Yucatan, Mexico

Liberal Arts

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Information for term Liberal Arts

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

April 1, 2023

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Aug 8 – Dec 23, 2023 (20 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

November 1, 2022

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Merida is famous worldwide for its efforts to preserve and promote culture. It is a great place to explore how tradition and modern life converge. Develop your Spanish language skills with courses taught in Spanish at Universidad Anahuac Mayab (UAM), one of the top private universities in Mexico which offers a diversity of study areas including biology, chemistry, communications, literature, engineering, psychology, mathematics, and more.

The program is complemented with CIEE’s Spanish language courses, elective courses, co-curricular activities, and excursions to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

CIEE is requiring all participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling on programs. Read more ›

Unique Experiences


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


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


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





Location & Culture

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Study Abroad in Yucatan Mexico students in air jumping
Study abroad in Yucatan Mexico

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.  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 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 making 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.


The Culture


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 to adapt interculturally, build understanding and communicate 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 World Heritage Centre in 1988 by UNESCO.  Students will 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 will then explore more ancient uses of science and technology in Chichen Itza. 
  • Progreso-El Corchito:  By visiting El Corchito, students will see the diverse flora and fauna of the region; will enjoy a boat ride through the lagoon to get to the mangroves.  After the ride through the reserve, students will go to the Progreso beach and enjoy a typical Yucatecan lunch.
  • Rio Lagartos-Isla Holbox:  A small fishing and ecotourism village on the Gulf Coast, is an untouched kind of paradise.  The protected biosphere, the hundreds of flamingos, and the pink waters of the nearby salt mines reflects a gentle mix of life, industry, and nature in perfect balance.  Isla Holbox has sandy streets, colorful Caribbean buildings, sand so white and fine its texture is nearly clay, and greenish waters with a unique color from the mixing of ocean currents.  During this trip students will learn basic ecology of native forest, coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass beds, freshwater rivers, and cenotes.


Cultural centers, theaters, museums, and galleries of the city offer activities and events for all tastes: from classical music to jazz, romantic trova, rock music, exhibitions of traditional and innovative art, folk or contemporary dance, 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 will be available for CIEE students.  These cultural activities will be tied back to the students’ academic courses, and some will be for 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. 


  • Students can also participate in non-credit service-learning activities both sponsored by CIEE Yucatan and a local NGO. 
  • ​ 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.


Daily Life

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  • Yucatan Homestay


    Homestays:  homestay is an integral part of the program, allowing students an insider view of Mexico‘s culture and a great opportunity to practice and enhance their Spanish skills.  Your host family provides a single room, private or shared bathroom, a desk, laundry once a week, Wi-Fi, and a copy of the house keys. 

    All homestays are relatively close to coffee shops, malls, commercial centers, ATMs, and restaurants and within 30-45 minutes commute to CIEE Yucatán Center and to Universidad Anahuac Mayab (UAM).  Depending on students' housing profiles and homestay availability, students may be placed in double homestay occupancy with single and/or double rooms and shared bathrooms.

    Residence Hall: at University City Campus (CU) students have single or double bedrooms all equipped with TV, bathroom, Wi-Fi, safe box, desk, chair lamp, freezer, microwave, and kitchen accessories.  Double rooms share kitchenette and bathroom.  The complex is exclusive for college students with a mix of local and international students and is located at 20-30 minutes' ride to Merida’s beautiful downtown, shopping centers, museums, and the University Anahuac Mayab (UAM).  CU offers shuttle bus service at additional cost and Uber is also an option for USD 5 - single way 20-30 minutes rides.

    University City Campus offers a wide range of facilities to enhance the student’s study abroad academic experiences, such as gym, swimming pool, study area, meeting room, cafeteria, BBQ area, green areas, and 24/7 first aid medical assistance.  In addition, students have access to the laundry room, or they can opt to pay for linen service.


    Homestays:  include two meals per day.  Although host families and students arrange their own meals schedule, usually it is breakfast and dinner, and students are responsible for the remaining meal, either preparing them at home or eating in one of many restaurants and cafés throughout the city.  Students who are staying for a full year are responsible for their meals during breaks between semesters.

    Residence Hall:  Meals are not included at the residence hall. Students can prepare their own meals in the kitchenette, they can opt to pay for a meal plan, they can use the cafeteria at UC at their leisure or explore the myriad restaurants throughout the city.

Yucatan, Mexico

Where You'll Study

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    CIEE Yucatán

    CIEE Yucatán is a beautifully renovated downtown building. It is in downtown Merida and is just a 10-minute walk from museums, restaurants, and other cultural landmarks. The site includes classrooms, a computer lobby, and a student lounge.

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    Universidad AnáhuacMayab in Mérida, Yucatán

    The University AnahuacMayab (UAM) is part of the Anahuac Network that spans México and Latin America. It is ranked as the 12th best university in Mexico and is in the top 75 in Latin America by the QS 2020 University Rankings. Mérida’s campus is one of the largest campuses within the Anahuac University Network with infrastructure that rivals that of any large public or private research institution in Mexico. It has a student population of over 5,000 over its 200,000 square meters. The campus is located only fifteen minutes’ drive from the CIEE Yucatan Center.


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

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.


Overall GPA: 2.5

Language Prerequisites

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

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.

Program 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.


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.


For UAM courses, the student must conform to the evaluation criteria established by the instructor in each course, including attendance.  Assessment eis 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.


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Course Information


Spring 2023 CIEE Courses

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Communication, Journalism, and Media

Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Semester Credit

Natural Resources, Conservation, and the Environment

Semester Credit
Semester Credit


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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


























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.


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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

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

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.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Spring 2023 Nov 1, 2022 TBD* TBD*
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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 = $10,833

Housing = $3,650

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $14,950

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 = $600

International Airfare = $650 ††

Local Transportation = $300 †††

Books & Supplies = $50

Visa Fees = $0 ††††

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

Personal expenses = $250

Other = $50 ††††††

Total Estimated Costs = $1,900

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

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 by their US home institution to study abroad via CIEE's School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

Estimated cost based on homestay accommodation. Dorm does not includes meals.

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

††† Round trip based on public bus.

†††† average cost

††††† N/A

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

Fall 2023 20 weeks Apr 1, 2023 Aug 8, 2023* Dec 23, 2023*

*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.

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What's Included

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What's Included

Pre-departure Advising
Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
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 and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support

Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
  • 1

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

  • 2

    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.