate different components of the program as you conduct an in-depth investigation of a social movement or organization. The ISP is an opportunity to build a solid foundation for further research for a senior thesis, Fulbright fellowship, or graduate school.
Sample topic areas:
- Labor rights
- Environmental rights and neo-extractivism
- Memory and memorialization
- Indigenous rights and community
- Art as a tool for social transformation
- Issues of identity
- Women’s rights
- LGBTQI and human rights in Argentina
- Rights of migrants
- Rights of Afro descendants
- Children’s rights
- Indigenous and rural community participation in social movements
The internship on this program may be completed with a local organization, social movement, university, research organization, or NGO. If you choose the internship option, you will complete work assigned to you by the organization and investigate crucial and diverse problems the organization faces and work to find solutions to them. Each institution will allocate a mentor who will guide your work so that your internship is relevant to the mission and vision of the organization and to the context and needs of the country.
The organizations that partner with the program are well known in the fields of human rights, politics and social work. They have agreed to host interns because they know that SIT students, who bring an external point of view, can contribute to a better understanding of the internal and social issues that affect the organization.
Topics and placements may vary according to the availability of each institution. Sample internships:
- Collaborating with NGO Human Rights projects
- Participating in local Human Rights campaigns
- Assisting in public institutions or NGO related to gender, environmental problems, indigenous communities, migration, discrimination, racism, education, social economy, etc.
Students on this program represent a broad array of colleges, universities, and majors. Many have gone on to do important work that connects back to their experience abroad with SIT. Recent positions held by alumni include:
- Founder and programs manager of Garden of Hope, Antigua, Guatemala
- Graduate assistant at The Washington Post, Washington, DC
Additional alumni of this program are:
- researchers, graduate students, interns, volunteers, and journalists.
- working for the United Nations, U.S. embassies, NGOs, and the Peace Corps in advocacy, human rights, international relations, education, and policy making.
Cost and Scholarships
Cost and Scholarships
SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
- Cost of all lecturers who provide instruction to students in:
- Political and social history of Argentina
- Human rights and the struggle for justice
- Theory and practice of social movements
- Social movements in Argentina
- Research Methods and Ethics course on research methods and Human Subjects Review
- Intensive language instruction in Spanish
- All educational excursions to locations such as northwestern Argentina and Patagonia, including all related travel costs
- Independent Study Project (including a stipend for accommodation and food)
- Health insurance throughout the entire program period
Room & Board: $3,420
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
- All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes during orientation, time in the program base (Buenos Aires), on all excursions, during the Independent Study Project, and during the final evaluation period. Accommodation is covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay.
- All homestays (six weeks in Buenos Aires and a rural homestay, living with an indigenous community in the south)
- All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend, or through the homestay.
Estimated Additional Costs:
International Airfare to Program Launch Site
International airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.
Books & Supplies: $100
International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.
Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.
Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.