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Maya Mexico Winter

Maya Mexico Winter

Dates

December 26, 2021 – January 7, 2022

Cost

$2,675 + airfare
Scholarships & Financial Aid

Subjects

Honors, History, Spanish

Deadlines

Aug. 1: Apply Early & Save $100
Sept. 15: Regular Deadline 

Program Overview

During this winter study abroad, we spend four days in Mexico City and eight days in the Yucatan Peninsula. In Mexico City, academic excursions include the Zocalo and Historic Center, the original artwork of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the National Anthropological Museum, the city’s rich markets and diverse neighborhoods, the famous temples of Teotihuacan, and a night of Lucha Libre. In the Yucatan, we explore the spectacular Mayan archaeological sites of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, the vibrant markets & neighborhoods of Merida, off-the-beaten-path pueblos, and a Mayan cenote (natural swimming pool).  The program concludes in the funky artsy beach town of Holbox.  Throughout, we employ a “Place as Text” learning model, which inserts students into social environments and fosters close observation of local culture. Note: items above are subject to change.

Language Requirement: None. HON and HIST taught in English, SPAN in Spanish. 

Accommodations: Hotels, 2-4 students per room

Orientation: Mandatory orientation on Saturday, November  6, 2021 in Elizabethtown, KY. See Orientation for more information.

Director: Dr. John Dizgun

Courses

HON and HIST courses are taught in English, SPAN in Spanish. You may enroll in one of the 3-credit-hour courses below.

HON 300 Topics: Cultural Expression in Modern Mexico

Dr. John Dizgun

This study abroad course, designed for students coming from all majors, asks, how can we better understand contemporary Mexico by identifying and analyzing diverse forms of Mexican cultural expression, past and present. Sources of cultural expression include (but are not limited to) artwork, music, museums, media, sporting events, archaeological and religious sites, graffiti, food and fashion. Individually and as a group, we deconstruct the nuanced meaning, motivation, and potential influence such expression has on Mexican national identity. This course is taught in English.

HIST 490 Topics: Mexico, Past and Present

Dr. Luis Sierra

This study abroad course, designed for students coming from all majors, asks, how can examining Mexico’s rich historical past help us better understand the Mexico of today.  Our exploration will identify the relationship between past and present using a wide range of cultural expression including archaeological and religious sites, monuments, sporting events, museums, and markets as well as media, graffiti, food, and fashion. Mexico’s Pre-Colombian, colonial, and national histories all affect the present in myriad ways. This course is taught in English.

SPAN 306 Experiencing Spanish Abroad: Mexican Culture & Identity

Dr. Laura Hunt

This course introduces students to the splendor of Mexico through a study of its architecture, art, and literature from pre-Colombian times to the present day. Students explore a fascinating heritage as seen in the remarkable pyramids of ancient civilizations, the art of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Mexico City, and the people and stories of modern markets, city centers, small villages, and tourist sites. Site visits are paired with readings by literary masters, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Carlos Fuentes, Octavio Paz, among others. This course is taught in Spanish.

All KIIS course credit is awarded by Western Kentucky University. Prior to your KIIS program, please speak with your home campus academic advisor and/or study abroad office to determine course equivalencies. Grades will be transferred to your home institution in late January after the completion of the program. Course offerings are subject to change according to enrollment. For more information, visit Transcripts & Grades.

Program Excursions

Holbox

The Maya Mexico Winter program concludes in the funky artsy beach town of Holbox.  Students observe and analyze the island’s renowned street-art scene, discuss the complicated relationship between tourism development and environmental sustainability, and provide their final-project oral presentations.

Uxmal & Hacienda Yaxcopoil

Uxmal is a UNESCO World Heritage site and provides a striking contrast to Chichen Itzá.  For some, the intricate and ornate pyramids, temples and other ceremonial structures at Uxmal represent the pinnacle of Maya art, design and architecture.  This Puuc city and its surrounding towns also demonstrate the social and economic structure of Maya society.  En route to Uxmal, we visit Hacienda Yaxcopoil— an unvarnished former large landed-estate, which speaks to the complex history of henequen (a hemp-like fiber) production…

Chichen Itzá & Cenote Ik Kil

At Chichen Itzá, students encounter the impressive convergence of Maya architecture, mathematics, agriculture, astronomy, commerce, and religion.  The Pyramid of Kukulcan, Temple of the Warriors, Observatory, and Ball Court help students appreciate pre-Columbian advances and restraints. Our excursion culminates with an optional swim in a beautiful cenote (natural pool). Cenotes were spiritually important to the Maya, and there are many theories about their significance to death rituals, fertility offerings, and a connection to the underworld.

Historic Mérida

Beautiful and charming, Merida is the capital city of the Yucatán.  Students actively explore vibrant markets, colonial architecture, local food, and other slices of daily life.  Highlights include the Monumento a la Patria— a massive monument depicting centuries of Mexican history— and the Palacio del Gobierno, which houses striking murals depicting the regional history of the Maya and Spanish, painted by local artist Fernando Castro Pacheco.

Coyoacán and Frida Kahlo

Coyoacan is a quaint, artsy, cobblestoned residential neighborhood with a wonderful local market.  Famously, it also is Frida Kahlo’s birthplace and final residence, which today is a museum. Known as Museo Casa Azul, it tells her moving life story through her eccentric art and period pieces.  Students grapple with themes tied to gender, sexuality, disability, infidelity, radicalism and privilege, cross-cultural identity, and traditionalism and modernity.

The Zocalo and Diego Rivera

The Zocalo— Mexico City’s open central plaza— is a site to behold.  Lively and full of people, it provides a window into daily Mexican life— across the socioeconomic spectrum.  The Zocalo’s impressive Spanish colonial architecture blends with pre-Columbian motifs and relics, including the base of the Great Aztec Pyramid. In the adjacent Palacio Nacional, students explore the captivating original murals of Diego Rivera, arguably the greatest artist of the Twentieth Century.

Teotihuacan

Located 30 miles outside Mexico City, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the Western Hemisphere prior to 1450.  During its golden age, Teotihuacan covered 8 square miles and supported a population over 100,000. It is renowned for its immense causeway and pyramids— notably the Temples of the Moon and the Sun— which are comparable in size to the largest in Egypt.  The Aztec Empire, which came to control Teotihuacan nearly 1000 years later, was as awestruck by it then as…

Mexico City

Mexico City is a stunning cosmopolitan blend of traditional and modern, evident in its impressive architecture, artwork, food, music, and fashion.  Despite Mexico City’s size and population, its distinct and lively neighborhoods lend the capital an intimate, almost homey feel. We explore the famous Zocalo, cutting-edge exhibits like those found at the National Anthropological Museum, the original artwork of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the city’s rich and colorful markets, and the ancient temples at Teotihuacan.

What's Included

Program Cost: $2,675 + airfare

Earn 3 Credit Hours

Group Flight (Optional)

Airport Transfers in Mexico

Accommodations

Two Meals per Day

Groups Excursions & Transport

Security Evacuation Protection

Medical Insurance

Program Director & Faculty
on-site 24/7

To help you budget, keep in mind that you are responsible for the cost of your textbooks & materials, passport fees ($145), one meal per day + personal expenses (approx. $300, or if you are an avid shopper, you may consider bringing additional funds), pre-departure (in USA) Covid-19 test and on-site (KIIS location abroad) Covid-19 test to return home, and any fees from your college/university.

Although KIIS tries to foresee all possible expenses in formulating program fees, please note that dramatic fluctuations in foreign currency valuations and/or airline surcharges may affect the total cost of the program.

Group Flight

Estimated Cost: $1,000 – $1,100

The KIIS Maya Mexico Winter program offers a group flight option where you can travel to the program location with other students and faculty (note: the group flight option also includes the internal Mexico flight from Mexico City to Merida). If you choose this option, KIIS will purchase flight tickets on your behalf. The flight cost will be added to your final program fee on November 1. The group flight will depart from Cincinnati, Lexington, or Louisville.

If not selecting the group flight, you are responsible to purchase both your own roundtrip international flight and your one-way Mexico City-Merida flight. You will be provided the group’s flight itinerary and instructions on the internal Mexico City-Merida flight transfer.

Flights to/from Mexico arrive on the same day. Visit Flights and Passports & Visas for more information.

Student Voices

Take Your Education Further

Category:

Description

Dates

December 26, 2021 – January 7, 2022

Cost

$2,675 + airfare
Scholarships & Financial Aid

Subjects

Honors, History, Spanish

Deadlines

Aug. 1: Apply Early & Save $100
Sept. 15: Regular Deadline 

Program Overview

During this winter study abroad, we spend four days in Mexico City and eight days in the Yucatan Peninsula. In Mexico City, academic excursions include the Zocalo and Historic Center, the original artwork of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the National Anthropological Museum, the city’s rich markets and diverse neighborhoods, the famous temples of Teotihuacan, and a night of Lucha Libre. In the Yucatan, we explore the spectacular Mayan archaeological sites of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, the vibrant markets & neighborhoods of Merida, off-the-beaten-path pueblos, and a Mayan cenote (natural swimming pool).  The program concludes in the funky artsy beach town of Holbox.  Throughout, we employ a “Place as Text” learning model, which inserts students into social environments and fosters close observation of local culture. Note: items above are subject to change.

Language Requirement: None. HON and HIST taught in English, SPAN in Spanish. 

Accommodations: Hotels, 2-4 students per room

Orientation: Mandatory orientation on Saturday, November  6, 2021 in Elizabethtown, KY. See Orientation for more information.

Director: Dr. John Dizgun

Courses

HON and HIST courses are taught in English, SPAN in Spanish. You may enroll in one of the 3-credit-hour courses below.

HON 300 Topics: Cultural Expression in Modern Mexico

Dr. John Dizgun

This study abroad course, designed for students coming from all majors, asks, how can we better understand contemporary Mexico by identifying and analyzing diverse forms of Mexican cultural expression, past and present. Sources of cultural expression include (but are not limited to) artwork, music, museums, media, sporting events, archaeological and religious sites, graffiti, food and fashion. Individually and as a group, we deconstruct the nuanced meaning, motivation, and potential influence such expression has on Mexican national identity. This course is taught in English.

HIST 490 Topics: Mexico, Past and Present

Dr. Luis Sierra

This study abroad course, designed for students coming from all majors, asks, how can examining Mexico’s rich historical past help us better understand the Mexico of today.  Our exploration will identify the relationship between past and present using a wide range of cultural expression including archaeological and religious sites, monuments, sporting events, museums, and markets as well as media, graffiti, food, and fashion. Mexico’s Pre-Colombian, colonial, and national histories all affect the present in myriad ways. This course is taught in English.

SPAN 306 Experiencing Spanish Abroad: Mexican Culture & Identity

Dr. Laura Hunt

This course introduces students to the splendor of Mexico through a study of its architecture, art, and literature from pre-Colombian times to the present day. Students explore a fascinating heritage as seen in the remarkable pyramids of ancient civilizations, the art of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Mexico City, and the people and stories of modern markets, city centers, small villages, and tourist sites. Site visits are paired with readings by literary masters, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Carlos Fuentes, Octavio Paz, among others. This course is taught in Spanish.

All KIIS course credit is awarded by Western Kentucky University. Prior to your KIIS program, please speak with your home campus academic advisor and/or study abroad office to determine course equivalencies. Grades will be transferred to your home institution in late January after the completion of the program. Course offerings are subject to change according to enrollment. For more information, visit Transcripts & Grades.

Program Excursions

Holbox

The Maya Mexico Winter program concludes in the funky artsy beach town of Holbox.  Students observe and analyze the island’s renowned street-art scene, discuss the complicated relationship between tourism development and environmental sustainability, and provide their final-project oral presentations.

Uxmal & Hacienda Yaxcopoil

Uxmal is a UNESCO World Heritage site and provides a striking contrast to Chichen Itzá.  For some, the intricate and ornate pyramids, temples and other ceremonial structures at Uxmal represent the pinnacle of Maya art, design and architecture.  This Puuc city and its surrounding towns also demonstrate the social and economic structure of Maya society.  En route to Uxmal, we visit Hacienda Yaxcopoil— an unvarnished former large landed-estate, which speaks to the complex history of henequen (a hemp-like fiber) production…

Chichen Itzá & Cenote Ik Kil

At Chichen Itzá, students encounter the impressive convergence of Maya architecture, mathematics, agriculture, astronomy, commerce, and religion.  The Pyramid of Kukulcan, Temple of the Warriors, Observatory, and Ball Court help students appreciate pre-Columbian advances and restraints. Our excursion culminates with an optional swim in a beautiful cenote (natural pool). Cenotes were spiritually important to the Maya, and there are many theories about their significance to death rituals, fertility offerings, and a connection to the underworld.

Historic Mérida

Beautiful and charming, Merida is the capital city of the Yucatán.  Students actively explore vibrant markets, colonial architecture, local food, and other slices of daily life.  Highlights include the Monumento a la Patria— a massive monument depicting centuries of Mexican history— and the Palacio del Gobierno, which houses striking murals depicting the regional history of the Maya and Spanish, painted by local artist Fernando Castro Pacheco.

Coyoacán and Frida Kahlo

Coyoacan is a quaint, artsy, cobblestoned residential neighborhood with a wonderful local market.  Famously, it also is Frida Kahlo’s birthplace and final residence, which today is a museum. Known as Museo Casa Azul, it tells her moving life story through her eccentric art and period pieces.  Students grapple with themes tied to gender, sexuality, disability, infidelity, radicalism and privilege, cross-cultural identity, and traditionalism and modernity.

The Zocalo and Diego Rivera

The Zocalo— Mexico City’s open central plaza— is a site to behold.  Lively and full of people, it provides a window into daily Mexican life— across the socioeconomic spectrum.  The Zocalo’s impressive Spanish colonial architecture blends with pre-Columbian motifs and relics, including the base of the Great Aztec Pyramid. In the adjacent Palacio Nacional, students explore the captivating original murals of Diego Rivera, arguably the greatest artist of the Twentieth Century.

Teotihuacan

Located 30 miles outside Mexico City, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the Western Hemisphere prior to 1450.  During its golden age, Teotihuacan covered 8 square miles and supported a population over 100,000. It is renowned for its immense causeway and pyramids— notably the Temples of the Moon and the Sun— which are comparable in size to the largest in Egypt.  The Aztec Empire, which came to control Teotihuacan nearly 1000 years later, was as awestruck by it then as…

Mexico City

Mexico City is a stunning cosmopolitan blend of traditional and modern, evident in its impressive architecture, artwork, food, music, and fashion.  Despite Mexico City’s size and population, its distinct and lively neighborhoods lend the capital an intimate, almost homey feel. We explore the famous Zocalo, cutting-edge exhibits like those found at the National Anthropological Museum, the original artwork of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the city’s rich and colorful markets, and the ancient temples at Teotihuacan.

What's Included

Program Cost: $2,675 + airfare

Earn 3 Credit Hours

Group Flight (Optional)

Airport Transfers in Mexico

Accommodations

Two Meals per Day

Groups Excursions & Transport

Security Evacuation Protection

Medical Insurance

Program Director & Faculty
on-site 24/7

To help you budget, keep in mind that you are responsible for the cost of your textbooks & materials, passport fees ($145), one meal per day + personal expenses (approx. $300, or if you are an avid shopper, you may consider bringing additional funds), pre-departure (in USA) Covid-19 test and on-site (KIIS location abroad) Covid-19 test to return home, and any fees from your college/university.

Although KIIS tries to foresee all possible expenses in formulating program fees, please note that dramatic fluctuations in foreign currency valuations and/or airline surcharges may affect the total cost of the program.

Group Flight

Estimated Cost: $1,000 – $1,100

The KIIS Maya Mexico Winter program offers a group flight option where you can travel to the program location with other students and faculty (note: the group flight option also includes the internal Mexico flight from Mexico City to Merida). If you choose this option, KIIS will purchase flight tickets on your behalf. The flight cost will be added to your final program fee on November 1. The group flight will depart from Cincinnati, Lexington, or Louisville.

If not selecting the group flight, you are responsible to purchase both your own roundtrip international flight and your one-way Mexico City-Merida flight. You will be provided the group’s flight itinerary and instructions on the internal Mexico City-Merida flight transfer.

Flights to/from Mexico arrive on the same day. Visit Flights and Passports & Visas for more information.

Student Voices

Take Your Education Further

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