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Merida Mexico

Dates

May 26 – June 24, 2024

Cost

$3,800 + airfare
Scholarships & Financial Aid

Subjects

Lower and Higher Intermediate Spanish, Medical Spanish, Mexican Literature

Deadlines

Dec. 1: Apply Early & Save $100
Feb. 5: Regular Deadline 

Program Overview

KIIS Merida, Mexico is a month-long program based in Merida, an ideal location to experience a fusion of Mexican, Mayan, and European culture and to explore the wonders of the Yucatán. The region boasts Chichén Itzá, named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Uxmal, a designation UNESCO World Heritage site; pristine beaches; and beautiful nature preserves. Students will live with families for the duration of the program enhancing the socio-cultural understanding of the day-to-day life in Mexico and experience social customs and cultural practices.

Note: Studying abroad likely is more physically strenuous than you are used to at home. KIIS study abroad programs typically involve approx. 5-10 miles of walking (approx. 10,000-20,000 steps) or the like in a day, including the possibility of walking, hiking, and climbing stairs in heat and humidity, over elevations at higher altitudes, and over rocky terrain. See Health & Wellness for more information.

Language Requirement:  No language requirement for MLNG 200 (taught in English). Minimum of 6 hours of college-level Spanish or the equivalent for SPAN 200-level courses. 12 hours or the equivalent for SPAN 300-level courses.

Accommodations: Homestay, 2 people per home. 

OrientationMandatory orientation on Saturday, April 13, 2024 in Bowling Green, KY. See Orientation for more information.

Featured Video

Below are two videos that give you a closer look into what your KIIS Merida-Caribbean experience could be like. The first video is a testimonial of someone who studied abroad in Mexico 15 years ago. It gives a detailed look into how the experience has helped shape the student today. The second video provides insight into homestay families in Merida.

Courses

All courses are 3 credit hours. You may enroll in 1 – 2 courses.

MLNG 200 Introduction to Global Literature: Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula

Prof. Francesca Sunkin

An introduction to a variety of literatures at the college level. Assignments encourage critique and analysis and give students introductory knowledge of key literary terms, concepts, and reading strategies. Students apply this knowledge in discussing and writing about literary texts and consider how literature inscribes the human experience. Because these classes emphasize the reading of primary texts, instructors will focus on literacy skills to supplement content course work. Taught in English.

SPAN 201 Intermediate Spanish I

Prof. Francesca Sunkin

This course stresses upon speaking, writing, reading, and listening comprehension. Students will expand their knowledge of Spanish grammar, practice written and oral expression, and further develop their reading and critical thinking skills. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 102 or demonstrated proficiency of Novice High.

SPAN 230 Spanish for Medical Professionals

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

Course designed to develop the specific vocabulary and oral communication skills essential for a student who is intending to pursue a career in medicine, nursing or public health, who has a background of one year of college Spanish or equivalent.  The course will take advantage of the local setting in Merida, Mexico to enhance instruction of medical Spanish.

SPAN 306 Experiencing Spanish Abroad: Mexican Literature & Culture

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

This course is an introduction to Mexican culture and identity through works of art and literature from pre-Colombian times to the present day. Through these site visits and observations, paired with relevant readings, students study the complexity of Mexican heritage and identity as influenced by the pre-Columbian era, the Spanish conquest, New Spain, the Mexican Revolution, and modern Mexico. All coursework will be done in Spanish.

SPAN 370 Spanish Conversation

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

This conversation class, for students with at least two years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent is designed to develop greater fluency, vocabulary knowledge, and refine grammatical proficiency to master more complex communication skills (including narrating and describing with a variety of verb tenses, providing detailed explanations, expressing and supporting opinions).

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 mid-August after the completion of the program. Course offerings are subject to change according to enrollment. For more information, visit Transcripts & Grades.

Program Excursions

Playa Progreso

Students can visit this beach by public bus. Playa Progreso is a well-known local beach and has long been a crucial link to the world. Its foundation came about due to necessity. During the height of the henequen (sisal) export era, the port town of Sisal (west of Progreso) was the main cargo departure point (Yucatan Today Magazine).

Merida Museums

Merida summer program offers additional activities and excursions such as the visit of several local museums: Museo de la canción yucateca, Museo de arte popular, Museo de la ciudad, language exchange in the English Library, Cementerio General, and many more fabulous places and free cultural events.

Chichén Itzá & Cenote Ik Kil

Chichén Itzá, named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Students love swimming in the cenote, a beautiful underground swimming hole rich with lush green vines. 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.

Izamal

The most important landmarks to see here is the Franciscan convent that was built over one of the Maya pyramids. This convent is also famous for the monk Fray Diego de Landa, its founder, who burned all the Indian scripts, and then, feeling remorse for what he had done, tried to rewrite all he could remember of the ways of the Maya (Yucatan Today Magazine).

Uxmal Hacienda & Yaxcopoil

Uxmal is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site where students will appreciate Mayan culture, art, and architecture. After visiting Uxmal and the Chocolate Museum, we visit an authentic hacienda. Dating from the late 1600s to the early 1900s, haciendas are Mexico’s equivalent to American southern plantations or mid-western ranches. (Yucatan Today Magazine).

Mercado Lucas de Gálvez

This marvelous local traditional market is the only place where you can buy all the ingredients for the delights of Yucatecan food. Mayan and mestizo people come to town to sell these goods, as well as locally grown fruits and vegetables. You can also find Yucatecan jewelry and affordable beautiful clothes, hand-embroidered and dyed by hand by the Maya of today.

What's Included

Program Cost: $3,800 + airfare

Earn up to 6 Credit Hours

Group Flight (Required)

Airport Transfers in Mexico 

Accommodations

Three 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 obtaining a passport ($165), personal expenses (approx. $150-$400 depending on your spending habits), Vaccinations (approx. $150), any class readings/materials, 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.

Required Group Flight

Estimated Cost: $950 – $1,050

The Merida Mexico program offers a group flight option where you can travel to/from Mexico with other students and faculty. If you choose this option, KIIS will purchase a roundtrip flight ticket for you. The flight cost will be added to your final program fee on April 1. The group flight will depart from Cincinnati or Louisville.

The flight to Mexico arrives on the same day. The return from Mexico arrives in the U.S. on the same day. Visit Flights and Passports & Visas for more information.

Student Voices

Take Your Education Further

Category:

Description

Dates

May 26 – June 24, 2024

Cost

$3,800 + airfare
Scholarships & Financial Aid

Subjects

Lower and Higher Intermediate Spanish, Medical Spanish, Mexican Literature

Deadlines

Dec. 1: Apply Early & Save $100
Feb. 5: Regular Deadline 

Program Overview

KIIS Merida, Mexico is a month-long program based in Merida, an ideal location to experience a fusion of Mexican, Mayan, and European culture and to explore the wonders of the Yucatán. The region boasts Chichén Itzá, named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Uxmal, a designation UNESCO World Heritage site; pristine beaches; and beautiful nature preserves. Students will live with families for the duration of the program enhancing the socio-cultural understanding of the day-to-day life in Mexico and experience social customs and cultural practices.

Note: Studying abroad likely is more physically strenuous than you are used to at home. KIIS study abroad programs typically involve approx. 5-10 miles of walking (approx. 10,000-20,000 steps) or the like in a day, including the possibility of walking, hiking, and climbing stairs in heat and humidity, over elevations at higher altitudes, and over rocky terrain. See Health & Wellness for more information.

Language Requirement:  No language requirement for MLNG 200 (taught in English). Minimum of 6 hours of college-level Spanish or the equivalent for SPAN 200-level courses. 12 hours or the equivalent for SPAN 300-level courses.

Accommodations: Homestay, 2 people per home. 

OrientationMandatory orientation on Saturday, April 13, 2024 in Bowling Green, KY. See Orientation for more information.

Featured Video

Below are two videos that give you a closer look into what your KIIS Merida-Caribbean experience could be like. The first video is a testimonial of someone who studied abroad in Mexico 15 years ago. It gives a detailed look into how the experience has helped shape the student today. The second video provides insight into homestay families in Merida.

Courses

All courses are 3 credit hours. You may enroll in 1 – 2 courses.

MLNG 200 Introduction to Global Literature: Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula

Prof. Francesca Sunkin

An introduction to a variety of literatures at the college level. Assignments encourage critique and analysis and give students introductory knowledge of key literary terms, concepts, and reading strategies. Students apply this knowledge in discussing and writing about literary texts and consider how literature inscribes the human experience. Because these classes emphasize the reading of primary texts, instructors will focus on literacy skills to supplement content course work. Taught in English.

SPAN 201 Intermediate Spanish I

Prof. Francesca Sunkin

This course stresses upon speaking, writing, reading, and listening comprehension. Students will expand their knowledge of Spanish grammar, practice written and oral expression, and further develop their reading and critical thinking skills. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 102 or demonstrated proficiency of Novice High.

SPAN 230 Spanish for Medical Professionals

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

Course designed to develop the specific vocabulary and oral communication skills essential for a student who is intending to pursue a career in medicine, nursing or public health, who has a background of one year of college Spanish or equivalent.  The course will take advantage of the local setting in Merida, Mexico to enhance instruction of medical Spanish.

SPAN 306 Experiencing Spanish Abroad: Mexican Literature & Culture

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

This course is an introduction to Mexican culture and identity through works of art and literature from pre-Colombian times to the present day. Through these site visits and observations, paired with relevant readings, students study the complexity of Mexican heritage and identity as influenced by the pre-Columbian era, the Spanish conquest, New Spain, the Mexican Revolution, and modern Mexico. All coursework will be done in Spanish.

SPAN 370 Spanish Conversation

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

This conversation class, for students with at least two years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent is designed to develop greater fluency, vocabulary knowledge, and refine grammatical proficiency to master more complex communication skills (including narrating and describing with a variety of verb tenses, providing detailed explanations, expressing and supporting opinions).

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 mid-August after the completion of the program. Course offerings are subject to change according to enrollment. For more information, visit Transcripts & Grades.

Program Excursions

Izamal

The most important landmarks to see here is the Franciscan convent that was built over one of the Maya pyramids. This convent is also famous for the monk Fray Diego de Landa, its founder, who burned all the Indian scripts, and then, feeling remorse for what he had done, tried to rewrite all he could remember of the ways of the Maya (Yucatan Today Magazine).

Mercado Lucas de Gálvez

This marvelous local traditional market is the only place where you can buy all the ingredients for the delights of Yucatecan food. Mayan and mestizo people come to town to sell these goods, as well as locally grown fruits and vegetables. You can also find Yucatecan jewelry and affordable beautiful clothes, hand-embroidered and dyed by hand by the Maya of today.

Chichén Itzá & Cenote Ik Kil

Chichén Itzá, named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Students love swimming in the cenote, a beautiful underground swimming hole rich with lush green vines. 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.

Uxmal Hacienda & Yaxcopoil

Uxmal is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site where students will appreciate Mayan culture, art, and architecture. After visiting Uxmal and the Chocolate Museum, we visit an authentic hacienda. Dating from the late 1600s to the early 1900s, haciendas are Mexico’s equivalent to American southern plantations or mid-western ranches. (Yucatan Today Magazine).

Playa Progreso

Students can visit this beach by public bus. Playa Progreso is a well-known local beach and has long been a crucial link to the world. Its foundation came about due to necessity. During the height of the henequen (sisal) export era, the port town of Sisal (west of Progreso) was the main cargo departure point (Yucatan Today Magazine).

Merida Museums

Merida summer program offers additional activities and excursions such as the visit of several local museums: Museo de la canción yucateca, Museo de arte popular, Museo de la ciudad, language exchange in the English Library, Cementerio General, and many more fabulous places and free cultural events.

What's Included

Program Cost: $3,800 + airfare

Earn up to 6 Credit Hours

Group Flight (Required)

Airport Transfers in Mexico 

Accommodations

Three 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 obtaining a passport ($165), personal expenses (approx. $150-$400 depending on your spending habits), Vaccinations (approx. $150), any class readings/materials, 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.

Required Group Flight

Estimated Cost: $950 – $1,050

The Merida Mexico program offers a group flight option where you can travel to/from Mexico with other students and faculty. If you choose this option, KIIS will purchase a roundtrip flight ticket for you. The flight cost will be added to your final program fee on April 1. The group flight will depart from Cincinnati or Louisville.

The flight to Mexico arrives on the same day. The return from Mexico arrives in the U.S. on the same day. Visit Flights and Passports & Visas for more information.

Student Voices

Take Your Education Further

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