At the 2014 UndocuGrads conference in San Diego

Welcome to My (Un)Documented Life!  A place where we can document our lives as undocumented immigrants.

MyDocumentedLife.org is dedicated to providing up-to-date information and resources for undocumented immigrants. Here, you will find the latest on scholarship opportunities, immigration news, ways in navigating the educational system, and more.

My name is Carolina Valdivia and I created this blog in 2011. I was born in Mexicali, Baja California and have grown up undocumented in the U.S. since I was 12 years old. Currently, I am a doctoral student at Harvard University. To learn more about my scholarly work which centers around issues related to immigration and the undocumented community, you can visit my personal website at www.CarolinaValdivia.com

When I was first applying to graduate school as an undocumented student (in 2010), I was able to connect with fellow undocumented grad students. I can’t thank them enough for all of the advice they gave me. Thanks to them, I was inspired, determined, and ready to go to graduate school! In 2011, I began my grad school journey at San Diego State University to pursue a Master’s degree in Sociology. During this time, I created this blog because I wanted to share my experiences and advice about going to grad school with fellow undocumented students. Hence the name “My (Un)Documented Life”, which was inspired by the initial theme of the website: a place where I could “document” my life as an undocumented immigrant. In other words, I started this online website as a way of trying to give back- to help fellow undocumented students pursue their own grad school journeys and beyond.

As undocumented students, our experiences extend beyond the school setting- we face many challenges, opportunities, limitations, and more inside/outside of the school. And, not all who are undocumented have the opportunity to go to college. Thus, in this website, we write about the many different aspects that are relevant to the undocumented experience.  It is our hope that this online community will continue helping more undocumented immigrants and allies all across the world.

GUEST CONTRIBUTORS – click image to view posts 

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Interested in being a guest contributor? Please contact me.


Our disclaimer:  the views and opinions expressed in this website are those of the authors alone.  Although we aim to provide the most accurate information, the information in this website should not be taken as legal advice.

18 replies

  1. Just discovered your blog in an attempt to find out more about the possibilities of doctoral studies for a DACA recipient. I know someone who was accepted at a PhD program for biomedical sciences in NY but could not enroll as the person was undocumented. Now, this person wants to apply again to PhD programs but is unsure whether it will be different this time. Communication with the school hasn’t proven much productive. Can you suggest how this person can find out about the possibilities of actually pursuing the degree?

    • It’s been my experience that for graduate education there are no restrictions to enrolling due to immigration status. However, I know that it’s not always the case, specially when it comes to fields of science, law, business, and health. I’d recommend contacting admissions staff to inquire about applying as an undocumented/DACAmented student. Another route is to try reaching out to Faculty and students in the program. Often times they can inquire about information as such faster, but admissions should be helpful regardless. Because that’s not always the case, asking Faculty and/or students in the program might be helpful. I know that Faculty and students there may even know more about opportunities and applying to the program. If your friend would like more advice or if you have any questions let me know :)

  2. Dear Carolina, just came across your blog while searching for some DACA info. Thanks for all the valuable information and for sharing your experiences with us.

    Sam, I wanted to share with you information about an amazing organization in Northern California that does a lot of advocacy work around issues of access to higher education for undocumented students. They have put together some really great resources for the public. I have worked with them in the past and constantly find myself referring people to them. The organization is Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC). They have a guide that I think your student could really benefit from about applying to graduate school as an undocumented student. Here is the link to the resources page where you will find many other great guides that you can download and print for free. http://www.e4fc.org/resources.html

  3. Great blog, will follow you on twitter. Happy Holidays!

  4. Hi Carolina,
    My name is Angie Ocampo and I’m a student at Brown University. I’m writing a senior thesis on the experiences of undocumented Latino college students at elite universities. I’d love to interview you since there are very few graduate students currently represented in my sample. Please email me if you’re interested in participating so I can send you more information. Thank you!
    Angie Ocampo

  5. I found this blog so comforting I currently enrolled in grad school its online Arizona State University I’m in Cali
    It was the least expensive and it’s my field as well.
    Does anyone one if there are any scholarships out there that could help me out? I’m struggling with paying and I don’t want to pause this program its something I really want and need. Any help is highly appreciated. Thank you!

    • Hi Sonia, congrats on starting grad school! We will keep posting the latest scholarship opportunities we come across, so definitely subscribe and stay in touch. I hope one of our readers will be able to help as well. I’ll keep my eye out for more scholarships!

  6. I really need help applying to college :-(

  7. Hello Carolina, after reading your blog and some respondents, I am thrilled to know that our citizenship does not stop us from continuing our education. I am writing my personal statements for the UC’s and I was wondering if you may have a look at them and make some suggestions. Please. I would appreciate it really much. Thank you :)

    • Hi Anayely, glad to hear you found my blog and excited that you are getting ready to apply to the UCs! Definitely subscribe to the blog (it’s free of course) to stay up-to-date with information, experiences, resources, and more. I’ll be glad to take a look at your personal statements and give you my feedback. Please go ahead and send them to: mydocumentedlife@gmail.com

  8. do you know if my DACA expired can i still get approved and still be in college. ????


  1. In Their Own Words: A Nationwide Survey of Undocumented Millennials (Working Paper # 191)

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