IFSA: Study Abroad Program in Mexico

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Come study abroad next summer, semester, or academic year in Merida, Mexico at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán with IFSA. Students have a few options in terms of academic tracks to follow.

First is a semester or academic year option where students with at least 4 university semesters of Spanish under their belt (or equivalent) can choose courses from the following schools at UADY: College of Social Sciences and Humanities; Visual Arts/Studio Art; Business, Marketing, Economics, Finance; or Psychology.

Questions & Answers


based on 4 reviews
  • Academics 5.3
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4

Wonderful semester

I loved being abroad in Mérida. The best part was studying at the local university and being in class with students who were all from the area. I was the only English speaker in my classes so my Spanish improved a ton. I learned so much from my peers and made friends that will last a lifetime! Mérida has a lot to offer and the prices can't be beat. The food I ate in my host family was some of the best I've ever had and they always made an effort to incorporate me in their activities.

How can this program be improved?
I would have enjoyed group trips outside of México.
Yes, I recommend this program
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You should probably pick this program

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.

Yes, I recommend this program

Merida, MX

I would recommend the program to anyone who is very independent, motivated to learn spanish, and wants to travel outside of Merida on weekends. I didn’t find Merida to be that exciting of a city and it’s very hot so i would go for the Yucatan and en travel to other areas, but i found Merida to be a little too “tranquilo” for my liking. Also, the location for the program isn’t great—it takes about 40 mins or more to get downtown on a bus and at least 20 to get to school on a bus and there isn’t really anything in the neighborhood.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Best time of my life

Made great friends, learned a terrific language and developed a close relationship with a terrific host family that I still have today. My only complaint is that it got too hot too quickly (May is 110+ degrees every day) but you figure it out. Merida is very close to tons of things to do (best beaches ever, ecotourism, visit the pyramids, and more) and is a very safe place to be. I would live there if I could.

Yes, I recommend this program

About Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA)

The Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988. Our primary goal is to provide quality study abroad opportunities, plus academic and personal support services, for qualified North American undergraduates seeking to...