Study Abroad: Guatemala | CSUDH Summer Session

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About the CSUDH Guatemala Faculty-Led Ethnographic Field School

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Learn how to design, conduct and write-up ethnographic research while on the shores of a crystal lake framed by volcanoes!

2020 Course Dates: May 31–July 19, 2020

(Travel Dates: June 7–July 19, 2020)

Applications due by May 1st. Please contact the director, Dr. Sarah Taylor at for more information.

Courses Being Offered:

Costs: $3,950.00

*This includes application fee, tuition for 6 units, and lodging. Students need to make flight arrangements.

Volcano Scene, Guatemala Study Abroad  Local Farmers, Guatemala  Guatemalan Fields

During the 6 week program, students will live and work with local Guatemalan family in the Lake Atitlán area of the Western Highlands.

Course Goals

The goal of the CSUDH Guatemala Ethnographic Field School is to help students interested in a variety of fields to be able to undertake independent fieldwork and field methods to achieve a level of skills and proficiency that will enable them to undertake future field endeavors independently and confidently.

Study Abroad Guatemala Learning Objectives

  • Within the supportive framework of the CSUDH Guatemala Program, students learn the fundamentals of ethnographic fieldwork, including project design, field methods and report writing as it is applied to their areas of interest.

  • Hands-on experiential learning techniques combined with extensive one-on-one instruction enables each student to acquire both key research skills and achieve personal goals.

  • Students also quickly improve their Spanish language skills through intensive, daily interaction with their home-stay families and other community members.

  • Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, training as a researcher can prove to be beneficial for a variety of majors, such as anthropology, sociology, tourism international affairs, health, civil engineering, landscape architecture, wildlife management, textile design, environmental sciences, history, business and management, political science, psychology, and public health.


For more information please contact:
Dr. Sarah Taylor
Phone: (310) 243-3568

Student Testimonials

The CSUDH Guatemala Ethnographic Field School is now preparing for our 19th annual summer in 2020. For the first 17 years, the field school was run by Dr. Tim Wallace at North Carolina State University. He developed a solid program of cultural immersion and intensive training in ethnographic methods. In 2017, the program began its transition to CSUDH under the direction of Dr. Sarah R. Taylor, who is thrilled to be able to continue the work that Wallace started and offer this incredible training opportunity to students.

Over the years, the Guatemala EFS at Lake Atitlan has trained nearly 400 students in ethnographic methods. Of these, many have gone on to graduate school, completed MA and Ph.D. degrees, and are working as professors, social workers, NGO and non-profit staff members throughout the US and abroad. At a recent conference, an EFS alum who is now a professor of tourism management said that this program was a formative influence in his career. This is echoed by many of our alumni. Here are some of the thoughts students have shared:

Amazingly, the field school taught me so much about the world, and quite unexpectedly, about myself. Quite honestly, I don't think that my family and friends knew how to react to me the new, wiser, and more anthropologically confident me. Working in the field gave me greater appreciation for what classroom learning provided, and motivated me to continue my interests... The program made me more aware of other people and places. It gave me the capabilities to bridge different perspectives to foster greater understanding and positive change."