You should probably pick this program

Academics: 8
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Housing: 9
Safety: 10

First and foremost, had some of the best times of my life here. Let's enumerate some pros of the program first:

-It's designed to favor those seeking independence and personal enrichment via being able to form a cohesive identity in a different culture.
-Fantastic location: you want cenotes, beautiful beaches, arresting landscapes, fascinating archeological sites, you've got it. You've also got Cuba + Guatemala + Belize (plus the rest of México, which compared to the Yucatán peninsula is like a separate country) within striking distance.
-Extremely immersive homestay. Without exaggeration, I was treated like (and eventually became) another member of the family.
-Gracious and engaging program leaders (shout out to Francisco + Diana!). Individually tailored support system.
-Nice balance of different locales for the in-program excursions (Mexico City and San Cristobal de las Casas were highlights).

However, Mérida can be very polarizing. This paragraph merely serves to check your expectations; I personally found none of the following to be a turn off. However, if you have issues dealing with the daily grievances of living somewhere quite hot (it was already 102 degrees Fahrenheit in March at one point), want to take public transportation everywhere (the bus system is horrendous but Uber is very cheap and ubiquitous in Mérida), seek academic rigor comparable to that of a respectable U.S. institution (in my experience, classes at the local universities [those of the Modelo in particular] were reminiscent of high school classes), or prioritize studying in a more "mainstream," or stereotypical, segment of Mexican culture (i.e. in the central/northern part), maybe you should reconsider studying in Mérida.

All in all, if you want an atypical study abroad experience that will challenge you in very rewarding ways, look no further. You're bound to come back changed for the better.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed