The next application deadline is Oct 1, 2024
See other program dates


The IFSA in Mexico: Mérida Universities Program is a supported direct-enrollment program that allows you to study alongside local students and experience two types of Mexican higher education institutions. This program is designed for you to interact with the complexities of the local culture and learn how the Mayan influence is threaded differently throughout Mexico. In order to participate, you need to complete at least 4 semesters of Spanish, or the equivalent, prior to departure.


You have the opportunity to enroll in university classes alongside Mexican peers at Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY) or Universidad Modelo. UADY offers a full range of courses and is strong in History, Literature and Linguistics, Anthropology, and Social Anthropology. UADY also has an active commitment to Archaeology and Anthropology because of its location in the midst of a concentration of archaeological sites.

On the other hand, the Universidad Modelo, as a small private institution, provides coursework in areas such as Engineering, Architecture, Design, Humanities, and more.

Program Features

While in Mérida, you live in a homestay. IFSA ensures that only one student lives with each host family to facilitate the greatest integration and immersion of the student in the Spanish language and Mexican culture.

You participate in several excursions to locations such as Inframundo, Playa de Progreso, local archaeological museums, and long trips to visit cenotes and a hacienda. You can even learn to cook regional Yucatec cuisine.


Review eligibility to ensure that you meet all Columbia requirements to study abroad.

Review the external program webpage to understand any additional program prerequisites.

Note the program language requirements.

Application Instructions

To apply, you must complete the two steps below. Deadlines vary and some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, you should complete the steps below simultaneously:

  • To apply for Columbia clearance (approval) to study abroad, click on "Start Your Application" on this webpage. Clearance applications are approved on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.
  • To apply for program admission, complete an external application directly on the program webpage. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the Columbia clearance deadline.