35th Annual Conference

Contextualizing Social Justice within Study Abroad in Latin America


Cali, Colombia  —  February 21-24, 2024

The conference theme of AAPLAC 2024 is Contextualizing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) within Study Abroad in Latin America. We are especially interested in proposals that align with this theme as it relates to AAPLAC’s long-standing mission of facilitating and strengthening study abroad, intercultural exchange and global learning among Latin American, Caribbean, and US institutions.

Even as the number of US students studying abroad continues to increase, the field of international education confronts increasingly disconcerting questions about its relationship to systemic inequities and structural racism. Programs administered without critical reflection may perpetuate, albeit unintentionally, the unequal distribution of resources and power, particularly when US students and institutions are involved. Meanwhile, the experience of cultural and linguistic immersion can challenge sociocultural identities, values, and learning objectives. In this environment, exchange programs in Latin America present an opportunity for us to rethink our approaches to international education and center Latin American voices in our pedagogy and program management. They provide a framework to consider both the contrasts and paradoxes of contemporary Latin American society and how the goals and structure of our programs reflect, reproduce, or respond to these social realities. How do we work against the replication of imperialist and colonial patterns that are the historical legacy of US-Latin American relationships within our field? How do we increase justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion on predominately white study-abroad programs? What lessons can we learn from the innovations and dynamism of local communities as they respond to oppressive systems of power from the Global North?

Cali provides an ideal setting to explore these questions. Located in southwest Colombia not far from the Pacific coast, the city is home to the second-largest African-descendent population in South America. Though it is known for its celebration of diversity, it continues to wrestle with the colonial legacy of inequality and discrimination. Our host organization, CET Academic Programs, has partnered with local universities to guide study-abroad students through an exploration of race, identity, and ethnicity since 2017. We look forward to drawing upon their local knowledge and experience as we engage with these topics on a hemispheric scale.

CET Academic Programs - Celebrating 40 Years

This conference invites participants to consider decolonial approaches to education abroad to address oppressive systems and promote justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion within the field. We invite papers, panels, and workshops that challenge conventional understandings of global education, deconstruct curriculums and classrooms, create partnerships with local Latin American experts, redistribute wealth models, prioritize the health and safety of local communities, and revamp current administrative, pre-departure, and onboarding processes to remove barriers of access for diverse students.

Aceptamos presentaciones de todo profesional que se dedique a fomentar el intercambio educativo y cultural en Latinoamérica y el Caribe:

  • Facultad y profesores
  • Study Abroad Administrators
  • Latin America and Caribbean Non
  • Governmental Organizations
  • Graduate/Undergraduate Students
  • Practicantes de Campo Independientes
  • Socios de la Comunidad

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Futuras Conferencias

La Junta Ejecutiva de AAPLAC invita propuestas de sitio para la Conferencia Anual en 2025. La conferencia se llevará a cabo preferiblemente en América Latina o el Caribe, aunque se pueden considerar propuestas para sitios alternativos. Comuníquese con el presidente de AAPLAC Annie Gibson con cualquier pregunta o para obtener una solicitud de ubicación de sitio.