Undocumented, DACAmented, and AB 540 Students

For students who find themselves with an irregular migratory status within the U.S., our office stands in solidarity and in service to you and the undocumented community here at UCSC. In the past, students under the protection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) were able to realize international travel by means of Advance Parole. Unfortunately, since Advance Parole was suspended in 2017, DACA students can no longer realize international travel and be granted regular re-entry into the U.S. Although this means that you cannot study abroad in another country, there are opportunities to study away within the U.S. However, we strongly recommend that you carry your USCIS documents showing deferred status with you in order to facilitate your ability to return to your residence. Please note that depending on the location of your travels, you may be subject to certain processes, including customs inspections.


Getting Started 

To get started, just like any other student looking to engage in intercultural education experience, you should:

    1. Speak to your major, minor, and college advisors about your academic plan and your desire to participate in a study away program. They can offer you guidance and information about how to make an academic plan to see where you can best fit a study away program in your graduation plan and goals. See the section on Academic Planning below for more insight on how to get that process started!
    2. Fill out this program exploration worksheet to help you brainstorm what you want to get out of this study away experience.
    3. Create a Study Abroad Profile on SlugsAbroad where you will receive information and resources based on your identities and needs. This Student Profile is also a requirement that needs to be done prior to application to any study away program.
    4. Explore your program options: UC Programs that include UCDC, UC Sacramento, and University of California Ecology and Natural Reserves Program; UCSC Domestic Exchange Programs in New Mexico and in New Hampshire; UC Summer Away Programs in the U.S.; and Non-UC Programs in the U.S. Another really great option would be to take advantage of the opportunity to study at one of the other UC campuses for one term under the UC Intercampus Visitor Program! You are also welcome to come to a Program Exploration Session, which is an event to look at different locations and programs if you would like some guidance as you start looking! Check our calendar for the time and date for this event. 
    5. If you need further assistance or would like to gain deeper insight into a particular program, you can speak to a Study Abroad Advisor about the different programs you are considering.  Another really great way to gather insight about a program you are interested in is to request to be connected with a study away alumni, someone who has already done the program and could potentially offer you other information about the program. 
    6. Meet with advisors at Undocumented Student Services to gain more insight into the implications of studying away as a student with irregular migratory status.
    7. Request a financial estimate for the program or programs you are interested in if you receive financial aid. If you plan on participating in a program during the academic year for which your financial aid package applies, know that the same percentage of cost coverage your receive for attending UCSC will be the same percentage of cost coverage you will receive for your program away from UCSC. Your financial aid package will be adjusted to the cost of the program. 
    8. Create a budget sheet for the program(s) you are interested in,  including any extra costs you may anticipate. This way you can get a better idea of how much you will have to pay out of pocket and you can plan ahead for these expenditures.
    9. Make a decision about which program would best fit your personal, professional, and academic goals while offering you the support you need as a student with an irregular migratory status. 
    10.  Apply to your program by the deadline! Each program will have its particular set of application instructions, be sure to check these requirements ahead of time and give yourself at least one month to turn it in. You have from the time of the application opening date until the deadline date to turn it in. 
  • Wait about 3 weeks for a response regarding your acceptance to your program of interest!

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Program Type Options

Let’s discuss program options that best fit your needs as a student with an irregular migratory status. While there has been such an emphasis on leaving the country to experience intercultural education, with the U.S. having such diverse populations of peoples and regions, leaving the comforts of our well-settled Californian lifestyle to study in another state could be just as enriching an experience. Have you ever considered how different it might be to study in New York City than to study in the Bay Area, for example? Or how different it might be to study in Albuquerque, New Mexico compared to study in Santa Cruz, for example? There are a couple of different options for students who cannot realize international travel due to having an irregular migratory status. However, before making any travel plans, you should always seek legal council, support from Undocumented Student Services (USS), and  come speak to us in our office about programing opportunities and scholarships. 

UC Study Away in the U.S. During the Academic Year 

There are some study away programs in the U.S. that have been designed for all UC students and are offered during the academic year. Any UC student under any major can intern in Washington D.C. under the UCDC Program or  in Sacramento under the UC Sacramento Program. All  students can also look into the University of California Ecology and Natural Reserves Program where you can conduct independent research! Another really great option would be to take advantage of the opportunity to study at one of the other UC campuses for one term under the UC Intercampus Visitor Program!

While all UC students can apply for the above-mentioned programs, UCSC has some programs designed specifically for our university campus students that are offered during the academic year. UCSC students can apply to participate in a UCSC Domestic Exchange Program either in New Mexico or in New Hampshire for a semester or a year. An exchange program is where students study away at an institution in which UCSC has a partnership agreement. Meaning, UCSC can send students to study at a partner university for a semester or year and the partner university can send their students to study at UCSC for a semester or year. The exchange is direct and reciprocal, meaning UCSC would receive students from the University of New Mexico and the University of New Hampshire in exchange for UCSC students going to their universities for a term. 

For exchange programs, you pay your regular tuition and fees at UCSC, and pay your living expenses at the partner institution (which is often far less expensive than living expenses in Santa Cruz). Because these programs are offered during the academic year, the financial aid package you receive for attending UCSC will apply to the exchange program. See more about financial aid below!

UC Study Away During the Academic Year Program Options: 

UC Study Away in the U.S. During the Summer 

If you are interested in participating in a summer program, you can consider taking a look at all the UC Summer Away options offered in the U.S. through UC Davis, UCLA, and UC Berkeley. It is important to know that these programs change yearly, so each summer will have different program offerings. That being said, it is best to start taking a look at these summer program options at the beginning of the academic year so that you have plenty of time to plan your academic summer away!

It is also important to know that because these are summer program options, your access to financial aid will be limited to what was left over from the year prior. Consider the costs of the program and plan ahead for out of pocket expenses. Visit Budgeting for Study Abroad to download a fillable budget. Also, be sure to apply for scholarships! See more about financial aid and scholarships below! 

 Other UC Summer Away in the U.S. Program Options 

Non-UC U.S. Study Away Program Options 

Another resource for students looking to study away in the U.S. are third party provider organizations that are not affiliated with the UC, such as IES Abroad, or CIEE, for example. Please know that financial aid packaging does not apply for Non-UC Programs, meaning that all program costs will be paid out of pocket. In the case that you choose to participate in a Non-UC Study Abroad program in the U.S., consider the overall cost of the program and be sure to search for scholarships and funding opportunities

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Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Budgeting 

Financial Aid 

If you are choosing a UCSC Domestic Exchange, UCEAP, or Other UC Study Abroad program, you are generally eligible for the same amount of financial aid you would receive during an academic term at UCSC including your Cal Grant, UC Grant, DREAM loan, and any other aid you receive. Most departmental and private scholarships are also transferable! Going during the academic year is the best option for most students as summer funding is very limited. Financial aid funding is not available for non-UC programs.

Apply for financial aid early to give yourself extra time in case you are selected for verification. You can request an estimate on a projected financial aid package for your study abroad program by contacting a Financial Aid Advisor via email or going to drop in hours where you can speak to them in person about your financial aid package and situation. Getting this estimate done can offer you insight about how much money you can expect to pay out of pocket to meet program costs and can allow you to plan accordingly. 

Budgeting 

You should prepare for your out of pocket expenses by creating a budget for the program you are applying to. You can download a fillable budget for different program types on our Budgeting for Study Abroad webpage. This a good way to help you understand your financial aid situation and plan ahead for out of pocket expenses. If you need assistance in creating this budget sheet, you are more than welcome to come to a Affording Study Abroad Workshop. Please check our calendar for times and dates!

Scholarships

You should apply to any and all scholarships that you are eligible for! Be sure that scholarships you apply for allow applicants who are undocumented, DACAmented, or have irregular migratory status. 

Here are some examples of scholarships you can consider: 

You can always inquire with our office about other scholarship opportunities!

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A Note About The Real ID, Sharing Status, and Differing Political Climates in Other States

The Real ID and Sharing About Having an Irregular Migratory Status

Residents of California must have the California Real ID by October 1, 2020 in order to travel on aircraft domestically, meaning within the U.S. Only authorized immigrants or those who maintain lawful status may apply for REAL ID compliant licenses, including DACA-mented students and students with TPS. REAL IDs have anti-counterfeit technology in the card. 

If a traveler is out of regular migratory status after October 2020, the traveler should obtain alternative acceptable identification documents, which could include a valid passport issued by the government of which they are a citizen.

Generally speaking, traveling with a passport with no valid U.S. visa stamp on it does not imply unlawful status. However, given the current political climate, the restrictive immigration policies, and the heightened immigration enforcement rules, it may be a trigger for further inquiry by the TSA or other federal agents.

Under the REAL ID regulation, applicants with approved deferred action who hold valid Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and Social Security Numbers (SSNs) may qualify to receive temporary REAL ID driver's licenses and ID cards and may continue to hold temporary (limited-term) REAL IDs until their expiration.

realid

Please know that under no circumstances do you have to share information about your migratory status with anyone at anytime, including with faculty, staff, or peers. You have the right to protect yourself by not disclosing your status and by only sharing it with trusted sources.  

Immigration-Sentiment Climate Varies by State

While California considers itself a Sanctuary State and offers immigrants some legal protections, when it comes to choosing a program that is in a region outside of California, it is important to consider the climate of immigrant sentiment there.  Using this search engine, you can find the specific laws and regulations concerning immigrants in different states.  Taking a look at the Immigrant Climate Index could also be a helpful marker to understanding what might be the overall feeling towards immigrants in this particular state or region. 

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UC Davis Undocumented Legal Services Center

Provides on-site immigration legal aid, and can help but is not limited to:

  • DACA Applications and Renewals
  • Advance Parole
  • Petitions for family
  • U-Visas
  • Know Your Rights Workshops 

For services from the UC Undocumented Student Legal Services, please contact:   

           Anna Manuel
           Attorney Fellow
           anna.ucimm@law.ucdavis.edu
           (530) 219-0832

***While UCSC Study Abroad is not able to provide any legal advice or advice for U.S. travel WE CAN (and will) connect you with the appropriate legal services to assist with the study away process 

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Study Away Snapshot for Students Who Are Undocumented, DACAmented, or Have an Irregular Migratory Status 

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Student Experiences and Perspectives:

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