Yucatan, Mexico

January in Yucatan

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Information for term January in Yucatan

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

November 1, 2019

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: November 1, 2019
  • Dates: Dec 30, 2019 – Jan 20, 2020
  • Credit: 3 semester hours / 4.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Immerse yourself in the Yucatán Peninsula’s magnificent biodiversity and Latin America’s largest indigenous culture. January in Yucatán is the perfect place to begin your Spanish language proficiency and discover the ancient Mayan culture.  Your home base is Mérida - a pretty city filled with brightly colored buildings and clean, tree-lined streets. Its Spanish colonial architecture and world-renowned Mayan landmarks are a draw for visitors from around the world.

Unique Experiences

  • Live

    with a host family, committed to making your stay unforgettable.

  • Learn

    in a program that combines academics with cultural activities for a dramatic beginning to your Spanish language skills.

  • Explore

    the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya: a new world class museum covering the Yucatán from its geological origins to the present.





Location & Culture

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Mérida is the capital of the Yucátan state and the largest city on the Yucátan Peninsula with a population just under 900,000 people. It is known for its Mayan ruins, art, and architecture and has the largest intact indigenous population (60%) of any city reflected in its regional foods and music. But Mérida is a modern city, as well, with shops, a youth symphony, public and private hospitals, and dozens of public and private institutes of higher learning. In addition, Mérida is a hub for travel in the Yucátan Peninsula and beyond, with connections to Mexico City, Belize, and Guatemala.

Popular tourist attractions are its Mayan museum, provincial palace, Uxmal architectural ruins and nearby cenotes, important archaeological UNESCO World Heritage sites, as well as its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and Celestún National Park.

Mérida is tropical with a distinct dry and wet season. Rainy season is June through October. The average daytime high temperature is 33°C (91°F) with nighttime temperatures around 18°C (64°F). Geologically, the Yucátan has karst topography of limestone, leading to many underground caves and cenotes. Two zoos, a botanical garden, the Museum of Natural History, and several science institutes also make Mérida a regional STEM center. It sits within the Chicxulub crater, formed by a large asteroid impact 66 million years ago. The asteroid impact is responsible for the fifth great extinction, including dinosaurs, among others.

The Culture

Excursions & Activities

On the January in Yucatán program, you may:

  • Explore Chichén Itzá and nearby Cenote Sagrado where humans were sacrificed to the rain god Chaac. 
  • Birdwatch in Celestún Wildlife Refuge, home to countless pink flamingos. 
  • Explore Merida´s magnificent Botanical Garden. 
  • Fall in love with colonial architecture in Mérida’s historic center. 

Daily Life

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    Homestay – an excellent opportunity for immersion into the local language and culture. Homestays with some English are an option for students with little or no Spanish language background.


    Homestay – Two meals per day: breakfast and dinner. Students can use the kitchen at CIEE to prepare meals, and there are many grocery stores, street food vendors, and restaurants nearby.

Yucatan, Mexico

Where You'll Study

  • A

    Parque de Santa Ana

    and its nearby art galleries

  • B

    Market Lucas de Galvez

    the main fresh fruit and vegetable market in Mérida

  • C

    Mayan World Museum

    of Mérida

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

Courses taught at the Global Institute - Yucatán are typically for CIEE students only. Classes are scheduled Monday-Friday and meet three to five times per week, and attendance is strictly enforced both for classes and required co-curricular excursions. Students should expect an average of two hours of preparation required for each hour in class. Instruction is supported and augmented online with our learning management system, Canvas.


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    Students take a 3-credit, 45-hour Spanish course specially designed by CIEE for January in Yucatán. Coursework is combined with cultural activities so students can put into practice what they learn in the classroom.


    Students are graded on quizzes, exams, attendance, homework assignments, presentations, and class participation. As attendance is mandatory, absences affect final grades. The course includes compulsory activities with special assignments as part of classwork.


    Class pace is accelerated, and the workload is demanding. CIEE courses follow U.S. academic culture and standards. The class environment typically features a combination of traditional lecture and discussion with co-curricular excursions and activities. Heavy emphasis is placed on student participation.


  • Overall GPA Requirements

    Required GPA: 2.5

    Prerequisites: None

Course Information

Program Credit
Total credit: 3-4 U.S. semester/4.5-6 quarter credits per session

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours per session
  • CIEE Communicative Language course: 1 U.S. semester/1.5 quarter credits; 15 contact hours

Language of Instruction

All students enroll in the one 3-credit CIEE course per session

Course Notes

  • Students studying in Mérida for more than one session may only take Communicative Spanish once.
  • “(GI)” denotes courses that originated at CIEE’s Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple Global Institutes and CIEE Centers.

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


  • Housing with a local Host family
  • Three meals per day
  • Intensive Spanish course
  • Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad. Note: January 2020 programs in Latin America are not eligible for CIEE Scholarships and Grants.

No Hidden Fees


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

January 2020 Nov 1, 2019 Dec 30, 2019 Jan 20, 2020
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $303 **

Housing = $300

Insurance = $47

Total Fees = $950

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $300

International Airfare = $700

Local Transportation = $100

Books & Supplies = $150

Personal expenses = $200

Total Estimated Costs = $1,450

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

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This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

r?ound-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

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  • 1

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  • 2

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  • 3

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