yucatan students standing ruins
Yucatan, Mexico

Liberal Arts

Study Program

Tentative Dates

-

18 weeks

Costs

Credit

15 - 18 semester hours

22.5 - 27 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Dates

-

20 weeks

Costs

Credit

15 - 18 semester hours

22.5 - 27 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Tentative Dates

-

21 weeks

Credit

15 - 18 semester hours

22.5 - 27 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Overview

Famous for its efforts to preserve and promote its historical culture, Mérida is the capital of Yucatán and the largest city in southeastern Mexico. A safe and vibrant city, Mérida is an ideal location to expand your education abroad.

When class is in session, explore how traditions and modernity converge while advancing your degree and improving your Spanish language skills at Universidad Anahuac Mayab (UAM) and CIEE Yucatan. UAM is one of the top private universities in Mexico, offering a wide variety of courses in all areas of study, including biology, chemistry, communications, literature, engineering, psychology, mathematics, and more. Outside the classroom, your courses will be complemented by co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

Study in one of Yucatan's top universities

with students from all over Mexico, Latin America, the United States, Europe, and other countries of the world.

Improve your Spanish language skills

while you experience Mexican culture in the classroom and at home.

\

Get to know the Mayan culture

With visits and trips to ancient UNESCO world heritage archaeological sites and other co-curricular and cultural enrichment activities.

86

average daily temperature (F)

287

days on sunshine per year

1598

completion date of the oldest cathedral on the American continent

Experience
  • yucatan chicken itza
  • yucatan historic building
  • yucatan students swimming in cenote

Your Destination

Yucatán, located in the southeast of Mexico, stands out for its lifestyle, vibrant culture, and excellent infrastructure in medical and educational services. Mérida, the capital of the state of Yucatán, is a colonial city with a strong Mayan cultural presence. It has been named among the top places in the world to visit and the American Continent Capital of Culture in 2000 and 2017. Mérida is the leader of higher education in southeastern Mexico and one of the safest cities in Latin America. The city is recognized for its calm lifestyle, bustling neighborhoods, rich cultural heritage, and low-pollution environment. Mérida is surrounded by many spectacular attractions both natural and cultural, from the beautiful beaches of the relaxed town of Progreso to the world-famous Mayan archaeological sites of Uxmal, Mayapán, and Chichen Itzá.  

Mérida is a tropical city with a distinct dry and wet season. The rainy season is from June through October. The average daytime high temperature is 33°C (91°F) with nighttime temperatures around 18°C (64°F). Geologically, the Yucatan has a 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 make Mérida a regional STEM research 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.

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Yucatán.

The Culture

yucatan girl with a spider monkey

Excursions & Activities

Excursions are integral to creating a holistic learning experience. UAM provides cultural excursions, supplementing those provided by CIEE, which are designed to further support students ion adapting interculturally, building understanding, and communicating effectively. The itineraries are designed to promote cultural self-awareness, cultural literacy, and the ability to bridge cultural gaps. Through interactive activities and exercises, students are encouraged to consider issues of culture, identity, values, beliefs, and assumptions. Ultimately, students develop competencies to expose themselves to new and unfamiliar experiences. Specific destinations and content will vary semester to semester depending on local conditions. Examples include the following:

  • Chichén Itzá: Chichen Itzá was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. Students learn how the ancient Maya used science, math, and technology in their daily life and how STEM impacts more recent Mayan culture, including architecture, agriculture, and water conservation. Students also explore more ancient uses of science and technology in Chichen Itza.  
  • Progreso/El Corchito: By visiting El Corchito, students see the diverse flora and fauna of the region and enjoy a boat ride through the lagoon to get to the mangroves. After the ride through the reserve, students go to Progreso beach and enjoy a typical Yucatecan lunch. 
  • Punta Laguna: Punta Laguna is a nature reserve that offers one of the most unique sightseeing attractions in all of Yucatán: spider monkeys. The creatures are a top draw for the reserve, which also showcases jaguars, pumas, howler monkeys, and dozens of bird species. During this trip, students learn the basic ecology of native forests, coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass beds, freshwater rivers, and cenotes. 
yucatan cultural museum

Cultural Activities

Cultural centers, theaters, museums, and galleries of the city offer activities and events for all tastes: from classical music to jazz, romantic trove, rock music, exhibitions of traditional and innovative art, folk or contemporary dance, an art house cinema, children's workshops, literary activities, popular outdoor dances, and much more. Yucatán has a wide range of outdoor activities such as cenotes, nature preserves, Maya sacbeob or raised “white roads”, beaches, archeological sites, eco-tourism adventure, etc. An ample offering of cultural activities tied back to CIEE courses will build on in-classroom learning, and some will offer cultural immersion opportunities. Some examples of cultural activities include the following:  

  • City tour of Carnavalito - visits to the emblematic neighborhoods and the most famous buildings, parks, and monuments of the city.  
  • Sacred stones video mapping.  
  • Mérida Cathedral.  
  • Noche de las Culturas and the “Meet the Conqueror” performance at Main Square.
  • Serenata Yucateca - a guitar concert of trova, authentic Yucatecan music.  
  • Visit to the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya (Mayan World Museum of Merida).  
  • Visit to archaeological sites.  
  • Diverse cultural activities organized by the municipality like theater, concerts, performances, etc.  
yucatan students painting

Projects

  • Volunteer opportunities in schools, social projects, and public works will allow students to practice their Spanish language skills, build an understanding of the local culture, and develop intercultural skills to help them adapt to life in Mérida.

Program Blogs

From CIEE

MY TIME IN MERIDA

By CIEE Yucatan at CIEE

By Ciara Pettit - Liberal Arts Student, 2022 August 7th was the day my life was about to change for the next couple months. I got on an airplane for... keep reading

From CIEE

Hanal Pixán: A tradition you will remember for the rest of your life.

By CIEE Yucatan at CIEE

From Yucatan to the rest of the world, Hanal Pixán is a magical experience where people celebrate those persons who have passed away. Hanal Pixán means "The meal of the... keep reading

From CIEE

Travel: The pleasure of discovering new places.

By CIEE Yucatan at CIEE

Everyone wants the opportunity to know new places, people, and cultures; once you make your first travel, you don't want to stop. Mérida Yucatán has many ways to surprise visitors... keep reading

Housing
Academics

Academics

This program is designed for students with advanced Spanish language skills and strong academic backgrounds. 

Prior to departure for Yucatan, all students take a CIEE online Spanish placement test.  Results determine appropriate placement in language courses.  The CIEE Yucatan Center hosts the required Spanish Language course and elective course options.  All other courses are administered by University Anahuac-Mayab (UAM). 

UAM offers courses in Business, Legal and Social Sciences, Health Sciences, Communication, Architecture, Design, and Engineering, taught in Spanish.  Some classes are also offered in English and vary by semester.  Studying with peers from all over Mexico, Latin America, Europe and the rest of the world provides a unique exposure to many different perspectives and ideas. 

UAM has a diverse study plan and programs, instructional staff, research projects, evaluation and information exchange systems, congresses and training courses, training programs, as well as various resources and instructors for an enriching academic experience.  It also has a strong international outlook collaborating with many national and international higher education institutions. 

GPA

Overall GPA: 2.5

Language Requirements

Language Pre-requisites: 4 semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent. 

Additional Requirements

Please refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Requirements

Every student is required to take a Spanish language course taught by CIEE and at a level based on placement test results.  The remaining courses are selected from a range of CIEE elective course(s) and host institution courses at the local university (UAM), in Spanish and/or English.  English-language courses at UAM are few and are all upper-division courses which will likely have pre-requisites.

Program Credit

Credit: 15-18 semester / 22.5-27 quarter credits. 

Course Credit

  • CIEE content courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours. 
  • CIEE language courses: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits; 60 contact hours. 
  • UAM courses: 1.5-7.5 U.S. semester / 2.25-11.25 quarter credits; 58 – 346 notional hours. 

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Academic Culture

Classes at UAM will be scheduled Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM through 10:00 PM. Usually 100 and 200-level courses are taught in the morning and early afternoon, and 200 and 300-level courses are taught in early afternoon and evening.  Homework and assignments are established by the instructors with possible assignments to be done over the weekend.  It is very common that homework is assigned to be done in collaborative groups and interaction with fellow students and professors is expected. The semester is split up into three “units”: first unit or term, second unit or term and final exams.  UAM uses Blackboard as its learning management system (LMS) in support of class instruction. 

Classes at CIEE are typically scheduled Monday through Thursday.  Regular class attendance and participation is expected and required.  Students will play an active role in their own education; group projects and interaction with fellow students and professors are expected.  Instructors use the Canvas LMS for supporting learning and assessment. 

Grading

For UAM courses, the student must conform to the evaluation criteria established by the instructor in each course, including attendance.  Assessment is often limited to a midterm exam and a final exam, weighted at 20-30% and 40-60%, respectively. 

For CIEE courses, students are assessed via quizzes, attendance, homework assignments, essays and research papers, oral presentations, class participation, and mid-term and final exams. 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 by our learning management system, Canvas. 

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Language of Instruction

Spanish and English

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Courses

Course Information

Academic Projects

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Communication, Journalism, and Media

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Social Sciences

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Communication, Journalism, and Media

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Natural Resources, Conservation, and the Environment

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Courses are available from the University Anahuac-Mayab (UAM) in the following areas of study: 

  • Business 
  • Legal and Social Sciences 
  • Health Sciences 
  • Communication, Architecture and Design 
  • Engineering 

Students can find course lists and descriptions on the following website: https://www.anahuacmayab.mx/es/international/programas/licenciaturas/divisiones.  

The Course Descriptions button at the bottom will generate a list of course titles, credits, departments, pre-requisites, term offered, and the typical semester that a local student would qualify for the course.  Not all courses listed are available in all semesters.  As a visiting student, you will be contacted by the UAM administration about one month prior to the start of the UAM semester to review the options available in your semester and discuss your eligibility.  Courses in English are rare and typically require high-level prerequisites be met as they are directed at students in the final year of their UAM degree program.  Students should acquire prior written approval from their home school to enroll in any English-language courses or courses that are valued below 3 U.S. semester credits each.  CIEE converts UAM course credits as follows: 

 

UAM credits

Total Notional Hours

Recommended U.S. Equivalent

3

58

1.5

4

77

2

6

115

2.5

7

134

3

9

173

4

10

192

4.5

12

230

5

18

346

7.5

 

Your UAM course enrollments will be communicated about two weeks prior to the start of the UAM semester.  Please visit https://merida.anahuac.mx/en/international/programas/licenciaturas/sistema-de-clases for more information.  

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.
"(GI)" denotes courses that originated at CIEE's Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple CIEE sites.

Scholarships

Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Wollitzer Merit Scholarships in Area or Comparative Studies
  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application.

Learn more about scholarships

Dates & Fees

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.

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Program Fall 2024 18 weeks Start Date * End Date * Fees & Housing $15,850
Program Spring 2024 20 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $15,850
Program Spring 2025 21 weeks Start Date * End Date *

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

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, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500.

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 protection with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300

Educational Costs = $10,856

Housing = $4,500

Insurance = $194

Total Fees = $15,850

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 = $1,064

International Airfare = $650††

Local Transportation = $350†††

Books & Supplies = $50

Visa Fees = $0††††

Personal expenses = $225†††††

Total Costs = $2,339

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.

See Scholarships

For students in homestays, families provide 2 meals (breakfast and dinner).

††round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

†††Round trip based on Mayabus, UAM's private bus and public bus.

††††NA for students staying less than 180 days in the country.

†††††$100 emergency fund + cell phone expense + toiletries

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 protection with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300

Educational Costs = $10,856

Housing = $4,500

Insurance = $194

Total Fees = $15,850

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 = $1,120

International Airfare = $650††

Local Transportation = $350†††

Books & Supplies = $50

Visa Fees = $0††††

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $0†††††

Personal expenses = $225††††††

Other = $50†††††††

Total Costs = $2,445

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.

See Scholarships

For students in homestays, families provide 2 meals (breakfast and dinner).

††round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

†††Round trip based on Mayabus, UAM's private bus and public bus.

††††average cost

†††††N/A

††††††$100 emergency fund + cell phone expense + toiletries

†††††††Covid test fees for entry to the US, if required

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 protection with benefits.

Estimated Costs

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

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.

See Scholarships

What's Included

Tuition

Housing

Pre-departure Advising

Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions

Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet

Orientation

Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city

On-site Staff

Full-time program leadership and support in your city

Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities

Excursions and/or Study Tours

Travel Protection

CIEE iNext travel protection

24/7 emergency on-site support

Meals

Staff

Our Staff

Karla Zarco

Center Director

Karla is the Center Director of CIEE in Yucatán, and she brings to CIEE more than 20 years of experience working in the international education field.

Alan Barroso

Program & Student Life Manager

Alan joined CIEE Yucatan in March 2022 as Student Life and Academics Manager. He is an experienced Psychologist focused on student coaching and tutoring.

Celia Novelo

Program Coordinator

Celia is the Program Coordinator at CIEE Yucatan. She is motivated by her experience abroad in France and loves to exchange intercultural experiences with students.

Get Started Steps

Get Started

Here’s what you need to do to take the next steps:

1

Start an Application
You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience!

2

Connect With Your Campus Study Abroad Office 
Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad.

3

Contact Us 
Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.

Request Info