The Mexico International Study Opportunity for Learning (MISOL) program provides a study abroad opportunity for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries to attend an education program at the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico) in Mexico City. Participants will engage in programming around culture, history, identity, and language. Furthermore, participants will have an opportunity to reconnect with their families and conduct ethnographic research on their family migration. DACA beneficiaries arrived in the U.S as children, have been in the U.S for at least 15 years, and many have not returned to their home country since their arrival. MISOL is not simply a study-abroad program but rather a life-changing opportunity.
This program is open to DACA beneficiaries community members in Dane County who are 18 years of age or older.
MISOL participants will petition for Advance Parole, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) re-entry permit that allows DACA recipients to travel internationally and return to the US.
MISOL is housed in the Center for DREAMers & The UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies, in partnership with UNAM.
Program Application & Interest Form
2022 Winter Program
The program will run from Mid-December 2022 until Mid-January 2023.
15 participants will engage in a month-long educational program including two weeks in UNAM-Mexico City and two weeks of independent ethnographic research study.
- Dane County resident
- Active DACA holder (exp. date after Feb. 15, 2023*)
- Obtain valid passport from country of origin
- Qualifies for Advance Parole
- Engage in all program activities
- $2,000 UNAM program fee:
- $500 deposit required upon acceptance
- $1,500 due by Dec. 1, 2022
- $575 Advance Parole filing fee
- Independent study expenses**
*Participants must renew their permits prior to leaving the country if their DACA expires before February 15, 2023
Participants whose DACA and passports are expected to expire soon will work with MISOL to renew their documentation.
Participants who do not have a passport will work with MISOL to obtain their documentation.
**Participants are responsible for flights, travel insurance, and expenses during independent study period.
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What is Advance Parole?
DACA recipients may apply for consideration of “Advance Parole,” where USCIS may allow an immigrant to travel outside the United States and return lawfully. This gives DACA recipients the opportunity to travel abroad and return. However, due to the discretionary nature of Advance Parole, it’s important to note that there is no guarantee that recipients will be allowed to return to the U.S. once abroad, and each applicant will have to assess the risks and benefits given their individual circumstances.
Who Qualifies for Advance Parole
DACA recipients may seek Advance Parole for humanitarian, educational, or employment purposes. These may include study or work abroad and urgent family matters such as visiting a gravely ill family member. Immigrants with other status are not restricted to these and may be eligible for Advance Parole for other purposes. Individuals with a pending DACA application or expired DACA status cannot apply for Advance Parole.
Please seek legal assistance from an attorney or accredited representative before proceeding with any requests for relief. There may be further information in your case that could affect your eligibility beyond these general guidelines.
There is currently a $575 filing fee for Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and there may be additional costs for legal assistance when filing.
Do I have to apply to the program as a UW-Madison student?
To apply to the program you will submit an application to the MISOL program through the Center for DREAMers. If your application is approved you will be able to register for the program via UW-Madison Continuing Studies as a non-credit program student. You do not have to become an official UW-Madison student.
Do I have to be a UW-Madison student to apply?
No, you do not need to be a UW-Madison student to apply. This program is open to community members.
Do I have to be a Mexican national to participate?
No, participants do not have to be Mexican nationals to participate. Acceptance to the program will be based on a case-by-case scenario depending on the travel restrictions of the non-Mexico destination.
If I am not a Mexican national, will I need a visa to enter Mexico?
Mexico requires visas for certain foreign nationalities:
If I get accepted to MISOL do I have to get my own attorney?
As part of the MISOL program, we will be working with local attorneys who will provide free legal support with the I-131 Advance Parole applications.
What is UNAM?
The National Autonomous University of Mexico is a public research university in Mexico. It ranks highly in world rankings based on the university’s extensive research and innovation. It is the largest university in Latin America and has one of the biggest campuses in the world.
Will I become an UNAM Student if I'm accepted into the program?
Yes, all of MISOL program participants will be UNAM students. Participants will receive an UNAM student ID as part of the program.
How many people will be accepted into the program?
MISOL will accept 15 people into the Winter 2022 program.
Is there an age requirement to attend the program?
Yes, participants must be 18 years of age or older.
Can I attend if I have children?
Yes, participants can be accepted to the program if they have children. However, childcare must not impede participation in the program’s activities. Participants must find childcare arrangements. Participants will be able to be with their children during the independent ethnography research study portion of the program.
Is the payment in U.S dollars?
Yes, all payments to the program will be in U.S. dollars.
Are accommodations included?
Accommodations are included during the duration of the two-week educational portion of the program at the UNAM. Accommodations are not included during the two-week independent study.