This spring proved to be an opportune time for a comparative study-abroad class on border policy.
A group of 15 first-year students at Grinnell College took the class on borders, migration policy and refugees, a semester-long seminar that included an embedded one-week trip to the U.S.-Mexico border over spring break and will conclude with a three-week tour through some of Europe’s borderlands starting later this month.
“Why do people leave home and risk long and dangerous journeys?” asks the course description from the syllabus. “Why do we build walls and intercept migrants on land and sea? What do journeys, walls and government efforts to regulate migration mean to the people affected? This course explores answers to these questions by focusing on the symbolic and physical importance of borders to people on either side of them.”