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Program Description:
HWS  Short Term Summer Faculty Led Program
Bolivia: Social Movements and Plurinational Democracy; 1 Credit
Led by: Susan Norman in Partnership with Volunteer Bolivia



Country Description:
Bolivia is a country of west-central South America, bordered to the north and east by Brazil, to the southeast by Paraguay, to the south by Argentina, to the southwest and west by Chile, and to the northwest by Peru. Bolivia is traditionally regarded as a highland country with much of the nation’s largest cities located in the mountainous western Andes Mountains region (one of the highest inhabited areas in the world). The country of Bolivia has a rich history—it was once the center of the ancient Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) empire, and from the 15th to the early 16th century it was a part of the Inca Empire.

From the deep waters of Lake Titicaca to the multi-colored lakes and salt flats of the plateau, from the steamy jungles of the Amazon basin to beautiful colonial towns in stunning landscapes, Bolivia is an enchanting, colorful, and diverse land of welcoming people and unique culture.

Course Description:
Bolivia: Social Movements and Plurinational Democracy explores the social roots of Bolivia’s transformation into a ‘plurinational’ democracy. The course will analyze the Bolivian case through the theoretical lens of social movement theory to understand the rise and power of grass-roots social movements in Bolivia and their impact on political institutions and policies. 

Themes and Focuses of the Course:
  • Social Movement Theory; Comparative Social Movements- Bolivia and neighbors
  • Historical Roots of Mobilization in Bolivia; The 2005 ‘Revolution from below’
  • Change and continuity under Evo Morales; The meaning of the 2016 Referendum       
  • Other topics covered will include authoritarianism and corporatism, democratization, unionization, globalization and neoliberal reform, resource nationalism, and the war on drugs.                                   
Faculty Director:
Norman Headshot
Susan Norman is a professor of Political Science at HWS. Her research focuses on the Andean region of South America (Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia). She is particularly interested in political violence, non-state territorial control by illegal armed groups, and the effects of the illicit drug trade on violent conflict, social movements, and development. Professor Norman can be contacted at

Travel Dates:
Tentative Dates: July 07 2018- July 28 2018. Exact Dates Coming Soon

HWS Info Session:
Tuesday, Sept 19, 2017. 7:30pm, Merritt Hall 100

Application Deadline:
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 by 11:59pm (Apply online).

Itinerary Highlights:
  • 3 day/2-night excursion to the capital city of La Paz and Lake Titicaca
  • Visit El Alto, an indigenous city of 750,000 residents located about 15-20 minutes from downtown La Paz
  • Excursion to the tropical region of Chapare, the home of President Evo Morales Ayma, the indigenous leader of Bolivia and coca farmer
  • Visit to a local coca market to talk with local coca farmers (compliment classroom learning about changes to coca policy since Morales took office)
  • Visit the Presidential Palace and other government offices at Plaza Murillo
  • Casa Museo Solon (Solon Museum) visit. The Museo Solon displays the work of Walter Solón Romero Gonzales, a famous Bolivian artist
  • Visit the La Esperanza organization to work with kids who are in an Equine Assisted Therapy program (two afternoons)
Housing and Meals:
Homestays will be with vetted families in the Cochabamba area and will be arranged for all students through Volunteer Bolivia’s Homestay Program. Students will be able to practice Spanish, experience daily life in Cochabamba, gain insights into the local culture and realities and eat 3 delicious homemade meals a day with their homestay families. During the short excursions to La Paz and Chapare, arrangements will be made with local hotels to house students in double-occupancy rooms.

Students will be expected to budget for all meals on travel/excursion days at approximately $7-10 USD per meal ($100-150 total).

Group flights will be arranged by the CGE and accepted students will be notified of the cost and booking info for the flight once it’s available. Due to visa requirements for travel to Bolivia, all students must book the group flight offered through Advantage Travel. There is an option to have this cost billed to your student account.

Passports and Visas:
All students will need a passport valid until at least 6 months after the return date of this program to participate.

Visas ARE required for U.S. citizens traveling to Bolivia and cost approximately $160. Please view the visa requirements here. Students are responsible for securing their own visa; however, the CGE will host a mandatory visa workshop where students can ask questions and work on completing the requirements together. Full instructions for and FAQ's on the paperwork required for a Bolivian tourist visa can be found here.

Non U.S. citizens should see Anthony Mandela in the CGE about visas as soon as you are accepted.

Bolivia does not present a noteworthy health risk. Nonetheless, most travelers choose to receive Hepatitis A and typhoid immunizations prior to travel. Most of the program takes place in a no-risk yellow fever zone, although one excursion will take place in a region where yellow fever is present. Bolivia no longer requires yellow fever vaccination for entry but you can review the CDC's yellow fever world map here. Please also check the CDC website to read more about the recommendations for travel to Bolivia.

The CGE will sponsor a campus visit with Passport Health late spring semester for you to learn more about any health risks specific to the regions of Bolivia you will be visiting. You may choose to receive optional vaccinations (at additional cost) through Passport Health at this time. Here are the estimated fees* for vaccinations through Passport Health:
  • Hepatitis A: $95
  • Hepatitis B: $95 (per dose – clients receive 2 doses prior to departure)
  • Typhoid: Oral $125/Injection $97
  • Yellow Fever: $205
*Prices subject to change

If you choose to get immunizations on your own, you can do this at a local medical clinic near your home - use this link to find travel medicine clinics You could also discuss travel vaccinations with your home doctor or contact one of the Passport Health offices in Canandaigua, Rochester or Syracuse who provide travel immunizations. Their contact number is: (585) 275-8884.


Bolivia FlagIII. Eligibility

Course Pre-requisities:
  • One introductory Social Science course-broadly interpreted (political science, international relations, sociology, psychology, economics, anthropology, environmental studies).
  • Language Pre-requisite: basic Spanish, the equivalent of one semester of study or more.
  • There will be a required workshop organized for late April 2018, for all participants to be introduced to Bolivian culture, customs, common social norms, and safety tips while traveling in Bolivia.
  • All students will be required to attend the mandatory visa prep meeting held in early February and the Passport Health campus visit in March.
Important note on Application Criteria and Course Credit for Short-term Programs.
Qualified first-years, sophomores, juniors and graduating seniors may apply. First-years, sophomores and juniors will have priority and seniors will be admitted on a space-available basis.
GPA Requirement:
Students applying for this program should have a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative GPA. In the case of first-year students, we will have to wait until your fall grades are in before we can formally admit you. Provided there are spaces available, first years with successful applications may be given a conditional offer based on achieving at least a 2.5 gpa in the fall semester.

Course cross-listings and credit:
This program has received approval to count toward major/minor requirements of students in Political Science and Latin American Studies. It may also count toward a Goal requirement (always discuss with your academic advisor).


Program Fees:
Bolivia program fees will be approximately $2,600-$2,900* for the 3-week program, which will cover tuition, accommodation, most meals, international mandatory health insurance, entrance fees, day trips and excursions.

Students should budget an extra $100-150 above and beyond the program costs for the lunches and dinners not included. Students will also need to budget for round-trip airfare at approximately $1,200, books at $50, required visa fee of $160, and a non-refundable administrative fee of $100 charged for all faculty-led short-term programs. The administrative fee will show up as a separate charge (separate from the program fee) billed to your student account.
*Costs are subject to change based on currency fluctuations, changes in costs of services provided and the number of students confirmed on the trip.

Click below to access our comprehensive budget estimator, which includes an estimate of all expenses:
Coming Soon
In an effort to assist students in financial hardship wishing to participate in a short-term program, there is a limited pool of HWS funding available. If you are accepted to this program, we will invite you to submit a funding application. Funding will be allocated on a need basis and we will contact the financial aid office to verify your need status. We will also contact the Student Affairs office and the Dean’s office to access your social/disciplinary records as part of determining your eligibility for funding. We will let you know whether you have been awarded funding before the deadline by which you are required to put down a deposit for your place on the program.

Payment Schedule and Program Timeline:

After applying and being accepted to the program, students will need to make a $500 deposit in person to Student Accounts in Demarest Hall to hold their place in this program. This amount will be credited to your student account and will be applied to your program cost.
 Application Deadline  DUE: Oct 31, 2017  11:59pm online
 Decision Date  Nov 21, 2017  aid applications available at this time
 Funding/aid Applications  DUE Nov 30 2017  
 Funding Decisions Made  Dec 7 2017  
 Deposit Deadline  DUE: Dec 15 2017  $500.00
 Program Billing Date  Jan 30 2018  Balance charged to student account
 Final Payment  DUE: Feb 30 2018  Remaining balance due*

*Please note: Students must make the initial non-refundable deposit to Student Accounts in Demarest Hall. Program fees for the remainder (lump sum) of program will be automatically billed to the student accounts separately. Installment payment plans may be worked out on a case by case basis with the business office.

Cancellation Policy:
The initial $500 deposit is non-refundable. Students will be responsible for additional expenses beyond the $500 if they withdraw from the program while it’s in progress or 90 days or less before the program begins. Specifically, students will be held accountable for any expenditures made by HWS on their behalf that the CGE is unable to recoup from any untimely withdrawal, such as housing deposits, non-refundable hotel reservations, excursion deposits, etc.

Questions? If you have questions about this program, please contact Anthony Mandela in the Center for Global Education at 315-781-3663 or


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 12/15/2017 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.