Professor Paul Haber
Tel: 243-4862
Office: Liberal Arts Rm. 355

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Spend a Summer in Mexico

Mexico Summer 2013 Study Abroad Program

Program Director:

Professor Paul Haber, Dept. of Political Science, University of Montana.
Tel: 243-4862. Email:

Paul Haber has been conducting research in Mexico since 1979. His expertise includes the politics of Mexican social movements, political economy, Mexican public policy (with a focus on anti-poverty programs), and U.S.-Mexican relations (with a focus on Mexican migration to the United States). He has lived in the state of Michoacán on and off since 1979 and has extensive personal and institutional relationships in the area.

Program Description

Mexico Summer 2013 provides students with the opportunity to study Spanish and aspects of contemporary Mexico while living in Mexico. Students will earn at least nine credits and will be enrolled in the second session of UM summer school 2012. Students will take three academic courses, live with Mexican families, and go on a number of field trips. The program is in its 14th consecutive year.

The host institution is CELEP, The Center for Language Study and Ecotourism (Centro de Lenguas y Ecoturismo, A.C.). CELEP is a sister organization and outgrowth of the award winning applied research institution CESE, The Center for Social and Ecological Studies (Centro de Estudios Sociales y Ecológicos, A.C.). CELEP will provide language instruction, classroom space, and lead some of the field trips. CESE will provide introduction and access to a host of governmental, academic, and non-governmental organizations working in the Pátzcuaro region.

Pátzcuaro is a town with a population about the size of Missoula, located approximately 200 miles to the west of Mexico City. Pátzcuaro is known for its colonial architecture, large indigenous population and culture, and its natural beauty. Pátzcuaro has also become a first or second home to many artists and intellectuals fleeing the densities of Mexico's large metropolitan areas. The presence of these people is a valuable resource for the program. Media coverage from Mexico has reported extensively on drug related violence. The reality in Mexico is complex, with some places being dangerous and others are fine. Pátzcuaro is very safe. Anybody with safety concerns should feel more than welcome to discuss them with Professor Haber.

The program is open to all students, regardless of class standing. Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome. The program can usually accommodate students with any level of Spanish proficiency, from nothing to advanced. The program is limited to 15 students.

Program Dates

This is a six-week program. It begins, in Pátzcuaro, on Monday May 27. Last day of classes is Thursday July 4. Students usually arrive a few days before and stay for a while after if they are able.

Course Descriptions

  1. Spanish Language Study
    Three to five credits, depending on level. Class size will be no larger than four or five students per language instructor. All instructors are native speakers. Students will be grouped by ability and receive credits for the UM course appropriate to their level (Spanish 101, 102, 201, 202 or 308.) 308 is a special Spanish language course developed specifically for study abroad which combines both grammar and conversation. 308 can accommodate many levels of language ability.
  2. Politics of Mexico
    Instructor: Paul Haber. The first half of this course introduces students to the history and current situation in Mexico. The second half focuses on Mexican migration to the United States.
  3. Development Administration
    Instructor: Paul Haber. This course concentrates on the sustainable development and the political history of economic development in Mexico with a regional focus on the Pátzcuaro area. Classes taught by Professor Haber are in English.


The main prerequisite is willingness on the part of the student to participate in a study abroad program that has a challenging academic component. Students are encouraged to have completed Spanish 101 and 102 before arriving in Mexico. However, students have successfully completed the program while taking these introductory classes in Mexico. Spanish 201 and 308 are offered each year. Depending on demand, other levels will be offered as well. Although the political science classes are upper division classes, they are open to all students in the Mexico program regardless of class standing. The small number of students and the seminar style classes allows the professor to tailor expectations to individual students in a way not often possible in Missoula.

Program Costs to Students

In-state UM tuition and fees  $2200.00 (approximate) 
Out of state tuition $7000.00 (approximate – see Prof. Haber) 
*Family stays
$22.50 a day (room and board) X 35
CELEP fees
60 hours of in-class
language instruction
*Program fee
*Program fee covers field trips, program expenses, and some of the program director's expenses.
Out of pocket expenses:
Travel to and from Pátzcuaro $650.00  (approximate, depends on mode of travel and changing fare prices)
Spending money variable (about 700-800 dollars is usually adequate)
Estimated total with in-state tuition: $5000.00

Application and Deposit

Students are requested to write a brief statement of application (one to two pages) that addresses the following questions:

  1. Why do you want to go on this program?
  2. What personal attributes or experiences do you have that prepare you to do well in this program?

In your application, please include the following information:

To secure a place in the program, students are required to pay a $500.00 deposit. This deposit will be credited toward the cost of the program. Refunds will be given only for emergency situations at the discretion of the program director.

Health Insurance

Students are required to demonstrate proof of insurance with international coverage. The student coverage offered by the University of Montana is adequate, as are many other plans.

If interested

Students interested in the program should contact Professor Paul Haber either by phone or email. He is happy to answer all questions and concerns. Interested students are encouraged to consult the program's web page at