Guest Post: CPGC Migration Field Study

The Migration Field Study Program is a course + field study opportunity offered through the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, combining fall semester course Global Citizenship: Migration in Philadelphia and Beyond (PEAC H209) with a week-long field study in México City and the Mexico/U.S. border region during winter break. Applications for the program are open now (here) with a deadline of August 1st. Contact Professor Shannon Wheatley Hartman with questions, and read about Grace Brosnan ’20’s experience in the program below:


Human migration changes the world, and it also changes the lives of those migrating. In the Migration Field Study Program (MFS), you’ll examine migration through many different lenses. What is causing migration? Who is profiting off of it? Who is hurt? What are the emotions hidden behind the rhetoric?

I participated in last year’s MFS, and loved the experience. We studied the theory behind migration and border studies, but we also met with people in Philadelphia doing the work to support migrants and their communities. From going to a barbacoa restaurant that serves as the headquarters of migrants rights’ activists, to meeting a doctor who works with undocumented migrants, to seeing a beautiful mural telling a migrant’s story in South Philly, myself and the other students were presented with a diverse view of the migrant experience.

The trip over winter break, though, was when it all came together for me. In Mexico City, we stayed at La Casa de Los Amigos, a migrant and refugee support center. They focus on “healing hospitality,” a holistic view of what a human needs to flourish. We visited other organizations, and also got to see the sights of the city. It was only my second time out of the U.S., and I am glad that I got to do it with such an inquisitive, intelligent, and wonderful group of people.

On our way to Tucson for the second half of the trip, we got stranded in Houston for a night. But it was just another chance for some ~group bonding~. We made it to Tucson eventually, and I’m glad that we did. Meeting community organizers and activists working at the border; seeing Nogales, Mexico; going to the Tohono O’odham Nation that spans the border…it radically changed my view of what happens on the U.S./Mexico border. Before, my understanding had been very theoretical. I had made a zine (a mini booklet) about for-profit companies on the border, but actually being there brought it into perspective for me. It’s not just the companies or the money or the government; it’s the human bodies caught in the crossfire of these things that matter.

This is a great opportunity to learn about migration, meet the people affected by migration, and begin or strengthen your work fighting for migrants’ rights. So apply!