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Program Description:


Mexico Web Banner 2017
Social Work in a Latin American Context

Mexicans comprise the largest immigrant group in the U.S. Students develop key cross-cultural and professional skills to help them work more effectively with the Latino community. This program satisfies the curriculum requirements for the Bachelor of Social Work degree and meets Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation standards. The program is sponsored by the social work departments of thirteen schools and managed by CGEE.

The mission of the program is to develop cross-culturally competent, ethical social work professionals with a global perspective by providing a semester of transformative, experiential learning focused on social and economic justice. The program offers the option of community service opportunities. In addition, field experience placements are available for students with intermediate to advanced language proficiency (a limited number of placements are available for students with fewer Spanish language skills).

The Social Work in a Latin American Context program is open to Augsburg students, and students from our consortium schools. When space is available, it is open to social work majors from other CSWE accredited institutions who meet the prerequisites for the program.  Please inquire with CGEE regarding the space available to non-consortium members. 

Learn About:

  • Learn directly from social work practitioners, social welfare policy makers, and community leaders
  • Take part in fieldwork in a Mexican organization
  • Meet CSWE EPAS competencies toward a BSW degree
  • Develop Spanish language proficiency
  • Gain valuable knowledge and skills for working with diverse and immigrant populations

Meet With:

  • Members of rural and urban communities that have been affected by globalization and US immigration policies
  • People who have migrated to Cuernavaca, people who have worked in the US with and without documents, family members who have been left behind, and people who have been deported
  • Social workers from state agencies, health centers and an addiction service program

Current Consortium Schools:

  • Augsburg College
  • Bemidji State University
  • Bethel University
  • Metropolitan State University
  • Northwestern College
  • Providence College
  • Seattle University
  • St. Catherine University
  • St. Cloud State University
  • St. Olaf College
  • West Chester University
  • Winona State University
  • University of Sioux Falls
  • University of St. Thomas

New! Read the new social work blog:


Students typically take a full course load on the program, about 16 credits. Your coursework is in English, there is no Spanish language prerequisite. We partner with a Spanish language school just down the street from our study center, which offers a large range of Spanish courses, if you would like to improve your language skills while on the program! CGEE believes in experiential education as a key factor to learning and will often bring students on cultural excursions, have guest speakers, and visit local organizations that will tie in the subject matter with real-world experiences and stories.

Courses Available, and links to syllabi/course descriptions: Pre-Session Spanish
  • Students who would like to gain some basic Spanish or brush up on their Spanish can take additional Spanish classes before the semester begins by making arrangements directly with our partner language school in Cuernavaca, Mexico. We particularly advise students who have little or no Spanish or plan to register for an internship to travel to the region early to take Spanish classes.



CGEE believes in learning from the community, which is why we include homestays with local families on the program. You will have two homestays – one in a rural environment for a short period of time, and one in an urban environment in the city of Cuernavaca for four to six weeks. Showing students different family environments is important for learning about the diversity of life and culture in Mexico.

Our Study Center
For the remainder of the program, you will live in our Study Center in the city with the other US students on the program. The CGEE Study Center in Mexico is a 15-minute walk from downtown Cuernavaca and the main city plaza, in the neighborhood of San Antón. CGEE is well established in San Antón and has many friends and close connections in the neighborhood, including some of the homestay families. CGEE is located at the top of one of the large ravines that runs through the city, offering a dramatic view from the nearby bridge that leads to downtown. Because of the ravine, there is a 100 foot waterfall right in the neighborhood, a local eco-tourist attraction.  Right across the bridge, students will find a large public garden/park, an independent movie theater, the Cathedral, and several popular cafés. CGEE's Mexico site includes two houses across the street from each other with ample living and study space for students, a library, computer labs and wireless internet, kitchen and dining areas, and outdoor patios and gardens. The Universal language school, where students take Spanish courses, conveniently is located right up the street and has a swimming pool and racquetball court.

Take a virtual tour of our study center in Cuernavaca via YouTube!



CGEE programs are highly experiential by design. We like to get you out of the classroom and into the community! Our classes include guest speakers, trips to visit local groups, museums, businesses, and more. We also include fun excursions in the area to help you learn even more about the history, culture, and region!

All of our excursions are included in program fee, so you will always have amazing activities to join, with no hidden costs! Our Mexico programs take students to locations such as Puebla, the Nevado de Toluca volcano, Mexico City, and more.

Mexico Excursions


What is Included
CGEE program costs are comprehensive and include:
  • in-country transportation
  • housing
  • all meals
  • program-related travel and excursions
  • insurance
  • tuition
  • fair wages for staff and speakers
What is not Included
  • flights to and from the program - while CGEE arranges group travel for our semester participants, you will pay out of pocket for your ticket
  • personal spending money
    • for souvenirs, occasional dining out and events, or for more extensive travel during spring/fall breaks, if you choose to do so.
  • Books and other supplies
For students at consortium schools: Please contact us to learn more about pricing and costs, also indicate which school you attend. 

For Augsburg University students: The tuition for a semester program during the academic year 2017/18 is equivalent to one semester at Augsburg University. You will also receive an automatic scholarship of $1,500 for this program. All of your financial aid package, including scholarships, will apply to this program. Augsburg students will receive a personalized cost estimate form (including your financial aid award)  once you have started your application. For more questions about study abroad/away financial policies, please come to one of our information sessions.


Scholarships Available

We have a variety of scholarships and discounts available to students participating on a CGEE semester program. Each application is linked below for more information: Additionally, we offer the following discounts:
  • Returnee Discount
    • Automatic discount of 10% off a second semester program for students who combine two semester programs during their college career.  There are no forms to submit for this discount.
  • Summer Discount
    • Students who participate in a full semester program in Mexico will receive a 10% discount off a summer session (before or after the semester program). There are no forms to submit for this discount.


What do our participants have to say about their time on the program?

“The decision to study abroad was by far the best decision I made in my undergraduate years. I was exposed to a different world, a different view of social work, a different way of living and it was all so enriching. I walked out of this program as a different person with a different perspective on the world. I still reflect back on everything I learned in this program and am beyond blessed to have the experience of living and studying abroad..” - Carissa, University of St. Thomas, Social Work major

“It is what you make it, and I decided to give my all and in return had an amazing semester. The speakers was great and I learned a lot from them. They brought the issues to life, and made a huge impact in my life.” - LaTiona, Augsburg College, Social Work major

Want to hear more?
Read our reviews at third-party website,

More visual? Check out CGEE YouTube’s Social Work in Mexico Playlist


Contact Us for Questions

Augsburg students please contact or visit us in the Oyate Commons, Christensen Center, lower level

Students from all other colleges and universities please contact to be connected with a CGEE representative.

Application Instructions

What You Need to Apply: Non-Augsburg Students
  • A copy of your transcript (unofficial and electronic are accepted)
  • An approval form, signed by your study abroad office and your social work department
  • Answer the short essay questions
  • Read and review policy information and resources
You can also watch this short 4-minute video if you would like to see what the application looks like:


What You Need to Apply: Auggies
  • Attend an Info Session (or watch online)
  • Review the CGEE Policies and forms (in the application)
  • Answer the essay questions
  • Review, sign, and submit your cost estimate form
Auggies can talk to an advisor in the Oyate Commons any time with application or program questions. 

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2019 10/15/2018 ** Rolling Admission 01/18/2019 05/12/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.