Thursday, November 12, 2015

Study Abroad -- Impact and Access

As a UCSD student, I spent an unforgettable junior year abroad at la UNAM en D.F. (Mexico City) to primarily study Mexican literatura. I distinctly remember reading Sor Juana on my combi rides to the university...asking my peers which book stall had the correct Juan Rulfo book...listening to poetry recited at a peña type cafe. Romantic and idyllic, yes at times. However, when I look back 20 years later, I see the ways (painfully at times) my identity as a Latina, scholar, and woman was strongly shaped by my experiences in the city, traveling through out the states of México and Central America.

At the time, some asked me why bothered studying abroad and do so in a Spanish-speaking country. These were usually friends who knew I was from Perú and that I traveled frequently to spend time with my family. I was not sure why México was the right fit for me, but living in California, I could see there were many ways to be Latina and that living in México would give me a rich foundation for understanding. I also wanted to elevate my kitchen-table-Spanish to engage in complex ideas in my native tongue. There was no other way (for me) to achieve this but to study abroad.

Now, as a tenured professor, I am organizing my first trip to Quito, Ecuador for a January session. Yet, the question of access -- based on economic and immigration status -- always must be explored in all my projects.

In a parallel fashion, before I launched my Quito trip website, students interested in studying abroad have come forward and shared their undocumented immigration status with me. I am honored to be considered a resource in our region, but I really did not know where to start.

So, in the last month or so, I have gathered resources to share and discuss with students at CSUSM who might possibly be able to use the "advanced parole" opportunity in DACA. While I dislike and oppose the notion of "parole," it does seem to be a tool that would allow them to study abroad. (Other students of mine have used this feature of DACA to visit loved ones in their home countries to varying degrees of success.)

I am so grateful for colleagues at CSU Fullerton, UC Merced and UC Berkeley for providing more insights on how they support students. I hope that CSUSM can follow in their footsteps.

Below you will find some of the information we have gathered....Stay tuned for updates and expansions!

~ marisol

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DACAmented & Study Abroad Resources 


RESOURCES FROM UNIVERSITIES

University of Texas

CUNY

UC Merced

Workshop held at UC Merced with contact information of presenters included:

UC Berkeley

CSU Long Beach – Dreamers Study Abroad (Winter Session)


RESOURCES POLICY AND ACTIVIST ORGANIZATIONS

NAFSA: Association of International Educators

United We Dream webinar archive:

Message Board at the Dream Act Portal: 


PERSONAL CONNECTIONS

Facebook Page "Traveling Abroad with DACA" 

A personal blog about the experience of "advanced parole" 


MORE DETAILS

The following is shared from the UC Berkeley link above....

If you have decided to travel and received advance parole from USCIS, below are several tips that will help prepare you for the process of going abroad.
  • APPLYING FOR ADVANCE PAROLE
    • Be sure to stay within the dates of approved travel.
    • When applying for advance parole, we suggest that you give yourself a few extra days on either end of your trip to allow for contingencies.
      • Example: If your study abroad program goes from June 15, 2014 to August 15, 2014, you may want to apply for advance parole from June 10 to August 20.
    • If you have multiple trips planned, you can apply for advance parole for these trips in one application.
      • Example: You have been approved for a research project that involves several trips to one country or visiting multiple countries. You can list all of these country visits in one Form I-131 with an explanation for the multiple trips.

  • LEAVING THE U.S. AND TRAVELING TO YOUR DESTINATION
    • For your travel to country of origin.
      • If you plan to travel to your country of origin, the only document you need for entry is a passport from that country that is valid for six months after the date of travel.
    • For travel to a third country.
      • If you are traveling to a place that is NOT your country of origin, you will need to comply with any visa requirements of that country as they pertain to someone with your nationality.
    • If you have any questions about the visa requirements, please talk with your attorney or the Legal Services Program.
      • Example: You are a Salvadoran national with DACA traveling to Mexico. You will need a visitor visa required for a Salvadoran to enter Mexico. The best place to look for this information is the consulate website for the destination country, in this case, Mexico.

  • RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES
    • Prepare your re-entry documents. In order to be fully prepared for any questions you may receive from Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), we suggest that you carry with you the following original documents:
      • A passport from your country of origin that is valid for at least six months after the date of travel;
      • Advance parole document;
      • Evidence of reason for trip abroad;
      • Employment authorization card;
      • A copy of your DACA approval notice;
      • State I.D. or driver’s license; and
      • Your attorney’s business card with contact information.
Make copies of the documents above, keep a set with you, and leave one with someone you trust in the United States in case you lose the originals.
    • Prepare for re-entry questioning. A CBP officer will likely ask questions about your trip abroad and about your residence in the United States when you are re-entering the U.S., such as:
      • What was the reason for your trip abroad?
      • For how long were you gone?
      • What countries did you visit and where did you stay?
      • Where do you reside in the U.S.?
      • What do you do there?
    • You should be prepared to answer these questions and show documents that provide evidentiary support.
    • Be sure to get proof of re-entry.
      • If you are returning to the United States over a land border, be sure that an immigration officer at the port of entry inspects and stamps your passport.
      • This proof of re-entry is evidence that you complied with the terms of your Advance Parole and may also be useful to you in the future if you ever apply for permanent residency through a family member.

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