Guatemala - Global Citizenship Term Abroad

SOCI 430 & PHIL 335 | 6 credits

Arts Research Abroad Funding | Information Session - recording available

Arts Research Abroad funding is available for this program. 70%-100% of program fees and flight costs will be covered for qualifying Arts students from the Vancouver campus.

Information Session

  • Learn more by watching a recording of a previous session. Passcode: NY=xj6BV. 

About the Program

These courses are led by Thomas Kemple & Sylvia Berryman, Faculty of Arts 

  • Dates: May 15, 2023 – June 08, 2023 (UBC-V campus) and June 8 – June 30, 2023 (Guatemala)
  • Travel dates: Approx June 8 – June 30, 2023
  • Format: In person
  • Locations visited: Vancouver and Guatemala
  • Approximate program fees: $2750.00 - $3250.00
  • Funding: 70%-100% of program fees and flight costs will be covered for qualifying Arts students (Vancouver). We encourage students who are not eligible for the ARA funding to apply for the Global Pathfinder Award. See Program Fees and Costs for more details  
About the Courses                                                                                                               

Philosophy 335 and Sociology 430 begin together by examining classical theories of oppressive power and civil society offered by European theorists struggling to understand the complexities of emerging modern industrial society (De Las Casas, Hobbes, Rousseau, Marx and Mill, Arendt and Marcuse), with some consideration of the consequences of colonial conquest. Our encounter with the colonial experience as narrated from the perspective of the dominated re-situates and problematizes this narrative: the impacts of globalization on a developing country highlight new questions about structural oppression (the focus of Phil 335) and the potential for civil society resistance (the focus of Soci 430). More recent theorists of power, oppression and civil society, including both Western and Indigenous scholars focusing on the Guatemalan case, complement and illuminate the particular instances we encounter in‐country of groups confronting gender and ethnic oppression, systemic violence and the oppressive nature of extreme poverty. Students research topics of their choice relating the course themes to the local environment. 

Experience in the Field

Our first day in‐country begins with a high impact visit to two organizations in the nation's capital: a forensic archive accessing the country's recently rediscovered National Police Archives, with records of the civil war atrocities, and a project supporting survival sex workers. Transitioning to a highland town, we spend a one‐week immersion in a local initiative that combines Spanish language immersion, family home‐stay, cultural orientation and experiential‐learning opportunities. Lectures by a local anthropologist from another local initiative on the colonial experience offer an important counter‐narrative to the classical European theorists studied in both courses. A further twelve days in‐country center on a short visit to a coffee cooperative (if Covid‐safety protocols allow) and a longer stay at the indigenous highland village of Nebaj, an important location for the recent civil war, where students gain a perspective on the ravages of globalization as they play out in an impoverished community struggling to retain its indigenous cultural identity. Pending health‐and‐safety protocols, day visits to several other locations rich in history offer insights into other aspects of oppression and civil society organization. 

Eligibility Requirements
General Global Seminar requirements

To participate in a Global Seminar, students must: 

  • Be in good-standing in their faculty (I.e. not be under academic or non-academic discipline) 
  • Have full-time status in the year leading up to the Global Seminar 
  • Have completed 2nd year requirements before the start of the program (i.e. 3rd or 4th year standing) 
  • Have at least a 70% academic average in your last full-time academic session before applying 
  • Maintain a 70% academic average leading up to the program 
  • Meet any program specific requirements listed below including pre-requisites before participating 

Final selection will be done by the lead faculty program directors. Spots in the program may be limited. 

Students who wish to participate in the summer after graduating may be eligible on a case-by-case basis.

Specific requirements
  • Students majoring in Sociology, Philosophy, or closely related disciplines are able to apply. Students must attend an interview with the instructors before being accepted.
Seminar Fees and Costs
Approximate fees: $2750.00 - $3250.00*

ARA funding will offset 70%-100% of the program fee + flight costs for Arts students from the Vancouver campus.  

*The final fee depends on the number of students in the seminar. Students do not pay the Go Global fee when applying to a Global Seminar. The Go Global fee is built into the Program Fee and is payable upon acceptance to the program. 

Funding: This is an Arts Research Abroad (ARA) funded program. The ARA program aims to ensure that upper-level international research courses are accessible to academically qualified students, and that scholarly preparation and aspiration rather than financial means are the deciding factors for student participation. Funded by a generous gift from donors, the Faculty of Arts, and Go Global, the ARA program sponsors advanced research-intensive courses involving international travel.  For Arts students at the Vancouver campus, 70% of the program cost will be offset for academically qualified students; and up to 100% of the cost may be offset for academically qualified students who demonstrate financial need (as determined by Enrolment Services).

Students are responsible for covering the costs of tuition, incidental travel costs, visa/passport fees, etc.

Students can only be considered for one major International Learning Award throughout their degree e.g. ARA (Arts Research Abroad) funded Global Seminars, Undergraduate Research Conference. 

Program fees include:
  • Accommodation  
  • Program- related travel in-country; (e.g. buses)  
  • Excursions and entrance fees  
  • Some group meals  
  • On-site guest lectures
Not Included:  
  • Flights*  
  • UBC tuition for credits  
  • Visa/country entrance fees  
  • Health or travel insurance  
  • Personal spending money*  

*Some examples of incidentals are: personal mobile communication, personal transportation that is not related to the learning outcomes of the program, additional meals that are not already identified as part of the Program Fee, immunizations, Visas, etc.  

Travel to Guatemala is a separate cost.  You are responsible for arranging your own travel. You should not book your flight until you are notified to book. 


Homestays, dorm, hostel, and basic hotel accommodations will be arranged in Guatemala (June 8 – June 30, 2023).

How to Apply 

Students apply through the Go Global Gateway. Go to “search experiences” from the top menu, search “GSP,” then press “apply search.” Scroll down to the program you wish to apply to and select Apply for “Summer” to initiate an application.

After the deadline, students’ applications will be reviewed by Go Global and the faculty program directors. You may be asked to participate in an interview as part of the selection process.  

Application Deadline 

Tuesday December 13, 2022 (11:59pm PST)

Global Seminars Refund Policy

To withdraw from your Global Seminars, you must contact Go Global by email to request a withdrawal.  You will not be charged until you officially accept your spot in the program.  Refunds cannot be issued after the program fee is charged to your SSC account. 

In the case of withdrawal, Go Global Award funding must be returned in full.

If you have questions, please connect with your Go Global advisor or email Go Global at

Student Safety Abroad and Pre-Departure Policy

UBC is committed to preparing students for safe and successful international experiences. In order to achieve this, any student participating in a Go Global Program must complete the following:

Failure to successfully complete these and any other requirements may result in withdrawal from the Go Global Program.

We encourage you to read the Global Affairs Canada travel report for your destination country before applying:

Global Seminars and COVID-19

Students and faculty are required to comply with the entry requirements of the host country, regulations of transportation carriers, and any local public health orders in the destination. These rules may require COVID-19 vaccination for entry or to participate in certain program activities, testing requirements, masking requirements, and/or isolation in case of infection. Alternatively, where isolation due to infection is not required by local health authorities and students are sharing accommodations isolation may be a challenge. We encourage you to review local requirements before applying and before departure. Check out the Global Affairs Canada Advisory ( under Entry Requirements for your Global Seminar destination to learn more.  Keep in mind that program conditions can vary and these rules can change before or during your trip.

Once it becomes closer to the departure date, the group will be informed of all updated local requirements and COVID-19 safety plans for the Global Seminar.


If you are considering applying for a Go Global program and identify with having a disability or pre-existing health condition (mental or physical) which could impact your participation, or if you require academic accommodations, you can contact the following offices and meet with an Accessibility Advisor before the start of the program:

Contact Go Global
In-person and Virtual Drop-in advising hours
  • Tuesday: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Go Global offers both in-person and virtual drop-in advising through Zoom during the times listed above.

Please use Go Global's new Ask Us Webform and we will respond to your inquiry.