Social Movements and Human Rights

Study Argentina’s social movements and the country’s past and current struggles to guarantee human rights for its diverse populations.

At a Glance




3 semesters Spanish, Relevant previous coursework

Language of Study


Courses taught in



Aug 24 – Dec 6

Program Countries


Program Base

Buenos Aires

Critical Global Issue of Study

Peace & Justice

Peace & Justice Icon

Identity & Human Resilience

Identity & Human Resilience Icon


Why Argentina?

With a rich history of workers organizing for rights, Argentina has seen rapid growth of social movements in recent decades. You’ll be based in the vibrant capital city of Buenos Aires, where you’ll live with a local family for six weeks and during the four-week ISP or internship period if you choose to stay in Buenos Aires. While in the capital, you’ll study at one of the top think tanks in Latin America, the Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES). You will also visit workers taking on factory bosses; feminist, GLTTBQ and other grassroots activists advocating for human rights, equality and social welfare; activists fighting for environmental justice; and indigenous groups defending their community land rights.

During your excursions to Patagonia, Salta, Jujuy, and Rosario, you’ll meet rural families struggling to maintain their livelihoods and indigenous communities organizing to retain their territory, identity, and natural resources. You will learn about the impacts of tourism, mining, and development and visit local organizations working to preserve their culture and the environment.

You will also have the opportunity to develop your Spanish language skills related to human rights and social movements through 45 hours of classroom learning, cultural immersion, homestays, and excursions.


  • Visit grassroots organizations fighting for human rights and social welfare.
  • Hone your Spanish skills through homestays and classroom and field instruction.
  • Get a firsthand look at Argentina’s prolific and dynamic social movements.
  • A Patagonia excursion looks at human involvement in the natural environment.


Previous college-level coursework or background 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.



A one-week Patagonia excursion focuses on human rights and social movements addressing the challenges of human involvement in the natural environment. In Bariloche, witness the impacts of tourism and impoverished communities’ efforts to access land. In Mapuche communities, observe indigenous groups’ battles for recognition from the government and fight for community land rights. In Nahuel Huapi national park, gain a broader definition of sustainable management and development as a cultural and environmental issue.

North Western Argentina and Rosario, Santa Fé

On a two-week excursion, examine indigenous and gender movements, social economy, and opposition to mining. Based in Salta, you’ll study at the National University of Salta and visit women’s rights and community organizations. See the impact of tourism on the Quebrada de Humahuaca Valley and learn about environmental opposition to the Salt Flats mining projects. In the port city of Rosario, learn about the consequences of the real estate boom, agribusiness development, pollution, and drug trafficking.

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.


Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to: 

  • Analyze recent Argentine history with a focus on its political and economic models. 
  • Apply different human rights theories to formulate public policy solutions to existing social and human rights problems.  
  • Assess traditional theories about social movements and the contributions of Latin American theories. 
  • Reflect on the relationship between social movements and human rights in the Argentinean and regional context. 
  • Demonstrate an acute sense of positionality, cultural sensitivity, and communicative proficiency while conducting fieldwork for your Independent Study Project or internship experience. 
  • Apply methodological tools to analyze a field of interest linked to human rights and social movements.  

Read more about Program Learning Outcomes.


Access virtual library guide.

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.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Independent Study Projects

  • Labor rights
  • Environmental rights and neo-extractivism
  • Memory and memorialization
  • Indigenous rights and community
  • Art as a tool for social transformation


  • NGO human rights projects or grassroots organizations
  • Local human rights campaigns
  • Public institutions or NGOs related to gender, environmental problems, Indigenous communities, and more

Independent Study Project and internships are provided as examples and are not intended as a guarantee of subject matter approval or internship placement.

History and Human Rights in Argentina

History and Human Rights in Argentina – syllabus
(LACB3005 / 3 credits)

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.

Social Movement and Human Rights in Argentina

Social Movements and Human Rights in Argentina – syllabus
(LACB3000 / 3 credits)

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.

Spanish for Social Sciences

Spanish for Social Sciences I – syllabus
(SPAN2003 / 3 credits)

Spanish for Social Sciences II – syllabus
(SPAN2503 / 3 credits)

Spanish for Social Sciences III – syllabus
(SPAN3003 / 3 credits)

Spanish for Social Sciences IV – syllabus
(SPAN3503 / 3 credits)

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

Research Methods and Ethics – syllabus
(ANTH3500 / 3 credits)

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 or Internship

Choose one of the following two courses.

Independent Study Project
Independent Study Project – syllabus
(ISPR3000 / 4 credits)

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 ISP 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
  • Sexual and reproductive 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

Browse this program’s Independent Study Projects / undergraduate research.

Watch an ISP done in video format.


Internship and Seminar
Internship and Seminar – syllabus
(ITRN3000 / 4 credits)

This seminar consists of a four-week internship with a local community organization, research organization, or international NGO. The aim of the internship is to enable the student to gain valuable work experience and to enhance their skills in an international work environment. Students will complete an internship and submit a paper in which they process their learning experience on the job, analyze an issue important to the organization, and/or design a socially responsible solution to a problem identified by the organization. A focus will be on linking internship learning with the program’s critical global issue focus and overall program theme. The internship course includes a module designed to help students build a foundation on which to engage in the internship experience.

Sample Internships

  • Collaborating with NGO Human Rights projects or grassroots organizations
  • 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.


Buenos Aires

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.

Other Accommodations

Small hotels and hostels

Career Paths

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

  • Thomas J. Watson Fellow researching informal waste collection systems, Egypt, Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Guatemala

  • Working for the United Nations, US embassies, NGOs, and the Peace Corps in advocacy, human rights, international relations, education, and policy making.

Faculty & Staff

Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights

Ana Laura Lobo, PhD candidate
Academic Director
Eliana Ferradás, PhD candidate
Academic Coordinator
Griselda Vallejo
Homestay and Student Affairs Coordinator
Catalina Correa
Program Assistant
María Eugenia Díaz
Program Assistant

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & 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.

    See Full Breakdown

    Prepare for an accessible educational experience with SIT Study Abroad! In-country conditions and resources vary by site. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact for more information.

    Accessibility Overview
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    Argentina: Social Movements class on human rights

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