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Open Access Publications from the University of California

UCEAP Mexico

Diarios de campo/Experiences in multicultural Mexico bannerUC Davis

About Us

Founded in 1968, the UCEAP México program is located in a country contiguous with the United States, which lends the program a very special character. Relations between México and and United States—and with border states like California in particular—are intimate, complex, rich and contested, and they affect every aspect of life on both sides of the border. Study in México consequently offers unparalleled opportunities for UC students to reach new understandings of what it means to be a Californian, a citizen of the United States, and a citizen of a rapidly globalizing society.

UCEAP México students are often drawn to address the most sensitive and urgent aspects of Mexican society and culture in their work. This can be a challenging, even transformative process. UCEAP México’s academic programs are designed to help students undertake such projects with success, and the results have frequently been outstanding. We have founded this Working Paper Series in order to showcase the remarkable contributions that these young scholars are making to the ever-evolving transnational dialog between the two North American United States—of America, and of México.

Recent work by UCEAP México students has won the UCEAP Undergraduate Research Award, given for "quality of research concept and execution, integral and innovative use of resources at the study site, quality of presentation, distinctiveness of the research, and quality of faculty support." (see


There are two program options for UCEAP México: study at the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), and the Field Research Program (FRP).


(More information can be found at

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is the number one– ranked university in Latin America, recently awarded the Prince of Asturias Award in Communication and Humanities. It is also one of the world’s largest public universities, with over 300,000 students enrolled and 35,000 professors and researchers on staff.

During the first four weeks in Mexico City, in preparation for the beginning of the academic year in August, students take an intensive review of the Spanish language and Contemporary Mexico class that presents contemporary Mexican culture, society, and diversity, in addition to a historical perspective.

At the UNAM, Students enroll full-time in regularly offered classes for a semester or for an entire year, making progress toward their UC degrees in a wide variety of fields.

In addition, UCEAP México coordinates and oversees the many opportunities for individual studies, internships, and volunteer work that are available to UNAM students in Mexico City.


(More information can be found at

In the Field Research Program, students devote a semester to an independent research project.

During the first five weeks in Mexico City, in addition to an intensive review of the Spanish language, students take an accelerated course in field research techniques and ethnography, as well as becoming familiar with local libraries, archives, and other research centers. In addition, a Contemporary Mexico class provides familiarity with major themes in Mexican history and scholarship. The intensity of this period is punctuated by roundtable discussions with the Mexican scholars who will become the mentors for the students’ research projects, offering advance guidance on proposals and appropriate research sites. These scholars form part of the Editorial Board of our Working Papers Series.

The remainder of the semester is dedicated to individual field research at one of a number of sites throughout the country (Currently available research sites and mentors are listed at Students meet with mentors at least once a week for academic advice and guidance.

At the end of the program, students write up the results of their research in a substantial paper, which they also present in Mexico City for fellow program participants, instructors, and the Visiting Professor.