Argentina: Regional Integration, Development, and Social Change

Educational Excursions

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

Visit to Familia Silva Quilombo in Porto Alegre

Excursions and classes on the benefits and threats of the expansion of the soy model.
In the past, regional farmers across the MERCOSUR countries produced a variety of grains. Recently, this has changed because of rising soy bean prices and market demands. Today, MERCOSUR farmers produce mostly soy beans, and Argentina is the world’s third-largest producer after the US and Brazil. This transformation in Argentina’s agricultural structure has created social conflict and has also introduced potential environmental risks. Students will learn about the introduction of genetically modified seeds and the social, environmental, and economic impacts of mono cropping. There will be lectures and excursions on this topic at different parts throughout the program, where students will be presented with contesting views around the production benefits of soy and potential risks for the future.

Porto Alegre, Brazil
The program spends five days in Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, a state in southern Brazil. During this period, students learn about Brazilian history, politics, regional integration, and the construction of Brazilian identity. The excursion provides the opportunity to:

  • Visit a Landless Workers Movement (MST) camp and settlement. The MST is a national movement of individuals struggling to obtain land for small rural family producers. The MST stresses cooperative and organic food production.
  • Meet with a group of local university students at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) who have successfully struggled for admissions quotas for Afro-Brazilian students at UFRGS, overcoming widespread opposition and indifference.
  • Visit small organic producers living on the outskirts of the city who sell their produce at farmer's markets throughout Porto Alegre.
  • Visit an urban quilombo, where students meet African descendants and learn about their current challenges. Quilombos were originally slave settlements, which provided places of freedom while resisting oppression and inhumane living conditions. Most of the families currently living here are descendants of slaves.
  • Receive instruction in basic Portuguese.

Montevideo, Uruguay´s capital city, is home to the headquarters of the regional trade organization of MERCOSUR, as well as the Association for Latin American Integration (ALADI). During a three-day visit to Montevideo, and after a series of lectures in Buenos Aires and Montevideo (Universidad Nacional de la Republica), students will come to understand the different discussions and challenges around regional integration in the South. Students will visit both the headquarters of MERCOSUR and ALADI, and will also gain insight into contemporary economic and political issues affecting the most equal and developed country within Latin America: Uruguay. 

Students meeting with Dr. Lilian Soto, Paraguay's Minister of Public Service

Paraguay faces important challenges in terms of political and economic sustainability, with indigenous communities, peasants, and women’s social movements persistently fighting for a more inclusive country where their voices and interests can be heard. In the capital city of Asunción, students study and analyze issues around poverty, exclusion, and contemporary and past human rights violations.

Throughout this five-day excursion, students can take advantage of SIT’s local partnership with Centro de Documentación y Estudio (CDE), one of Paraguay’s most important research institutions. The group will also visit memory sites related to past dictatorships in Paraguay and other Latin American countries.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Buenos Aires

Language Study: Spanish

Prerequisites: 4 semesters Spanish and relevant coursework


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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