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Announcing the Trans-Border Opportunities Certificate Program 2019

Friday, March 29, 2019TOPICS: AlumniChangemakerConferences and WorkshopsFaculty and StaffGlobal ImpactStudent SuccessUS-Mexico BorderHuman Rights and SecurityStudy Abroad

TBO 2019
begin quoteImagine a course where you’ll get the chance to meet Border Patrol officers and former gang-bangers, real estate magnates and grass-roots activists in the same forum.

The border is the hottest issue in American politics right now — the fate of refugees, walls, and free-trade agreements, our water supply, our culture, and our families hang in the balance. The Kroc School invites you to explore border issues beyond the headlines, with the care and depth they deserve. Learn to build bridges, identify new cross-border possibilities, and tap the enormous creative energy of the San Diego-Tijuana region. In the Trans-Border Opportunities Certificate Program (TBO), you will gain the tools and knowledge to be part of a dynamic and just cross-border future.

Non-profit and group discounts of up to 25% available + a $100 discount if you register by June 1. The first seminar is July 10, 2019.

The first two editions of the Trans-Border Opportunities Certificate Program (summer 2017 and 2018) were smash hits. A diverse array of students — including lawyers, social workers, entrepreneurs, engineers, teachers, legislative staffers, military officers, activists, and diplomats — have relished a six-week immersion in cross-border politics and culture. The idea of the course is to provide students and working professionals with the tools and experience to better engage with the border, to help them see the border as a vibrant and dynamic space, an opportunity, rather than a crisis or a call to arms in an overheated political environment.

The content and structure of the course is divided into a series of nine Wednesday evening seminars and six Saturday field seminars (the students pick and choose a variety of combinations to cover the required course hours).

Five key concepts

The classroom seminar and field trips will frame the border through five key concepts:

  • POLITICS  stakeholders, structures and rhetoric
  • PEOPLE  immigrants, refugees and citizens
  • PRODUCTS  licit and illicit trade and business
  • PLACES  ecology, environment and growth
  • CULTURE  nexus, hybridization and dynamism

Talking the Talk

Imagine a course where you’ll get the chance to meet Border Patrol officers and former gang members, real estate magnates and grass-roots activists in the same forum. This kind of exposure is what the TBO is all about. The course is designed to expose participants to high-impact practitioners who can speak about pressing cross-border issues in the first person. The Trans-Border Institute team works to provide relevant context and data to set the stage for our guest speakers and to relate their work to the central themes explored in the course. But we always place a premium on first-person testimonials. This summer, our participants will meet with law enforcement officers, human rights activists, immigration lawyers, environmental scientists, entrepreneurs, craft brewers, architects, elected officials, scholars, artists, and others. Our participants will have the chance not just to listen to local leaders’ stories, but to ask them questions, to probe their experiences and explore how they relate to our participants’ lives and work.

Walking the Walk

If you want to understand the migrant caravan or the cross-border water issue, you need to experience them firsthand. The field seminars are designed to allow our participants to experience some of the physical spaces that define the border and the relationships it shapes. Whether it’s the desolation of the desert and the physical barriers at the border, or the dynamism and hybridity of downtown Tijuana and Barrio Logan, you can’t really understand the phenomena that shape the border without getting into the physical spaces.  And the controversies that shape how we frame the border come alive when you see them in person and meet with the people at the center of these issues in their own spaces — whether its immigration and drugs, ecology and culture, or economic growth and gentrification.

The Trans-Border Opportunities Certificate Program has been an amazing experience for us at the Kroc School, and we continue to learn both from our various hosts and guests, and from the terrific and diverse group of participants we’ve attracted so far. This kind of experiential learning and collaboration is at the core of what we do, and we will continue to explore the opportunities of our unique and vibrant cross-border region. Join us for the next round!

Registration is open now:

We are very happy to answer any questions you may have. Please write to us:


Ev Meade
619 260-4161

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies


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