Closed: Summer 2017 California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program

UPDATE: The application deadline for our Summer 2017 California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program was March 31, 2017.  Therefore, beginning on April 1, 2017, we are no longer accepting applications.  If you missed the deadline to apply and would be interested to learn about future programs, please subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on our social media sites.


The California-Mexico Studies Center (CMSC) is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for our Summer 2017 California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program.  The CMD’s Summer 2017 program will offer Dreamers the unique opportunity to participate in a travel-study program from August 1st to August 21st, 2017, and a 10-day course at the prestigious Mexican graduate school Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) in Tijuana, Baja California.  During the 3-week travel-study experience, the participating Dreamers will have the opportunity to engage in a graduate-level course, conduct independent travel and ethnographic research on their family origins, which will allow Dreamers to visit their birthplace, as well as the opportunity to participate and present their findings at an international conference on Migration and Immigration Reform to be held at COLEF from August 17-19, 2017.

The California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program fee of $2,500 includes all expenses for program development, administration, advance parole preparation and legal advice.  The program fee also includes hotel & meals (during the conference and course session), field-trips, travel insurance, and local transportation from Aug. 16-21; and most important, lawful re-entry into the U.S. by charter bus from COLEF to San Diego.

However, the $2,500 program fee does not include the Advance Parole application fee to USCIS in the amount of $575, which must be paid by the participant at the time that the application is submitted.  All independent research travel expenses between August 1-15, is the financial responsibility of the participant.

Unlike previous California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Programs, this is the first time the program will take place in Baja California and not in the Mexico City-Cuernavaca, Morelos area, as it has been the case for the past 5 programs, which will save participants the cost of airfare and tuition.

Also, this will be the first program that will provide participating Dreamers the flexibility to determine the timeframe of their independent travel-study family ethnographic research based on their time availability from August 1st to August 13, prior to the beginning of the program course and conference. However, all Dreamers will be required to arrive one day early to participate in and attend the conference from August 16 to the 20th and return with the group on Aug. 21st, on a charter bus to be provided by the program.

Additionally, this will be the first CMSC’s study abroad program that will welcome and encourage Dreamers living anywhere in the U.S. to apply.  Moreover, we encourage Dreamers from other countries than Mexico to apply as well, as long as they are fluent Spanish-speakers, given that the entire program will be taught in Spanish.

Furthermore, citizens and non-Dreamers from both countries will also be welcomed to register for the conference only, from August 17 to 19, 2017.  Interested non-Dreamers will be required to pay for the conference registration fees and meals, but hotel costs will be required to be paid separately. More details on the registration process for non-Dreamers will be announced at a later time.  The application form below does not guarantee admission into the program and is intended for only Dreamers that meet the Program Eligibility Requirements.  If you have any questions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Watch A Dream Come True (2016), a short documentary on our Winter 2015 California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program, that depicts the life-changing experiences of 30 Dreamers who had the opportunity to visit their country of birth Mexico, for the first time in over 20 years, and reconnect with their families and roots.

Program Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible for consideration to our program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 21 years-old or older, and speak fluent Spanish
  • Have an active DACA status good thru Sept. 30th
  • Have a valid passport from the respective country of origin
  • If applicant is Mexican-born, he/she must commit to apply to and attain the Instituto Nacional Electoral’s (INE) Credencial para Votar en el Extranjero by the time of departure* (If you don't know what an INE Credential is or how to get one, please review question 1F in our Frequently Asked Questions page).
  • Must participate in the conference from Aug. 16-20 & return with the group on Aug. 21, 2017 via charter bus provided by the program to ensure every participant’s safe and legal return as a group and with legal representation.
  • Must be able to pay the $2,500 program fee upon acceptance into the program

Benefits of the program:

Selected program participants will benefit from the following:

  • Advance Parole application preparation and filing assistance
  • Hotel, meals, field-trips, and travel insurance for the duration of the program
  • Local transportation and lawful re-entry into the U.S. by charter bus
  • A chance for Dreamers to visit their birthplace, conduct family ethnographic research, and discover Mexico independently
  • Psychological counseling and group therapy sessions
  • Leadership skills to create similar programs and/or other projects that benefit Dreamers to “pay-it-forward” as required by the program’s mission.

Program objectives:

  • To research, develop, promote, and establish policies and programs between higher educational institutions and cultural organizations that will enhance the teaching, mobility and exchange of faculty, students, and professionals between California and the U.S. with Mexico and other nations in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Establish the administrative framework for a replicable educational program model for Dreamers’ Study Abroad Programs at other colleges and universities through the DACA-Advance Parole process that can be reproduced by any U.S. institution of Higher Education;
  • Prepare participating Dreamers as ambassadors of the model, for them to replicate similar programs at their own colleges and universities, based on their personal experience;
  • Continue and expand video and photo documentation of Dreamers’ human stories;
  • Allow Dreamers to conduct independent travel-study family ethnographic research in their communities of origin with their family and relatives, and to discover their roots in Mexico on their own;

Application Requirements:

To be considered for acceptance into our program, applicants must complete a two-step application process which requires the following:

  • Step 1: Complete the application form below by no later than March 31st, 2017
  • Step 2: Submit a Personal Statement of Purpose (PSP) essay and 2 letters of recommendation by no later than April 14, 2017 11:59 pm PST.

Letters of Recommendation: You must email us one letter of recommendation from an employer or a professional reference, and one letter from a professor, academic advisor/counselor, dean, dept. chair, etc.

Personal Statement of Purpose: You must email us a 2-3 page statement addressing the following:

1.  Explain why you are interested in participating in our program, and

2.  Elaborate on one or more of the following projects that you would be interested to work upon your return:

  • Create a similar California-Mexico Study Abroad program at your college or university;
  • Develop a project to assist other Dreamers at your campus or community (ex: establish a Dreamers’ Resource Center, AB540 student organization/club, etc.).
  • Work or volunteer at a community-based organization to provide immigration services. (Ex: DACA and Advance Parole assistance, INE credential registration, U.S. citizenship and voter registration, etc.).
  • Become a campaign leader for the CMSC’s INE Credential Voters Registration Campaign for Dreamers and Families.
  • Research and develop a project about “Los Otros Dreamers” and/or U.S. Citizen Children Exiled in Mexico and in Central America.
  • Or, propose a project that will benefit undocumented immigrants which you would like to develop and implement after the travel-study experience.

The personal statement of purpose must be at least 1000 words, 12pt. font, double-space, 1 inch margins, and the file should be named according to this format: FirstName_LastName_PSP

Email your essay and letters to by no later than April 14th, 2017.

Please take into consideration that the Advance Parole application approval process time can vary from 1 to 4 months, therefore, we will give preference to those applicants who are quick to submit their completed online application, personal statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. We will consider everyone who applies within the application period from March 16 to March 31st, but we will review applications and select applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Thus, we highly encourage you to apply and submit your supporting documentation as soon as possible. Please do not wait until the last minute.

Application Form:

To apply to the program fill out the following form or click on this link

(( Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page prior to applying in case you may have any questions about the application or program in general. ))

If you have any questions or need assistance with the application process, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page or call our CMSC Office: (562) 430-5541, our Mobile phone: (562) 280-4893 or email us at:

Also, connect with us on social media for updates on this and other study abroad programs:




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