yucatan homeland monumnet
Yucatan, Mexico

Semester in Yucatan

New for Spring 2025!

Study Program Part-Time Internship

Tentative Dates


21 weeks



12 - 18 semester hours

18 - 27 quarter hours


Application Deadline

Apply Now

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Spend a semester living and learning in Yucatán, a scenic peninsula ideally situated in the Gulf of Mexico. Here, you’ll have an unparalleled opportunity to explore the rich tapestry of Mayan culture while living with a Mexican family to deeply immerse you in the local community. Mérida, the historic capital of Yucatán, serves as a vibrant hub for students, providing a blend of colonial heritage and modern amenities. Delve into the region's fascinating history, explore nearby ancient ruins, and engage with welcoming locals, all while earning academic credits toward your degree.

When class is in session, you’ll choose from a diverse range of subject areas, from environmental studies and STEM to communication and history, ensuring your courses enrich your educational journey. All courses are designed to complement the local culture, giving you a deeper understanding of the subjects through hands-on experiences and excursions to significant sites like Chichén Itzá and the mangroves of Corchito.

Outside the classroom, practical learning extends to optional for-credit internships and volunteering opportunities, allowing you to contribute to local organizations and gain professional experience in your field of study. This will not only enhance your resume but also foster a meaningful connection with the community and its development.

The CIEE Yucatán Center, situated in the heart of Mérida, provides a supportive environment set within a stunning colonial building and surrounded by beautiful parks, galleries, and restaurants. It's an ideal setting for you to thrive academically, culturally, and personally while in Yucatán. 

Latin American Student Ambassador Scholarships

Apply to become one of 100 student to receive a full-funded CIEE Study Abroad program in Latin America for fall '25 or spring '26!

Learn More

Unique Experiences


Immerse yourself in the rich Mayan culture

by visiting the Gran Museo del Munda Maya, which offers a deep dive into the history and traditions of the Mayan people

Explore the Mayapán archaeological zone

to gain a hands-on experience with ancient ruins and a glimpse into past civilizations

Live the vibrant city life of Mérida

and experience its picturesque streets and squares, plethora of local cuisine, and unique artisan markets to explore







  • colorful buildings in yucatan mexico reflected in a puddle of water
  • yucatan girls on boat wearing mud
  • yucatan day of the dead parade

Your Destination

From its hundreds of Mayan ruins to its exceptional food and bustling city life, Yucatán is a complex hub of ancient and modern culture. In fact, the city of Mérida hosts one of the largest intact indigenous populations (60%) of any Latin American city. Look for Mayan culture's presence in the modern city’s daily life – its regional foods, music, textiles and traditions are all rooted in centuries of tradition. Furthermore, according to CEO world magazine, Mérida is the second safest city in North America (after Quebec City) filled with wonderful people, shops restaurants, universities, and museums.  

Yucatán is ideal for studies in natural sciences including ecology, the environment, astronomy, cosmology, and even physics! Much of the region sits within the Chicxulub crater, formed by the impact of a large asteroid that hit earth 66 million years ago, causing the fifth great extinction that included dinosaurs. Geologically, Yucatán’s karst topography of limestone creates caves and cenotes rich in beauty and cultural significance. Additionally, zoos, botanical gardens, the Museum of Natural History, and science institutes are all within easy reach.  

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 chichen itza

Excursions & Activities

Excursions are integral to creating a holistic learning experience. Host Institutions provide cultural excursions, supplementing those provided by CIEE, which are designed to further support students in 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 from 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. 

Program Blogs


Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, Valladolid - Yucatan Study Tour

By College Study Abroad at CIEE

FALL BLOCK I - CHICHEN ITZA, EK BALAM, VALLADOLID Located In the center of the State of Yucatan, the World Heritage ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza is one of... keep reading


The “Cake-Colored” City of Campeche

By Latin America Unplugged at CIEE

The “cake-colored” city of Campeche is a stop-over-must on your way to the CIEE Global Institute – Yucatán. Not only for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, but for its historic... keep reading


Spend J-term Learning Spanish in the Beautiful Yucatán

By College Study Abroad at CIEE

Between Mayan ruins and modern culture, cenotes and white sand beaches, delicious foods and spectacular mangroves, you’ll fall in love with the perfectly balanced existence in the Yucatán. You’re invited... keep reading



Semester in Yucatán students enroll in 4-5 courses per semester, totaling 12-18 semester credits. Consider that most courses meet for either 60 contact hours/4 credits or 45 contact hours/3 credits, that is, classes once or twice a week.  

Students have wide flexibility to design their own academic load-taking options from the following scheme:  

  • Courses taught in English at top universities: Universidad Anahuac Mayab and Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan
  • For those proficient in Spanish, there is the option to take courses in Spanish at the previously mentioned universities
  • Students can opt for courses delivered in English/Spanish by CIEE such as Spanish language courses, intercultural communication and leadership courses, internships, and directed independent research  

Before your arrival onsite, you will have one-on-one academic counseling with local staff to review your options and decide whether your proposed schedule is logistically feasible (commuting between campuses may take between 30-45 minutes).  

CIEE courses are scheduled Monday through Thursday. Students should expect to have daily homework assignments and continuous assessments. Most courses combine lectures with local field trips and excursions to help students gain a better understanding of the local culture. Class attendance is mandatory, and absences affect final grades.  

In general, the Mexican pedagogical teaching approach is traditionally teacher-centered, seen as the instructor mainly leading the lectures and facilitating the course discussions. The presence of international students in local courses is highly valued by instructors as they see it as an opportunity to add foreign perspectives to the local audience.   



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.


All Semester in Yucatan students take 4-6 courses for 12 -18 semester credits. Students can choose from:  

  • CIEE courses taught in English and/or Spanish  
  • CIEE Spanish language courses   
  • Host Institution courses taught in English and/or Spanish at Universidad Anahuac Mayab (UAM)  
  • Students who elect to take courses at this host institution must take at least 3 courses here, and a maximum of 5 courses 
  • Host Institution courses taught in Spanish at Universidad Autónoma de Yucatan (UADY).  


  • Students may not combine host institutions. Students must elect which host institution they want to attend during the application process.  
  • 4 semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent, and a possible proficiency exam, is required for students wanting to take courses in Spanish.  

Program Credit

Total credit: 12-18 U.S. semester/18-27 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE Courses: 3-4 U.S. semester/4.5-6 quarter credits; 45-60 contact hours  
  • UAM Courses:  Typically 1.5-7.5 U.S. semester/2.25-11.25 quarter credits; 58-346 notional hours; most courses are 6 UAM credits (2.5 U.S. semester credits/115 notional hours)   
  • UADY Courses: Typically 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits (8 UADY credits)  

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

CIEE Courses are designed to 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.  

Classes at host institutions are typically scheduled Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 7PM. Students are expected to attend at least 80% of the courses face-to-face sessions. Students usually have daily homework assignments and readings informed by the instructor in the online platform for the course or via email. Most courses combine lectures with local field trips and guest speakers to help students gain a better understanding of the subject matter and local culture relevance. Students are not required to buy books, most of the bibliographical materials are provided by the course facilitator in the online platform and it is usually available in the host institution library.   

Class Format

In general, the Mexican pedagogical teaching approach is traditionally teacher-centered, seen as the instructor mainly leading the lectures and facilitating the course discussions. The presence of international students in local courses is highly valued by instructors as they see it as an opportunity to add foreign perspectives to the local audience.  

Courses taught at the CIEE Center are typically for CIEE students only. A typical class schedule includes a combination of both CIEE and Host Institution-administered classes, and will span from Monday to Friday. Classes at CIEE typically meet 2-4 times per week, for anywhere from 1-3 hours per class session, depending on the course. Attendance in CIEE classes is strictly enforced, both for classes and required co-curricular excursions. Instruction is supported and augmented online by CIEE’s learning management system, Canvas. 


CIEE reports all final course grades to students’ home institutions using a U.S. letter grade equivalent scale of A-F. For CIEE-administered courses, students’ grades are based on attendance, class participation, homework, project work, presentations, and midterm and final examinations. Learning outcomes assessment is continuous through personal reflections, evaluation feedback, self-assessment, and requirements as set out in course syllabi. Host Institution courses are graded using a 7-point grading scale. Just as CIEE courses, local institution’s final grade is compound of components of different nature, such as attendance, class participation, homework, project work, presentations, and midterm and final examinations. Primary assessments (assessments with more weight) are usually two or three partial written exams. The final examination may be held in either oral or written format (or both) and is usually worth around 30% of the final grade for the course.  

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

Englishand/or Spanish

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.


Course Information

Academic Projects

Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Semester Credit

Visual and Performing Arts

Semester Credit

Communication, Journalism, and Media

Semester Credit

History, Philosophy, Religion

Semester Credit

Social Sciences

Semester Credit

Natural Resources, Conservation, and the Environment

Semester Credit

Once the student selects the host institution, we recommend adding additional optional courses to increase enrollment possibilities. Please keep in mind that Universidad Autónoma de Yucatan limits the number of visiting students who can enroll in some classes specifically at the faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Chemist Biologist. We also recommend considering distances between different UADY departments when enrolling in courses at more than two faculties. Our Academic on-site staff will support the student in the course selection process.  

 Please see sample course lists below.  

Universidad Anahuac Mayab Course List  

Health Sciences & Psychology  

  • Ophthalmology  
  • Crisis Intervention  
  • Neuropsychology  
  • Family Education  
  • Management in health services  
  • Nutrigenomics and Metabolomics  
  • Diet Therapy  
  • Sports Nutrition  
  • Nutrition in Psychopathologie  

Design & Communication  

  • Design Trends  
  • Fashion Styling  
  • Digital Pattern  
  • Fashion Technology  
  • Audiovisual Narratives  
  • Political, social and culture panorama  
  • Digital strategies  


  • Dynamics Animation  
  • Artificial Intelligence  
  • Videogames engines I  
  • Motion capture  
  • Digital audio  
  • Node composition  
  • Advanced 3D animation  
  • Product engineering  
  • Safety & industrial facilities  
  • Enterprise integrated systems  
  • Quality management systems  
  • Basic Digital Pattern  
  • Power Electronics  
  • Digital Control  
  • Industrial Robotics  
  • Embedded Systems  
  • SCM2 Production Plan &Control  
  • Project management  
  • Technological Innovation  
  • Embedded Systems for Biomedics  


  • Landscape Architecture  
  • Projects VII: Urban Design  
  • Projects VI: Architectural Rec   

International Relations & Law  

  • Public international law fundamental  
  • International trade  
  • North America  
  • Negotiation seminar  
  • Public International law  
  • Private international law  
  • Environmental law  
  • Legal English  

Business & Economy  

  • Business English  
  • Evaluation Investment project  
  • Commercial Management  
  • Business Consulting  
  • Strategic Direction  
  • Human Resources Management  
  • Commercial Management  
  • Auditing and Internal Control  
  • Financial Markets  
  • Derived Products  
  • Human capital and org development  
  • Multinationals and global comp  
  • Global marketing  
  • Supply chain and e-commerce  
  • Negotiation and intercultural administration  
  • Price analysis and metrics mkt  

Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY)
Course offering  

  • Actuarial Studies  
  • Administration  
  • Information Technology Administration  
  • Agroecology  
  • Social Anthropology  
  • Archeology  
  • Architecture  
  • Visual Arts  
  • Biology  
  • Marine Biology  
  • Computer Science *  
  • Dental Surgery  
  • International Commerce  
  • Social Communication  
  • Public Accounting *  
  • Law  
  • Habitat Design  
  • Economy  
  • Education  
  • Education, virtual mode **  
  • Nursing *  
  • Mathematics Teaching  
  • English Language Teaching  
  • Public Management, virtual modality **  
  • History  
  • Civil Engineering  
  • Software engineering  
  • Food Engineering  
  • Biotechnology Engineering  
  • Computer Engineering  
  • Renewable Energy Engineering  
  • Mechatronics Engineering  
  • Physics Engineering  
  • Industrial Engineering and Logistics  
  •  Industrial Chemical Engineering  
  • Latin American Literature  
  • Mathematics  
  • Medicine and Surgery  
  • Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics  
  • Marketing and International Business  
  • Nutrition  
  • Psychology  
  • Industrial Chemistry / Applied Chemistry  
  • Biological and Pharmaceutical Chemistry  
  • Rehabilitation  
  • Social Work  
  • Tourism  

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 & 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:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant
  • Trailblazer 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.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Program Spring 2025 21 weeks Start Date * End Date * Fees & Housing $15,950

*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 = $9,956**

Housing = $5,500***

Insurance = $194

Total Fees = $15,950

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 = $1,120

International Airfare = $670††

Local Transportation = $350

Books & Supplies = $50

Personal expenses = $225†††

Total Costs = $2,415

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

*non-refundable fee

**direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

***Housing fees listed are for financial aid purposes only and should not be considered a basis for calculation of refunds.

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

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

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

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 travel protection

24/7 emergency on-site support


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.

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