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Mexico & Cuba

Dates

May 18 – June 8, 2021

Subjects

Intermediate Spanish, African American Studies

Deadlines

Dec. 1: Apply Early & Save $100
Feb. 15: Regular Deadline 

Program Overview

KIIS Mexico & Cuba is a three-week program based in Merida, Mexico and in Havana, Cuba. The program begins 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. For the third week of the program, students travel to Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean. Cuba has been profoundly affected by its relationship with the United States, experiencing both intimate and challenging periods of political relations. Cuba is an exhilarating place and this will be a phenomenal way to meaningfully encounter this country. 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 Cuba and experience social customs and cultural practices. Spanish is not required for this program.

Language Requirement:  No language requirement for AFAM 490/IDST 350 (taught in English). 6 hours of college-level Spanish or equivalent for SPAN 210, 12 hours or equivalent for SPAN 372.

Accommodations: Homestay, 2 people per home. 

OrientationMandatory orientation on Saturday, April 17 in Bowling Green, KY. See Orientation for more information.

Courses

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

AFAM 490/IDST 350 Topics: The Black Image in Mexico and Cuba

Dr. Thomas Edison

In this introductory course, students will learn of the history and culture of Blacks in Mexico and Cuba. The material will be transmitted through readings, lectures, and excursions. The African aesthetic will be explored by analyzing selected works of writers considering their socio-historical, geographic, and racial implications from their respective literary movements beginning with the 1950s to the present.

SPAN 210 Intermediate Spanish Conversation Abroad

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

This course is designed to develop the vocabulary and communication skills of a student with one year of college Spanish or equivalent, with emphasis on contact with Spanish native speakers. Taught in Spanish.

SPAN 372 Latin American Civilization and Culture

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

This course is a survey of the historical and cultural background of Latin America and its people from the Discovery to the present centering on the influence of Mayan cultural heritage in southern Mexico and Central America.

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

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.

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.

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).

Mérida, Mexico Neighborhood Walk

We visit the historic downtown of Mérida to experience the market, colonial architecture, and amazing local food.  One of the highlights is a visit to the Palacio del Gobierno, which houses murals depicting the regional history of the Maya and Spanish, painted by local artist Fernando Castro Pacheco.

Havana Neighborhood Walk

This capital city is one of the most populous and largest cities in the Caribbean. It was once known as one of the most beautiful cities of the New World. We will explore our surroundings in Havana including Centro Havana, Vedado, Paseo del Prado, and the Malecón. 

What's Included

Program Cost: $3,400 + airfare

Earn 3 Credit Hours

Group Flight (Required)

Airport Transfers in Mexico & Cuba

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 ($145), personal expenses (approx. $150-$400 depending on your spending habits), Vaccinations (approx. $150), any class readings/materials, and any fees from your college/university.

Under U.S. government regulations in effect since the 1960s, travelers from the U.S. to Cuba are restricted to using cash for all incidental purchases and expenses within Cuba (bottled water, tips, laundry, souvenirs, etc.). U.S-issued credit cards or debit cards are not honored in Cuba, nor is there ATM access to funds drawn from U.S. bank accounts. You can withdraw cash at an ATM prior to departing Mexico for converting to Cuban currency shortly after arrival in Cuba.

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 group flight is required for KIIS Mexico & Cuba. We fly together to Mexico and return from Cuba. The group flight includes an internal flight transfer between Mexico and Cuba and the Cuba Tourist Card (entry visa). KIIS will purchase the flights 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 Cuba 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 18 – June 8, 2021

Subjects

Intermediate Spanish, African American Studies

Deadlines

Dec. 1: Apply Early & Save $100
Feb. 15: Regular Deadline 

Program Overview

KIIS Mexico & Cuba is a three-week program based in Merida, Mexico and in Havana, Cuba. The program begins 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. For the third week of the program, students travel to Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean. Cuba has been profoundly affected by its relationship with the United States, experiencing both intimate and challenging periods of political relations. Cuba is an exhilarating place and this will be a phenomenal way to meaningfully encounter this country. 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 Cuba and experience social customs and cultural practices. Spanish is not required for this program.

Language Requirement:  No language requirement for AFAM 490/IDST 350 (taught in English). 6 hours of college-level Spanish or equivalent for SPAN 210, 12 hours or equivalent for SPAN 372.

Accommodations: Homestay, 2 people per home. 

OrientationMandatory orientation on Saturday, April 17 in Bowling Green, KY. See Orientation for more information.

Courses

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

AFAM 490/IDST 350 Topics: The Black Image in Mexico and Cuba

Dr. Thomas Edison

In this introductory course, students will learn of the history and culture of Blacks in Mexico and Cuba. The material will be transmitted through readings, lectures, and excursions. The African aesthetic will be explored by analyzing selected works of writers considering their socio-historical, geographic, and racial implications from their respective literary movements beginning with the 1950s to the present.

SPAN 210 Intermediate Spanish Conversation Abroad

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

This course is designed to develop the vocabulary and communication skills of a student with one year of college Spanish or equivalent, with emphasis on contact with Spanish native speakers. Taught in Spanish.

SPAN 372 Latin American Civilization and Culture

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

This course is a survey of the historical and cultural background of Latin America and its people from the Discovery to the present centering on the influence of Mayan cultural heritage in southern Mexico and Central America.

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

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.

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.

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).

Mérida, Mexico Neighborhood Walk

We visit the historic downtown of Mérida to experience the market, colonial architecture, and amazing local food.  One of the highlights is a visit to the Palacio del Gobierno, which houses murals depicting the regional history of the Maya and Spanish, painted by local artist Fernando Castro Pacheco.

Havana Neighborhood Walk

This capital city is one of the most populous and largest cities in the Caribbean. It was once known as one of the most beautiful cities of the New World. We will explore our surroundings in Havana including Centro Havana, Vedado, Paseo del Prado, and the Malecón. 

What's Included

Program Cost: $3,400 + airfare

Earn 3 Credit Hours

Group Flight (Required)

Airport Transfers in Mexico & Cuba

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 ($145), personal expenses (approx. $150-$400 depending on your spending habits), Vaccinations (approx. $150), any class readings/materials, and any fees from your college/university.

Under U.S. government regulations in effect since the 1960s, travelers from the U.S. to Cuba are restricted to using cash for all incidental purchases and expenses within Cuba (bottled water, tips, laundry, souvenirs, etc.). U.S-issued credit cards or debit cards are not honored in Cuba, nor is there ATM access to funds drawn from U.S. bank accounts. You can withdraw cash at an ATM prior to departing Mexico for converting to Cuban currency shortly after arrival in Cuba.

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 group flight is required for KIIS Mexico & Cuba. We fly together to Mexico and return from Cuba. The group flight includes an internal flight transfer between Mexico and Cuba and the Cuba Tourist Card (entry visa). KIIS will purchase the flights 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 Cuba 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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