Cost and payment schedule
The departmental program fee was $2250 in 2007. In addition to the program fee, students are responsible for the IPE fee of $200. The departmental program fee covers instructional costs, all lodging and transportation in country and most meals. It does not include airfare, optional travel insurance (recommended), the costs of optional weekend side trips, entertainment, other personal expenditures, or the IPE fee (as outlined above). For more information on the due dates for payments, policy on withdrawals, financial aid opportunities, and other payment-related details, click here.
Credits and enrollment
The course is for 12 credits. Students can receive credits in such degree programs as International Studies, Law, Societies, and Justice, Latin American studies, and others. For example, students may opt for a combination of SIS 330, SISLA 490, and SISLA 499; or LSJ 401, LSJ 490, and LSJ 495. The class may be counted toward credit in other majors at well. Consult your department’s advisor or Prof. Godoy for details.
Students participating in the program must concurrently enroll during summer quarter 2007.  Concurrent enrollment forms will be due to IPE by June 1, 2007. Concurrent Enrollment forms and other pertinent information on health, safety, culture and academic matters related to study abroad will be given to students at the FIUTS/IPE Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation in May 2007.  
Application and admission to the class
There are no formal prerequisites for participation in this program. Spanish language skills are not required. Admission to the class is competitive; successful candidates will demonstrate a strong commitment to the subject matter, an eagerness to learn though direct experience, and a willingness to temporarily sacrifice personal comforts and conveniences in order to do so. Applications for the 2009 program will be due in January 2009.
Accomodations in Guatemala
For the first three weeks of the program, students will be housed in homestays with Guatemalan families in Antigua Guatemala, a picturesque colonial town which dates to the 16th century. Today, Antigua is a popular tourist destination, with fine restaurants, many internet cafes and other modern conveniences. Rooms in homestays are double occupancy, and meals are provided by the host family. From Antigua we take numerous excursions, only one of which is overnight; during this trip, accomodations will be provided in a hostel. For the final week of the program, we travel to rural San Marcos, where all participants stay in a hostel. In hostels, participants should expect more rustic conditions (less comfortable beds, more people to a room, possibly no hot water...)
Students are required to participate in all pre-departure activities, including a mandatory biweekly reading group during spring quarter. While in the country, assignments include keeping a journal and participating actively in all meetings and discussions. (Participating in this class is a full-time job while in Guatemala, and students should not expect to combine the class with other commitments, work, or research projects during their stay.) Upon their return, students are required to complete a significant human rights project of their own design. For more on the project assignment, click here.
The US Department of State recommends that those traveling to Guatemala take certain precautions; students considering participating in this program are required to read the State Department’s report on country conditions. Student safety is a top priority at every phase of the course’s planning, and students are required to observe strict safety precautions at all times while in country. Noncompliance with these precautions will be grounds for dismissal from the program. Students, parents, and others concerned about safety issues are encouraged to contact Prof. Godoy for more details.
The University of Washington strongly recommends that students participating in this program maintain major medical insurance coverage, including coverage for treatment while abroad.  If your primary insurance does not provide for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains, the UW recommends that you purchase supplemental insurance (like the International Student Identity Card) to cover these possible expenses.  
Students will be provided a prepaid cellular phone and are required to keep it active, charged, and on their person at all times during their stay in Guatemala. These phones can be used for international communications. (Students are responsible for covering the cost of their outgoing phone calls. Receiving calls on these phones is free.) In addition, internet cafes are available in most (though not all) of the areas of Guatemala we will visit.
The University of Washington Guatemala Project
This course incorporates a hands-on development project in which students and alumni of this program are active participants. For more information about this project, see
Non-UW Students
Non–UW students should submit the Non-Matriculated Application for Non-UW Students (available at to IPE upon acceptance to the program.  They will then be given a UW Student Number, a UW Net ID and access to the MyUW personal page, UW email, etc.  The fee for this (as noted above) is $200 and will be assessed to students’ new UW accounts upon receipt of the form.  This fee is non-refundable.
practicalities about the program